How to Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

Want to pay off your mortgage faster, but don't think you can. Here are 7 ways to pay off your mortgage fast and save thousands in interest.

Finding new ways to pay off your mortgage faster is a topic I could discuss endlessly. When I was in the throes of my aggressive mortgage debt pay-down, I endlessly researched how to do it by reading all of the things about it. Any article that discussed it hooked me. I was obsessed.

As far as obsessions go, I’d say that paying off your mortgage is a healthy one to have. 🙂 Once my husband and I set our sights on that goal, we had a one-track mind, and we accomplished that feat in 3.5 years by trying everything under the sun, including all of these options. Here are seven ways you too can pay off your mortgage faster.

(Maybe) Refinance Your mortgage

After working for seven years in the mortgage industry, I came across a lot of borrowers who wanted to refinance simply to get a shorter term to pay off their mortgage faster, which is a good idea in theory, but it doesn’t always make sense for everyone.

Because interest rates have been low for several years, don’t refinance to a shorter term if you already have a great interest rate or you’ll only end up adding more money to your principal balance with thousands of dollars of closing costs. Simply adding to your current payment to match what you would pay with a shorter term could be all of the “refinancing” that you need, so make sure to run the numbers first.

Never Make a Minimum Payment


Even if you can’t cut 10, 15, or 20 years off of your mortgage, be diligent enough to never make a minimum payment. Always round up, even if it’s only a few dollars, because over a period of years, those extra dollars add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars when you factor in the interest savings. If you’re struggling to figure out where to find that extra money to pay above your mortgage will come from, consider using a tool like Personal Capital to monitor your spending/cash outflows so you can identify areas to come up with that extra money.

Every extra dollar you can squeeze out now will save you money in interest in the future. Whether it’s an extra $2, $20, or $200, send the extra that you can now and knock at least a few payments off of your mortgage term by simply doing this one easy thing.

Set Up Bi-Weekly Payments


If you’re paid bi-weekly like a lot of employees, set up your mortgage payments to auto draft on pay day. By doing this, you’ll make 26 half payments per year, which results in one extra payment per year. That’s not likely to sting as much as trying to add on an entire extra payment all at once at the end of the year.

Throw Everything You Can At It


Our favorite method of paying down our mortgage was to simply throw everything we had at it. I don’t mean we were rolling in the dough like a couple of millionaires (because we clearly aren’t millionaires), but we did throw every last cent we could at it, without sacrificing our retirement to do it.

Birthday and Christmas money, bonuses from work, money from selling stuff on Craigslist and extra money from side hustles all went straight to our mortgage principal. By using “extra” money, we didn’t feel like we were missing out on no longer having that money.

Remember to Make It Fun


While paying off your mortgage is an amazingly worthy and ambitious goal, don’t sacrifice what is important to you, whether it’s weekend trips home to visit family or date nights with your honey (two things that are important to me to spend money on.)

You’ll have to make some sacrifices, but you don’t have to give up everything you love to get there. Continue to spend within your values while working towards paying down your mortgage, or else you risk burnout.

Decide What You Can Sacrifice (Just Not Your Retirement)


While I wouldn’t recommend sacrificing what is truly important to you, you’ll undoubtedly have to sacrifice something along the way. (I repeat: just not retirement!) Maybe you have to wait a few more years to replace your car or delay that trip to Europe. Whatever it is, becoming completely debt free is totally worth the sacrifices you’ll make along the way, I promise.

Want to pay off your mortgage faster, but don't think you can. Here are 7 ways to pay off your mortgage fast and save thousands in interest.

Track Your Progress


It may sound like a simple idea, but make sure to track your payoff progress in a visual way because it keeps it in the front of your mind. It creates excitement when you have a visible reminder to show how well you’re doing.

My husband and I posted our new mortgage statement on our refrigerator every month and text messaged each other during work hours to giggle about how much our principal amount had decreased since our last payment. I know that sounds not sexy at all, but at the time, it undoubtedly was. When you share common goals with your spouse, it’s pretty exciting, even if it’s as mundane as paying off debt.

Really, it all comes down to this: Stop spending. Save your money. Make it a priority, your number one goal. It’s not rocket science. Throw your heart into it, and it’ll happen before you know it.

Happy mortgage busting!


Are you ready to show your mortgage who’s boss? How close are you to paying off your mortgage? What have you sacrificed to get there?

