TL;DR: you can pay on almost any regular schedule you want (weekly, bi-weekly, twice a month, or monthly). But if you can, "accelerate" your payments to save thousands in interest costs over time, and shorten your 25 year mortgage to just over 22.

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If you are going to take out a mortgage you will be required to make regular payments until it is paid off. To determine what amount you will be paying and how often, there are four things that have an impact on your mortgage payments. 

Mortgage amount

To calculate this you take your home purchase price and subtract your down payment, and add any default insurance fees that apply. A larger down payment or less expensive home are two ways that you can alter the amount of your mortgage. 

Mortgage rate

Higher interest rates will equal higher mortgage payments. We'll always find you the best mortgage product and associated rate.

Amortization period

This is how long it will take to pay off the mortgage in full. The longer it is, the less your monthly payments are but the higher your total interest expense will be over time.

Payment frequency

A more frequent payment (i.e. twice per month instead of once per month) will affect the amount of the payment. It will NOT affect the total monthly equivalent amount of money you pay.

Frequency options

The payment schedule you choose impacts how much you pay each time. Here are the options when it comes to arranging payment frequency:

Monthly – mortgage payments taken out once per month for a total of 12 times a year.

Bi-weekly – payments that are taken out every two weeks for a total of 26 times a year. To figure out your bi-weekly payment amount, take the monthly payment, multiply it by 12, and divide by 26.

Accelerated bi-weekly – mortgage payments that are paid every two weeks but are slightly higher than regular bi-weekly payments. This frequency is also a total of 26 times per year. To figure out your accelerated bi-weekly payment amount, take the monthly payment and divided it by 2.

An accelerated bi-weekly payment equates to 2 extra, half-month payments per year, since there will be 2 months of the year where you have 3 payments come out instead of 2. The effect is a shorter amortization of just over 22 years (based on a 25 year amortization).

Weekly – payments that come out of a borrower’s account every week, which means there will be 52 payments in a year.

Accelerated weekly – mortgage payments that come out every week but are higher than regular weekly payments. There are 52 payments per year with this frequency option. To figure out your accelerated weekly payment amount, take the monthly payment and divide it by 4.

An accelerated bi-weekly payment equates to 4 extra, quarter-month payments per year, since there will be 4 months of the year where you have 5 payments come out instead of 4. The effect is a shorter amortization of just over 22 years (based on a 25 year amortization).

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