Fortnightly vs Monthly Home Loan Repayments – which is better?

Find out how two newlyweds saved $70,000 by switching their mortgage repayments from monthly to fortnightlyyoung couple sold 300px. We show you how to save some big bucks on your home loan by switching your repayment frequency to fortnightly.

When newlyweds Rob and Elisa bought their first home they made use of a loophole which is saving them tens of thousands of dollars in interest and shaving years off their loan.

The way it works is simple: switch your repayments from monthly to fortnightly.

Most lenders will calculate the fortnightly repayment rate by halving the monthly repayment rate, meaning you still pay the same amount each month but split it.

Because there are 26 fortnights in a year, this means you’ll end up making an extra monthly payment each year, paying off more of your loan and freeing you from debt faster.

Rob says it’s just common sense.

‘The quicker you can pay down the debt, the less you pay in interest down the track and when you discount that forward, it’s definitely worthwhile to pay things down as quick as you can.’

‘I think that’s one of the first things everyone tells you - to pay your mortgage fortnightly,’ he said.

Putting it into practice - How can fortnightly repayments save you money?

Say you have a loan of $300 000 charged at 6% over 30 years.Your monthly repayments would be $1798.65 with an annual repayment of $21 583.80.

If your lender calculates your 26 fortnightly repayments by halving your monthly repayments, you’ll pay $899.33 every second week for an annual total of $23 382.58. This equates to an extra payment of $1798.78 a year.

This means you’ll pay off your loan five years and six months earlier than normal and save a whopping $74 000 in interest.

Like Rob and Elisa, many first home buyers and even those buying their second or third home are paying more often to make the most of this loophole and pay off their home loans sooner.

‘The aim of the game is to pay down the debt and to build equity if you can by renovating, turning it over and making a profit that way, as opposed to relying on capital growth which is what people have been able to do more recently,’ Rob says.

There’s a catch though. Not every lender calculates repayments like this.

Glenn Braganza

Glenn Braganza

  • Glenn is the Chief Strategy Office of 1st Choice Financial, Concord, NSW.
  • Glenn specialises in mortgages, financial planning, self-managed super funds advice and mortgages and insurance for medical professionals.

Glenn Braganza from 1st Choice Financial in Sydney’s Inner West, says you should be aware of how lenders will calculate repayments before you change them to fortnightly.

‘Some banks will allow you to change your repayment frequency, but they’ll take your monthly repayment multiplied by 12 months and divided by 52 weeks. Then they’ll multiply this by two for fortnightly payments.’

About home loan repayment calculator

If a lender decides to calculate the repayment like this you’ll pay a lower amount each fortnight, putting you back at square one. In our example this would mean you’d pay $830.15 every fortnight rather than $899.33.

According to Braganza even if you change your repayments to ‘true’ weekly repayments, you can still save around $400 over the course of the loan.

‘The problem occurs when you ring up a lender, because some lenders by nature will calculate it their own way and there’s no two ways about it. So if you ring the Commonwealth Bank they’ll calculate it by halving the monthly repayments and do that. But some lenders will calculate a true fortnightly repayment,’ he says.

Check how your lender will calculate fortnightly repayments. If you start paying fortnightly, you could be in the fast lane to paying off your mortgage too.

To see how much your repayments would be normally, use our home loan repayment calculator.

