Becoming Mortgage Free – Faster!

If you are looking for ways to become mortgage free as quickly as possible, there are several ways you can do this, taking years off your mortgage and most importantly, saving you thousands of dollars.

Most mortgages are repaid in blended, equal, regular installments, meaning that your payment is applied towards the principal as well as interest. In some cases, property taxes are also included in the payment.

The following will outline several tips you can utilize so you can quickly pay down your mortgage.

Pre-payment

Many lending institutions will allow you to make extra lump sum payments towards the principal of the mortgage which can help you pay down your mortgage faster.

How much extra can I pay?

The amount you will be able to pay down will vary depending on the lender and the type of mortgage. Amounts of 15% of the original mortgage amount is common, but it can be as high as 25%.

When can I make these payments?

Lenders usually allow you to make a payment on the anniversary date of your mortgage. You may also be able to split the payment and pay it in instalments throughout the year using a scheduled payment plan or by increasing your regular mortgage payment.

Be sure to confirm the details of these pre-payment features with your mortgage broker and lender because if you miss the date for payment, you may have to wait until the next anniversary.

Payment Frequency

The most common method most people take is to make their payments monthly, although lenders do offer alternatives. Some of the other options available are semi-monthly, accelerated bi-weekly and accelerated weekly payments. The extra payments will help pay down the mortgage principal as well as decrease the amount of interest you pay.

What does accelerated mean?

With an accelerated bi-weekly payment schedule, for example, you will end up making the equivalent of an extra month’s payment over the course of a year. If you take your monthly payment and divide it by 2 and multiply by 26, you will get your new annual payment.

If your mortgage payment is $2,000 a month, that would be $24,000 a year. Now by making accelerated bi-weekly payments, you will be paying $1,000 every 2 weeks, for a total of $26,000 a year.

Payment chart…Accelerated bi-weekly vs Monthly

3.99% 5-year fixed

Payment Frequency Number of Payments   Interest  Principal

Monthly

$2,100

300

(25 years)

$230,000  $400,000
Accelerated bi-weekly

$1,050

569

(22 years)

$198,000  $400,000
Interest saved: $32,000

Choose a shorter amortization period

Choosing a shorter amortization period can also help you become mortgage free faster. Your monthly payments will be higher compared to the normal 25-year amortization, but you will save thousands of dollars in interest.

The effect of a shorter amortization chart
Mortgage Period 30 25 20 15 10
Monthly Payment $1,900  $2,100  $2,400  $2,950  $4,000
Total Amount of Mortgage Payments $684,000  $630,000  $580,000 $530,000 $485,000

As you can see, there are many options available to help you become mortgage free faster. As always, consult with your mortgage broker and other financial advisors to help you evaluate your personal situation to find out what’s best for you!