Mortgage Hacks: How to Pay Off Your Home Loan Faster and Save Thousands

Purchasing a home is a significant milestone in one's life, but the burden of a mortgage can often weigh heavily. Many homeowners desire to pay off their home loans faster to save on interest and gain financial freedom sooner. Fortunately, several mortgage hacks can help you achieve this goal. In this article, we will explore effective strategies and actionable tips that will enable you to pay off your home loan faster and potentially save thousands of dollars in the process.


7/20/202311 min read

Mortgage Hacks: How to Pay Off Your Home Loan Faster and Save Thousands
Mortgage Hacks: How to Pay Off Your Home Loan Faster and Save Thousands

Understanding the Basics of a Mortgage

Before diving into mortgage hacks, it is essential to have a solid understanding of how mortgages work. A mortgage is a loan that allows individuals to purchase a home by providing a lender with collateral. The lender, usually a bank or financial institution, lends the money needed to buy the property, and the borrower agrees to make regular monthly payments over a specific term, typically 15 or 30 years.

The Benefits of Paying Off Your Home Loan Early

Paying off your home loan early comes with several benefits that can have a positive impact on your financial well-being:

  1. Financial Freedom and Peace of Mind: Paying off your home loan early provides a sense of financial security and freedom from debt obligations. It allows you to redirect the money that would have gone toward mortgage payments to other financial goals or investments.

  2. Significant Interest Savings: By paying off your mortgage faster, you can save thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars in interest payments over the life of the loan. This money can be used for other purposes such as retirement savings or building an emergency fund.

  3. Home Equity Growth: Paying down your principal balance allows you to build equity in your home. Equity is the portion of your home's value that you truly own. It can be used as collateral for other loans or investments and can provide a safety net in times of financial need.

  4. Reduced Stress: Eliminating a major financial burden like a mortgage can reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. It provides peace of mind knowing that you have a secure place to live without the worry of monthly payments.

Creating a Budget and Setting Financial Goals

Before implementing any mortgage hacks, it is crucial to establish a budget and set clear financial goals. Evaluate your income, expenses, and spending habits to identify areas where you can cut back and allocate more funds toward your mortgage payments. Creating a comprehensive budget will help you understand your cash flow and prioritize your spending. Set realistic goals and track your progress to stay motivated throughout the journey.

Making Extra Payments Towards Your Principal

One effective strategy to pay off your home loan faster is to make additional payments toward your principal. By doing so, you reduce the outstanding balance on which interest is calculated, resulting in lower interest charges over time. Even modest additional payments can make a significant difference in the long run. Here are some tips for making extra principal payments:

  • Round up your monthly payments: Instead of paying the exact monthly amount due, round up to the nearest hundred or thousand. For example, if your monthly payment is $1,275, round it up to $1,300 or even $1,500 if your budget allows.

  • Allocate windfalls and bonuses: Whenever you receive unexpected income, such as a tax refund or work bonus, consider allocating a portion of it towards paying down your mortgage principal. These windfalls can provide a significant boost in reducing your loan balance and shortening the overall loan term.

  • Implement the "one extra payment" strategy: Make one extra full mortgage payment each year. This can be done by dividing your monthly payment by 12 and adding that amount to each monthly payment. Over time, this extra payment can have a compounding effect on reducing your mortgage balance.

  • Automate your extra payments: Set up automatic payments specifically designated toward your principal. By automating this process, you ensure that the extra payments are consistently made, even if you forget to do so manually.

Exploring Biweekly Mortgage Payments

Another popular mortgage hack is switching to a biweekly payment schedule instead of making monthly payments. By paying half of your monthly mortgage payment every two weeks, you end up making 26 half-payments in a year instead of 12 full payments. This approach can help you save on interest and shave years off your mortgage term. Here's how it works:

  • Contact your lender: Speak to your mortgage lender to discuss the possibility of switching to a biweekly payment schedule. Some lenders offer this option, while others may require you to set up a third-party service.

