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It’s too easy to set and forget your mortgage. Sign the papers, set up the payments and move on to more fun stuff like living your life. While this may mean that you manage to pay your loan off during the agreed term, it’s also possible to shave a few years off by knowing what to look for.

Here are some tips to help you pay off your mortgage sooner:

1) Negotiate

Give your bank a call and ask them if they will negotiate on your rate. Check out what the other banks are offering and see whether you are able to get your bank to match this or reduce your current rate. Often banks often offer their best rates to new customers to get them in the door, however retaining existing clients is also important. For you, a 0.25% decrease can make a difference.

2) Understand the market

Banks want your business. There are many enticing rates and products on offer for new clients. Keep an eye on Canstar which is a great site for comparing rates and products. Work out the cost to change banks and how much you will save. Use this information to negotiate.

Banks will often offer you a cash rebate to move across to them, and this can fully or partially offset your refinancing costs. You are in a better position to negotiate if your debt is less than 80% of the value of your property as changing lenders otherwise can be costly with additional mortgage insurance premiums payable with the new lender.

3) Know the tricks

Fortnightly and weekly payments mean that you can sneak some extra payments in during the year. If you have additional funds that you still want to access, put them in an offset or redraw facility. As a rule of thumb pay off unsecured debt and owner occupied debt before investment debt.

4) Make sure your banking structure is right for you

Do you know what an offset account is and how to get the best out of it? Are you paying principal and interest or interest only? Do you have more than one type of mortgage? What are your rates? If you can pay extra, are you paying it in to the account with the highest interest rate?

5) Check your statements

Make sure that you haven’t been charged additional fees and your interest looks reasonable. Just the act of checking your statements can remind you to look for ways to put extra money in.

6) Know the ancillary benefits

Many banks and financial institutions offer other benefits to their mortgage clients. Know what they are. You may be entitled to a waiver of your annual credit card fee. If your provider offers insurance they may offer a discount. If you have other bank accounts, fees may be waived.

And the top tip that Terry Christo from Loan Market shared is to review your mortgage every year or 2 with your broker or personal banker. Your broker will know the best deal for you if you are seriously thinking about moving institutions. If you want to stay where you are, both your banker and broker may be able to assist with a more suitable rate or package.

Do you have any other tips to share? Please comment below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

  • These are really good tips, something we will really consider.

    Reply

  • Great tips. We also pay off more than the required amount

    Reply

  • My tip would be to keep paying off as much as you can as quickly as you can. Any savings you can make on a day to day basis and put towards your mortgage will save you lots of money in the long run.

    Reply

  • Great tips. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  • We opened a mortgage almost 4 years ago. We decided to split it between fixed and variable. With the fixed we pay monthly repayments, with the variable fortnightly.
    Because of the decrease in interest rate, we were gaining some money with the variable part. So we always made extra repayments in the fixed part with the money saved every month. It really helped a lot.
    Maybe we should have made it all variable, but I find too risky. You never know if the interest rate is going to increase or not.

    Reply

  • When interest rates reduce, we don’t reduce our payments. A completely painless way to put extra in.

    Reply

  • Great tips! I was always to scared to get a home loan, too worried we wouldn’t be able to keep up with the repayments. So we’ve paid rent for nearly 30 years instead :/

    Reply

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