I have 3 financial goals remaining for 2008, and right now I’m the furthest along in my quest to eliminate Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) from the mortgage.
With momentum on my side, I’m eager to finish this one off, but is it the wisest move?
The other two remaining goals are paying off the auto loan and piling up $10k in savings. Comparing the interest rates of all three, the goal of coming up with $10k in savings comes dead last:
Goal Rate ------------------ PMI 6.735% Auto 5.350% Savings 2.960%
Add in that I only currently have $500 in savings, earning me less than $2 per month, well, that must make it the third priority. It’s not doing anything for me at this point.
To eliminate PMI, as of this morning, I need to take another $3147 off of the total balance of my mortgage.
By accomplishing this, my monthly mortgage bill will not change in the short term, but instead of $85.15 being taken from escrow each month, it will remain, well, in escrow.
When my mortgage company reviews my payment again, usually towards the end of the year, I might see my monthly payment fall around $60. (Not the full $85 due to tax increases and higher insurance premiums which are also paid from the escrow account.)
The auto loan currently has a balance of $6668 — double the amount I need on the mortgage.
Though I’ve been overpaying it since the start, it’s minimum payment each month is $289. By eliminating this debt, the result will be $289 that I can send elsewhere each month — but it will take me twice as long to get there (because the auto loan balance is twice as large as the number I need to hit on the mortgage).
In the long run, it’s obvious to me that paying down the mortgage makes the most financial sense. It will undoubtedly save me tens of thousands in the end — especially if I keep up with the additional payments.
But if the real goal is to have more money in my pocket at the end of the day (and by the end of this year), then the auto loan goal should take precedence as it will allow me to have more money in pocket to fund the savings (and even the mortgage) goal.
I’ve got a couple decisions to make as I’ve already gotten going with the mortgage being priority number one…
And that was probably the wrong move in the short run…