Mortgage Basics

Mortgage Payment Frequency | Monthly vs Weekly vs Biweekly

Mortgage Payment Frequency | Monthly vs Weekly vs Biweekly

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    Deciding on a mortgage payment frequency for your loan is one significant part of budgeting as a homeowner. When selecting how often to make payments, you will want to ensure that you’re paying your mortgage down as quickly as possible to build home equity while keeping payments affordable and manageable. 

    Most lenders have several mortgage payment frequencies available to choose from when setting up your loan. This post outlines how each can impact mortgage payments, the time it takes to pay off the loan, and the total interest you will pay over the life of the mortgage.


    Key Takeaways

    • Mortgage payment frequency refers to how often you choose to make mortgage payments. 
    • The frequency you make mortgage payments can impact the total interest you pay over the life of the mortgage. 
    • Accelerated payment options can significantly reduce the life of your mortgage and the overall interest paid.

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    What Is Mortgage Payment Frequency?

    The mortgage payment frequency refers to how often you will make payments toward your mortgage. Typically, monthly payments are the default, where you make one payment each month. However, many lenders offer various options to help you align your mortgage payments in a way that is most convenient for you. 

    Mortgage Payment Frequency Options

    The frequency you choose can significantly impact the total amount of interest you pay over the life of your mortgage, as well as how quickly you pay it off. You will pay less interest-carrying costs and become mortgage-free faster by making more frequent payments.

    Mortgage payment frequency options include monthly, semi-monthly, bi-weekly, and weekly. You may also opt for an accelerated payment schedule, either bi-weekly or monthly. 

    Monthly payments are the most commonly chosen payment frequency and are the basis for calculating other payment frequencies. With this payment schedule, you would make 1 monthly mortgage payment for 12 payments during the year. 

    Semi-monthly payments mean you will divide the monthly payments into 2 and pay that amount twice monthly for 24 payments during the year. With this payment schedule, you can choose any 2 days per month to make the payment, but they must be at least 15 days apart within a 28-day monthly cycle.

    Biweekly payments mean you will make payments once every 2 weeks for 26 payments a year. With this payment schedule, there will be a few months each year where you will make 3 mortgage payments instead of 2. 

    Weekly payments mean you will make a payment every week for 52 payments a year. 

    Accelerated biweekly payments mean that, as with the bi-weekly payment schedule, you will make payments once every 2 weeks for 26 payments a year. With an accelerated payment schedule, you pay the equivalent of an additional monthly mortgage payment spread over the year.

    Accelerated weekly payments mean that, as with weekly payments, you will make a payment each week for 52 payments a year. With an accelerated payment schedule, you pay the equivalent of an additional monthly mortgage payment spread out over the year. 

    It’s important to note that some lenders will only offer an accelerated option for biweekly and weekly payments, whereas others may only offer monthly payments on certain solutions, such as their variable mortgage. Additionally, there are some lenders who will compound interest as often as your payment frequency on their variable mortgage, making it a more expensive option.

    Mortgage payment plans aren’t meant to be one-size-fits-all.

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    Comparing Mortgage Payment Frequency Options

    To understand the impact of mortgage payment frequencies on mortgage savings, the chart below illustrates each option and how it can reduce the amortization and interest you pay over the life of the mortgage. For this example, we use a $400,000 mortgage with a 25-year amortization and an interest rate of 5.14%. 

    Payment Frequency Mortgage Payment Interest Paid 5-Year Term Interest Paid 25-Year Amortization  Amortization Savings (vs Monthly) Interest Savings (vs Monthly)
    Monthly $2,359 $96,299 $307,215 0 years $0
    Semi-Monthly $1,179 $96,137 $306,010 Approx. 1 month $1,205
    Biweekly $1,088 $96,124 $305,895 Approx. 1 month $1,320
    Weekly $544 $96,046 $305,202 Approx. 1 month $2,013
    Accelerated Biweekly $1,179 $94,506 $256,667 Approx. 3 years, 6 months  $50,548
    Accelerated Weekly $589 $94,421 $256,083 Approx. 3 years, 6 months $51,132

    Pros and Cons of Weekly Mortgage Payments

    Pros of weekly mortgage payments

    • Pay off your mortgage faster: weekly payments allow you to make more frequent payments, which helps you pay down the principal amount faster.
    • Save on interest: Making frequent payments reduces the total interest amount over the life of your mortgage. 
    • Align with pay schedule: If you’re on a weekly pay schedule, you can align your mortgage payments to your payday, making budgeting easier. 

