Your mortgage is likely the biggest loan you will ever need to pay off. Staying committed to your mortgage payment plan is important for a number of reasons. Not only do you want to maintain a good credit rating with your mortgage lender, but you also want to avoid paying any late fees or penalties.
If you’ve found yourself juggling paycheques and bills, looking to avoid unnecessary fees, you may be wondering how to make mortgage payments on time. While the organization and set up come more easily to some than others, there are several things you can do to make mortgage payments a priority.
Here are the eights tips on how to make mortgage payments:
1. Set yourself up for mortgage payments
While bill payments are part of adult life, they can feel like an assault on your peace of mind if you aren’t prepared for them. Maybe you are someone who only thinks about a bill when it arrives in the mail or your inbox?
Reacting to bills this way almost always results in unpleasant surprises. If you haven’t already, set yourself up with a spreadsheet to track monthly bills. Knowing your timing and how much to set aside for each bill will help you to avoid late fees.
2. Use visual reminders for payments
Using visual reminders is an important tip for how to make mortgage payments. In addition to your spreadsheet, leave yourself visual reminders around your home. If you send in your mortgage payment by cheque or pay manually online, find visual ways to remind yourself of your deadlines.
Mark your mortgage payment date on your calendar, leave yourself sticky notes, pin your budget to a bulletin board—whatever it takes to remember your mortgage each payment period.
3. Count on app reminders
If you prefer to avoid the clutter of paper reminders, or simply prefer digital notifications to physical calendars, simply set yourself a regular reminder to make your mortgage payment. You know yourself best—you may want to set up a notification that can only be cancelled once you’ve indicated the task is complete.
With reminders in place, you can give yourself more than enough time to make a payment online, pay at your bank or mail in your cheque.
4. Have a backup plan
Of course, even with reminders in place, sometimes life gets in the way. If you discover that you’ve missed a mail-in deadline but still have time to make the payment, explore your mortgage-lender’s payment options. With your account number in hand, you will likely be able to make a last-minute payment over the phone or online.
5. Be credit-ready
In case your back up plan requires a credit card for payment, be sure to have one accessible. You will need enough spending room to cover your mortgage payment and a plan to pay it back quickly.
Of course, the danger with using a credit card for a large bill is the interest you will pay if the entire balance is not paid off in full at the end of the month. In other words, use credit sparingly and pay it back right away.
6. Go directly to the source
Perhaps the easiest way to make sure your mortgage payments are made on time is to go directly to your lender’s website. Paying online, either setting up a payment through your online banking or paying directly on your lender’s site, allows you to stay in control of timing.
If you need a paycheque to be deposited shortly before your mortgage payment is due, direct payments may be the best solution for you.
7. Automate your mortgage payments
If reminders and individual site visits to your mortgage lender sound like a hassle, or make you worry that you might forget, consider setting up your mortgage payments for automatic withdrawals. Automated payments ensure that your bills are paid, without you having to pull the trigger.
The drawback, of course, is a general lack of flexibility. If your mortgage payment is automatically withdrawn on the 3rd of the month, for example, the money needs to be available in your account.
8. Keep your eye on the mortgage
Unlike many other bills, mortgage payments can provide a good amount of satisfaction over time. As long as you are paying more than interest alone, each payment reduces the principle owing and moves you closer to your goal of being mortgage-free. Making these payments a priority will give you a sense of being in control, allowing you to move closer and closer to home ownership without the mortgage.
Between home, children and social activities, life can get overrun with bills and to-do items. Unless you have a system in place, bills can be a significant source of stress. While mortgage payments are due regularly, you may find yourself scrambling to make pay them on time.
Whether you prefer to organize yourself with reminders or automate your payments, make your life easier by putting systems in place. We hope this list of ideas on how to make mortgage payments on time has been useful as you set up your own bill payment plan.