Making an extra payment in January, December or some other month is more challenging than paying a little extra each month, but the benefits are the same, Rogoszinski says.
"The faster you get rid of your debt, the more cash flow you have, the more things you can do," she says. "I don't think there is ever a wrong time to do that."
One way to make that extra payment less painful is to make payments every two weeks instead of every month. The result is 26 half-payments instead of 12 full payments. McIntosh says biweekly payments can knock approximately six years off a 30-year term, as long as the extra amounts are applied to principal.