DEFINITION of Prepaid Interest
Prepaid interest is the interest that a debtor pays before the first scheduled debt repayment. For taxation purposes, most kinds of prepaid interest are expensed over the life of the loan.
For mortgage loans, prepaid interest can also be the interim interest that accrues from the settlement day to the beginning of the first mortgage period.
BREAKING DOWN Prepaid Interest
Points, a kind of fee that mortgage lenders charge borrowers, are considered a type of prepaid interest. Similar to other types of prepaid interest, points are typically deducted over the life of the loan (in this case, a mortgage). Provided that certain conditions are met, the IRS does allow this type of prepaid interest to be deducted in the year in which it is paid.
How Prepaid Interest is Determined
The timing of the closing of a mortgage affects the amount of prepaid interest that is due, as well as how much time there will be before the first mortgage payment is required. Planning for the prepaid interest to be paid earlier in the month might give the borrower more time to then pay their initial mortgage payment. Prepaid interest is still an upfront cost to cover. Setting the prepaid interest due date closer to the end of the month would allow for more time to pay that cost. The initial mortgage payment will then be needed in short order. Naturally changing the interest rate or the principal amount of the mortgage can reduce the prepaid interest that is due. Such changes may be challenging to negotiate with a lender.
It is possible for the prepaid interest that is due to change between the time of the loan estimate and the time of the closing disclosure. The charges may be prorated daily from the closing till the first mortgage payment comes due. That calculation will be based on the annual interest rate that will be applied to the mortgage. The specific calculation may vary by lender. There may be options to skip payments on the mortgage, but the prepaid interest will still need to be covered.
If a borrower seeks to refinance a mortgage, this could affect the prepaid interest on the new financing. The principal amount that remains due may be structured in such a way that allows the borrower to skip a payment. The borrower will still be responsible for the outstanding amount and will need to make prepaid interest on what is negotiated under the new terms of the financing they have procured.