Financial institutions vary in their prepayment privileges, which let you pay down your mortgage faster. Our best information: research your options! Also be aware that the longer the amortization period (the time it takes to pay off a mortgage), the more interest you’ll end up paying. Amortization periods generally range from 5 to 25 years. (Some exceptions apply.)

Accelerated weekly or accelerated biweekly instead of monthly payments could shave as much as eight years and $38,000 off a $100,000 mortgage, depending on current interest rates.

Another option to consider is portability. If you decide to sell your home and buy another while locked into your mortgage term, most lenders will allow you to take your existing mortgage with you to your new home without penalty. This can be a major advantage if your mortgage rate is below current market rates.