  • Calculate the biweekly payment: Divide your monthly mortgage payment by two to determine the amount you need to pay every two weeks. For example, if your monthly payment is $2,000, your biweekly payment would be $1,000.

  • Make the transition: Adjust your budget to accommodate the biweekly payment schedule. Coordinate your payments with your income schedule to ensure you have funds available for each payment.

  • Enjoy the benefits: By making 26 half-payments instead of 12 full payments in a year, you effectively make an extra full payment annually. This extra payment helps you reduce the principal balance faster, ultimately shortening the term of your loan.

Refinancing Your Mortgage

Refinancing your mortgage involves replacing your current loan with a new one that offers more favorable terms. If interest rates have decreased since you initially obtained your mortgage, refinancing can help you secure a lower interest rate, potentially reducing your monthly payments and allowing you to pay off your loan faster. Here are some key points to consider:

  • Current interest rates: Research and monitor the current interest rates to determine if refinancing is a viable option. Even a 1% decrease in interest rates can result in significant savings over the life of your loan.

  • Closing costs: Evaluate the closing costs associated with refinancing. These costs can include application fees, appraisal fees, and attorney fees. Calculate how long it will take to recoup these costs through reduced monthly payments or interest savings.

  • Loan term: Consider whether you want to maintain the same loan term or opt for a shorter one. Shorter loan terms often come with higher monthly payments but can save you substantial interest in the long run.

  • Evaluate loan options: Explore different loan programs and lenders to find the best terms and conditions that suit your financial goals. Compare interest rates, loan terms, and any potential penalties for early repayment.

  • Consult a mortgage professional: Seek advice from a mortgage professional who can help you assess your financial situation and guide you through the refinancing process. They can provide insights into the potential savings and help you make an informed decision.

Leveraging Home Loan Prepayment Options

Many mortgage agreements provide prepayment options that allow borrowers to make extra payments toward their principal without incurring penalties. Take advantage of these prepayment options to accelerate your mortgage payoff. Even small additional contributions can make a significant impact over time. Here are some ways to leverage prepayment options:

  • Read your mortgage agreement: Review your mortgage agreement or contact your lender to understand the prepayment options available to you. These options may include making lump-sum payments, increasing your monthly payment amount, or making additional payments at specific intervals.

  • Specify the extra payment allocation: When making extra payments, clearly communicate to your lender that the additional funds should be applied to the principal balance. This ensures that the extra payment reduces your outstanding loan balance rather than being allocated toward future interest payments.

  • Regularly assess your budget: Regularly assess your budget and identify areas where you can allocate additional funds towards your mortgage prepayments. This may involve making adjustments to your lifestyle, reducing discretionary expenses, or finding ways to increase your income.

  • Stay consistent: Consistency is key when leveraging prepayment options. Establish a routine and commit to making extra payments regularly, even if they are small. Over time, these additional contributions will have a cumulative effect on reducing your mortgage balance.

Considering Mortgage Recasting

Mortgage recasting involves making a lump-sum payment towards your principal and then recalculating your monthly mortgage payments based on the reduced balance. This strategy can lower your monthly payments while keeping your original loan term intact, enabling you to pay off your home loan faster without the need to refinance. Here's how mortgage recasting works:

  • Evaluate eligibility: Check with your lender to determine if they offer mortgage recasting and the eligibility requirements. Not all lenders provide this option, so it's important to confirm its availability.

  • Make a lump-sum payment: Make a substantial lump-sum payment towards your principal balance. This payment should be significant enough to make a noticeable impact on your monthly payments.

  • Request recalculation: Contact your lender and request a recalculation of your monthly payments based on the reduced principal balance. This recalculation should result in lower monthly payments without extending the loan term.

  • Benefits of mortgage recasting: Mortgage recasting allows you to reduce your monthly payment burden while maintaining your original loan term. It can be particularly beneficial if you receive a windfall or a significant amount of money that you want to apply toward your mortgage.

