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    • Dithering Dad
    • By Dithering Dad 3rd Jul 07, 8:33 PM
    • 4,230Posts
    • 8,150Thanks
    Dithering Dad
    The Mortgage Free Roll Of Honour
    • #1
    • 3rd Jul 07, 8:33 PM
    The Mortgage Free Roll Of Honour 3rd Jul 07 at 8:33 PM
    Welcome to the Mortgage-Free Roll of Honour.

    This is for Mortgage-Free Wannabees who are no longer Wannabees.

    Please report

    a. The date you decided to become a MFW
    b. Mortgage Debt at its highest
    c. Mortgage-Free Date
    d. Your one perl of wisdom.
    e. The MSE Mortgage guides and others that helped you
    f. And if you had a mortgage freedom diary on MFW, a link to it.

    And huge congratulations

    (I thought that we MFW's deserved a roll of honour too )

    PS Please no one else post - let's keep this a pure record of successes

    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by Former MSE Andrea; 21-02-2014 at 8:02 PM. Reason: added a p.s. by popular demand
Page 1
    • nearlyrich
    • By nearlyrich 3rd Jul 07, 9:44 PM
    • 13,335 Posts
    • 16,542 Thanks
    • #2
    • 3rd Jul 07, 9:44 PM
    • #2
    • 3rd Jul 07, 9:44 PM
    This is a great idea for a sticky thread and I'd like to post my info so here goes:

    a. The date you decided to become a MFW

    October 1992 when we decided to buy this house

    b. Mortgage Debt at its highest


    c. Mortgage-Free Date

    October 2000

    d. Your one pearl of wisdom.

    Keep chasing the remortgage deals but watch out for tie in's and penalties and you really can shave years off your expected MFD.

    e. And if you had a mortgage freedom diary on MFW, a link to it.

    Sorry MSE was but a twinkle when we decided to do this but if it's any consolation we didn't get a great deal of enthusiasm from some of the people we know, they thought a mortgage was for 25 years LOL and some of them are still paying standard variable rate whilst sitting on substantial savings.

    Come on guys you can do it and you don't have to stop living to make a difference.
    Last edited by nearlyrich; 03-07-2007 at 9:46 PM.
    Free impartial debt advice from: National Debtline or Stepchange[/CENTER]
    • Martinslovechild
    • By Martinslovechild 3rd Jul 07, 9:46 PM
    • 1,544 Posts
    • 1,646 Thanks
    • #3
    • 3rd Jul 07, 9:46 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Jul 07, 9:46 PM

    I'm newly mortgage-free (as of yesterday) !!

    In answer to the questions, I decided to become a MFW in May 2001, at which point my mortgage was £129,000.

    I remember thinking how much of an achievement it would be to become mortgage-free before I hit the big '40'. In 2001, my mortgage had been running for 8 years and would have 17 further years left to run.

    I telephoned the bank and asked for the monthly cost of reducing the outstanding mortgage term by 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, 7 years & 10 years respectively. I can't remember the actual figures quoted but I do remember that reducing the mortgage by 10 years cost an extra £435 per month; this was the option we decided to go for based on a budget I'd done, which determined that we could afford regular overpayments of about £500. This immediately reduced the term to 7 years, which was very good news!!

    I was tied into a mortgage deal at the time which didn't allow overpayments (but bizarrely allowed me to reduce the term thereby having the same effect). There were of course penalties for making any overpayments during the discount term which would last until February 2003.

    In February 2003, I immediately applied for a more flexible mortgage with a different lender which would allow overpayments, underpayments & drawdowns. Again, during the initial period (through to October 2004), I was restricted to making overpayments which were no more than 10% of the outstanding mortgage per annum.

    Around mid-2003, I discovered 'stoozing'; as I would discover, this was to play a very big part in my clearing the mortgage. In 2003, I applied for my first 0% card and discovered just how easy it was to move the borrowed money into my current account, from where I used it to first clear my wife's car loan (remember, I couldn't overpay the mortgage by more than 10% at this time). Once my wife's car loan was fully on 0% (this took 3 credit cards in both mine & my wife's names), I applied for further 0% cards to clear my own car loan. I then ensured that I paid the full 10% mortgage overpayment by borrowing even more cash, all of it at 0%.

