Americans’ favorite mortgage is the 30-year mortgage, but that doesn’t mean you have to trudge through your mortgage for the full 30 years — or take every year of any other mortgage term, for that matter.
What if you want to pay off your mortgage in 5 years? It’s doable, though it may require a major lifestyle change. Here’s how to make it happen.
Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Quick
Smart financial planning, some lifestyle changes and swapping your old payment out for a new payment will give you a greater chance of paying off your mortgage quickly. If you’re a first time home buyer, you’ll stand to save the most interest over time. Here are some strategies you can follow to help you achieve this 5-year goal.
1. Have a Plan
There’s nothing like a plan to get you fired up. Make sure your plan makes sense for your income and lifestyle — and you must hit the “execute” button to make your mortgage payoff happen in 5 years. Figure out exactly what you’ll have to do, whether that means using other funds to give you a jump start, tackling an extra job or more.
2. Make Larger Payments
You’ll need to commit to extra payments — or larger payments — no matter your current mortgage rate. Contact your lender to find out exactly how much you’ll need to pay each month to achieve your 5-year milestone. Set up an automatic payment schedule with your lender so you’ll automatically pay a certain amount each month. Don’t forget to check to make sure your lender isn’t charging you for extra payments.
3. Limit Extra Spending
You may need to make drastic lifestyle changes if you want to pay off your mortgage quickly. This means saving on electricity when not in use, cutting down on luxuries and excessive spending. Hit the pause button on weekend getaways, dining out and movies. Keep your credit card locked up and use cash when possible so it’s easier to visually see where your money’s going. You may also want to pause your planned vacation or home renovations to prioritize your mortgage payment.
Consider living on a single income — save the second income for mortgage payments.
4. Increase Your Income
Increasing your income may be the best way to come up with extra money to pay off your mortgage. You’ll know exactly how much you need after you and your lender calculate the biweekly or monthly amount. Aside from getting a large raise, the easiest way to do this is to pick up a side hustle. Here are a few of the most popular side hustles you can do to earn more money:
- Sell through online platforms
- Become a home, pet or babysitter
- Deliver food or packages
- Take up online or home tutoring
- Rent out your extra bedroom, garage or even your parking space
- Become a rideshare driver
- Be a handyman
- Take online surveys
There are plenty of other ways to make extra income in your free time, so instead of wondering how you can save a few bucks on your next purchase, think about how you can earn more. The sooner you start to increase your income, the faster you'll be able to pay off your mortgage.
Refinancing is one of the best and easiest ways to save on interest and pay off your mortgage sooner. You may find that slim pickings for 5-year fixed-rate mortgage refinances. For example, the lowest fixed term offered by Rocket Mortgage® is an 8-year mortgage term. (Check out the YOURgage® for more information about custom loan types.)
Decide whether a refinance is a good idea if you’re pretty far along on your mortgage. For example, you may be on year 19 of paying off your mortgage and are now paying more principal than interest. You may actually lose money once closing costs and refinance fees are taken into account.
Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?
There are pros and cons to paying off your mortgage early. Consider these factors.
- You’ll save money on interest.
- Monthly payments toward your mortgage will be gone sooner and you’ll increase your cash flow.
- You can tap the equity in your home if you need money later.
- You’ll free up money to invest in other things.
- You won’t be able to take advantage of the mortgage interest federal tax deduction.
- Paying off your mortgage means your money is not liquid and might be hard to access later.
- You miss out on higher returns from other investments.
- If the market rate drops just when you want to sell, you may not make as much money as you hoped.
Best National Mortgage Lenders
Do you have the terms and mortgage lender that fits your needs? Here’s our selection of best mortgage lenders for your needs. Understand the features and options offered by the lenders and choose a mortgage that best suits your needs.
1. Best Overall: Quicken Loans®
Quicken Loans® is the nation’s largest mortgage lender, has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and world-class client service. Quicken Loans® offers FHA, VA, jumbo, USDA and other conventional loans with no prepayment penalty charges. You’ll need a credit score of 580 for FHA loans and a score of 620 for other loans. It offers a convenient online application process with fast preapproval and processing — it's great for borrowers who want to save time and money.
2. Best for VA Loans: Veterans United
Veterans United is the country’s largest VA lender. The lender offers a great customer experience, flexible qualification standards and loan approval process.
You can get a home purchase with no money down, low closing costs, no private mortgage insurance (insurance you’ll pay monthly if you don’t have a large enough down payment), competitive interest rates and no prepayment penalties.
3. Best for Refinancing: Bank of America
Bank of America, one of the largest banks in the nation, is known as the best lender for a refinance loan. It offers many refinancing loan options — a fixed-rate refinance, adjustable-rate refinance, FHA and VA refinances and cash-out refinancing. \
Bank of America also provides other attractive mortgage options for first-time home buyers with low down payments and reasonable rates.
4. Best for Borrowers with Low Credit Scores: New American Funding
First-time home buyers with low credit scores who need down payment assistance can tap into New American Funding. The company offers a generous selection of mortgages, including government-backed loans, purchase refinance, interest-only mortgages and jumbo loans. You can also choose from fixed and adjustable-rate terms. The loan application process can be done through phone, email, online or in person and loan closing time on an average loan takes less than 30 days.
5. Best for Online Access: Rocket Mortgage® by Quicken Loans®
Rocket Mortgage® by Quicken Loans® is one of the best online mortgage lending tools developed by Quicken Loans. It provides a fully digital mortgage application experience with a broad range of loan products, competitive rates and diverse loan terms. You’ll also be able to find loans if you’re self-employed, but you’ll need to submit tax returns and other required documents to qualify. The seamless online application process and exceptional customer support offered by Rocket Mortgage® sets it apart from other mortgage lenders.
Pay Off Your Mortgage in 5 Years
There are many reasons why paying off your home loan sooner can be a smart move. It could leave more money in your pocket over time and lead to fewer worries about interest rate hikes. Best of all, you’ll own your home outright. As with anything else, it has its downsides. Your best bet is to research your options, consider the pros and cons carefully or speak with a financial advisor before you make your final decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to have a high income to achieve this goal?
While a higher income can certainly accelerate your progress, it is not a prerequisite. Anyone can adopt effective financial tactics to pay off their mortgage sooner.
Is it better to make larger monthly payments or a lump sum payment?
Both options have their merits. Making larger monthly payments allows for consistent progress, while a lump sum payment can significantly reduce your principal and save on interest in the long run.
Can I refinance my mortgage to expedite the payoff process?
Refinancing can be a viable option if it allows you to secure a lower interest rate or shorten the length of your mortgage term. However, carefully evaluate the associated costs and ensure it aligns with your overall goal.
Get Ready for Take Off
Rocket Mortgage® is an online mortgage experience developed by the firm formerly known as Quicken Loans®, America’s largest mortgage lender. Rocket Mortgage® makes it easy to get a mortgage — you just tell the company about yourself, your home, your finances and Rocket Mortgage® gives you real interest rates and numbers. You can use Rocket Mortgage® to get approved, ask questions about your mortgage, manage your payments and more.
You can work at your own pace and someone is always there to answer your questions — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Want a fast, convenient way to get a mortgage? Give Rocket Mortgage® a try.