A fixed mortgage offers you the security of locking in your interest rate for the term of your mortgage, so you know exactly how much principal and interest you will be paying on the mortgage during the term. Terms range from 6 months to 10 years. Fixed rate mortgages offer some form of pre-payment, from 10% to 25% of the original mortgage balance each year, depending on the lender. If you wish to pay off your mortgage in full, there will be a penalty of either 3 months simple interest, or an Interest Rate Differential (IRD). The benefit of this mortgage is the rate is lower than an open mortgage, making it a more popular option if you have no plans to pre-pay it in full during the term you select.
A variable-rate mortgage allows you to take advantage of today's low Prime Rate. Most variable rate products are set below prime, terms range from 1 to 5 years. Payments vary depending on the product or lender you choose. In some cases you can fix your payments for up to 5 years, but the interest rate will fluctuate as the Bank Prime Rate changes. In other cases your monthly payments will fluctuate depending on how many times the Prime Rate changes during your term.
An open mortgage allows you the flexibility to pay off some or the entire mortgage at any time, without penalty. Interest rates are usually higher and are tied to the Bank's Prime Rate.
A secured line-of-credit allows you to access the equity in your home whenever you choose. Rates are tied to prime, usually slightly above prime. Required payment on the balance is interest only, making it a good choice where cash flow may be important. Lower interest rates compared to an unsecured line of credit. You may have a secured line of credit and a mortgage, if you have good equity in your home.
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