Rates last updated February 18th, 2018
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Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan type
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Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment Short Description
3.59%
3.60%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Enjoy a low variable rate with no ongoing fees and borrow up to 90% of the value of the property.
3.52%
3.54%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A basic home loan with a competitive rate and low fees.
3.49%
4.49%
$0
$375 p.a.
90%
Discount off an already competitive interest rate for loans over $150k. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.54%
3.58%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A variable rate home loan with competitive rate, redraw facility and offset account.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application fee or ongoing fees with this loan.
3.58%
3.58%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A low interest rate home loan with no application or ongoing fees.
3.58%
3.59%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive variable rate product with no application or valuation fees offered by a 100% online lender.
3.64%
3.67%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A low rate home loan with no ongoing fees.
3.69%
3.69%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A special limited time offer for owner occupiers. An IMB Transaction Account must be opened with this loan.
3.60%
3.62%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Take advantage of a 100% offset account along with no annual or application fees.
3.77%
3.81%
$200
$0 p.a.
95%
A basic home loan with a low interest rate and a redraw facility available.
3.65%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A competitive variable rate home loan with no application fee.
3.69%
4.86%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
A special rate for first home buyers buying residential property and borrowing over $150K. 350K NAB Rewards Points offer available. Terms and conditions apply.
3.64%
3.67%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A home loan with a competitive variable rate, limited fees and plenty of flexibility.
3.62%
3.62%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A discounted, competitive variable rate loan with limited fees.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A low rate home loan with no application or ongoing fees. Free home & contents insurance for 1 year. T&Cs apply. Note that to be eligible for this loan you must be QLD resident.
3.74%
3.75%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A special variable rate home loan with no application or ongoing fees.
3.99%
4.00%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A low-fee variable rate investor loan with a fast online application process.
3.74%
3.76%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A home loan with a special rate for owner occupiers. Free offset account.
3.69%
3.69%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Enjoy a low variable interest rate and no application or ongoing fees.
3.89%
3.91%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Package your owner-occupied loan with your investment loan and enjoy low rates for both.
3.72%
4.19%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Enjoy a variable rate with the Bankwest Equaliser Home Loan.
3.68%
3.83%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
A low interest rate home loan that allows borrowers to borrow up to 80% of the property value.
3.88%
3.81%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Fix your rate for two years with this competitive, low-fee loan. No offset account available.
3.68%
3.69%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A no frills loan with a competitive rate and a maximum LVR of 95%.
3.73%
3.73%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A special low variable rate for owner occupiers with 100% offset account and no application or ongoing fees.
3.94%
3.71%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Apply online for this fixed rate, low-fee loan with redraw facilities and an optional offset account.
3.69%
4.00%
$0
$350 p.a.
95%
Fix your rate for 3 years and borrow up to 95% LVR.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
110%
Requires a family member to act as guarantor. Discounted rate available with family pledge loans. Family pledge loans
require no LMI and no deposit. NSW, Qld and ACT only.
3.64%
4.03%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
Apply for a new owner occupier loan or refinance from another lender and receive this discounted rate.
3.69%
3.71%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A discounted interest rate home loan with no monthly fees.
4.09%
4.12%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
This loan has a high max insured LVR, making it an option for low deposit borrowers.
3.78%
3.78%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A basic low-rate home loan that still offers some useful features.
3.96%
3.98%
$350
$0 p.a.
90%
Take advantage of a redraw facility, competitive variable rate and no application or settlement fees for a limited time.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A competitive variable rate with a redraw facility. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
4.09%
4.11%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Access a fee-free offset account and a special interest rate for investors.
3.65%
4.84%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
A 2 years fixed platinum package that has $0 application and a loan redraw facility.
3.99%
4.02%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
An investment loan with a competitive interest rate and no ongoing fees.
4.14%
4.14%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
An investment home loan with competitive rate and 100% offset account.
3.85%
4.82%
$600
$35 monthly ($420 p.a.)
90%
Low fixed rate offer from HSBC. Reverts to a discounted variable rate after the initial term.
4.39%
4.42%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
An interest-only loan for investors. Access equity to further your investment opportunities.
4.19%
4.59%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Enjoy all the benefits of a full-featured package investment loan, including a 100% offset account.
3.74%
4.15%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
Enjoy a discount of a competitive interest rate and 100% offset account.
3.89%
4.87%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Enjoy a low interest rate and borrow up to 90% (with LMI) of your property's value.
3.97%
4.02%
$445
$0 p.a.
90%
Get a competitive rate without features you may not use.
3.99%
3.99%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A flexible low-rate variable home loan that lets you combine your loan with other financial products.
3.97%
3.97%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A competitive variable rate home loan with no ongoing fees.
3.88%
3.81%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A competitive 3-year fixed rate loan with a high max insured LVR.
3.88%
4.88%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
Refinance from your existing loan and get a $1,250 rebate. Lock in a discounted fixed rate with a low service fee.
4.34%
4.87%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Lock in a low 2-year fixed rate with this interest-only investment loan.
3.69%
4.47%
$0
$375 p.a.
90%
Discount off an already competitive 2 year fixed rate for loans over $150k. NSW,QLD and ACT residents only.
3.84%
4.83%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a competitive 2-year fixed rate with no application or ongoing fees.
3.59%
4.42%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
This competitive introductory rate is a limited time offer for new owner-occupiers
3.68%
3.69%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Get a low variable rate along with some important basic features.
3.64%
3.78%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
A competitive variable rate home loan with flexible features. You can earn 30,000 Velocity Points for every $100k you borrow (for a limited time, subject to eligibility requirements).
3.99%
4.77%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive 3 year fixed rate with a redraw facility and split loan options, plus no application fee.
3.64%
3.65%
$500
$0 p.a.
95%
A basic home loan with a promotional variable interest rate.
4.11%
4.01%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Enjoy a fast application process and flexible repayment options with this fixed rate investment loan.
3.79%
3.80%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive rate with no ongoing monthly fees or application fees.
3.87%
3.87%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
90%
Get a competitive interest rate for 3 years and a discounted variable rate when the fixed period ends.
3.85%
4.95%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
A discounted package rate for owner occupiers with the ability to package a Qantas rewards earning Amplify credit card. $1,500 cashback available for refinancers. Conditions apply.
3.69%
3.69%
$0
$398 p.a.
70%
Enjoy a low variable rate with no application and ongoing fees.
3.99%
4.03%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Enjoy a basic home loan with a high LVR and no application or ongoing fees.
3.99%
4.99%
$0
$395 p.a.
95%
A package home loan with fee free extra repayments available during the fixed term.
4.39%
5.42%
$300
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
95%
Borrow up to and fix in a 3 year home loan rate. Access your account via internet and phone banking.
5.29%
5.64%
$995
$15 monthly ($180 p.a.)
65%
Available for former bad credit borrowers who have had a clean credit file for the last 24 months. Loan can be used to purchase a property or refinance.

