First you have to decide if paying off your mortgage early is the best thing for you. It depends. If you are the kind of person who spends all the available money you have, then locking that money up in your home might be a good savings strategy. On the other hand, if you highly disciplined with money, maybe you could get better investment results without putting money into your home. For most people a moderate approach is best. Just pay off some extra on your mortgage as you go, and you will end up paying off the mortgage earlier, saving you a bundle.
There are several strategies for actually paying down the principal once you have decided to do it: 1. Pay a certain amount extra every month. Putting an extra $100 into your mortgage each month can shave years off the mortgage. Try rounding your regular payment up to the nearest $100. 2. Save up you money and make a big payment against your mortgage principal every year. 3. Move to bi-weekly payments. You make a half payment every two weeks which results in 26 half payments a year. This is the same as 13 full payments, so you are making an extra payment painlessly every year. 4. Use the haphazard approach and make a big payment against your mortgage whenever you can. Or 5. Just find you the remaining principal and pay it all off in a lump sum.
If you use any of these strategies, be sure to notify your lender that any surplus payments should apply to the mortgage principal.