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5 ways to declare independence from your mortgage company

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The Fourth of July is almost here, reminding us all of the hard-won independence our ancestors, biological and national, secured for us on a number of levels. Most of us are legally (technically) free from the bondage suffered by our forefathers and foremothers, whether it be freedom from religious persecution or freedom from literal slavery. And that's something for which we should all be truly, deeply grateful. By the same token, many of us experience as bondage the looming balances and monthly payments associated with consumer debt and, in particular, our mortgages. All those zeroes! This Independence Day, here are five ways you can tackle the daunting challenge of declaring independence from your mortgage company: 1. Pay twice a month. It's an oldie, but a goodie, so it bears repeating: If you make half a mortgage payment every two weeks, you will painlessly make an extra full payment every year. (Fifty-two weeks divided by 2 results in 26 payments, or 13 full monthly p...