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A fixed-rate mortgage is a loan with an interest rate that does not fluctuate with the market. The interest rate for these mortgages will stay the same even if the market rate goes up or down. Fixed-rate mortgages are offered in six to 10 years terms.
The mortgage term is the length of the mortgage agreement with a specific lender. For example, a 3-year fixed-rate mortgage or a 4-year fixed-rate mortgage. Your mortgage obligation with the lender ends at the end of the mortgage term, at which point you can choose to renew the mortgage, refinance with another lender or sell the house outright.
Each time you make your mortgage payment, part of it pays down the loan, reducing the balance owing, and part pays the interest on the loan.
The breakup of your every payment between paying down the loan and paying the interest will be outlined in the loan’s amortization schedule. The schedule will also show a summary of the loan balance at the end of the time and the total interest that will be paid over the mortgage term.
It is important to review your amortization. This can help you stay on track with your mortgage payments and plan for the future.
A fixed-rate mortgage offers a level of financial security for homeowners since its interest rate is shielded from any fluctuation in the market for the entire loan duration. This means the amount paid toward the mortgage each month will not change, even if the market interest rates do. This predictability helps in planning and budgeting your monthly expenses with more confidence.
Fixed mortgage rates between lenders can differ by a few basis points, which cost you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. That is why comparing rates from different lenders is essential to find the best possible mortgage rate available.
Luckily, approvU provides an easy way to search and compare mortgage rates from over 25 different lenders, including top banks like TD and local credit unions like YNCU, all in one convenient platform.
Here are the key characteristics of a fixed-rate mortgage:
By understanding these characteristics of a fixed-rate mortgage, you can determine whether this type best fits your financial situation and goals.
The interest rate for this mortgage type remains the same throughout the life of the loan.
Because of its fixed interest rate, the payments and expenses of fixed-rate mortgages are stable and predictable regardless of changes in the overall market interest rates.
In Canada, fixed-rate mortgages typically have a term of 1-10 years, most commonly being 5-year terms.
You can renew the mortgage for another term or pay off the outstanding balance in full at the end of the mortgage term.
While fixed-rate mortgages often have higher interest rates than variable-rate mortgages, they provide borrowers with peace of mind and protection against interest rate fluctuations in the market.
Depending on your financial situation and goals, you can choose between a closed or open fixed-rate mortgage. A closed fixed-rate mortgage restricts prepayment and early payout, while an open fixed-rate mortgage allows borrowers to make prepayments or pay off the mortgage in full without penalties.
A fixed-rate mortgage offers several advantages, including.
A fixed-rate mortgage can provide greater predictability, stability, and security in your finances, making it a popular choice for many homeowners.
While fixed-rate mortgages offer several advantages, they also have some potential disadvantages, including
Overall, fixed-rate mortgages can be a good choice for homeowners who value predictability and stability in their finances. However, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks, such as higher interest rates and less flexibility, before making a final decision.
A fixed-rate mortgage is dependable if you want to avoid the uncertainty of market rate fluctuations. It offers stability, predictability, and protection against market fluctuations. It is a safe and reliable option for those who value these features.
Being less complex, this mortgage type can also be a better option if you are venturing into the mortgage for the first time or have limited mortgage knowledge.
Moreover, a fixed-rate mortgage is a favourable choice in a low-rate environment, as you want to secure the low rate before it increases. For instance, during the heart of the COVID-19 crisis, banks were offering fixed-rates as low as 1.25%. Less than 12 months after that rate bottom, those same mortgages are now offered at 6% and over high-interest rates.
A 6-month fixed-rate mortgage is the shortest fixed-term and comes in open-term and closed-term options. The interest rate for this mortgage type is guaranteed or fixed for the 6-month mortgage.
The open-term allows you to pay off part or all of the mortgage anytime during the six months without paying prepayment charges.
In contrast, a closed-term 6-month mortgage does not allow you to prepay part or all of the mortgage before the end of the term without incurring a prepayment penalty.
