A Prepayment is the payment of an account before it is due. Many types of debts can be settled in advance through a prepayment.
The type of debts that can be settled through prepayment is, for example, rent and insurance must be prepaid ahead of their start dates. People can also make prepayments on their credit card balances before the bill comes due which keeps interest payments down.
A mortgage prepayment is when an extra payment is made on your mortgage. Prepayment means that the money will go directly toward reducing the balance on the mortgage. Mortgages are structured over life of the loan for instance 30 years. This monthly payment is fixed, which means it will not change over the life of the loan. However, the interest portion of each monthly payment and the part of the monthly payment that goes towards the principal will vary each month. When a prepayment is made, that money goes directly to the principal of the mortgage, which helps pay the mortgage down faster.
Mortgages, however, impose a penalty for prepayments. The penalty usually only applies when paying off the entire balance for example during a refinancing. Buyers are usually able to make intermittent prepayments without penalty.