    Cons of weekly mortgage payments

    • Potential for budget constraints: Weekly payments require frequent withdrawals, which could impact your budgeting and cash flow, especially if your pay schedule isn’t aligned with your mortgage payments. 

    Pros and Cons of Biweekly Mortgage Payments

    Pros of biweekly mortgage payments

    • Pay off your mortgage faster: Biweekly payments allow you to make more frequent payments, helping you pay down your principal amount faster. 
    • Interest savings: Making more frequent payments helps reduce the total interest you will pay.
    • Align with pay schedule: Biweekly pay schedules are common, so choosing this option can align your mortgage payments with your payday, making it easier to budget and manage finances. 

    Cons of biweekly mortgage payments

    • Extra payments: Some months on a biweekly schedule will have 3 payment dates, which can be challenging to budget for if your pay schedule doesn’t align. 
    • Potential budget constraints: Biweekly payments require more frequent withdrawals, which could impact cash flow. 

    Pros and Cons of Monthly Mortgage Payments

    Pros of monthly mortgage payments

    • Easier budgeting: Monthly payments require only a single withdrawal per month, making it easier to budget for this expense as you can align it with other monthly expenses. 
    • Simpler cash flow management: Monthly payments require fewer transactions to manage each month than more frequent payment frequencies. 

    Cons of monthly mortgage payments

    • Large payment: Monthly payments require a larger amount to be withdrawn, which can reduce cash flow for other expenses or savings if not carefully budgeted.
    • Potential budget constraints: Monthly mortgage payments typically won’t align with payday, making it harder to manage finances.  
    • Longer to pay off mortgage: Monthly payments require the full amortization period compared to more frequent payment options. 
    • More interest paid: A longer amortization means monthly payments will result in higher interest-carrying costs over the life of your mortgage. 

    Accelerated Mortgage Frequency Options

    Accelerated mortgage frequencies provide the most benefits in terms of interest savings and shortening the amortization. These options involve making an extra monthly payment spread out over the year, allowing you to pay down your mortgage principal faster.

    By choosing an accelerated payment option, you can shave years off your mortgage and save thousands in interest. However, not all lenders offer accelerated payment options, so if this is an important part of your mortgage strategy, you’ll need to check with your lender to determine if this option is available. 

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are weekly mortgage payments?

    Weekly mortgage payments involve making a mortgage payment every week towards your mortgage. This frequency totals 52 payments in a year and can help you pay off your mortgage faster while saving on interest.

    What are biweekly mortgage payments?

    Biweekly mortgage payments involve making payments every two weeks towards your mortgage. This frequency totals 26 payments in a year and can be aligned with your payroll schedule for easier budgeting. This frequency helps you pay down your mortgage faster, reducing interest costs.

    What are monthly mortgage payments?

    Monthly mortgage payments involve making payments once a month towards your mortgage. This frequency totals 12 payments a year and is the most common as it aligns best with most monthly budgeting cycles.

    What are accelerated mortgage payments?

    Accelerated mortgage payments involve making extra payments toward your mortgage and are typically set up biweekly or weekly. Accelerated payments are set up so you make an extra monthly mortgage payment spread out between payments each year. Accelerated frequencies help you pay down your mortgage much faster than regular mortgage payments, shaving years off the life of the mortgage and saving significantly in interest-carrying costs.

    Final Thoughts

    Choosing a payment frequency is an important decision that can significantly impact how quickly you pay down your mortgage and how much interest you will pay. Consider your payroll schedule, budgeting preferences and short and long-term financial goals when selecting a payment frequency. The more frequent your payments, the faster you will pay down your mortgage and reduce interest-carrying costs. 

    It’s valuable to seek professional guidance when setting up your mortgage payment schedule so it aligns with your overall savings and budgeting strategy. If you have questions or need guidance in choosing the right mortgage payment frequency, don’t hesitate to contact a mortgage expert who can provide advice tailored to your needs.


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