When you Accidentally Pay the Mortgage Twice in December

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“…But if you paid the mortgage twice, we’d be out of money in our checking account…?” Was Monica’s inquisitive statement.


“Exactly.” – My response



Let me briefly set the “I double paid the mortgage” table here…


We’re in the heart of December now. Christmas gifts, travel plans, party preparations, and a whole heap of other activities were on the mind (and the budget). Add that to the regular bills and responsibilities… I’m probably preaching to the choir here – we’re all busy, right? ’Tis the season!


I’m crying a bit to write this, but our student loan and mortgage payments only differ by a few cents. We take advantage of the automatic withdrawal functions for both but a recent refinancing of the student loans (blog post to follow next year) was done through a new lender, and hence a new website.


The combination of a hectic season and a new system for payment had me a bit discombobulated.


And frankly, my confidence in which payment is automatically withdrawn and when the payments are made was low.


So… I took a quick glance at a bank statement, saw one payment was made and that it felt like quite a while since another was made and thought, “I’d better pay this mortgage before ‘late fee’ or ‘penalty’ even come close to our account.”


With that, the manual payment was made. All was good and the mortgage was off my radar. So far off my radar that I didn’t notice the automatic withdrawal that took place 2 days later… (At least I was right that the mortgage should’ve been due sometime soon, right? – Silver lining).



Fast forward to a nervous examination of the family checking account and ensuing conversation with the team (Monica), and we’re caught back up to the intro.


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I was equal parts frustrated, disappointed, and embarrassed. I thought to myself, “Dude… You’re this financial blogger guy that shouldn’t be making this mistake.” I knew right then that I’d have to write about this one.


Don’t worry, I turned this into a teaching moment. Once I came to find out that: A) people do make mistakes from time-to-time, and B) some people I know even made this mistake before, the burden was eased.


Back to the story:


Monica started putting it together when I made a simultaneous frantic dash to the phone and computer (bank’s website). …Searching, looking, scanning, … “Thank God! Customer support is still open.”


Like a superior team that had trained this drill many times before, Monica transitioned to 100% mom mode while I contemplated how to explain this faux pas to the unsuspecting representative soon to occupy the other line.


It all came together and I soon learned that paying the mortgage twice isn’t necessarily the account-draining event I originally suspected.


Here’s what I learned about the available options when you pay your mortgage twice:


1) Panic, grit your teeth, and just take it. 


Depending on the timing of payment, you may have just made your payment for next month a bit early. If you’re not too far off from the first of the month, or whenever your payment is due, there’s a decent chance this is processing and will post to your account like normal.


Not many options in that scenario. Hopefully, the checking account can handle the few-days-early withdrawal.


If paying a week early is going to be crippling, you may have to pull from savings or work some extra hours. Either way now is the time to make sure you’ve got a buffer in the checking account to soften the future blows.


Here’s a great article to help get you started.


2) Apply your double payment to principle.


For those with a healthy account full of surplus for situations just like this one, you can opt to apply this extra payment entirely toward principle.


What’s so great about this? If you take a look at past mortgage statements, the amount of a payment that actually goes toward debt (principle) can be shocking. Depending on loan structure, this could be less than half!!!


“So, where’s all my money going?” You may wonder. Typically, the majority flows toward interest while lesser amounts drift toward taxes and insurance. These all vary depending on loan structure, location, and timing. So it couldn’t hurt to refresh your memory and take a look.


In our scenario then, paying an extra payment entirely on principle can have the effects of two monthly payments. Or more!


If you can shoulder the burden, there are worse options.


3) Have your payment refunded, exhale, and pour 2 fingers of your spirit of choice…


Time for the deep breath we’ve all been waiting for???


If the payment was made early and in error, you can elect to have your cash refunded.


No returned Christmas presents, family visitors without heat, or canceled vacations. Phone call, dial tone, quick convo, and yadda-yadda: it never happened.



Although it’s nice to know this option exists (and it’s the one I chose), I think we’d all be better off working toward having option #2 as a realistic possibility. 


To realize I paid twice and consent to being an idiot only, rather than a broke idiot, would’ve been more favorable of an experience. Granted, there are funds in savings and other accounts but those are bookmarked for other uses.


Having to recover from a 4-figure error can be a difficult obstacle if not properly prepared. That’s why the importance of an emergency fund and good financial discipline are key.


Here’s to a more informed and prepared 2019! Stick with MikedUp Blog and we’ll improve together.


Thanks for reading!

If you’re interested in discovering a better version of yourself – whether with fitness, finance, or family – then subscribe below to MikedUp Blog’s FREE newsletter and let’s improve together!


I’m glad you’re here. Thanks again and talk soon!


– Mike


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  1. Thanks for sharing your faux pas. Everything we do can be made into a teachable moment as you so aptly demonstrated.

    The fact they you could handle this sudden emergency reaffirms your preparedness

    1. Appreciate you stopping by and leaving this comment, Xray! Thank you!

      It’s true that we need to learn from our mistakes – and I’ve always found that I’m not the only imperfect one out there… 😉 Hopefully this’ll help someone else to make sure they’re prepared as well.

  2. Hi, I just wanted to share there may be a 4th option. I called my mortgage company and they said they considered the double payment to be a pre-payment for the next month. So they had already planned on not charging me next month and having my automatic payments resume the following month. Gave me a big sigh of relief!

    1. Hi, Christine! Thank you for reaching out and for providing some additional information! I need to do some more digging now that some time has passed since this post (and that we’ve refinanced our mortgage with a different lender). With the old bank, this wasn’t an option but I’m very interested to hear if this is an option with the new lender or some others that could’ve been options. Thanks so much for adding to the conversation!


  3. Hi Mike! Thank you for this blog. This just happened to me the other day only. I scheduled automatic payments on my monthly mortgage for the 10th of every month. I set that up in Nov, 2019/last month. When I got home from work on 12/10, I didn’t see the payment deducted from my checking. So I manually went online to my mortgage bank’s website and paid there. At 2am this morning, Dec 12th, I saw a text that the automatic payment was completed! I got up and saw that the mortgage bank did deducted the same monthly amount from my checking! I was so mad at my self! So I called the mortgage bank to request return of the money, but they asked for (aside from the loan account number) too many things, such as a copy of the bank history ledger that shows all payments made to them, my bank’s inbound wiring instructions, and should be sent as an ENCRYPTED email or fax. I don’t even know how to encrypt an email or fax!!!
    Tomorrow I will call them back to request if the extra month I paid can be passed to the next month. I hope they will. It’s Christmas season!

    1. Oh man!! That sounds like an ‘experience’ to say the least. They always get those of us paying a little too much attention… After all, we’re just trying to pay them on time, right?!?

      I wish you the best of luck in getting your funds in the correct spot and I’m excited to hear how it goes! Keep us updated!

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