A frequently asked question is whether a mortgage borrower receives any benefit from paying before the due date. In most cases, the answer is "no," but there are a few exceptions. With simple-interest mortgages, including HELOCs (home equity lines of credit), it does pay to pay early and, under some circumstances, paying early in order to shift next year's interest into this year could reduce taxes.
The rules when payments are late: On a standard monthly payment mortgage, the payment is due on the first day of the month, and will be credited to the borrower on that day, regardless of when it is received. If the payment is received within the grace period, customarily the first 10 or 15 days, the borrower receives a free ride -- no interest accrual -- for those days.
If the payment is received after the grace period but within the month, the borrower is subject to a late charge. If the payment is not received until the following month, the borrower incurs a late charge and is reported to the credit bureaus as a 30-day delinquency, but the payment is credited as of the first day of the previous month.
When payments are early: Payments made before the due date are also credited as of that date. This gives the lender free use of the borrower's money for that period. The borrower who consistently pays two weeks early, for example, is in effect providing the lender with a two-week grace period comparable to that provided by the lender to borrowers who pay late. There is no benefit to the borrower. more...