Pay Off Your Mortgage Early – Is It Really Possible?

Updated: September 14, 2023
by TJ Salvatore

Owning a home is a beautiful adventure, isn't it? Each room tells a story, every nook has a memory and every mortgage payment...well, let’s be honest, that's probably not the highlight of the month. But what if there were ways to trim down that mortgage faster, freeing you from the monthly obligation sooner? Spoiler alert: There are! Let’s chat about some friendly strategies to help you ditch that debt ahead of time.

Pay Off Your Mortgage Early - Is It Really Possible?

Mortgage Payoff Overview

1. Extra Payments

One of the simplest strategies is making extra payments. It's like giving your future self a gift. Consider this: even a modest additional amount each month can shave years off your mortgage. Not feel like committing to a monthly increase? No problem.

Make a one-time lump sum when you find yourself with a bit more cash, like after a garage sale or a bonus at work. This not only reduces your principal balance but also means less interest over time. Sweet deal!

2. Refinancing

Ever heard of refinancing? Think of it as trading in your old mortgage terms for new ones that better suit your current situation. Maybe interest rates have dropped since you bought your home, or perhaps your credit score has had a glow-up.

Either way, refinancing might allow you to snag a better rate or even shorten the term of your loan. Just a heads up, though: refinancing usually comes with fees, so make sure the long-term savings outweigh the initial costs.

3. Make Bi-Weekly Payments

Here’s a fun one - instead of making monthly payments, why not break them in half and pay bi-weekly? This way, over a year, you'll make 26 half-payments which amount to 13 full payments.

That’s one extra payment a year without feeling the pinch! It's a neat trick that can lead to significant savings in interest over time.

4. Allocate Windfalls

Sometimes life surprises us in delightful ways. Maybe you get an unexpected tax return, a generous birthday gift, or perhaps a work bonus.

While the temptation to splurge is real (and hey, treating yourself occasionally is totally okay!), consider throwing a portion of these financial windfalls at your mortgage.

Every extra bit helps, and it feels pretty good to see those numbers drop.

5. Cutting Unnecessary Expenses

Cut expenses

Now, let’s get a bit introspective. Grab a cup of tea and take a look at your monthly expenses. Are there any subscriptions you no longer use?

Maybe a gym membership that's been collecting (metaphorical) dust? Redirecting these savings toward your mortgage can make a big difference over time.

Plus, it's an excellent opportunity to simplify and declutter other areas of your life.

6. Review and Adjust

Life isn’t static. Things change – sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. This means that your strategy to tackle your mortgage should be dynamic too.

Periodically check in with your financial goals. Has your income changed? Are there new expenses on the horizon? Adjusting your mortgage repayment plan to align with your current circumstances ensures you remain proactive and in control.

Potential Disadvantages of Paying Off Your Mortgage Early

But, before you dive deep into accelerating your mortgage payments, it's worth considering a few potential drawbacks. Financial choices, like all big decisions in life, come with their pros and cons. Let’s break it down together.

1. Loss of Tax Deductions

Mortgages can offer a little silver lining during tax season: the mortgage interest deduction. By paying interest on your home loan, you might be eligible for some tax deductions, which could lessen your overall tax bill.

Example: Suppose you've been making use of the mortgage interest deduction on your annual tax returns. This reduction has been consistently shaving off a portion of your taxable income. After paying off your mortgage early, this financial perk disappears, making your tax season a tad less joyful.

2. Reduced Liquidity

Paying off your mortgage might require using a large chunk of your savings. While it feels fantastic to be debt-free, it does mean a significant portion of your funds are now tied up in your home, which isn't as easily accessible as, say, a savings account.

Example: After directing a sizable part of your savings towards clearing your mortgage, an unexpected expense arises a few months later. But without easy access to funds, you might find yourself in a pinch, potentially relying on high-interest solutions like credit cards.

3. Opportunity Cost

Every financial choice comes with the potential of missing out on another beneficial option. If you use extra funds to pay down your mortgage, you might be missing out on other investment opportunities that could yield higher returns.

Example: You have an extra $50,000 and choose to put it towards your mortgage with a 3% interest rate. However, had you invested that amount in an avenue with a 7% return, over time, the gains from that investment could outweigh the savings on your mortgage.

4. Prepayment Penalties

Some mortgage agreements come with clauses that can penalize you for paying off the loan too quickly. It sounds counterintuitive, but lenders might have placed this to ensure they earn a certain amount of interest over the loan's lifespan.

Example: With excitement, you decide to drop a substantial extra payment on your mortgage. But upon closer inspection of your mortgage terms, you discover a penalty for early repayment. That unexpected fee might offset some of the interest savings you were hoping for.

5. False Sense of Financial Security

Completing your mortgage payments can indeed be a breath of fresh air. But it's essential to ensure that this doesn't lead to complacency in other areas of your financial life.

Example: After paying off your mortgage, you might feel like your finances are entirely on track. This newfound confidence, while refreshing, might lead you to overlook other debts or forget to ramp up your retirement contributions.