    In fact, once the cars were on 0% and I'd repaid the 10% on the mortgage, I decided to keep going - I maxed out on an increasing number of 0% cards. During 2004, I continued to borrow on 0% cards. In fact, when the 10% overpayment restriction eventually expired on the 1st November 2004, I immediately overpaid an amount totalling £51,500 into my mortgage overpayment fund!! At this point, my outstanding mortgage balance fell to just £6,500 - in other words, I was paying just £58 per month in mortgage interest, compared to the £326 that I should have been paying!! I was saving £268 a month in interest and an extra £3216 was being paid off my mortgage each year as a result of 0% cards!!

    I eventually accrued a stoozing pot of over £100,000. This was in addition to my wife's pot of £37,000. This was quite staggering as my earnings are nothing like this amount. Since the stooz pot hit this amount, it got progressively more difficult to maintain this level, so it was fortunate that as time went on and I was unable to replace some credit cards with fee-free 0% cards, I was in the lucky position of not having to do so, as I was clearing the mortgage pretty quickly and the outstanding balance was reducing at a fair rate of knots meaning that I didn't need access to so much 0% credit. Today, the level of my stoozing pot is less than half of its maximum - mainly because fee-free 0% cards are a thing of the past, but also because the mortgage is gone - I suppose that I was simply a lucky benefactor of cheap credit being made available very easily to me during the time that I wanted to make the greatest impact in cleaing my mortgage.

    As for perls of wisdoms, I simply set myself a target and stuck to it. I designed a realistic budget which still allows me to fund purchases of CDs and meals out. I ensured that if I overspent in any one month, I would need to underspend the following month (or apply for another 0% card ).

    The most important thing of all is to stay totally focused. It doesn't matter whether your target is 1 year, 10 years or 20 years. It can be done. Just stick to your goals.

    Good Luck!!
    Mortgage Feb 2001 - £129,000
    Mortgage July 2007 - £0
    Original Mortgage Termination Date - Nov 2018
    Mortgage Interest saved - £63790.60
    ISA Profit since Jan 1st 2015 - 69.6% (updated 17 May 2018)
    Save £12K in 2018 Challenger #111 - £10,531.31/£20,000 (updated 31 December 2018)
    • runmartin
    • By runmartin 4th Jul 07, 2:01 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    • #4
    • 4th Jul 07, 2:01 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Jul 07, 2:01 PM
    I decided I wanted to become a MFW on 1st June 2001. I had just moved house and decided I did not want to have a mortgage until I retired.

    My new mortgage was £80000 (this was the debt at its highest) and I wanted to be mortgage free before I was 50 (I was 39 at the time). I arranged the mortgage so the payments were fairly easy to achieve and immediately set up a standing order to overpay by £300 a month.
    I had some other money in ISAs etc but nowhere near enough to pay the mortgage off. Any extra money I accumulated went into the mortgage as lump sum payments.

    My wife was left a few thousand pounds in a will which was left sitting in a bank account for a while. We decided to change the mortgage to an offset mortgage. My current account, joint current account and my wifes inheritance were used to offset the mortgage. I still kept the same overpayments and as the months flew by I was paying less and less interest until I was paying off capital only. It was a good feeling knowing all the money being paid to the bank was actually paying off the capital only!

    I finally paid off my mortgage on 25th May 2007 by cashing in a £6500 investment bond which has always performed badly. It feels great to be mortgage free and I never really thought it would happen so soon. As has been said in these forums, every penny counts when overpaying.

