Cutting out three bought coffees a week and putting the money on your mortgage instead could shave two years off a 30-year home loan and save $28,000 in interest, a research company says.
Canstar, which rates and researches financial products, says while home loan rates are rising there are still ways to save thousands of dollars on your mortgage.
Research by the company shows the average one-year fixed term rate is now 0.22 per cent higher than this time last year while the two-year fixed rate is on average 0.32 per cent higher.
Three- and five-year fixed term rates have moved up even more, with the average for the three-year now 0.43 per cent higher and the five-year average up 0.67 per cent.
The smallest increase was in floating home loan rates which have risen by an average of 0.13 per cent.
Jose George, general manager Canstar NZ, said although there had been lull in rate increases recently further rises could not be ruled out as banks still look to overseas capital to help fund the domestic mortgage market.
"This means it is becoming more important for home owners to look beyond simple rate comparisons to reduce the impact of interest on their loan.
"For many, a longer-term fixed rate loan may be an attractive option at this point in time."
For those who preferred floating loans even small increases in repayments could make a difference.
According to Canstar increasing payments by $12 a week, the equivalent of three coffees, could reduce a 30-year mortgage by two years for someone who owes $350,000.
George said those coming off a fixed-term home loan rate should negotiate with their provider or consider switching.
"There is no doubt that home owners have to work much harder now for a good deal then they did 12 months ago but careful decision making now can lead to significant savings over the life of a mortgage.
"It is more important than ever for home owners to stress test their debt repayment capabilities, research the market and shop around.
"Importantly, if a person does find themselves struggling with payments, it is critical they talk to their provider sooner rather than later. Early intervention can make a huge difference and minimise financial stress and worry."
Meanwhile, BNZ research has revealed that while New Zealanders might shrug off an $80 fortnightly increase by cutting back on luxuries, a $120 increase would mean people start to feel the pinch.
Its financial futures research found nearly one in three people would cut back on their utility costs such as petrol, heating and power and one in five would extend the term of their mortgage with that kind of increase.
Paul Carter, BNZ's director of retail and marketing says it's important people consider their options as the mortgage environment shifts.
"New Zealanders will still be enjoying some of the lowest rates in a generation. So it concerns me that too many people are jumping straight into what seems to be the easy option, which is a couple more years on the mortgage, especially when the changes we're talking about are small.
"BNZ, like most New Zealand banks, stress-tests people with mortgages at an interest rate higher than the current rates, so we know that budgets and incomes can manage rate rises much bigger than this."
Carter said home-owners should talk about what they would cut out of their budget if they were faced with increased costs.
"What are you prepared to make a small sacrifice on to either adjust to new rates or to proactively plan to reduce the interest you pay on your mortgage overall and cut the time it will take to pay it off?
"It's important to look at the big picture when it comes to finances, because a restructure or a slight tweak to your weekly budget or mortgage structure could have a big impact in the long run," Carter said.