Using Windfalls and Bonuses to Pay Down Your Mortgage

Whenever you receive unexpected income, such as a tax refund, work bonus, or inheritance, consider allocating a portion of it towards paying down your mortgage. Windfalls can provide a significant boost in reducing your loan balance and shortening the overall loan term. Here's how you can utilize windfalls and bonuses effectively:

  • Assess your financial situation: Evaluate your financial goals and priorities to determine the best use of your windfall. While it's tempting to spend it on discretionary items, allocating a portion toward your mortgage can have a lasting impact on your financial well-being.

  • Prioritize high-interest debt: If you have other high-interest debt, such as credit card debt or personal loans, consider paying down those balances first. It's generally more beneficial to address high-interest debt before focusing on mortgage repayment.

  • Allocate a portion towards savings: It's important to have an emergency fund in place to handle unexpected expenses. Consider setting aside a portion of your windfall into a dedicated savings account to build your financial safety net.

  • Determine the amount to put towards your mortgage: Calculate how much of your windfall you can comfortably allocate towards your mortgage without sacrificing other financial obligations. You may choose to put a percentage of the windfall or a fixed amount toward your mortgage principal.

  • Communicate with your lender: When making a lump-sum payment, notify your lender about your intention to apply it toward your principal. This ensures that the additional funds are correctly credited to your mortgage balance.

Renting Out a Portion of Your Home

If your home has extra space or a separate unit, renting it out can generate additional income that can be applied directly to your mortgage payments. Renting out a portion of your property can help you cover a substantial portion of your monthly mortgage expenses, allowing you to pay off your loan faster. Here's how to approach renting out a portion of your home:

  • Legal considerations: Familiarize yourself with local regulations and zoning laws regarding renting out a portion of your property. Ensure that you comply with all legal requirements, including obtaining any necessary permits or licenses.

  • Assess market demand: Research the rental market in your area to determine the demand for the type of space you have available. Consider factors such as location, amenities, and rental rates to gauge the potential income you can generate.

  • Screen potential tenants: Conduct thorough background checks and screening processes for potential tenants to ensure that they are reliable and responsible. This includes checking credit history, verifying employment and income, and contacting references.

  • Establish a rental agreement: Create a comprehensive rental agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of the rental arrangement. Clearly define the rental amount, payment schedule, and any rules or restrictions for the tenant.

  • Manage the rental responsibly: Maintain open communication with your tenant, address maintenance issues promptly, and ensure that the rental income is allocated towards your mortgage payments. Consider hiring a property management company if you prefer to have professionals handle tenant interactions and property maintenance.

Downsizing or Relocating to a Lower-Cost Area

Downsizing or relocating to a lower-cost area can be a drastic but effective approach to paying off your home loan faster. By reducing your housing expenses, you free up more funds to allocate towards your mortgage payments, accelerating your journey towards debt-free homeownership. Here's how to approach downsizing or relocating:

  • Evaluate your current housing needs: Assess your current living situation and determine if downsizing or relocating is a viable option for you. Consider factors such as the size of your home, unused space, and the cost of living in your area.

  • Research potential areas: Explore different neighborhoods or regions that offer lower housing costs. Look for areas with affordable real estate, lower property taxes, and reasonable living expenses.

  • Calculate cost savings: Estimate the potential cost savings from downsizing or relocating. Consider factors such as reduced mortgage payments, lower utility costs, and potentially decreased property maintenance expenses.

  • Plan the logistics: If downsizing, evaluate your belongings and determine what items you can sell, donate, or discard. Make a detailed plan for the moving process, including finding a new home and coordinating the logistics of the move.

  • Consider lifestyle changes: Downsizing or relocating may come with lifestyle adjustments. Assess how these changes align with your personal preferences, proximity to amenities, and access to essential services.