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Robin is a freelance writer who chronicles her financial missteps and victories on her blog


  • Brooke says:

    We are paying down our mortgage too! But my question is: what does “not sacrificing retirement savings” actually mean? What are some guidelines to know how you should balance the retirement savings while paying off mortgage debt? I feel like we might be saving too little (11% of income) but am hesitant to up it until we clear a bit more debt.

    • Robin says:

      Awesome! It’s such an awesome goal to work towards.

      That is a great question and it could be different for everyone depending on your situation.

      In other words, I’m saying don’t delay saving for retirement just so you can pay off your mortgage. Don’t save $0 for retirement for a few years just so you can pay off your mortgage faster. At the very least, if you have a 401k match from your employer, contribute at least that much to get the free money. Or if you only have an IRA, consider maxing it out before paying extra on your mortgage.

      I don’t think it’s worth sacrificing your retirement just to pay off a low interest mortgage. It’s important to get those extra years of compounding interest working for you in your retirement account instead, even if that means delaying your mortgage payoff a couple more years. Hope that helps! 🙂

      • Brooke says:

        We are contributing the minimum to get our matches, but that’s all. I’m still wondering if that’s “enough” for us!

        • Robin says:

          Do you have other debt besides your mortgage? If so, prioritize that first before the mortgage. Are you hoping to retire early? If so, focus on maxing out retirement accounts instead of paying down your mortgage so quickly. (I’m also assuming the interest rate on your mortgage is low.)

  • We are prepaying our mortgage and the loans on our rental properties. I have a date in the future in mind where they should all be paid off around the same time – in about 9 years. I don’t like debt, and mortgages are no exception.

    The tips you mention here really do work. We just round up the payments on our home loans and “pretend” the higher payment is our real one. You get used to it.

    • Robin says:

      That’s how it was for us, too. Once we got used to making the higher payments every month, it became almost natural to do it (which sounds weird, but it’s true!)

  • I’m in the very small minority of personal finance bloggers who thinks it’s smart to NOT pay more than your minimum on your mortgage. With interest rates as low as they are you can throw the difference in investments that are going to (on average) beat the low interest rate on your mortgage. With 3.25% on my 30-year mortgage I just can’t justify putting extra $ towards it.

    • Robin says:

      It was definitely a situation where we followed our hearts. We wanted to be able to say we were completely debt free even if we could possibly make more in the stock market.

      I have to admit, now that I’ve been mortgage-free for a year, I don’t regret it! 🙂

  • We’re mortgage free also and haven’t for one moment regretted paying off the debt faster. It provides a tremendous peace of mind knowing that there is no debt on our house, or anything else at this point in our lives.

    • Robin says:

      It’s a great feeling, isn’t it?

      • Brad, MYM says:


        For those who think it is better to invest rather than pay off the mortgage, I ask: If your house was totally paid-off, would you take out a mortgage against it to put the loan amount into your investment account? Some people say yes, but very few. When most people think about this they answer “no way!”.

  • Anita says:

    The bank doesn’t want our money. 🙁
    We have a fixed monthly payment and although I have inherited just enough money to pay down the whole loan I can’t pay it back.
    Interest rates are down and the bank doesn’t let me pay my money back earlier than agreed.

  • Syed says:

    Even thought mortgage rates are historically pretty low, there is still a great psychological benefit of getting rid of that huge debt. Right now I’m using these strategies to pay off my student loans since the interest rates are slightly higher than my mortgage. Once they’re gone, I’m coming for you mortgage!

    • Absolutely agree! My interest rate was only 3.75%, but I was ready to pay it off even if I could make more by investing. And because we were able to pay it off so much faster by not investing as much, we only lost 3.5 years of investing time.

  • Right now our student loans have a higher interest rate than our mortgage, so many of these principles can be applied to those loans. We could certainly follow through on our mortgage once we knock those things out.

  • FR,

    Agreed. My payment is around $447 and I pay that, plus an extra $500 at each quarter end or $2,000 extra per year. That is the equivalent of 4.47 extra payments I am making per year, which is sure as heck driving down the mortgage. I make a balance, though, with my investing and probably have an 95/5 split with investing, as my interest rate is fairly low from 2011. Thanks for sharing and can’t agree more with tracking progress, make it fun and stay committed!


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