    For me the main help in paying off the mortgage was to keep focussed on the fact that the mortgage is a loan (like a car loan) and needs to be paid off and not just something that everyone has. I still had a holiday every year and ran a car but not expensive ones!!!
    • icecoolbabe
    • By icecoolbabe 4th Jul 07, 5:20 PM
    • 1,334 Posts
    • 709 Thanks
    • #5
    • 4th Jul 07, 5:20 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Jul 07, 5:20 PM
    I was mortgage free as of 15th June 2007.

    Posted how I did it in
    Last edited by icecoolbabe; 04-07-2007 at 5:25 PM.
    If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 5th Jul 07, 5:23 AM
    • 34,021 Posts
    • 68,652 Thanks
    • #6
    • 5th Jul 07, 5:23 AM
    • #6
    • 5th Jul 07, 5:23 AM
    a. The date you decided to become a MFW
    Some time during the era when interest rates were at 15% - can't remember when that was - and then again on an investment property in 2004
    b. Mortgage Debt at its highest £65.000 (on the investment property)
    c. Mortgage-Free Date Mid-90s on family home; 25th September 2005 on investment property
    d. Your one perl of wisdom. Even a tiny overpayment helps
    e. And if you had a mortgage freedom diary on MFW, a link to it. Mortgage-free before I discovered this site

    We became mortgage-free on our family home (which we still have) simply by continuing to pay the amount we had to pay when the interest rate was 15% even after the interest had gone down again. We were mortgage-free in our early 40s in about 1994.

    The investment property mortgage was just cleared off by selling it, so this doesn't really count! We did benefit from the rise in value though.

    We have never had a mortgage on our Spanish home.

    Last edited by seven-day-weekend; 01-01-2010 at 2:33 PM.
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
    • Jillinoz
    • By Jillinoz 6th Jul 07, 6:55 PM
    • 163 Posts
    • 532 Thanks
    • #7
    • 6th Jul 07, 6:55 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Jul 07, 6:55 PM
    Never having been a MFW, can I still pass go and post on this thread? I'm happy to forfeit my £200!

    Date you decided to be MFW - I bought my first property aged 24 in 1991 and made a pledge to myself that I would be mortgage free by the age of 40. Which I was (I actually beat my own target and managed it by 37). But not on the same property, because I went on to buy and sell a further 6 properties.

    Mortgage debt at its highest - £350K

    Mortgage-free date - I know this should be etched in my memory, but it isn't!

    One pearl of wisdom - I cleared my debt by moving onwards and upwards regularly and consequently achieved proportionately more equity in each property, thanks to increasing property prices. I always bought properties in emerging hot-spots and never had to spend a bean on renovations (Sarah Beeny eat your heart out!) My best ever achievement was buying a property for £125K and selling it 10 months later for £150K, without even redecorating. And before the anti-BTL contingent declare a fatwa against me, this property was occupied as my home.

    Good luck to everyone else. Being mortgage free is SO liberating.
    • keeperbear
    • By keeperbear 9th Jul 07, 2:36 AM
    • 295 Posts
    • 196 Thanks
    • #8
    • 9th Jul 07, 2:36 AM
    • #8
    • 9th Jul 07, 2:36 AM
    a. February 2000 after a terrible day at work
    b. £65,000
    c. Mortgage free on 4th February 2005 after abusing many 0% credit card offers. Officially one of the best days of my life!
    d. Throw any spare cash at your mortgage and treat it as a game.
    e. I was mortgage free before joining this site.

    Having so much free cashflow is liberating, and coupled with an inheritance, has allowed my girlfriend and I to purchase a mortgage-free 2nd home in the USA.
    Last edited by keeperbear; 09-07-2007 at 2:55 AM.
    • cqdaniels
    • By cqdaniels 16th Jul 07, 5:56 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    • #9
    • 16th Jul 07, 5:56 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Jul 07, 5:56 PM
    a. 26th February 2001 - the day we purchased our house

    b. £94,000 (the 'dark' days)

    c. 23rd February 2007 - five months on and still on a high!

    d. As runmartin says...think of your mortgage as a loan. It helped that we had a VirginOne account and every month the statement showed that we were overdrawn...really focuses the mind.
    • Nobby1974
    • By Nobby1974 18th Jul 07, 4:21 PM
    • 10 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    a. Jan 2005
    b. £240,000
    c. Mortgage free on 15th September 2007
    d. Throw anything at your mortgage, lumps of £500+ to make a difference and treat it as a game.

    d. Throw any spare cash at your mortgage and treat it as a game.
    Originally posted by keeperbear
    I know this is for those that are there but I'm 2 months off and can't wait to be Mortgage Free.

