We all have New Year’s resolutions. Some of us are keeping an eye on our waistlines – while others are keeping an eye on their wallets. If you’re a homeowner, then the new year is a better time than ever to start making smarter mortgage decisions. At United Faith Mortgage, we’ve narrowed down four of the best New Year’s resolutions to put your mortgage and home in a better position.

1. Make an Extra Mortgage Payment

What’s an extra mortgage payment? No big deal, right? Wrong. Actually, extra mortgage payments can dramatically shorten the time to pay your mortgage in full – and significantly cut the interest expense in the process. Wouldn’t it be nice to get rid of your mortgage faster and end up paying less in the long run?

Consider a $150,000 mortgage with a 30-year term and 5.5 percent interest rate. Paying an extra $71 each month would shorten the term by five years and one month – and cut the interest expense by $30,789. A little goes a long way – and even a couple of dollars every week can add up to one big New Year’s resolution.

2. Pay Off a Second Mortgage

Variable rates put homeowners with second loans in a tough position. After all, today’s low rates are never guaranteed tomorrow. Any increase in the future can result in higher payments, added debt and increased interest expenses – not to mention a poor position to refinance the debt. The new year is a great time to defuse the threat.

Getting a second mortgage off your back pays off in more ways than one. It’s never easy to write an extra $400 check towards your home equity loan – especially when you’re used to spending that money elsewhere. However, the sooner you get out of a variable rate second home loan, the better.

3. Refinance Your Mortgage

Whether you want to decrease your payment or lock in a low fixed rate – refinancing your mortgage could be the smartest thing you do in the new year. Again, variable rate loans make refinancing with a fixed rate a top priority.

Consider a mortgage with a variable rate starting at 3.5 percent. Refinancing with a fixed rate of 5 percent may seem like a big jump – but consider the alternative. Variable rates could jump to 7.5 percent. A fixed loan is your only protection against the uncertainty of the variable rate. Make a resolution to refinance your mortgage with a fixed rate.

4. Make Your Mortgage Payments On Time

On-time payments are fundamental to stronger FICO scores – and strong FICO scores help homeowners borrow at lower interest rates and on more attractive terms. The new year is the perfect opportunity to forget about the past and make a resolution to get (and stay) current with bill payments.

You’re not alone in the dark just for missing a few mortgage payments. The longer you pay bills on time – even after being late – the more your FICO score should increase. Older credit problems count for less – so a poor credit history is hardly a life sentence. Start the journey towards on-time bill payment today.

New Year, New You!

The new year is the perfect time to celebrate a new you. Get your finances in order with a low refinance rate from your mortgage lending advisor with biblical values. We wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year from all of us at United Faith Mortgage!