Four Ways to Save on Your Mortgage Payment

How you pay your mortgage is perhaps the most overlooked savings tool.

By establishing an effective payment strategy, you can save tens of thousands of dollars throughout the course of your loan and become mortgage free years sooner.


Convenience is the starting point when choosing your payment frequency, but there is much to be said for paying more frequently.

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When you increase the payment frequency (beyond a monthly payment), you reduce the principal faster, pay less interest and pay off your mortgage sooner.

The following payment frequencies are typically offered: monthly, semi-monthly, bi-weekly, bi-weekly accelerated, weekly and weekly accelerated.

To understand the benefits and drawbacks of the different payment frequencies, let’s take a look at each in more detail:

Monthly Payments

The most common way of paying a mortgage is with monthly payments – one mortgage payment once per month. The drawback with monthly payments is simply because they occur once a month, there is more time in-between payments for interest to accrue.

Did you know that once a year you can make a lump sum payment that does not exceed 20% of the original principal amount – this is known as a prepayment privilege.

Semi-Monthly Payments

Semi-monthly payments are also straight forward. Payment is taken twice a month, usually on the 1st and the 15th of each month with each payment being one half of the monthly amount.

So, whether you pay $1,000 in monthly payments or $500 in semi-monthly payments, you’re still paying $12,000 per year. As a result, this option saves you very little money because you are paying the same annual amount just a smaller portion more frequently.

Bi-weekly Payments

Bi-weekly payments are determined by multiplying the monthly payment by 12 and then dividing by 26. So in our $1,000/month example, the biweekly payment ends up being $461.54 – totaling $12,000 per year.

A small amount of savings are gained due to half of your payment being made early each month. The main reason for choosing this option would be the convenience of matching your payment to your pay days, with lower payments than the accelerated version.

Bi-Weekly Accelerated Payments

If you’re hoping to pay your principle off faster, this is the way to go. Payments are exactly half of a monthly payment amount and collected every two weeks – meaning exactly every 14 days. For example, if the monthly payment is $1,000 then the bi-weekly payment will be $500. This saves you money because you pay an extra $1,000 directly to the principle over a twelve-month period, reducing the overall amount of interest you pay through the term of your mortgage.

It is important to note, that at least twice a year you will have three payments in the month. This results in two extra payments per year and, in our $1,000/month example, that results in $13,000 per year, rather than $12,000.

This is an easy payment plan to keep up with if you receive a pay check every two weeks. If you are paid monthly, or semi-monthly (the 1st and 15th of every month), bi-weekly payments can be difficult because of the extra payments twice per year.

Weekly Payments

Regular weekly payments don’t make much of a difference in terms of cost savings, t. The $1,000 monthly payment is multiplied by 12, and then divided by 52. This equals a weekly payment of $230.77 and no surprise, at the end of the year you will have ended up paying $12,000.  

A very small amount of savings are gained due to three quarters of your payment being made early each month. The main reason for choosing this option would be the convenience of matching your payment to your pay days, with lower payments than the accelerated version.

Weekly Accelerated Payments

Similar to bi-weekly accelerated payments, weekly accelerated payments allow you to pay off your mortgage faster by sneaking in a few extra payments. They are one quarter of your normal monthly payment, but they’re made exactly every seven days so you end up making four extra payments per year. In our example, that results in an extra $1,000.

Having choices helps, as your mortgage payment can be tailored to what best suits your financial goals.  


Speak with one of our mortgage specialists to discuss the best payment strategy for you.


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