    I say "Go for It!" I'm so glad I decided to do this and with only 2 months to go, the time has flown by.
    Last edited by Nobby1974; 06-08-2007 at 2:14 AM.
    • By JBEILBY 30th Jul 07, 2:57 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    Have just paid off my mortgage early with Britannia - had 5 years to go but used some of my redudnancy money to get rid of this debt. So am now mortgage and debt free and taking early retirement at 55. Had to pay £30 to pay off the mortgage and managed to get them to agree no fee to return my deeds.

    Remember you can quit the rat race you just have to make do with a little less cheese.
    • boudiyax
    • By boudiyax 24th Aug 07, 8:44 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 9 Thanks
    It's gone!!
    a. June 2006 when decided to "emigrate"
    b. £125000
    c. January 2007
    d. Clear any debt you can, it does wonders for the psyche!

    If as we did, you live in an area which saw massive growth in house prices, consider selling up and relocating.
    We moved to an area with much lower house prices so now debt free! No it's not a dump either, there are places out there, it just might take a bit of research.
    • A Nice Englishman
    • By A Nice Englishman 11th Sep 07, 10:44 PM
    • 2,209 Posts
    • 1,312 Thanks
    A Nice Englishman
    a. The date you decided to become a MFW

    September 1989 (when I bought the house)

    b. Mortgage Debt at its highest

    £43,500 (the original amount)

    c. Mortgage-Free Date

    1 October 2004

    d. Your one perl of wisdom.

    Focus on how good it will to own your home, that you can never be made to move out whatever happens and what you will be able to do once you are mortgage free whether that is saving up to retire early, taking a job you really enjoy but is low-paid, helping your family out or buying the things you want without worrying about the cost.

    e. And if you had a mortgage freedom diary on MFW, a link to it.

    No, didn't discover this site until it was 'too late'!
    • mademoiselle
    • By mademoiselle 11th Sep 07, 10:47 PM
    • 393 Posts
    • 1,279 Thanks
    The date you decided to become a MFW:
    September 2004...when my tosspot ex-partner walked out of yet another job, having added another £4000 to MY OWN personal debt, by persuading me to take out the loan because he needed "clothes and stuff" to impress in his new job (which lasted twelve weeks). I decided right then and there that a mortgage-free future was for me...but as a single person!

    Mortgage Debt at its highest: About £90, personal debts of £25,000.

    Mortgage-Free Date: September 2006. I used my half of the equity from the sale of the shared home, to buy a smaller but perfectly decent property outright.
    Downsizing could be the answer to your problems, too. I was sick of watching a huge proportion of my hard-won income just flowing away into interest payments. Too often, we make judgements about where we live based on status, instead of what we really need. You can only live in one room at a time!

    Your one pearl of wisdom: When there are two of you, it's easy to be irresponsible about owing a lot of money - the debt doesn't feel like it 'belongs' to you. Shift that feeling!! Don't let others influence you - All money borrowed must eventually be paid back -once you accept this, you can concentrate on doing just that, and start living within your means.

    A nice footnote: The house I 'downsized' to is already valued at £50,000 more than I paid for it. And that's £50,000 that I don't have to worry about the mortgage lender snatching, in fees and charges, should I not manage to meet a few payments; it's £50,000 that belongs solely to me, and not a bragging jerk who would spend money on flash suits before securing the roof above his head.

    Feels good!
    • thriftmonster
    • By thriftmonster 25th Sep 07, 10:11 PM
    • 1,661 Posts
    • 8,039 Thanks
    We became mortgage free in Jan this year - dh had always wanted to do it before he was 40 and in the end he was 37. Actually we still owe £1 but that was to keep the buildings insurance running over a very wet and windy weekend.

