You can pay off your mortgage sooner by paying an extra amount of money each month toward your principle. When you took out your mortgage, the bank set up a payment schedule that determines how much of your monthly payment goes toward the interest on your loan and how much toward the principle. In the beginning, most of your payment goes toward interest, with very little going toward principle. As time goes on, more and more of your monthly payment goes toward the principle. By paying extra toward your principle each month, you are not only saving on the interest that would have been charged on that amount, you are also moving up the payment schedule so more of your payment goes toward your principle and less toward interest. There are several ways you can put extra money toward your mortgage without stressing your budget too much.
Set up a bi-weekly payment plan with your bank instead of following the standard monthly payment plan to pay off your mortgage sooner. With a bi-weekly plan, you pay half of your mortgage every two weeks with a total of 26 payments over the year. This means you actually end up paying one extra mortgage payment each year.
When extra money falls into your lap, put it toward the principle to pay your mortgage off sooner. For example, if you expect a large tax refund, apply some of that money toward your mortgage instead of spending it on other things. Make sure you specify that the extra amount goes toward your principle and not toward the mortgage payment for next month. You also want to make sure your bank won't charge you for prepaying on your principle.
When you pay your mortgage each month, send an additional amount that goes toward your principle. You may have to set up two separate payments and, again, make sure you let the bank knows this extra money is for the principle. Even if you are only able to pay an extra $50, you can shave years and save thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
You can also try to refinance your loan if the terms are good enough. Refinancing to a 15 year term means you will pay off your mortgage sooner. If you want to stick with a 30 year term, you could try for a lower interest rate. A lower interest rate means the amount of total interest you pay will be lower so your mortgage payments will also be lower. Apply the amount that you save on your mortgage payments toward your principle to pay your mortgage off faster.