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.

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.

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Rates last updated January 20th, 2019
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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%
3.59%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Enjoy flexible repayments, a redraw facility and the ability to split your loan. Plus, pay no application or ongoing fees.
3.59%
3.61%
$0
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90%
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3.64%
3.66%
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80%
A simple mortgage with a competitive interest rate and no application or monthly fees. Borrow up to $2000000 from a convenient online lender.
3.69%
3.72%
$445
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90%
NSW and ACT customers only. Get a special discount for a limited time when you open an IMB Transaction Account.
3.49%
4.57%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Loans over $150000 get a discount off an already low fixed rate. Available for NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.54%
3.58%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a competitive rate, save on fees and access a 100% offset account plus redraw facility. $900 cashback offer.
3.59%
3.63%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Get a low variable interest rate and buy a property with just a 10% deposit. 100% offset account attached.
3.64%
3.64%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A low interest rate home loan with no application or ongoing fees.
3.79%
4.22%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
Unlock a range of savings with this competitive package home loan offer. Offset account and redraw facility included.
3.75%
3.75%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A simple mortgage with no application or ongoing fees that has extra repayments plus split and redraw options. Requires a 30% deposit.
3.57%
3.58%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a very low interest rate and avoid big fees. Apply online for full approval in under 30 minutes and add a 100% offset account for $10 a month.
3.85%
3.85%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Low fee loan with extra repayments. Pay no application and ongoing fees and take advantage of split and redraw options.
3.73%
3.87%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
Earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points with this mortgage to spend on flights and more (for a limited time, subject to eligibility requirements). Redraw facility available on this variable rate home loan. Competitive interest rate.
3.80%
4.05%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Earn tens of thousands of Qantas Points to spend on flights, hotels and more with this variable owner occupier mortgage. Competitive variable rate mortgage that requires a 30% deposit.
3.49%
3.53%
$250
$0 p.a.
80%
A very low variable interest rate for borrowers with a 20% deposit. Add a 100% offset account for $10 a month.
3.82%
3.93%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
90%
Get Velocity Frequent Flyer Points at settlement, monthly and every three years, plus the option to make up to $10,000 a year in extra repayments.
3.68%
3.70%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive variable rate mortgage for owner occupiers that comes with a no fee debit card with a $5,000 limit.
3.72%
3.72%
$0
$0 p.a.
110%
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3.79%
3.79%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Access an offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees on this special variable rate for owner-occupiers.
3.69%
3.83%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
Earn Velocity Frequent Flyer Points on your mortgage (subject to eligibility requirements). Plus, access a 100% offset account to save on interest.
3.70%
3.70%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Get a discount for keeping your LVR at $70% or below with this innovative online lender.
3.67%
3.72%
$600
$0 p.a.
80%
Family guarantee option available. Enjoy flexible repayments and a low minimum loan amount.
3.74%
4.13%
$0
$349 p.a.
90%
Get a sharp rate plus package discounts and a 100% offset account.
3.84%
3.84%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application or ongoing fees and get access to a free redraw facility with this innovative online lender.
3.64%
3.59%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Fast, 100% online application process. Very limited fees. Optional offset account (with fee).
3.89%
4.27%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
New borrowers or refinancers can get a discounted rate with this package loan.
3.59%
3.58%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Apply online and get fast approval for this fixed rate, low-fee loan with redraw facilities. Add a 100% offset account for a small fee.
3.89%
3.91%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
This variable rate loan keeps the features simple and fees low. This loan is offered by a 100% online lender.
3.72%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Save on interest by taking advantage of a 100% offset account along with no ongoing fees or application fees.
3.84%
3.82%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A fixed rate loan with free redraws, few ongoing fees. Apply online with a fast approval process.
3.69%
4.08%
$0
$349 p.a.
90%
Package your loan with other AMP products and save on rates and fees.
3.69%
4.75%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Enjoy a competitive rate with no application fee for this package loan.
4.04%
4.07%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
For a limited time, pay no application or settlement fees. You can also take advantage of a free redraw facility.
3.59%
4.14%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A one year fixed rate offer with no ongoing bank fees.
3.75%
4.00%
$0
$248 p.a.
70%
Borrowers with a 30% deposit can get this competitive rate. Cut down on interest costs with a 100% offset account.
3.97%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Package your owner occupied loan with investment loan and receive a discounted investment rate. 100% offset account included.
3.99%
4.44%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no ongoing fees on this investment loan fixed for 3 years.
3.69%
4.86%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Special discounted rate for first home buyers. Start your home buying journey with 2 years of fixed repayments at a competitive rate plus package discounts. Available with a 10% deposit.
3.70%
3.90%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Enjoy all the benefits of the Basic Home Loan and take advantage of an offset account.
3.99%
3.95%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
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3.74%
4.01%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
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3.91%
3.92%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
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3.94%
3.94%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
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3.99%
3.92%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A variable interest-only loan for investors. Fast application, low fees, optional offset account. 100% online lender.
4.29%
4.31%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Investors will pay no application or ongoing fees for this interest-only loan.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application or ongoing fees and get access to a redraw facility and flexible repayment schedule.
4.18%
4.18%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Investors get a 100% offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees on this loan from an innovative online lender.
3.99%
4.86%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Access a fee-free 100% offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees.
3.89%
4.24%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Fix your rate and minimise repayments for 2 years with this interest-only investor mortgage.
3.94%
4.95%
$595
$0 p.a.
95%
Borrow up to 95% LVR of the value of the property you're buying and pay no application or ongoing fees.
4.29%
4.26%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
A competitive 3-year fixed rate loan with a high max insured LVR.
3.89%
3.91%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Investors can go from application to full approval in as little as 20 minutes with this innovative online lender.
4.14%
4.81%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application fees and access a fee-free redraw facility with this fixed rate loan.
3.99%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a discounted, low-fee investor loan from a convenient online lender. 20% deposit required.
3.89%
3.91%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Lock in your interest rate for 2 years and enjoy flexibility, an optional offset account and a fast online application process.

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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.
Image: Shutterstock

Marc Terrano

Marc Terrano is a Lead Publisher 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 ?

    • finder Customer Care
      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.

    • Default Gravatar
      JodieJune 25, 2015

      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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