    Our debt at max was £36,500 which I know doesn't sound a lot - but we bought cheap as the house was structurally unsound in bits and Belfast wasn;t as expensive then for obvious reasons. However, we have NEVER remortgaged to do any work to the house but have always paid cash and saved up to do anything, including new windows etc.

    MFW moment was seeing an Oprah Winfrey show when ds1 was a baby about how much interest you could save by overpaying even £10 a month and about how much money people waste eg the example they gave was buying one cappuccino a day.

    So we started by overpaying £15 a month - all we could afford - we always had a standard repayment mortgage from Nationwide that allowed up to £500 a month o/p.

    Then each time dh had a payrise we would review if we needed any for cost of living and if not, increase the o/p. Then I got a p/t job and when ds2 went to school, childcare costs could be thrown at it. Then I gave up, but dh got a promotion, so somehow we carried on making the same o/p. Eventually we were up to £500 pcm.

    Feeling now - FANTASTIC - we still put all the extra into savings incl the orig payments and have been using them to do a lot of work to the house that we couldn't before - and took the kids on their first holiday - a weeks s/catering in Donegal - old habits die hard.

    It took us 11.5 years which isn't very fast for such a small amount I know, but especially at the beginning it was hard.
    “the princess jumped from the tower & she learned that she could fly all along. she never needed those wings.”
    Amanda Lovelace, The Princess Saves Herself in this One
    • ~daisy~
    • By ~daisy~ 25th Sep 07, 10:18 PM
    • 2,789 Posts
    • 5,058 Thanks
    well done - thats fantastic !!
    MFi3 wannabee
    mortgage owing 04.07 £36,000
    mortgage owing 07.10 £0 !!!!
    • dannimac
    • By dannimac 21st Oct 07, 5:48 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 83 Thanks
    a. The date you decided to become a MFW
    This was in November 2003 when we switched to a One Account

    b. Mortgage Debt at its highest
    £72000 which included loans and credit cards that we had consolidated in to the mortgage

    c. Mortgage-Free Date
    July 2007

    d. Your one perl of wisdom.
    Ever since watching Our Friends in the North, our financial mantra has been Tosker's cry of "make wur money work for we". Make sure that you are getting the best deal for everything. Better for the pennies to work for you than anyone else.

    Oh and if I'm allowed a second pearl of wisdom, what made a huge difference to us was stoozing and using the money to offset against the mortgage but continuing to save what we would have paid in to the mortgage. Hugely cut down the term of our mortgage - remember to always pay back by the end of the 0% term though!

    e. And if you had a mortgage freedom diary on MFW, a link to it.
    Sorry - only discovered MSE recently!

    Good luck everyone who isa DFW and a MFW - it is such a high when you get there!

    • groatie queen
    • By groatie queen 22nd Oct 07, 7:11 PM
    • 903 Posts
    • 6,911 Thanks
    groatie queen
    Mortgage Free as of today!! 22 Oct 07
    Mortgage Free as of today!! 22 Oct 07

    a. The date you decided to become a MFW
    When I took out the offset mortgage in Aug 2003 - a re-mortgage to stay in the house following separation and divorce. The Woolwich mortgage adviser said that she was overpaying on her own mortgage, and that the amount of interest saved would be considerable. Until then I didn't realise that you could overpay on your mortgage - I believed that the term of the mortgage was unalterable... wish I'd known that years before.... initially I was on a fixed rate for two years, could overpay 10%. Initially didn't offset - nothing to offset with! But in 2005 sadly my dear father died, and was left about £15,000 which came through just as my fix ended. Split the money between offsetting and part redemption.

    b. Mortgage Debt at its highest
    £30,700 with a 15-year term - I know compared to many it's not that big, but it's a lot when you're on a small salary! and single again. I know I've been incredibly fortunate. I paid back a total of £34,643. The £4,643 was the effect of not having any savings to offset in the first two years or so.

    c. Mortgage-Free Date
    22 October 2007 - 4 years and 2 months

    d. Your one pearl of wisdom.
    If you can, take in a lodger, live frugally but enjoyably and save as much as you can of the tax free money! so that if the brown stuff hits your life, you're better prepared - use offset /savings / pay into your pension, whichever suits you best, then when the time is right for you, pay off the mortgage and enjoy the relief of knowing you own 100% of your home and have covered the other bases as well.

