Dear Dr. Don,
Once a mortgage is set up and I decide to pay extra on the principal, should my actual monthly payments go down?
Thanks,
-- Tom Treatment

 

Dear Steve,
I started with a 72-month, $23,468 auto loan in March 2003. I've paid $400 every month to the present date, although the required payment is only $325 a month. I just found out that the extra money is not going to principal, but it adds time until my next payment is due, which the bank says is in August 2005. How will this help me if I want to trade vehicles in two years? By then the bank will say that I have 10 to 11 months of no payment, due to the fact that I'm so far prepaid. Can this benefit me when I want to trade in and how does that play into the financing of another vehicle at that point? Advice needed. Thank you.
-- Nate

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Mortgage amount

Original or expected balance for your mortgage.

Interest rate

Annual interest rate for this mortgage.

There are some many different payment loan options out there for you. Take the time to find out which ones work for you and which don’t. There are home loans, mortgages, auto loans, student loans and more.

With European leaders due to meet on Oct. 23 to tackle the debt crisis, Venizelos said today that a law on new cuts to pensions, wages and jobs must be approved by Parliament before then. European Commission President Jose Barroso pledged to present proposals tomorrow on the recapitalization of European banks for discussion at the summit.

If you feel that you have too much debt, you are not alone. Most people have substantial debt; many have more than they can handle. However, debt is not all bad. Sometimes it makes sense to use borrowed money for investments. However, most folks are not using debt in that way; they are using it to make ordinary purchases of things they would probably be better off without, anyway. In our competitive society, spending has become a status symbol. This encourages people to spend more than they should—more than they have. Consequently, they run up tremendous debt.

While credit is very important to the economy, its abuse is harmful. Credit is extended with the faith that borrowers will repay the debt. Goods and services are provided on credit with the expectation that they will be paid for with money in the future. Credit makes commerce more convenient. When credit is abused, everyone loses. Credit abuse increases the cost of credit to everyone.

  • Present value (PV). The amount of money needed today to purchase certain goods.
  • Future value (FV). The amount of money at the end of the investment period equal to the present value plus accrued compound interest.

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