For many homeowners, one of the biggest questions is “How can I pay off my mortgage as soon as possible?”
It’s natural to look forward to the day when you have made your very last mortgage payment and own your home outright. Owning your home provides you with greater financial freedom, flexibility and the ability to focus on other financial goals such as retirement or saving for your child’s education. You’ll be amazed how small changes in your mortgage terms and payments can make a difference in helping you pay off your mortgage sooner.
Make your regular mortgage payments more frequent
Save interest and become mortgage-free sooner by choosing bi-weekly or weekly payments rather than monthly payments. By doing this you could make an extra monthly payment every year, without even noticing it.
Choose the shortest amortization period and the largest payment amount you can afford
Budgeting slightly higher payments will quickly become routine and will take years off your mortgage.
What is the difference between a term and amortization period?
The mortgage term refers to the length of time that the mortgage agreement, at your agreed interest rate, is in effect. The amortization period is the length of time it will take to fully pay off the amount of the mortgage loan.
When the amortization period of the loan is longer than the payment term, there is a loan balance left at the end of the term, or maturity of the mortgage. For example, if you have a 10-year term, but the amortization is 25 years, you’ll have 15 years of loan principal due at the end.
Increase your payment amount when you can
If you’ve had a mortgage for a while, you’re likely used to the routine of making regular payments. Now might be a good time to consider increasing your payment to add to your overall principal amount. Also, whenever your household income rises (e.g. salary increase, new job, etc.), consider increasing your mortgage payment at the same time.
To help pay off your mortgage sooner, you can double your current mortgage payment of principal and interest on any regular payment date. This additional amount will go directly towards your principal without any fee or penalty.1
Make a lump-sum payment
Take advantage of the prepayment privileges on your mortgage to make an annual lump-sum payment against your mortgage. Depending on the options you select for your mortgage, you can choose to repay up to 10%, 15% or 20% of the original principal amount of your mortgage at any time during each year of the term.
Remember, even small amounts can make a big difference in the long run.
At renewal, if your interest rates have decreased, keep your payments the same
When you renew your mortgage, your principal balance is probably less and your renewal may indicate a lower payment amount if rates have dropped. If that is the case, consider leaving the payment amount to what you were paying before.
This extra amount will be applied directly to your principal helping you pay off your mortgage faster.
Diversify your mortgage
Consider mortgage options that can provide savings and flexibility. Just as you would diversify your investments, you can also mix and match your mortgage terms and choose from fixed and variable rates. For example, the Scotia Total Equity® Plan2 allows you to combine the features of fixed and variable rates to take advantage of potentially lower short-term rates and also protect against future rate increases. Similarly, you could combine a short-term fixed mortgage (e.g. one-year term) and a longer-term fixed mortgage (e.g. five-year term) to create a mortgage solution that is a blend of both.
Whether you own a home or are looking to purchase a home, talk to a Scotiabank Financial Advisor about strategies to help pay down your mortgage faster.
Scotia Total Equity® Plan
By leveraging equity in your home, STEP offers access to a broad range of borrowing products at low interest rates to cater to your individual long-term and short-term financial plans.
STEP is an investment vehicle with several benefits3 including, but not limited to:
- Automatically gain access to equity as you pay down your mortgage with Auto Limit Increase (ALI).
- One-time application that establishes and unlocks an overall borrowing limit.
- Manage interest-rate risk by splitting mortgages into two or three different components, choosing from fixed and variable options.
- Choose a combination of other secured revolving credit products, such as lines of credit.
- Up to a maximum of 11 credit products for uninsured STEPs and a maximum of 3 mortgage components for insured STEPs.
For detailed information, please contact your Financial Advisor.
2 convenient ways to apply for a mortgage with Scotiabank
1. eHOME, your online mortgage hub:
With Scotiabank eHOME, you can be preapproved, search for a home and get mortgage
approval all in one place online. eHOME is an online mortgage hub that offers several benefits4 including, but not limited to:
- Exclusive online offers such as preferred mortgage rates and savings of up to $300 in appraisal fees.
- Simple and secure application process that can be completed when and where you want.
- Help when you need it; if you have any questions, our mortgage specialists are here to help.
- Real-time updates so you’ll always know the status of your application.
2. Get mortgage advice at your home, work or on the go
Whether you want to buy your first home, purchase an income property, or use your home equity to make the most of an investment opportunity, Scotiabank Home Financing Advisors can help.
1. The Match-a-Payment is not available during an interest-only portion of any progress draw construction mortgage and may not be available depending on the mortgage solution you select. Other conditions may apply.
2. Some mortgage solutions may not be eligible to be included as part of a Scotia Total Equity Plan.
3. Some restrictions may apply.
4. Some restrictions may apply.
Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only. It is not to be relied upon as financial, tax or investment advice or guarantees about the future, nor should it be considered a recommendation to buy or sell. Information contained in this article, including information relating to interest rates, market conditions, tax rules, and other investment factors are subject to change without notice and The Bank of Nova Scotia is not responsible to update this information. All third party sources are believed to be accurate and reliable as of the date of publication and The Bank of Nova Scotia does not guarantee its accuracy or reliability. Readers should consult their own professional advisor for specific financial, investment and/or tax advice tailored to their needs to ensure that individual circumstances are considered properly and action is taken based on the latest available information.