    GQ xxx

    If you have a talent, use it in every which way possible. Don't hoard it. Don't dole it out like a miser. Spend it lavishly like a millionaire intent on going broke.

    -- Brendan Francis

    • NobbyMFW
    • By NobbyMFW 23rd Oct 07, 5:11 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Finally Made it!!
    The date you decided to become a MFW
    Jan 2005

    b. Mortgage Debt at its highest

    c. Mortgage-Free Date
    Sept 2007

    d. Your one pearl of wisdom.
    Throw anything at your mortgage, lumps of £500+ to make a difference and treat it as a game. Have the end date written on a calender or in OUTLOOK on the PC.

    The Woolwich was a great Mortgage. Had been on a fixed rate for 2 years with no ability to over pay. Not a problem. I just put the money I would have over paid with into a high interest savings account. At the end of the fixed period I paid all my savings into my mortgage which reduced my monthly payments massively.

    The tuff bit? Whilst everytime I overpaid it was fun to watch the statement come in with a revised monthly repayment figure. The down side is paying £5000 knocked just £24 off the repayments. It's easy to look at that and say stuff that I could get the bathroom done up instead.

    I was strong and bit the bullet. I worked 2 jobs for 2 years with my goal in mind. Night work and day work. Putting in 70 - 80 hours a week. I know that can have an impact on health but I changed my lifestyle to cope with it.

    Easy to say I maybe lost 2 years of my life working so hard but when Sept 2007 arrived and I paid the last lump sum into the account and the £218 fee to close it and breathed a big sigh of relief. I have had to push The Woolwich to return my deeds which they haven't yet though.

    I read somewhere that it was worth keeping the mortgage low to have the bank store the deeds but I rang my solicitor and he said he would look after them. How much? He said, don't worry about it. no charge. Cool!

    So, thats it. It was funny looking at this months statement and not seeing the word Woolwich. 3 years ago they were taking around £900 a month from me. Now nothing.

    I feel so good now and kick the bricks on the outside of the house saying "Your ALL MINE!" ha ha.

    Paid off 17 years early.
    GO FOR IT!
    Last edited by NobbyMFW; 23-10-2007 at 5:28 AM.
  • lisathompson
    Mostly mortgage free......
    Well I just wanted to celebrate what a huge relief it is to be free of most of my mortgages - I never realised how much strain & tension it caused until it was gone, having said that all the hard work has been worth it.

    date I decided to become a MFW:
    I would take out mortgages on investment / rental properties as it seemed like a good investment, but then once I had the mortage my long-standing discomfort with debt would kick in and I would always throw extra money at the mortgages whenever I could, on the basis that if there wasn't so much left in my bank account then I couldn't spend it.

    Mortgage debt at its highest:
    Well I'm breaking all the records so far on this thread: £1.3 million!!!

    Mortgage-free date:
    I am now 36 years old and have paid off 5 mortgages in full. I have 2 left. One is completely offset (so I pay no interest) and I plan to kill the other one within a year. There's about £230,000 left to go in total......

    My pearl of wisdom:
    No matter how well off I am I still buy my clothes from charity shops, collect points & vouchers, buy reduced food and 2 for 1's at the supermarket. It's just so easy to waste money once you have it. I question the value of everything - is it really worth the price? So my pearl of wisdom is this: never forget the value of money, even when you have plenty of it. And remember - once you have paid off your own debts, the real pleasure comes not from sitting on a stash of money, but from being in a position to help others. It's a very privileged place to be.
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