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Three steps to get the mortgage monkey off your back

Is a mortgage the monkey that never gets off your back? Here’s how to pay off your mortgage, sooner rather than not at all. •Make extra payments “Once you max out your retirement for the year, have no credit card debt, and 6 months cushion of savings, allocate extra money every month towards the principal. There is no perfect number, do what you can afford, but make it a priority. Use any online calculator to determine what you would need to pay monthly to pay your loan off in 15 years,” Jennifer Beeston, vice president mortgage lending for Guaranteed Rate Mortgage in Manhattan. There are refinancing fees. Every time you refinance from one 30-year mortgage to another 30-year mortgage you add years to your loan,” says Beeston. A refi however, may make sense if you are replacing a 30-year with a 15-year mortgage. Get the Biz Briefing newsletter! •Use your asset Rather than refinancing, leverage your biggest asset, your home.