If you want to shake off your mortgage shackles early, then you need to take a close look at your payments, how your home loan is structured and if you can afford to pay even a little bit more.

Pay fortnightly not monthly

If you’re currently making monthly repayments, consider paying half that amount fortnightly instead. Because there are 26 fortnights in a year, making fortnightly payments means you'll be making the equivalent of 13 monthly repayments rather than 12.

Use our repayments calculator to see how much difference paying fortnightly rather than monthly could make to you.

Increase your repayments

Don’t be tempted by lifestyle inflation – if you get a pay rise, pump that extra money into your home loan instead of buying more stuff.

Bumping up your repayments by as little as $20 a fortnight will shorten the term of your mortgage, meaning you’ll pay it off faster and end up paying less in interest.

If you’ve got a variable portion of your loan, you won’t be charged any fees for additional payments. If you’ve got a fixed rate mortgage there are limits as to how much you can increase repayments each year, so give our home loans team a call on 0800 000 654 for some guidance.

Consider an offset mortgage

If having a decent amount of money in a savings account helps you sleep better at night, think about putting a portion of your home loan in an offset mortgage.

With our offset mortgage, you can link your Kiwibank savings and everyday accounts to your mortgage and only pay interest on the difference between them.

For example, if you have $50,000 in your offset mortgage and have $30,000 in your linked savings and everyday accounts, you’ll only pay interest on $20,000 of your offset mortgage.

Your savings are still separate and you can make withdrawals whenever you like, but the more you save, the less interest you pay on your linked home loan. Read more about offset mortgages.

Pay lump sums

If you come into some money or manage to build up your savings, putting that on your home loan could reduce the time it takes to pay off your mortgage as well as how much you end up paying in interest.

Lump sum repayments on a variable home loan

Again, with a variable home loan (also known as floating home loan) there are no limits as to how much or how often you make extra payments.

Lump sum repayments on a fixed rate home loan

If you have a fixed rate home loan, check with us that you won’t be paying more than 5% of your home loan balance in a year. If you do, you could be charged a lump sum repayment fee, or a fixed rate break cost. More about fixed rate break costs.

If you've chunked up your home loan into more than one fixed term portion, for example you have some fixed for one year and some fixed for three years, the 5% limit will apply separately to each portion.

A lump sum payment on a fixed rate home loan needs to be at least $1,000.

Is there a fee for making a lump sum repayment?

There’s no fee to increase payments unless you pay more than 5% extra off your fixed rate home loan in a year. There is a fee for making a lump sum payment on your fixed component when it exceeds our early repayment limit. Find out more about our early repayment limit.

How to increase your repayments or make a lump sum payment

Securely email our Online Customer Service team through internet banking or on our app, or give us a call on 0800 000 654 and we’ll increase your regular payments or move a lump sum across for you.

Keep repayments the same if interest rates fall

If you’re got a floating rate and interest rates fall, keep your repayments the same. The lower interest rates mean you’ll be paying more off your home loan, but you won’t feel it in your hip pocket because you’re not handing over any extra money.

Look at how your mortgage is structured

If you have your whole home loan locked into a fixed rate, consider mixing things up when the fixed term comes to an end. Putting some of your home loan on a fixed rate and some on a variable rate means you’ll have more flexibility to make lump sum payments or increase your regular repayments if your circumstances change or interest rates fall.

You could also opt to fix portions of your home loan for different amounts of time - so you could have some locked in for one year and some for two or three years, or longer.