Work Extra Hours at Home Toward Speeding Up Mortgage Payoff

work from home

Working from home has been a mix of challenges and unexpected joys. And guess what? Among those joys I found was an opportunity to put in some extra hours and fast-track my mortgage payoff.

Sounds intriguing? Why not put in a bit of overtime from home to make a dent in this debt? After all, with no commuting, I'll have a bit more wiggle room in your schedule. Here's what I do.

Finding Those Extra Hours

The first step was figuring out where those extra hours would come from. Mornings? Late evenings? Here's what worked for me:

  • Early Bird Strategy: I’m naturally an early riser. So, I started my workday an hour earlier. The house was quiet, my mind was fresh, and this became my most productive time. The early start also meant I could wrap up earlier if needed.
  • The "Post-Dinner Power Hour": I'd have my dinner, spend some quality time with family, and then put in an extra hour before winding down for the night. That was another hour added without feeling overwhelming.

Maintaining Work-Life Balance

I won't sugarcoat it - finding extra hours does mean more work, but it doesn’t have to mean less life. Here's how I kept the balance:

  • Time Blocks: I made sure to designate blocks of time specifically for breaks, family, and self-care. No work allowed during these times!
  • Weekends are Sacred: Extra hours during weekdays are fine, but weekends remained my sanctuary. It was all about recharging and enjoying leisure moments.

Seeing the Financial Impact

With every extra hour, I kept a little tally of the extra earnings. At the end of the month, I’d calculate the total and make an additional payment towards the mortgage. And oh, what a thrill it was to see those numbers drop faster than anticipated!

Staying Motivated

I won't lie, there were days when the bed looked way too inviting, or a movie marathon seemed more appealing than work. But every time I felt my motivation wane, I'd take a moment and visualize my home, truly 100% mine, no strings (read: debts) attached. This mental image became my driving force.

A Few Nuggets of Wisdom:

  • Communicate with Your Household: If you live with family or roommates, let them know about your plan. Their understanding and support can make a world of difference.
  • Set Clear Boundaries with Employers/Clients: Just because you're available beyond regular hours doesn’t mean you're available all the time. Make sure they know when you’re off the grid.
  • Treat Yourself: Occasionally, use a small portion of your extra earnings for something fun. After all, life's not just about paying off debts.

Start a Side Hustle to Pay Off Your Mortgage

If you've always been working as an employee, freelancing might sound like taking a plunge into a big, exhilarating pool. But it's really not as difficult as you think. I offer my copywriting and video editing skills on Fiverr and channel those earnings straight to my mortgage. Would you care to try selling whatever skill you have online?

Starting on Fiverr

Fiverr's platform is pretty user-friendly, but if you're hoping to stand out (and trust me, you want to), here are the steps I took:

  1. Crafting a Catchy Profile: First impressions matter. I made sure my profile photo was professional, wrote a bio that showcased my passion for both copywriting and video editing and mentioned some of my past works.
  2. Creating Detailed Gigs: For each service - copywriting and video editing - I set up separate gigs. Clear descriptions, expected delivery times, and fair pricing were my main focus.
  3. Building a Portfolio: I uploaded samples of my work, both in writing and video edits. Potential clients love to see what you can do before they hire you!

Fiverr Gig Category Examples

Click each category for detailed view

Graphics & Design

Logo Design
Brand Style Guides
Fonts & Typography
Business Cards & Stationery

Game Art
Graphics for Streamers
Twitch Store
Art & Illustration

Pattern Design
Portraits & Caricatures
Cartoons & Comics
Tattoo Design
Web & App Design

Website Design
App Design
UX Design
Landing Page Design
Icon Design
Marketing Design

Social Media Design
Email Design
Web Banners
Signage Design
Packaging & Covers

Packaging & Label Design
Book Design
Album Cover Design
Podcast Cover Art
Car Wraps
Visual Design

Photoshop Editing
Presentation Design
Infographic Design
Vector Tracing
Resume Design
Architecture & Building Design
Architecture & Interior Design
Landscape Design
Building Engineering
Building Information Modeling
Fashion & Jewelry

Fashion Design
Jewelry Design
Print Design

T-Shirts & Merchandise
Flyer Design
Brochure Design
Poster Design
Catalog Design
Menu Design
Invitation Design
Product & Characters Design

Industrial & Product Design
Character Modeling
Trade Booth Design
Design Advice

Digital Marketing

Social Media Marketing
Social Media Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Local SEO
Marketing Strategy
Public Relations
Content Marketing
Video Marketing
Email Marketing
Web Analytics
Text Message Marketing
Marketing Advice
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Display Advertising
E-Commerce Marketing
Influencer Marketing
Community Management
Mobile App Marketing
Music Promotion
Book & eBook Marketing
Podcast Marketing
Affiliate Marketing

Writing & Translation

Articles & Blog Posts
Proofreading & Editing
Resume Writing
Cover Letters
LinkedIn Profiles
Ad Copy
Sales Copy
Social Media Copy
Email Copy
Case Studies
Book & eBook Writing
Book Editing
Podcast Writing
Beta Reading
Creative Writing
Brand Voice & Tone
UX Writing
eLearning Content Development
Technical Writing
Job Descriptions
White Papers
Website Content
Product Descriptions
Press Releases
Business Names & Slogans
Grant Writing
Research & Summaries
Writing Advice

