Categories for Mortgage Rate Tips

Down Payment Assistance Programs Across Canada

So many young people want to build home equity and get out from under their landlord’s thumb. But they can’t. They don’t have the down payment to qualify for a mortgage. For many modest-income Canadians, saving up the 5 percent minimum down payment (or 20 percent if you want to avoid CMHC insurance) can take years—many, many years. While some...

Variable vs. ARM: One’s Not Better Than the Other

Many don’t realize that there are two flavours of floating-rate mortgages: The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) Its payment rises and falls with prime rate The variable-rate mortgage (VRM) Its payment doesn’t change when prime rate changes The only exception is when rates soar so much that you’re not paying all the interest. Then the payment generally rises to cover the interest...

Pay Your Variable Like a Fixed: A Strategy Check

A lot of people in the mortgage biz like to tell customers: “Pay your variable like a fixed.” In other words, increase the payment on your adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) to match the payment you would have made, had you chosen a 5-year fixed. The purpose of this strategy is to pay more up front so that if rates (and your...

The Bank of Canada May Do You a Favour

The market is betting on rates heading higher this Wednesday. That’s bad news for mortgage shoppers. Or is it? One could argue that a rate hike on July 11 makes the fixed or variable rate decision even easier. Essentially the Bank of Canada is doing mortgage shoppers a favour. Here’s why… Closer to the Finish The higher rates go, the...

Mortgage Renewals Now More Costly — For Those Least Able to Pay

One in four borrowers will renew their mortgage this year, estimates the Bank of Canada. Some of them are about to find renewing a whole lot trickier and potentially more expensive — thanks to two important rule changes: #1.  The Much-Publicized Stress Test As most of you now know, on January 1 the government (OSFI) made it harder to get...

Switch Tricks (For a Better Deal)

Big news here for people wanting to switch lenders with a mortgage that was previously refinanced. Until recently, it hasn’t been possible to move your mortgage to a new lender and get ultra-low default insured rates if you had previously refinanced that mortgage. That was due to an interpretation of the insurance rules implemented by the Department of Finance in 2016....

Who Offers Fixed-Payment Variable Mortgages?

Variable rates can present a catch-22. On the one hand, variables are almost always cheaper than most fixed mortgages. And they also let you capitalize on falling interest rates. On the other hand, when rates start climbing, so do your interest costs. That risk keeps a lot of people from even thinking about floating their mortgage rate. But it doesn’t have...

Get a Free Credit Report: Your Rate May Depend on It

Imagine this. You’ve just found the perfect house after weeks of searching. You’ve clawed together every available dollar for the down payment. You’ve gathered up all the necessary documents. And you’ve found an amazing mortgage rate on the Spy. But wait. What’s that? Your credit score has sunk to 645?!? Those two missed payments, 85% credit utilization and recent credit...

Low Rate or Low Borrowing Cost?

Would you rather have the lowest mortgage rate or the lowest borrowing cost? If you picked the latter, good for you. You’re mortgage savvy, and you’re in the minority. Check out this chart from a recent Manulife survey. Its findings show that the “interest rate” dominates all other factors when consumers pick a mortgage. That’s great news for a rate comparison...

No Rate Change Today

If you have a mortgage that floats with prime rate, the constant chatter about rate hikes may be unnerving. Well, now you can take a breather—because the Bank of Canada has taken a breather. The Bank left rates alone today and hinted that future rate hikes may be further off than economic forecasts suggested. If you had to sum up its announcement today in...