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Disclaimer: It is advised that borrowers speak with a mortgage broker or accountant regarding their home loan structure and repayment frequency to ensure that it will suit their financial situation.

Marc Terrano

Marc Terrano is a content marketer manager at finder. He's been writing and publishing personal finance content for over five years and loves to help Australians get a better deal.

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    DanielMarch 16, 2017

    Just in regards to this. What if you had an offset account set up and you were able to place those fortnightly repayments into the account anyway for the repayments to then be taken out monthly ?

    • Staff
      MarcMarch 23, 2017Staff

      Hey Daniel!

      Thanks for the question.

      The effect of fortnightly or bi-monthly repayments is to add an extra monthly repayment towards your home loan each year, so a similar effect might be able to be obtained by depositing similar extra amounts into an offset account. You might want to go through the sums with a mortgage broker, accountant or with your lender to find out exactly how it’ll affect your loan term.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

  2. Default Gravatar
    DeniseJune 25, 2015

    Should I be paying a fixed loan differently? Currently it is being paid weekly.

    • Staff
      JodieJune 25, 2015Staff

      Hi Denise,

      Thank you for contacting finder.com.au, a financial comparison website.

      Each individual’s specific circumstances and needs are different and they should pay off their loan in a way that suits them, you can use the calculator on this page to see how changing the repayment frequency of your loan will affect your circumstances.

      If you want further advice I would recommend speaking to a mortgage broker, financial advisor or your lender directly.

      Regards
      Jodie

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