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The search for the right mortgage can make a person feel a bit like Goldilocks; on the hunt for something that is not too short, not too long, but just right.
Mortgage experts will tell you that the down-payment, the length of the amortization, the term you choose, and pre-payment options, as well as the interest rate, are all important factors when it comes to paying off your mortgage as quickly as possible.
Choosing a fixed-rate allows you to lock-in a set mortgage payment each month for the length of the term (e.g. 5 years), without worrying about fluctuations in the bank’s prime rate or the Bank of Canada’s overnight rate.
Choosing a variable rate is an interest rate that fluctuates over the life of the loan. The rate is often tied to an index that reflects changes in market rates (e.g. prime interest rate). A fluctuation in the rate causes changes in either the payments or the length of the loan term. Limits are often placed on the degree to which the interest rate or the payments can vary.
Amortization is the estimated number of years it will take to pay off your mortgage entirely. The longer your amortization is, the lower your mortgage payments will be, but the higher the total amount of interest you’ll pay over the life of the mortgage. An amortization schedule is often used to show the amount of interest and principal for a loan with each payment.
A mortgage term is where you have agreed to a certain interest rate and a specified payment schedule for a period of time. At the end of your term, also known as renewal, you can agree to a new interest rate and payment schedule, or you can pay off your mortgage.