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Pay Your Mortgage Off Faster


How does the prospect of paying of your mortgage faster sound? For some that may seem far-fetched but the reality is... it can be done, even in baby steps & you just may be surprised to find that even a little bit really does go a long way. The following article, put together by Financial Consumer Affairs of Canada, provides some tips to consider when you have a few extra dollars that you want to work for you.

Put extra money toward your mortgage

To pay off your mortgage faster, consider putting extra money toward your mortgage.

Your mortgage contract may allow you to:


Increase your payments

Increasing the amount of your regular payments, even by a small amount, may help you pay off your mortgage faster. You may only be able to increase your payments by a certain amount each year. The amount will be written in your mortgage contract. If you increase your payments by more than your prepayment privileges allow, you may have to pay a prepayment penalty.


Normally, once you decide to increase your payments, you won’t be allowed to lower them until the end of the term. The term is the period of time that your mortgage agreement is in effect, including your interest rate and terms and conditions. Check your mortgage contract or contact your mortgage lender to find out about your prepayment options.


Example: increasing your payments

Suppose you’re considering a mortgage of $350,000 that you’ll pay back over 25 years. You want to decide if paying $100 more a month will help you save money.


Assume the following:

  • Your mortgage lender tells you that you must pay at least $1,841 a month

  • Your interest rate of 4% remains the same throughout your 25-year mortgage


If you pay an extra $100 a month during the life of the mortgage, you'd:

  • save more than $19,000

  • pay off your mortgage more than 2 years earlier

Make a lump-sum payment

You can make a lump-sum payment on top of your regular mortgage payments to reduce the outstanding balance of your mortgage. You may only be able to put a limited amount of money toward your mortgage. The amount will be written in your mortgage contract. If you put more money toward your mortgage that your prepayment privileges allow, you may have to pay a prepayment penalty.


Lump-sum payments can be made:

  • before the end of your mortgage term

  • at the end of your term

  • at certain times during your mortgage contract

  • on certain dates set out in your mortgage contract


Check your mortgage contract or ask your mortgage lender to find out about your prepayment options.


Example: making a lump-sum payment

Suppose you’ve got a mortgage of $350,000 that you’ll pay back over 25 years. Throughout the year, you were able to save an extra $10,000 to put toward your mortgage. You decide to put the money toward your mortgage at the start of your term’s second year. Your mortgage contract allows you to make one lump-sum payment per year that is no more than 10% of what you owe on your mortgage. This means you can make a prepayment up to $35,000 ($350,000 x 10%).


Assume that the interest rate of 4% would remain the same for the rest of the mortgage.


Making a $10,000 prepayment toward your mortgage would:

  • allow you to pay off your mortgage more than 1 year earlier

  • reduce how much interest you'll pay by more than $15,000

Prepayment penalties

If you put more money toward your mortgage than the maximum amount allows, you may have to pay a prepayment penalty. Read your mortgage contract carefully. Make sure you understand the details about penalties.

Keep your monthly payments the same when you renew your mortgage

When you renew or renegotiate your mortgage, you may be able to get a lower interest rate. If so, you’ll have the option to reduce the amount of your regular payments. If you decide to keep your regular payments the same, you'll be able to pay off your mortgage faster.


Example: keeping the payments the same when you renew your mortgage

Suppose you’ve got a mortgage of $350,000 that you’ll pay back over 25 years. At a 5% interest rate, your payments are $2,036 each month. When you renew your mortgage after a 5-year term, your interest rate has gone down from 5% to 4%. For the remaining 20 years of your mortgage, you want to decide if you should pay the new minimum monthly payment of $1,872 or continue to pay $2,036 each month.


Assume the following:

  • The amount you owe on your mortgage is $309,776

  • You renew your mortgage for another 5-year term

  • Your new minimum monthly payment is $1,872 each month

  • Your new interest rate of 4% would remain the same for the rest of the mortgage


By keeping your monthly payments the same at the lower interest rate for the rest of your mortgage, you'd:

  • save almost $18,000

  • pay off your mortgage more than 2 years earlier

You may also consider making accelerated weekly or accelerated biweekly payments.


Choose an “accelerated” option for your mortgage payments

An accelerated payment option lets you make weekly or biweekly payments while putting about the same amount of money toward your mortgage as a monthly payment. Accelerated payments can save you money on interest charges. By accelerating your payments, you make the equivalent of one extra monthly payment per year. You’ll likely not notice a big difference in the amount of your payments, yet it may save you a lot of money in interest. Check your mortgage contract or contact your mortgage lender to know more about your payment options.


Article Source: Financial Consumer Affairs of Canada