Video & Animation

Video Editing
Short Video Ads
Whiteboard & Animated Explainers
Character Animation
Lyric & Music Videos
Logo Animation
Intros & Outros
Visual Effects
Subtitles & Captions
Spokesperson Videos
Unboxing Videos
Animated GIFs
3D Product Animation
Social Media Videos
E-Commerce Product Videos
Product Photography
Live Action Explainers
Lottie & Website Animation
NFT Animation
NFT Services
NFT Development
NFT Promotion Checklist
Character Animation
Corporate Videos
App & Website Previews
Animation for Streamers
Slideshow Videos
Crowdfunding Videos
Meditation Videos
Animation for Kids
Article to Video
Game Trailers
Book Trailers
Real Estate Promos
eLearning Video Production
Video Templates Editing
Screencasting Videos
Local Photography
Drone Videography
Video Advice


Music & Audio

Voice Over
Producers & Composers
Singers & Vocalists
Mixing & Mastering
Session Musicians
Online Music Lessons
Podcast Editing
Beat Making
Audiobook Production
Audio Ads Production
Sound Design
Jingles & Intros
Audio Editing
Music Transcription
Vocal Tuning
DJ Drops & Tags
DJ Mixing
Remixing & Mashups
Synth Presets
Meditation Music
Audio Logo & Sonic Branding
Music & Audio Advice

Programming & Tech

Website Builders & CMS
Game Development
Development for Streamers
Web Programming
E-Commerce Development
Mobile Apps
Desktop Applications
Support & IT
Online Coding Lessons
Cybersecurity & Data Protection
Get Your Website in a Few Steps
Electronics Engineering
Convert Files
User Testing
QA & Review
Blockchain & Cryptocurrency
NFT Development
Data Processing
Data Engineering
Data Science


Virtual Assistant
E-Commerce Management
Market Research
Customer Care
CRM Management
ERP Management
Supply Chain Management
Project Management
Event Management
Game Concept Design
Business Plans
Financial Consulting
Legal Consulting
Business Consulting
HR Consulting
Career Counseling
Data Entry
Data Analytics
Data Visualization



Online Tutoring
Astrology & Psychics
Modeling & Acting
Fitness Lessons
Dance Lessons
Life Coaching
Greeting Cards & Videos
Personal Stylists
Cooking Lessons
Craft Lessons
Arts & Crafts
Family & Genealogy


Again... Balancing Work and Freelance

With a day job and my new Fiverr side hustle, things got busy. Here's how I kept things on track:

  • Designated Fiverr Hours: I set specific hours in the evening dedicated to Fiverr work. This routine helped me avoid overwhelming myself.
  • Taking Breaks: Between my day job, Fiverr tasks, and personal life, I ensured that I had little breaks to relax and refresh.

Making the Most of Earnings

Every penny I earned from Fiverr was like a golden ticket to speeding up my mortgage payoff. Here's how I managed my earnings:

  1. Separate Account: I opened a separate bank account for my Fiverr income. This helped me clearly see what I was earning and resist the temptation to spend it elsewhere.

  2. Monthly Mortgage Boost: At the end of each month, I'd make an additional payment towards my mortgage using my Fiverr earnings. Seeing the mortgage balance dip was oh-so-satisfying!

Growing on Fiverr

With every project I completed, I learned and grew. Here are some growth tips based on my journey:

  1. Ask for Reviews: After successfully completing a project, I'd kindly ask clients to leave a review. Positive reviews were a magnet for new clients!

  2. Continue Learning: I occasionally took online courses to sharpen my copywriting and video editing skills. This not only improved my service quality but also allowed me to justify raising my rates.

  3. Engage in Fiverr Community: Fiverr has a buzzing community of freelancers. I joined discussions, shared tips, and learned from peers. It's amazing how many tricks you pick up this way.

Some Friendly Pearls of Wisdom:

  • Patience is Golden: Initially, gigs might trickle in slowly. Don’t get disheartened. As you build your reputation, things will pick up.

  • Clear Communication: Always make sure you understand the client's requirements. If unsure, ask questions. It saves so much time and ensures client satisfaction.

  • Always Overdeliver: If a client expects a task to be done in 5 days, and you can do it in 3 without compromising quality, go for it. This little gesture often results in repeat business.

Pay Off Your Mortgage Early - Is It Really Possible?

Paying off your mortgage early is a bit like choosing the scenic route over the highway. Both paths will get you to your destination, but the experiences along the way will differ.

Is it really possible? Of course, it is. Weigh your options, enjoy the journey, and always keep your broader financial landscape in mind. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s the sweetest deal for you!

How I "Finally" Make Over $6,000 Monthly Income

"The most valuable thing I've ever done!"

About the author 

TJ Salvatore

A freelancer. A nomad. An LGBTQ and animal rights activist. Love meeting new people, exploring new styles of living, new technologies and gadgets, new ways of making money.

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