Interest rates are still near record low levels. You’ve heard your co-workers, friends or family brag how lucky they were to renew into these once in a lifetime rates.
But how you do you take advantage? If you break your fixed rate mortgage then you face an enormous prepayment penalty…we’ve seen reports of $10k, $15k, $20k and even $30k in penalties….Wow!
Well, here’s a few tips…
-first, if you are in a 10 year fixed rate mortgage, and your are at least 5 years into the term, then the maximum penalty is 3 months interest (this is a little known fact… Section 10 of the Interest Act of Canada).
-One more way to reduce the penalty is to utilize the annual prepayment privilege that’s within the mortgage. Most mortgages have between 15% and 25% prepayment privileges which equates to a 15% to 25% reduction in the penalty….
-negotiate the penalty in combination with an extension on your current term..this requires some discussion with your current lender and you should seek the help of a mortgage broker…if the lender wants your business they may be able to offer some incentive to stay.
-another situation where the lender cannot charge any penalty is if the mortgage goes into default and the lender issues a Notice of Sale (legal action to collect the mortgage)…. of course, I”m not suggesting that anyone default on their mortgage.
-last but not least, stay away from the BIG SIX BANKS and any other Lender that has the same inflated prepayment penalty calculation. It’s the BANKS that are charging and getting away with these inflated penalty formulas. So don’t be too comfortable with your Bank just because they are on every street corner… You don’t need to contribute to their profits!
Our best piece of advice is this… don’t take the lender’s penalty calculation at face value… penalty calculations have changed and most bankers couldn’t tell you how the penalty is calculated if you asked them. Always review the penalty with an unbiased party… speak with your mortgage broker or lawyer…enjoy the weekend!
Your best interest is my only interest.
As always, I welcome your comments, calls and questions.
Steve Garganis 416 224 0114 email@example.com