Most of us know that changing your mortgage payment from monthly, or semi-monthly, to an accelerated bi-weekly payment instantly reduces your standard 25-year amortization by 2.58 years with today’s rates. (If you didn’t know that, you’re likely not working with the mortgage professionals at Dominion Lending Centres).
Sometimes, however, an accelerated bi-weekly payment option might not be available to you. Either the lender does not offer it as an option with that particular product, or they may not allow you to set it up if the accelerated payment knocks your qualifying ratios out of line. Although these situations are rare, they do come up from time to time. Here’s a workaround for those that might find themselves in this situation.
Open up a separate chequing account from which ONLY your mortgage payment will be withdrawn.
Then, from the account where your paychecks are deposited, set up an automatic transfer from this account, to your new chequing account. The automatic transfer will be every two weeks and for half of the amount of your monthly mortgage payment. This is the amount that your accelerated bi-weekly payment would equal out to.
Throughout the year you will continue to automatically transfer exactly half of your monthly payment into your new chequing account, every two weeks. Then, those two months each year where you receive your paycheck three times in one month, you will also transfer half of your mortgage payment into the new account three times this month. When your monthly payment is withdrawn by your lender, there will be a half monthly payment remaining in your new account. This will happen twice throughout the year, leaving you with one full monthly payment remaining in your new chequing account. This is the accelerated effect.
Once per year, take this remaining balance in your account and apply it as a lump sum towards your mortgage, which most mortgages allow you to do. This lump sum goes directly towards your principal balance, interest-free, thus reducing your amortization the same as an accelerated bi-weekly payment would have.
It may not seem like much, but imagine no mortgage payments for the next two and a half years. Feels good, doesn’t it?!