When you first close on your home, or you refinance, you will be inundated with offers to participate in programs to pay off your mortgage earlier. Usually these programs charge fees, sometimes big ones. Even your own lender may charge you extra if you want to pay off your mortgage ahead of schedule by making payments every two weeks, instead of once/month. This results in 13 payments/year instead of 12.

However, the best way to pay off your mortgage early, as long as your loan does not have any prepayment penalties, is to just add 1/12 more to your payment every month. You are now making the equivalent of 13 payments/year, not 12, but with no fees or other costs.

Make sure that the additional money is applied entirely to the principle amount that was originally borrowed, and you will pay off a 30-year loan in 23-24 years, saving tens of thousands in interest over the life of the loan!

Even if you are thinking that you will not stay in the home for nearly that long, there is still a good reason to do this: as you pay down your loan balance, you increase your home equity, so you will eventually walk away with more money when you sell if you owe less on the home. And if you do wind up staying longer than you anticipated, you will eventually walk away with a LOT more!

Here are a couple of resources to help you:

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/what-is-a-prepayment-penalty-en-1957/

https://www.consumerfinance.gov/ask-cfpb/can-i-be-charged-a-penalty-for-paying-off-my-mortgage-early-en-204/