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How to pay off your home loan faster

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

With interest rates rising and the cost of living surging, many Australians are likely wishing their mortgage was already paid off. While most borrowers look to pay off the minimum each month, there are things you can do to pay down the mortgage faster. Here are five options to consider.


Increase your repayment frequency

Most borrowers typically set their home loan repayments to monthly – but that might be a mistake. By switching to fortnightly or weekly repayments, you can make serious headway in your debt reduction. That’s because there are 26 fortnights and 52 weeks in a year, compared to just 12 months. By paying half your monthly repayment every fortnight, you end up making an equivalent of one extra month's payment every year. While it’s a simple strategy it can cut years off your repayment period and save you thousands in interest.


Make additional repayments

Another small way to make a big impact on your mortgage is to make additional repayments whenever possible. Whether it’s a tax refund, a work bonus or a small windfall, putting extra money toward your mortgage can dramatically reduce the principal. And because interest is calculated on this principal amount, you'll pay less interest over the life of the loan. Just remember, before you start making extra repayments ensure your loan allows it without charging additional fees.


Refinance

Refinancing can be an effective way to pay off your home loan faster. As interest rates change, it can be worth comparing lenders to see other options. By switching to a loan with a lower rate, you could potentially save thousands of dollars. Just keep in mind that refinancing comes with costs, so it's important to crunch the numbers and make sure it's financially beneficial in the long run.


Using an offset account

An offset account is a transaction account linked to your home loan. The money you have in this account 'offsets' the amount you owe on your mortgage, and effectively reduces the interest you pay. For example, if you have a $500,000 loan and $20,000 in your offset account, you only pay interest on $480,000. Even small amounts in your offset can lead to significant savings over time, helping you pay off your loan sooner.


Review and budget

It’s critical to regularly review your household budget and keep a keen eye on where your money is going. Are you spending extra money on non-essential items? Consider cutting back and putting that extra money toward your home loan. Remember, every dollar counts when you're aiming to pay off your loan faster.

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