How to Pay Off Your Mortgage in 5 Years

Find plenty of tips on how to pay off your mortgage in 5 years right here with Savvy.

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, updated on August 8th, 2023       

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If you’re wondering how to pay off your mortgage in 5 years, the answer is careful planning, determination and financial discipline!  Find out all the information you need on how to organise and live the dream of paying off your mortgage in 5 years with Savvy, as well as comparing a range of home loan offers.

Is it possible to pay off a mortgage in 5 years?

Yes – it's definitely possible to pay off your house in 5 years.  The key to achieving this is the same as the answer to the question ‘How do you eat an elephant?’: approach it one mouthful (or dollar, in this instance) at a time.  Naturally, this will depend on the size of your mortgage and your income, but if you follow these handy hints, you should be well on your way towards financial freedom. 

Take the first step

The first step is always to record a detailed household budget so you know how much money you have coming in and going out per pay period and, most importantly, where that money goes.  Use Savvy’s budget planner to record every single cent that you earn and spend.  If you’re going to pay off your house in 5 years, you need to know where your starting base is.

Work out the size of your challenge

Next, determine the size of the challenge you have in front of you by using Savvy’s home loan repayments calculator to work out what your repayments will be if you are to pay your mortgage in 5 years at your current interest rate.   Record what your weekly or fortnightly repayments will have to be if you are to achieve your goal.

What are my options for paying off my mortgage faster?

The fundamental plan is to increase the money coming into your household and reduce any other expenditure other than your mortgage repayments.  All available funds will need to be channelled into your mortgage to pay it off as quickly as possible.

Plan and prioritize

Here comes the hard part!  To pay off your home in 5 years, you’re going to have to prioritise mortgage repayments over everything else (as well as find ways to bring more money into the household to use for your mortgage repayments).  You need to decide what you’re prepared to sacrifice to be debt-free in 5 years.  Go on a blitz and cancel all the subscriptions, memberships and regular payments that aren’t absolutely essential in your life.  

Cut back and cut out

Cut back and reduce everything you possibly can.  Use Savvy to compare the cost of your car insurance, your home and contents insurance and your health insurance to ensure you’re getting the very best deals (although it’s important to not leave yourself short on the cover you need).  Switch to better plans or lower interest rates wherever possible, which includes your gas, electricity, phone and internet plans too.

Make sure all your interest rates are low

Next, make sure you’re not wasting your hard-earned money by paying unnecessarily high interest.  Pay off all your credit cards, personal loans, car loans and store lines of credit as a priority, because these are likely to have a higher interest rate than your home loan. 

Compare loan options with Savvy

Look closely at your mortgage and compare all your home loan options with Savvy.  Can you find a suitable loan with a lower interest rate?  Can you get a loan with lower or no fees?  Can you lock in a fixed rate to protect yourself against mortgage rate increases?  If you do refinance, make sure you get a loan that allows you to make unlimited additional repayments and completely pay off the loan with no early exit or break fees.  Read all the fine print carefully and compare all your options with Savvy before choosing whether to refinance. 

Sacrifice luxuries – into your mortgage

Once you’ve found the cheapest possible home loan and insurances and paid off all other expensive debts, concentrate on channelling every single dollar you can into paying off your loan. If you can increase your income – by taking on more hours or getting another job, for example – direct all your additional salary into your mortgage.  Forgo takeaway meals and cut down on fancy dinners; cook at home instead and pay the cost of your takeaway into your mortgage immediately, to remind yourself why you are making all those sacrifices. 

With dedication and perseverance, you’ll soon see your mortgage shrinking and, after 5 years of financial discipline, you could look forward to living mortgage-free for the rest of your life.

More questions about how to pay off your mortgage in 5 years

Are there any reasons not to pay off your mortgage faster?

If you have a high income and rely on your investment property’s negative gearing to reduce your taxable income, paying off your mortgage faster may not make financial sense.  There are other circumstances where having a mortgage can work in your favour, but for the majority of home-owning Aussies, paying off your mortgage in 5 years is a living dream!

Can I take out a short-term loan to consolidate all my other debts?

Yes – you could consider taking out a short-term loan to pay off other debts, but make sure to get the lowest interest rate possible so you come out ahead.  Rather than apply for a more expensive personal loan, approach your lender and ask for a top-up loan (or debt consolidation loan), which would be a cheaper option than a personal loan. A debt consolidation loan is used to pay off several other, more expensive loans so you end up paying less interest overall, which is done by topping up your loan balance with home equity.

Will my additional mortgage repayments go straight towards paying off my principal?

This will depend on the type of mortgage you have.  If you have a variable rate home loan with no redraw facility or offset account but which allows extra repayments, any money you pay into that loan over and above your basic minimum payments will go towards paying off your principal sum.  However, if you have a redraw facility or offset account, your additional repayments may serve as an offset against the outstanding principal and not pay it down directly.  You should talk to your lender if you aren’t sure about the terms and conditions of your loan, and whether additional repayments will reduce or offset your principal.

When I’ve paid off my home loan in 5 years, will my mortgage account automatically be closed?

No – you’ll have to contact your lender and make arrangements for the mortgage to be discharged (withdrawn) from the Certificate of Title of your property.  You’ll have to pay a mortgage discharge fee, which ranges from around $150 to $400, after which you’ll be able to arrange for your Certificate of Title to be forwarded to you from your lender.

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