Rich

Slow

To get rich, you must first not be poor. I cannot simply advocate that you get out of debt. It makes more sense to suggest that you rearrange your debts so that you pay as little interest as possible. Also, you should make your interest tax deductible whenever you can. To help you do this, we will examine different types of loans and prioritize them.

Suppose you are faced with the following debts:

Loan Interest Loan Monthly Net Money type rate Years amount payment monthly lost to payment interest Credit Card 18% 27.5 1000 15 15 15 Personal loan 11% 5 5000 109 109 46 Car loan 10% 5 5000 106 106 42 2nd mortgage 9% 7.5 20000 306 276 108 1st mortgage 8% 25 100000 772 637 480 Total 131000 1308 1144 691 Table 1

I list these debts from the highest interest rate to the lowest. The first mortgage has the lowest rate, because it is backed by the house. The second mortgage is backed by the house, only after the holder of the first mortgage gets his money from foreclosure. The car loan is backed by the car. The personal loan is backed by the honesty and integrity of the debtor. No wonder the interest rate is so high. Finally, the credit card rate is so high, because people do not shop around for good rates.

In looking at Table 1, focus on the total monthly payment and the money lost to interest. The money lost to interest is a total waste. We want to minimize this now and in the future. Fortunately, money lost to mortgage interest is partially reimbursed by the government (by 28% in this example). This is included in the calculation of the net monthly payment, the quantity you want to mininize so you can pay your other bills.

To continue this example, you look at your debt and decide that you can improve. You shop around and find out that you can get a credit card at a much lower rate. You get a card with a 12% rate and transfer your credit card debt to it. Your new debt situation is shown in Table 2 below.

Loan Interest Loan Monthly Net Money type rate Years amount payment monthly lost to payment interest Credit Card 12% 27.5 1000 10 10 10 Personal loan 11% 5 5000 109 109 46 Car loan 10% 5 5000 106 106 42 2nd mortgage 9% 7.5 20000 306 276 108 1st mortgage 8% 25 100000 772 637 480 Total 131000 1304 1139 686 Table 2

You owe the same as before, but your net monthly payment is $5 less. Equally important, you now lose $5 less to interest. As good as this sounds, you just can't stand the idea of spending the next 27.5 years paying off your credit card debt. You decide to apply the $5 to paying it off faster. Table 3 shows your situation.

Loan Interest Loan Monthly Net Money type rate Years amount payment monthly lost to payment interest Credit Card 12% 9.08 1000 15 15 10 Personal loan 11% 5 5000 109 109 46 Car loan 10% 5 5000 106 106 42 2nd mortgage 9% 7.5 20000 306 276 108 1st mortgage 8% 25 100000 772 637 480 Total 131000 1308 1144 686 Table 3

You are now on track to pay off your credit card debt in about nine years, with the same payments as when you started. However, you know you can do better. Why pay 12% when you can pay just 11%? You refinance your personal loan to include the credit card debt, as shown in Table 4.

Loan Interest Loan Monthly Net Money type rate Years amount payment monthly lost to payment interest Personal loan 11% 5 6000 130 130 55 Car loan 10% 5 5000 106 106 42 2nd mortgage 9% 7.5 20000 306 276 108 1st mortgage 8% 25 100000 772 637 480 Total 131000 1315 1150 685 Table 4

Your payments are now slightly higher, because what was your credit card debt will now be paid in five years. More important, your money lost to interest is less. You decide to continue that pattern. You refinance the car loan to contain the personal loan debt, as in Table 5.

Loan Interest Loan Monthly Net Money type rate Years amount payment monthly lost to payment interest Car loan 10% 5 11000 234 234 92 2nd mortgage 9% 7.5 20000 306 276 108 1st mortgage 8% 25 100000 772 637 480 Total 131000 1312 1147 680 Table 5

This time your monthly payment goes down, and you are losing less money to interest. You start to notice that the monthly payment exceeds the net monthly payment only for mortgages. You take advantage of this by converting the car loan into a third mortgage, as shown in Table 6.

Loan Interest Loan Monthly Net Money type rate Years amount payment monthly lost to payment interest 3rd mortgage 10% 5 11000 234 215 66 2nd mortgage 9% 7.5 20000 306 276 108 1st mortgage 8% 25 100000 772 637 480 Total 131000 1312 1129 654 Table 6

A third mortgage is risky, so its interest rate is as high as for the car loan. The monthly payment is the same but, thanks to the tax deduction, the net monthly payment is reduced by $18. Now you decide to consolidate the third mortgage into the second mortgage, as seen in Table 7.

Loan Interest Loan Monthly Net Money type rate Years amount payment monthly lost to payment interest 2nd mortgage 9% 7.5 31000 475 428 167 1st mortgage 8% 25 100000 772 637 480 Total 131000 1247 1065 647 Table 7

Even though the loan amount is higher, the second mortgage has the same rate. As a result, the total money lost to interest lessens. The monthly payment decreases, because what was the third mortgage is for 7.5 years now. At this point, you make your boldest move yet. You not only combine both mortgages into one, but you save so much money this way that you choose a 15 year loan. This allows for a lower rate and you save even more. See the very short Table 8.

Loan Interest Loan Monthly Net Money type rate Years amount payment monthly lost to payment interest 1st mortgage 7.5% 15 131000 1214 1049 590 Table 8

You now have one easy payment that is $100 less than the original payment. Also, in 15 years you will be free of debt. If you can get some more breaks, such as pay raises, you can pay off the mortgage faster. Once you do this, you will have a $1214 payment with no one to take the money except you. This is how to get rich slow!

The basic rule in this example is to get as much money as possible into the loan with the lowest after tax interest rate. If much of this is confusing, click on Interest Rates and you will learn the basics and even some mathematics on the subject of interest rates.

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