BMO 2.99% No Frills mortgage needs another look.

It’s January 25, 2012… that’s the original deadline date issued by BMO for their NO FRILLs 2.99% 5 year fixed rate mortgage.   Since announcing that 2.99% rate, BMO has reportedly been flooded with calls and applications.  And rightfully so.  That’s the lowest advertised 5 yr fixed rate in history.  (we need to say thank you to BMO… they woke up the competition and the competition answered.. we have seen competitive offers from the non-bank lenders… no restrictions or limitations…   This is great news for the consumer.)

This product has also drawn some criticism…There was an interesting articles asking if this product was too good to be true….  click here to see what The Toronto Star thinks.

Let’s look at the restrictions and limitations more closely…    If you are 100% certain about the next 5 years in your life, your job, your health, your family’s health, then this may be a great product for you…. But if you look at the stats, we, as Canadians, on average refinance or change mortgages every 3 years…  With that in mind, the product can be very costly for the unsuspecting borrower….read on and I’ll explain…

I’m not too concerned with the limited prepayment privileges.   The biggest potential risk to borrowers is the inability to refinance outside BMO should they experience some financial problems in the next 5 years.   If a borrower runs into financial problems and needs to take the mortgage elsewhere, because they won’t qualify for a BMO refinance,  they can’t do it.  The mortgage can only be paid out if the house is sold…

An an even bigger problem is the BIG SIX penalty calculation…. let’s say you can somehow refinance in 2 or 3 years with BMO, or you do sell the house and are not porting the mortgage… well, now you must deal with a penalty calculation that makes you pay for the original discount you received at the time of the original mortgage….   And LOOK OUT…This is where we have seen penalties of 6, 9, 12, 14 and even 16 months worth of interest being charged by the Banks to get out of a mortgage..(click here to see how banks calculate their penalties).  (hey, Federal Government, didn’t you promise to standardize mortgage penalty calculation 2 years ago??… when is that going to happen?))

And if you need more money added to your mortgage, what assurance will you have that BMO or any other BIG SIX bank, will give you a good rate or a discount on those new monies?   None… they certainly won’t have to, given your penalty to exit would be higher than other non-bank lenders…    This subject is not talked about very much by the media or by the banks… We will be commenting on this further in future posts….  (hey, how about CIBC and that class action lawsuit over mortgage penalty charges??… I’ll be making some comments on this soon).

Here’s some advice… seek out Lenders that have better penalty calculations... they are out there… they just aren’t as obvious as the Big Six Banks… talk to a mortgage broker and get some comparisons…  you might be surprised to know that competitive rates exist without having to give up your future options…

One Response to “BMO 2.99% No Frills mortgage needs another look.”

  1. mortgage calculator Says:

    G’Day! Canadamortgagenews,
    Thanks for the info, 1. Short-term needs
    If you only need the money for a short period of time and then can repay the full balance, a home equity loan would probably be a better fit then a reverse mortgage. Why? Because a reverse mortgage is mostly for homeowners who do not intend to pay back the money they receive during their lifetime.
    Cheerio


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