Have you bumped up your mortgage payments lately? If you’re like the majority of mortgage holders, probably not.

According to the Spring 2012 CAAMP/Maritz survey, 60% of current mortgage holders have never increased their payments – and 67% have never made lump sum payments.

With mortgage rates at record lows – lows that we’ll likely never see again – you’re missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shave years off your mortgage if you’re not taking advantage of your lender’s prepayment privileges.

Most lenders will allow you to make an annual lump sum payment of up to 25% of the original mortgage amount. Likewise, you can increase your regular payments by 25% per year as well. You don’t have to take full advantage of the 25%, either – any extra payments are payments that are going straight towards your principle.

So the next time you come into some extra cash – whether it’s a raise, a bonus, a tax return, or something else – put a portion of it towards your mortgage first. Your future self will thank you.