3 Ways to Become Mortgage-Free Faster

By Jim on Feb 03, 2014

Owning a home is one of the cornerstones of  a solid financial plan. However, one of the highest financial priorities of Canadian homeowners is to pay off their mortgage as quickly as possible. Most are aware that paying down extra principal in the early years by whatever means possible can shorten the life of their mortgage — and dramatically lower the interest that they pay over the long haul.



A $300,000 mortgage at 3.29 per cent,  amortized over 30 years will cost $161,300 in interest.


Here are three ways to become mortgage free faster:


1. Make a lump sum payment


A lump sum payment, or prepayment, reduces your outstanding principal.  The sooner you can make a prepayment, the less interest you’ll pay over the long term. Your mortgage agreement specifies the maximum amount you can prepay each year (usually 10 to 25 per cent) and how often without penalty. 


Coming up with a large lump sum - up to $30,000 on a $300,000 mortgage - is next to impossible for most people. But even a small sum – from a bonus or tax refund, for instance – can reduce your overall interest amount.


2. Increase the amount of your payments


Most mortgage lenders allow you increase your payment by 10 to 100 per cent, but there may be a fee if you change it again during the calendar year.  This option is easier than coming up with a large lump sum. 


Paying an extra $100 a month on a $300,000 mortgage at 3.29 per cent over 30 years will save you more than $11,000 and reduce the amortization by 3 1/2 years.


3. Make more frequent payments


Financial institutions offer a number of payment options. The standard ones are:  monthly, semi-monthly, bi-weekly and weekly. Many people match the frequency to their pay periods for ease in budgeting.  If you decide to make more frequent payments, make sure you choose an accelerated option.  Accelerated weekly and bi-weekly payments can save you thousands in interest charges because you’ll make the equivalent of one extra monthly payment each year.


There is very little extra savings if you just switch to a more frequent payment without taking the “accelerated” option.


On the same $300,000 mortgage as above, a bi-weekly payment will save $289 in interest over the life of the mortgage. On the other hand, with an accelerated bi-weekly payment (an extra $50 per payment) you’ll save more than $18,000 over the life of the mortgage.



Choose any one, all, or a combination of the prepayment options available to you.  Get the the advice of an unbiased mortgage professional that can help you make the most of these methods.  Contact us today!

Call Jim Henheffer today!

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