Exploring Mortgage Acceleration Programs

Several mortgage acceleration programs offer alternative strategies to pay off your home loan faster. These programs often involve leveraging lines of credit or other financial tools to accelerate debt repayment. While these programs can be effective, it's crucial to thoroughly research and understand them before implementing them. Here are a couple of popular mortgage acceleration programs:

  • Velocity Banking: Velocity Banking is a strategy that involves utilizing a home equity line of credit (HELOC) to pay off your mortgage faster. You can reduce the principal balance and interest paid over time by redirecting your income and expenses through HELOC.

  • Smith Manoeuvre: The Smith Manoeuvre is a Canadian-specific strategy that involves using a home equity line of credit to invest in income-generating assets while simultaneously paying down your mortgage. This approach allows you to potentially increase your net worth while reducing your mortgage debt.

When considering mortgage acceleration programs, it's important to seek professional financial advice to ensure these strategies align with your financial goals and circumstances.

Avoiding Common Mistakes and Pitfalls

While striving to pay off your mortgage faster, be cautious of certain pitfalls that can hinder your progress. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Frequent refinancing: Refinancing your mortgage frequently can result in additional fees and extended loan terms. Evaluate the costs and benefits of refinancing carefully before making a decision.

  • Predatory lenders and scams: Be wary of predatory lenders or scams that promise unrealistic mortgage hacks or quick fixes. Always do your due diligence, research reputable financial institutions, and seek advice from trusted professionals.

  • Neglecting other financial obligations: While focusing on paying off your mortgage, it's important not to neglect other essential financial obligations, such as retirement savings, emergency funds, or other debts. Maintain a balanced approach to financial planning.

  • Overextending your budget: When implementing mortgage hacks, consider what you can afford. Don't stretch your budget to the point where you struggle to meet other financial needs or face financial stress.

  • Lack of professional advice: Seeking professional financial advice is crucial when dealing with significant financial decisions. Consult with a mortgage professional or a certified financial planner who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances and goals.

Seeking Professional Financial Advice

Navigating the mortgage landscape can be complex, and the right financial advice can make a world of difference. Consider consulting with a mortgage professional or a certified financial planner who can provide personalized guidance based on your specific circumstances and goals. They can help you develop a comprehensive strategy to pay off your home loan faster while maximizing your financial well-being.


Paying off your home loan faster is achievable with the right strategies and mindset. By implementing the mortgage hacks discussed in this article, you can make significant progress towards debt-free homeownership and save thousands of dollars in interest payments. Remember to create a budget, set clear financial goals, and explore various tactics such as making extra payments, biweekly payments, refinancing, leveraging prepayment options, and considering downsizing or renting out a portion of your home. Stay disciplined, seek professional advice when needed, and enjoy the journey towards financial freedom.


1. How long will it take to pay off my mortgage using these hacks?

The time it takes to pay off your mortgage depends on various factors, including your loan balance, interest rate, and the specific strategies you implement. However, using these mortgage hacks can significantly reduce your loan term and pay off your mortgage faster than the original schedule.

2. Will paying off my mortgage early affect my credit score?

Paying off your mortgage early generally does not hurt your credit score. It can showcase responsible financial behavior and positively affect your creditworthiness in the long run.

3. Is refinancing my mortgage always a good idea?

Refinancing your mortgage can be beneficial if it results in lower interest rates and monthly payments. However, it's important to carefully evaluate the costs associated with refinancing and consider your long-term financial goals before making a decision.

4. Can I implement multiple mortgage hacks simultaneously?

You can combine different mortgage hacks to accelerate your home loan payoff. However, ensuring that the strategies you choose align with your financial situation and goals is crucial.

5. Are there any risks involved in renting out a portion of my home?

Renting out a portion of your home comes with certain risks, such as finding reliable tenants and managing the responsibilities of being a landlord. It's important to thoroughly research local rental regulations and consider the potential impact on your lifestyle before proceeding with this strategy.