The government of Canada is forcing consumers to pay off their mortgages faster. Recently the 30 year amortization was eliminated for high ratio mortgages, which means people are being forced to pay their mortgages off faster. Over the long run a shorter amortization is always a good thing if you’re a home owner. For one, it means less interest is being paid to the bank and two, debt freedom is closer than it would have been with a longer amortization. Check out some other ways that you can pay down your mortgage faster.
1. Reduce your amortization
25 years is the standard amortization that most people go for. However, you can choose a lower amortization such as 10, 15, or 20 years. Your payments will be higher than if you went with a 25 year amortization. However, if you can sacrifice for a while, you’ll pay off that mortgage in no time.
2. Go with a variable rate term
If you can stand a bit of risk, go with a variable rate term. Historically they have been lower than fixed rate terms so you’ll pay off your mortgage faster.
3. Always shop around for the best deal
Check out what rates different banks are offering and try to get the lowest rate possible at the time of your purchase and at your renewal. You’ll usually get the lowest rate with the bank that you have the most products with. Also check out the different mortgage options that are out there such as pre-payment options, payment frequencies, and blend and extend.
4. Don’t use the equity in your home to go into more debt
(Canadians call this a refinance, for my U.S readers this isn’t to be confused with refinancing your mortgage to get a lower rate). It’s quite common for people to refinance their mortgage to do a debt consolidation, or to do renovations to their home. I would recommend snowballing your debt and saving the cash to do your renovations. Renovations can also be done in stages, rather than all at once. Save the cash to do each stage.
5. Don’t decrease your mortgage payments if your rate is lower at the time of renewal
Many people make this mistake and decrease their mortgage payments at the time of their mortgage renewal if their interest rate is lower than it was previously. If you could afford your mortgage payment before the renewal keep it the same. With a lower rate it just mean more money is going towards principal and less towards interest which will pay your mortgage down faster.
Check out some additional tips in this post.
What are you doing to pay off your mortgage faster?