PRINCIPAL CURTAILMENT: Definition and How It Works


As a homeowner, you most likely have a mortgage on your home. Although you were happy to take out a mortgage to finance your home purchase, you may be ready to enjoy a principal reduction. Essentially, this means you’ll be able to pay off all or a portion of your mortgage ahead of schedule. Are you ready to discover how a principal curtailment mortgage, payment, and calculator can benefit you? Here’s what you should know.

What is Principal Curtailment?

A principal curtailment is a mortgage payment made by a homeowner before it is due in order to reduce the mortgage’s principal balance. Individual mortgage contracts also have their own principal curtailment payment terms and conditions. While the principal reduction is generally advantageous, it may result in certain tax disadvantages. Because principal reduction reduces the amount of mortgage interest paid, less of it is tax-deductible.

Curtailment An Overview

The term “curtailment” refers to a deliberate restriction or reduction imposed on any activity, and it has come into common use when referring to business operations. In response to short-term market conditions, a company may reduce production. This is especially true in the oil and gas industry, which has to quickly adapt to changes in supply and demand.

In response to financial difficulties, a company may choose to reduce some of its business activities. This may entail temporarily or permanently shutting down some parts of its operations in order to focus on the core business. Curtailment is also a term that energy companies use to describe a reduction in deliveries to customers because of a short-term lack of energy.

Refinancing vs. Curtailment

A principal curtailment is distinct from a refinance. The homeowner only pays off a small portion of the mortgage balance early with principal curtailment. Refinancing entails completely paying off a mortgage and creating a new loan. However, a significant principal curtailment payment may be required before a homeowner can refinance. When borrowers haven’t built up much equity in their home because they haven’t paid a lot of money toward their actual principal balance, they may have to make large principal curtailment payments when they refinance their mortgage.

Principal Curtailment Payment

Principal curtailment reduces the loan’s principal balance. It has no effect on the monthly payments. However, when you make extra payments, the principal balance is reduced quickly, resulting in an early payoff and a reduction in total interest paid over the life of the loan.

How Does A Principal Curtailment Payment Work?

If you want to pursue a mortgage cancellation, you must first understand how the payments are applied. Let’s take a closer look from both the borrower’s and the lender’s perspectives.

The Borrower

As a homeowner, you have several options for making curtailment payments. Making extra monthly payments throughout the year is the most common method. You’ll reduce your mortgage balance with each extra payment.

Another option is to make a one-time payment toward your outstanding principal balance. When you apply the payment to the loan balance, you will shorten the term of your mortgage loan.

Loan recasting is another popular option for homeowners considering mortgage cancellation, in which you make a large lump-sum payment and re-amortize your loan. This is most common when a homeowner purchases a new home before selling their previous one. It’s possible that when their first home sells, they’ll use a lot of the money from the sale to pay off their new loan and do loan recasting.

The lender

A mortgage loan can be terminated by anyone, not just the borrower. In some cases, your mortgage loan may be terminated by a lender. Because of a mortgage modification or a calculator error during the loan closing process, your lender may choose to terminate your mortgage loan. This may also be relevant if you are considering cash-out refinancing.

Difference In Principal Curtailment  Payments

There are two types of curtailment payments to be aware of: partial and full.

Partial Curtailment

Your mortgage loan balance will not be completely eliminated by a partial curtailment. An extra payment or partial lump-sum payment, on the other hand, will shorten the loan’s term.

Your monthly payment will not change if you make a partial curtailment payment. The loan’s amortization schedule, however, will be adjusted to reflect the lower outstanding principal balance. Any additional payments will shorten the loan’s life.

Let’s take a look at an example. Assume you take out a 30-year mortgage with a $100,000 principal and a 4% fixed interest rate. The monthly payment for principal and interest is $477.42.

However, you decide to make an extra $50 payment toward your mortgage each month. With these additional payments, you would pay off your 30-year mortgage four years and eleven months sooner. In addition, you would save $13,426.92 in interest payments. It’s easy to see how partial curtailment payments can add up.

Full Curtailment

A full curtailment is when you pay off your entire outstanding balance on your mortgage in one fell swoop. That would be a quick way to pay off your loan.

Although not all lenders offer this option, it’s worth investigating if you want to pay off your mortgage and have the funds to do so.

