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Paying Your Mortgage Biweekly

One of my friends recently purchased a home and she was sent a letter (if you recently purchased a home, you’ll probably be familiar with how many letters you will get informing you of great refinancing rates) about a program that would speed up her mortgage payments by sending them in every two weeks instead of just at the end of the month. She was primarily wondering whether it was a scam and whether it “worked” because I suppose the letter, which always looks shady, probably did a poor job of explaining why it would pay off her mortgage faster.

The biweekly mortgage payment strategy is one that’s been in existence for quite some time. It is legitimate and there are two reasons why it’s legitimate:

So, now that you’re convinced this is a legitimate way to speed up the rate at which you’re paying down your mortgage, let me give you the advice I gave my friend if you’re thinking about getting one of these “services.” Don’t. You don’t need to pay some fancy expensive company for this service, you can usually talk to your lender and they can set something up for you. If they are unwilling and you have no prepayment penalties, just send in the payments yourself. With online banking, it’s easy to schedule regular payments automatically so you won’t even have to buy any more stamps.

So… does anyone know why companies were sending me letters asking me to refinance a month after I just got a mortgage? And why would they ever think I’d accept their offer?