Are you looking to pay off your mortgage early? Or refinance the terms of your mortgage at a lower interest rate? Maybe you sold your home and purchasing a new home, in which a mortgage transfer will apply. Whatever the case, you most likely will have to pay a mortgage break penalty set by your lender. Whatever the situation, our calculator will help you determine the cost to break your mortgage so you can be confident about your mortgage decisions.
If you decide to end your mortgage before the prescribed term is up, then you are "breaking" your mortgage contract. For example, if you are 3 years into your 5-year fixed rate mortgage, and you find out that a lender is offering a significantly lower interest rate, then it is possible to break your mortgage early to sign a new mortgage with the discounted lender. But be aware, deciding to break your mortgage before the mortgage term ends is usually associated with penalties.
The major difference is the penalties associated with a closed-term mortgage. With an open-term mortgage you can pay off the entire mortgage amount whenever you want. You still have to pay your principal and interest amounts every month but you can make additional payments without having to pay a prepayment penalty (A penalty associated with a closed-term mortgage). These benefits are great but most people usually opt-in for a closed-term mortgage agreement for a couple reasons. First, an open-term mortgage usually has a higher set interest rate. And since most individuals don't plan on paying off their mortgage early, they decide to go for the lower closed-term rate.
That being said, a closed-term mortgage is one that you take out for a specified amount of time. In Canada, the standard term is about 5 years. As mentioned, the main difference with a closed-term mortgage is you don't have the freedom to payoff your principal when you want. Some closed-term agreements allow you to pay off 10%-20% of principal once a year but outside of that, you will have to pay your lender a penalty fee for doing so.
This depends as there are many costs associated with breaking a mortgage. The most significant cost you will incure is from the prepayment penalty. Depending on your lender, the prepayment penalty may differ. We highly recommend going over your current mortgage contract or talking with an experienced mortgage broker to get advice before making any decisions.
The prepayment penalty will differ from lender to lender. But generally, there are two methods in calculating the penalty:
For breaking a variable rate mortgage contract, the penalty is usually 3-months of interest applied to the remaining principal of your mortgage at your currently set interest rate. This method also applies to a fixed rate mortgage, if the the 3-months of interest total is greater than the total gotten from the calculation described in method 2 below.
This method is applied to a fixed rate mortgage. The calculation is a bit more complicated. The penalty is the greater of either the total calculated by using Method 1, as described above, or the result of a calculation called the Interest Rate Differential (IRD). The IRD is the difference of interest that you owe to your lender for the remainder of your mortgage contract, calculated at two different rates. The first amount of interest owing is calculated at the non-discounted rate you originally signed your agreement. This is then subtracted by the amount of interest owing calculated at the closest posted rate your lender has at the current moment for the amount of time that is left on your agreement. For example, if you had 2 years left on your 5-year fixed rate, they would look up their most up to date 2-year fixed interest rate. We know, it's a bit confusing! Let us make it easier to understand by breaking it down into a scenerio:
You have a 5-year fixed rate mortgage with a current interest rate of 3.25%. Of those 5 years you have 3 years left on your agreement with a current principal value of $400,000. You decided to break your mortgage contract and so this is how the IRD is calculated.
If you are breaking your mortgage and staying with the same lender, then you do not have to worry about the stress test.
But whenever you apply for a mortgage with a new lender you will have to go through the process of passing the stress test again to ensure that you can afford your mortgage monthly payments. The interest rate the lender will use is either your mortgage rate plus 2% or the Bank of Canada (BOC) benchmark rate. Whichever is higher. If you don't pass, you will not be able to qualify for the new mortgage.
It depends on the context of the situation.
The context could be related to saving money. If you have a variable-rate mortgage and there is evidence mortgage rates will be rising in the future, then it might be smart to lock in at around your current rate if you have the option. Even if you don't save money right now, you will save money in the long run when rates go up and your fixed in at the lower rate.
Sometimes the context isn't about saving money but reducing financial stress. If your struggling with your mortgage payments, then amortizing your mortgage over a longer period of time to reduce your monthly payment might be a valid solution, even if the new mortgage rate is higher.
Ultimately, ask yourself why? This will help you figure out the context of your situation. Once you have done that, there are professionals, like mortgage brokers who can help you move forward with your plans.