Fortnightly & Weekly Mortgage Repayment Calculator

Work out how much you can save on your home loan by paying more frequently with Savvy’s fortnightly repayment calculator.

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, updated on August 8th, 2023       

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The standard repayment schedule for home loans is traditionally centred around monthly repayments.  However, there are big savings to be made by switching your loan repayments from monthly to either weekly or fortnightly.  Find out why with Savvy and how you can work out your savings using our handy fortnightly repayment calculator.

How do I use the fortnightly repayment calculator?

Our fortnightly mortgage repayment calculator is simple to use.  Enter your loan amount, the interest rate on your mortgage and your loan term, then click anywhere on the calculator to see your results.

On the left of the results panel, you’ll see how much your loan repayments will be if you repay your loan monthly and how much interest you’ll pay in total over the life of the loan.  The fortnightly repayment column shows you what your repayments will be if you repay your loan fortnightly, plus the total interest you’ll pay and the savings you’ll make by switching your loan repayment frequency, both in terms of dollars and time saved.  The weekly repayment column shows the same results information for weekly repayments.

Why do I save money by repaying my mortgage more frequently?

The reason you’ll save on interest if you make your loan repayments fortnightly (or more frequently) is all to do with our calendar and the fact that home loan interest is calculated daily. Our calendar has 12 months in a year, which means if you pay your loan off monthly, you’ll make 12 payments in a calendar year. 

However, there are 26 fortnights in a year, which is more than double the number of months, so it’s not just a matter of making two payments a month instead of one.  If you make fortnightly repayments, you’re effectively making an additional monthly payment each year.  By making loan repayments more frequently, you are reducing the principal sum that interest is calculated on more often.  Each time you pay off more of your loan (earlier than you’d previously planned to with monthly repayments), the interest charged is reduced.

Similarly, the number of weeks in a year varies between 52 and 53, depending on which day of the week the year starts on, and if it’s a leap year.  This means if you make your loan repayments on the same day each week, you may end up making either 52 or 53 payments in a calendar year.  Because 52 weeks is exactly double the number of fortnights (26), this explains why the savings to be made are not so pronounced between weekly or fortnightly mortgage repayments, compared to monthly repayments.

How much is it possible to save on average by switching loan repayment frequency?

Depending on the size of your loan, you can save tens of thousands by opting for more frequent repayments.  According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average loan amount in Australia in December 2021 was $602,035 (although this average figure rises to $779,770 for people in NSW). 

If you enter this average loan amount of $602,035 in the fortnightly repayment calculator with an interest rate of 2.5% p.a. and a 30-year loan term, the calculator shows you could save $31,024 and three years and four months on your repayments if you switch from monthly to fortnightly repayments. Choosing weekly instead of monthly could save an estimated $31,222 and three years and four months in savings.

Top tips about more ways to save money on your mortgage

Refinance to a lower interest rate

The interest rate you pay on your home loan is the most important factor which determines the size of your loan repayments.  By reducing the mortgage rate on your loan, you can shave thousands of dollars off its overall cost.  Savvy compares home loans and brings you the key information so you can find the cheapest and best home loan possible.

Make additional lump sum repayments

Another way to save on the interest you pay is to make regular additional lump sum repayments to help pay off your loan more quickly.  This is only likely to be possible with a variable rate loan, as fixed rate loans tend to have caps on the additional lump sum repayments permitted, such as between $10,000 and $30,000, or one or two additional repayments, permitted per year.  Use Savvy’s home loan lump sum repayments calculator to see how making regular additional repayments can slash your interest bill.

Refinance to a loan with a shorter term

As the fortnightly loan repayment calculator shows, the shorter your loan term, the less interest you’ll pay.  If you refinance your loan and choose to pay off your mortgage over a shorter period, such as 20 years instead of 30, you’ll save thousands on the cost of your loan.  You can use Savvy’s ‘how long to repay’ calculator to vary your repayments and see what effect this will have on your loan term.

Get an offset account

An offset account works to reduce the interest you’ll pay on your loan by offsetting your principal sum on a dollar-for-dollar basis. This means if your outstanding loan debt is $300,000, but you have $50,000 in your offset account, you’ll only pay interest on $250,000.  As interest is calculated daily, having your wages or salary paid into your offset account can mean savings of thousands of dollars.

Further questions about more frequent repayments

Can I switch my loan repayment frequency without having to refinance my mortgage?

Yes – most lenders will allow you to change the frequency that you repay your loan on a variable rate loan without having to go through a full loan refinance.  However, if you have a fixed rate home loan, some lenders may not allow you to make your loan repayments more frequently, as this will effectively reduce the term of the loan (which you agreed to fix to a set term.)  Talk to your lender first about changing your payment frequency before considering refinancing.

If I do refinance my mortgage, how much will it cost me?

The cost to refinance will depend on several factors, including:

  • whether you have a fixed or variable rate loan
  • whether you stay with the same lender or move to another

In general terms, it’s cheaper to refinance a variable rate loan than it is a fixed rate loan.  It’s also cheaper to stay with the same lender rather than switch lenders.  Expect to pay a minimum of $600 in fees and charges if you do decide to refinance and pay fixed rate loan break costs.  Some lenders may waive break fees or not charge you for getting a new home valuation if you refinance and stay with the same lender (as a way of retaining a valued customer).

Do all lenders let you choose your repayment frequency?

No – some lenders offering very cheap fixed rate home loan deals (known as ‘no-frill’ loans) stipulate your loan repayment frequency, without any alternative being offered.  The lowest interest rate loans come with limited flexibility.  However, most lenders offering variable rate loans will allow you to choose your loan repayment frequency.

Will making repayments more often help me pay off my loan sooner with all lenders? 

No – you should check with your lender about the exact wording of your loan agreement, as lenders may differ in the way they calculate interest payments.  Some lenders calculate fortnightly payments by multiplying monthly payments by 12 and dividing by 26, meaning they're slightly less than half a monthly instalment and don’t enable you to pay your loan off more quickly overall in themselves.

If I agreed to monthly loan repayments, can I now make additional fortnightly repayments instead?

Yes, you can – however, you should talk to your lender if you wish to vary the frequency or size of your mortgage repayments, as the way in which these additional repayments are handled varies between lenders.  In some variable rate loans, additional repayments are taken off the principal sum, so interest is charged on a smaller amount going forward.  In this way, additional repayments gradually reduce the principal sum owed.   However, other mortgage contracts treat additional repayments as they would funds in an offset account, reducing the interest charged but not reducing the principal sum.

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