If you have at least 20% equity in your home and have a couple of mortgages under you belt, you may want to consider having a closer look at a mortgage that works like a bank account. The main benefit of this type of mortgage is that you are able to deposit your pay directly into your mortgage account. What this does is automatically accelerate the payment on your mortgage thereby decreasing the amount of interest that you pay.

It’s thinking about your mortgage as a financial tool, rather than a liability.

This type of mortgage works best if you have a family budget. Essentially you would deposit your pay directly into your “mortgage account”. You can then set up a separate account that has a pre-set amount that you can use as your family operating account for things such as groceries and other incidentals.

Be wary of mortgages such as the Manulife One mortgage. Many financial planners have access to this mortgage and sell it as a part of their financial planning package. Understand that financial planners are essential in helping you plan your assets, but not necessarily pros when it comes to helping you manage your liabilities. I work in conjunction with several financial planners to help their clients determine the best mortgage that will fit their short- and long-term plans. The Manulife One mortgage is a great tool, but overspending is often a problem with this mortgage. As a mortgage broker we’ve helped people get out of this mortgage because what they’ve found after a few years is that they’re not paying down the principal on their mortgage and the balance is about the same as when they started.

If you’re talking to your financial planner now (I’m sure you are, given the state of the stock market and the economy), you may want to ask them if they could refer you to someone who could show you how to use your mortgage in a way that can benefit you financially.