This fixed-rate mortgage term may be a good option if you expect a significant payout or lump income and plan to make a huge payment into the mortgage account. Real estate investors and house flippers often use this type of mortgage.
Overall, a 6-month fixed-rate mortgage provides a short-term fixed-rate option for those who want to minimize interest costs and have a clear plan to pay off their mortgage quickly.
A 1-year fixed-rate mortgage is another short-term fixed-rate option. Your rate and mortgage payment are guaranteed for the one-year term. It can be a great option if your goal is to minimize interest costs.
Most likely, the mortgage will automatically be converted to a 6-month variable-rate open mortgage if it is not paid out or renewed before the end of the one-year term.
1-year fixed-rate mortgages are a popular choice for most Alternative or Subprime borrowers. This mortgage term is often used as a temporary solution. At the same time, the borrower works on improving their credit and income situations and ultimately hopes to move over to a prime mortgage for a better interest rate and conditions.
A fixed-rate mortgage is a popular type that offers a guaranteed rate for the two years term, regardless of any market rate fluctuations. If you want consistency and predictability in your mortgage for the next two years, then this term option might be the right choice.
By understanding the details of the 2-year fixed-rate mortgage, you can make an informed decision that suits your budget and financial goals.
If the 1-year or 2-year fixed-rate mortgage terms are too short and the 4-year or 5-year terms too long, then a 3-year fixed-rate mortgage may be the ideal option. This term gives you enough time to settle in and assess the market before considering mortgage renewal. A 3-year fixed-rate is typically lower than a 5-year fixed-rate on comparable mortgages.
Overall, a 3-year fixed-rate mortgage balances short-term flexibility and long-term stability. By understanding the benefits and drawbacks of this mortgage term, you can make an informed decision that suits your budget and financial goals.
A 4 years fixed-rate mortgage is another medium-term mortgage which could be the right option if you find a one or two years term too short. This term provides a balance between short-term flexibility and longer-term stability.
This mortgage term provides enough time to settle in and assess the market before your mortgage expires.
Additionally, the mortgage rate for this term mortgage is often lower than the regular 5-year term because of its shorter duration.
Many B-lenders do offer 4-year term mortgages. Therefore, you can enjoy the benefits of this term mortgage even with a bad credit score or self-employed income.
The 5-year fixed-rate mortgage is the most popular mortgage term, offering five-year stability and predictability. Regardless of market rate changes, your mortgage payment remains fixed over five years.
It is generally believed that it takes an average of five years to get a reasonable return on investment for buying a house over renting. This type of fixed-rate mortgage provides you with enough time to enjoy a stable payment, making it a better choice if you have no plans to refinance your mortgage or sell your property in the near future.
Although most people are familiar with 5-year or lower-term mortgages, a 7-year fixed-rate mortgage is also available. This term offers more rate security than a 5-year fixed but without the higher rate of a 10-year term.
The good thing with these longer-term mortgages is that you still enjoy the benefits of refinancing the mortgage after five years into the term without getting penalized. However, if you plan to refinance your mortgage sooner than five years into the term, a 7-year term mortgage may not be the right choice.
A 10-year fixed-rate mortgage provides you with the stability and predictability of having fixed payments over a more extended period. However, this longer-term interest rate security comes at a much higher mortgage rate. You also need to watch out for penalties if you need to refinance or sell your home before the end of the term. With these factors and your financial situation, you can determine whether a 10-year fixed-rate mortgage is right.
Like with other mortgage terms, you can renew the mortgage or refinance it with a new lender at the end of your 10 years term.
A fixed-rate mortgage and an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) differ in their payment plans.
An ARM provides more flexibility but usually has higher monthly payments that can change over time. A fixed-rate mortgage provides stability and predictability by offering the same monthly payments over a certain period.
While a fixed-rate mortgage is a good option for some people, it does have some downsides. For instance, you may have less flexibility when refinancing your home loan or buying additional properties.