Amortize Your Loans. Watch the Balance Shrink.

In this example the family borrowed $200,000 for a mortgage on their home, with a 30 year term, and an interest rate of 5.625%. The required monthly payment is $1151.31. The amortization schedule shows Month, Payment, Interest, Principal, Balance, and Date, with each payment on a separate line.

Notice that the amount of interest is large at the beginning compared to the principal amount (principal is the amount that goes towards paying off the loan). The balance is reduced by only a small amount in the early years.

As time goes by the monthly interest amount decreases and the principal amount increases. This is because the remaining balance, the amount that the interest rate is applied to, is gradually getting smaller.

There are ways to accelerate repayment such as making extra principal payments in the early years. This has the affect of substantially reducing interest and total out-of-pocket costs. You'll want to use the acceleration and what-if analysis tools to see how this works.

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