DEAR BENNY: Your recent column raised the question of making one extra payment a year as compared to spreading it out over 12 months. The critical factor is whether the extra payment is made at the beginning of the year. At the beginning, it advances the amortization schedule very differently than at the end of the year. --Stanley DEAR STANLEY: Thanks for writing. You are correct. However, many homeowners cannot afford to make a large, lump sum payment either at the beginning or at the end of the calendar year. That's why I suggest making extra payments each and every month, in an amount that is at least 1/12th of your actual monthly payment. This way, you reduce the principal balance each month, and thus the interest calculation for the next month will be lower. But, if you do ...
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