+ what is a pre-payment penalty?

A prepayment penalty is a fee that some lenders charge if you pay off all or part of your mortgage early. If you have a prepayment penalty, you would have agreed to this when you closed on your home. Not all mortgages have a prepayment penalty.

Typically, a prepayment penalty only applies if you pay off the entire mortgage balance – for example, because you sold your home or are refinancing your mortgage – within a specific number of years (usually three or five years). In some cases, a prepayment penalty could apply if you pay off a large amount of your mortgage all at once. Prepayment penalties do not normally apply if you pay extra principal on your mortgage in small chunks at a time–but it’s always a good idea to double check with the lender.