Educational Videos

How to Pay Off Your Mortgage in 3 Years

Sean Cooper was able to pay off his mortgage in just 3 years and is the best selling author of “Burn Your Mortgage”. We invited Sean to the Smarter Loans studio so he can share how he was able to pull off this impressive feat. Watch this story to learn valuable lessons you can apply to your own mortgage situation and pay it off much faster.


Sean Cooper, author of “Burn Your Mortgage”:

When I started saving for a house, I guess it was when I got my first job at, like, eighteen years old. I always got into the good habit of putting money aside so I really started ramping that up once I graduated from university and I ended up graduating debt-free since I worked throughout university. So that’s really what enabled me to ramp up my savings and I as early as 2010 I wanted to buy a property.


Eventually in August 2012 I finally got the property of my dreams and after almost three years of searching for a property it was finally over. That was definitely a big moment for me and one that I remember to this day. Originally I was just going to live upstairs like everyone else but then I got the idea after watching a real estate TV show. The host lived in the basement of his house for nine years and then it really helped set him up financially going forward so I’m like ‘well why don’t I do that myself?’ So I did the math. I mean I could have rented out the basement back then I could probably get about $800 and but if I could rent out the upstairs I could get double that amount, $1,600, so it’s all about a numbers game and I knew it was kind of short-term pain for long-term gain.


In terms of side hustles I would say writing really helped me come up with the extra money, I did money coaching as well. Once I was doing all this extra side work it was just so motivating to see the money that I was putting down on the mortgage and to see how quickly the mortgage balance was coming down. Because I was able to earn all that extra money my full-time job would basically go to paying all the expenses of the house in the basic mortgage payment and any extra money that came in I would just basically do lump sum payments on the mortgage.


I understand that not everyone can pay off their mortgage in three years but the key message in my book is that just because your mortgage has an amortization of 25 or 30 years which is how long a lender expects you to pay it off and doesn’t mean you have to take that long. Just by putting extra money against your mortgage you could cut the amortization down and pay it off sooner. I mean it doesn’t have to be three years like me but perhaps you can pay your mortgage off in 20, 15, 10 or 5 years. If it makes sense for you and it’s important for for you if you have some extra money just prioritize that item. Put at least some of it against the mortgage and it can definitely pay dividends down the road.


Funny enough, I was just going to tear my mortgage papers up but then CBC said I had to do something big for the camera, I had a speech prepared and then held my mortgage papers up in the air, lit them on fire and said ‘ding-dong mortgage is dead’. It was a big moment for me and it felt like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders and it’s still a day that I remember to this day.


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