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There is no magic involved other than the magic of paying more money on the loan to pay down the loan quicker. The earlier in the mortgage this is done, the more dramatic effect it will have on the total interest paid.

You got that right.

As a rough approximation, on a brand-new 30 year mortgage take your payment amount, divide by three, and throw away the right-hand digit. That's how much your balance will go down.

But if you can pay that small amount EXTRA, you will in effect have just paid your second month's payment. That's right, you get about a 30-for-1 return. Of course, you don't actually get to skip a month until the end of the loan.
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