Assume you have a loan balance of $125,000 that needs to be paid off. However, you receive a windfall of $130,000 as a result of an inheritance. You decide to use $125,000 of the additional funds to pay down your mortgage loan. In this case, you would pay off your mortgage all at once.

Delays in Curtailment Payments

Principal curtailment payments may not be applied to account balances right away. Many mortgage lenders only apply principal curtailment payments to borrowers’ account balances once a year, usually at the end of the year. When lenders only apply for principal curtailment payments once a year, for example, borrowers must continue to make regular payments until the curtailment payments are applied. There are many benefits to principal curtailment, but the most important one is that it shortens the time it takes to pay off a mortgage loan.

What is Principal Curtailment on a Mortgage?

It simply means you can make it less in the context of a mortgage by paying off all or part of your mortgage loan ahead of schedule. You will be relieved of mortgage debt if you pursue mortgage curtailment.

How Does Mortgage Principal Curtailment Work?

So, how does a mortgage principal reduction work? Borrowers can choose between partial and full curtailment by making additional payments of any size. When you choose to make extra mortgage payments, you will pay off a portion of your mortgage loan balance ahead of schedule.

You can reduce the total outstanding principal amount by making extra payments. As a result, the total amount of interest you pay on your mortgage loan may be reduced.

How Does Principal Curtailment Impact Your Mortgage?

The advantages of principal reduction on a mortgage are worthwhile. The most obvious advantage is that you will be able to pay off your mortgage loan. This can be a huge help in your budget! You’ll also save money on interest payments along the way. If you have a variable-interest-rate mortgage, you might want to talk to your lender about cutting back on your payments. This can help you avoid the risk of rising interest rates.

The Principal Curtailment Calculator

The principal curtailment calculator will calculate your payments quickly and easily and show you how to pay off your mortgage faster and easier.

Who is the curtailment calculator for? Borrowers who want an amortization schedule or who want to know when their loan will be paid off and how much interest they will save if they make extra voluntary payments on top of their required monthly payment

What the principal curtailment calculator does: This calculator generates amortization schedules for mortgages, with or without additional payments. If additional payments are made, the interest savings and loan length are calculated.

Overlapping payments of the same frequency will not be recognized by the principal curtailment calculator. For example, if you want to make a $100 extra monthly payment during months 1–9 and a $400 extra payment during months 7–36, enter $100 for months 1-6, $500 for months 7-9, and $400 for months 10–36. Click here to access the principal curtailment calculator.

Keep In Mind The Following Points:

You should keep these things in mind as you think about cutting back on the principal in the future:

To begin with, extra principal curtailment payments do not replace your regular mortgage payments. You cannot make additional payments while also failing to make your monthly mortgage payments. We don’t recommend putting your emergency savings into a mortgage cancellation plan. Instead, pay it off as soon as you can. However, don’t jeopardize your short-term financial viability. You should have extra money on hand in case your income is insufficient to cover your mortgage payment in any given month.

Beyond that, lenders will not allow missed payments on past-due loans. If you are behind on your mortgage payments, you should catch up before considering mortgage cancellation. Finally, you’ll need to look into the rules that your lender has set forth regarding principal curtailment. Some will not accept additional payments but will accept a full curtailment payment. If you have any questions, contact your lender.


Principal reduction payments can assist you in paying off your mortgage loan balance ahead of schedule. It might be worth it to pay more in order to reach financial independence sooner rather than later.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is principal Curtailment a good idea?

The most obvious advantage is that you will be able to pay off your mortgage loan. This can be a huge help in your budget! You’ll also save money on interest payments along the way. If you have a variable-interest-rate mortgage, pursuing mortgage curtailment can help you avoid the risk of rising interest rates.

What is principal curtailment at closing?

A principal curtailment is the use of funds to reduce the unpaid principal balance of a mortgage loan. Fannie Mae permits certain curtailments prior to loan delivery, provided that the delivery data reflects the curtailment as described in B2-1.5-05, Principal Curtailments.

What is a curtailment payment?

A “curtailment” is a financial term for an additional loan payment. According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 61 percent of US homeowners have a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage. Many Americans wish to pay off their mortgages early in order to gain more financial freedom.

How do you calculate curtailment?

Calculating the curtailment rate entails deducting any additional principal paid above your standard mortgage payment amount from your principal. The remaining balance is what your interest charge for the following month is based on.

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