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FAQS About Quebec Mortgages
  1. I have a 5 year term with my Quebec mortgage what does this mean?
  2. At the end of the term of my Quebec mortgage is the Quebec mortgage lender obligated to renew my Quebec mortgage?
  3. Does a Quebec mortgage lender charge a renewal fee?
  4. Should I take short-term Quebec mortgages or long-term Quebec mortgages?
  5. What is amortization? And what is the best amortization period to seek?
  6. What is a fixed rate Quebec mortgage?
  7. What are variable interest rate Quebec mortgages?
  8. What can I do if I have variable interest rate Quebec mortgage and interest rates start to rise?
  9. What is an open mortgage Quebec?
  10. What is a closed mortgage Quebec?
  11. Is there ever a good time to break my closed Quebec mortgage and pay the prepayment penalties?
  12. Are there always penalties when I switch my Quebec mortgage to another Quebec mortgage lender?
  13. If I see a dramatic change with a higher interest rate posted by banks should I immediately lock into a fixed rate Quebec mortgage?
  14. It is possible to negotiate a Quebec mortgage rate from a Quebec lender?
  15. O.K. so there is many reasons to use a Quebec mortgage broker, but what does that cost?
  16. Is there any other reason to use Quebec mortgage brokers?
  17. What is a high ratio or insured Quebec mortgage?
  18. When making a Quebec mortgage payment is it better to pay weekly or monthly?
  19. Is it important to insure my Quebec mortgage with life insurance and disability insurance?
  20. Well, would it not be easier to buy my insurance direct from the bank when I obtain my mortgage Quebec loan?
  21. If I have extra cash should I pay off my Quebec mortgage or buy a RSP?
  22. Does it make sense at my next Quebec mortgage renewal to increase my loan amount to buy RSPs?

Q I have a 5 year term with my Quebec mortgage what does this mean?
A Every Quebec mortgage has a start date and an end date. The end date is referred to the maturity date. The duration between the end date and start date is the term of your Quebec mortgage. You can choose terms of just 6 months, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10 or even a 25-year term. At the end of the term you can either pay off your Quebec mortgage or accept the lender's invitation to renew it for another term period of your choice.
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Q At the end of the term of my Quebec mortgage is the lender obligated to renew my Quebec mortgage?
A No. The lender is not under any obligation to renew your Quebec mortgage. It does not 'automatically' renew. In fact if you have 'missed' or been late with any payments the Quebec mortgage lender could use this as an excuse not to renew with you. A loss of a job or a divorce may be another reason. But, in truth, no excuse is necessary for the Quebec mortgage lender to call your loan.This can not be understated. For example, it is common for businesses to find their commercial mortgages NOT renewed for any reasonable reason at the end of term. And this may be no fault of the business that paid their mortgage payments on time. A bank could refuse to renew because they don't like the economic climate of a particular geographic area or even a type of industry a business operates in. Think about the hardships suffered! For this reason alone it is critical for businesses and homeowners to obtain a quote from a Quebec mortgage broker 60 to 90 days before their current mortgage matures. This way if your current Quebec mortgage lender does not offer you a renewal you have a backup lender in the wings. If you use a Quebec mortgage broker you will often benefit with a lower Quebec rate anyway.
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Q Do Quebec mortgage lenders charge a renewal fee?
A Often a Quebec mortgage lender will attempt to charge a renewal fee or tempt you to renew without a fee if you sign within a certain 'time offer' at their posted rates. Please keep it mind that if you use a Quebec mortgage broker it is very, very rare for you to ever pay a renewal fee. For all conventional residential Quebec mortgages there will not be a fee because the Quebec mortgage broker will shop the market for you and find a lender that doesn't charge a fee AND will beat your current Quebec mortgage lenders renewal rate!
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Q Should I take a short-term Quebec mortgage or a long-term Quebec mortgage?
A When interest rates are low you should take as long of a term as you can afford. When the interest rates are high you should take the shortest term and renew every 6 months or 1-year. Whenever the interest rate spread between short term and a long-term Quebec mortgage rates are significant it is always better to take the shortest term possible. The difference in savings could be invested elsewhere i.e. paying down your mortgage Quebec principal, investing in segregated funds or for topping up your RSP contributions. Currently, with such low rates most people are locking in for terms of 5 or even 10 years.
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Q What is amortization? And what is the best amortization period to seek?
A Your amortization is the total length of time it will take you to pay off your mortgage. Often when you first get a mortgage it is amortized over 25 years. If you make your mortgage payments over 25 years your mortgage will be paid off. However, your amortization period will not stay constant because different borrowing terms at each renewal vary the amount of interest charged over your amortization period. The length of time to pay off your mortgage will be determined by the interest charge, the loan amount and the amount of payment you make. You should first qualify for a 25-year amortization and then change the amortization down to 15 years by making a larger monthly payment. A 15-year amortization is a great goal for everyone. A good rule of thumb is to pay down your mortgage by at least 1% each year from the original amount. Make your monthly payment and add in this "top up" amount. It is the amount of 'extra' payments that you make that reduces your principal, which saves you, interest charges. Another rule of thumb, when interest rates are low, is to make your mortgage payments as large as possible in your monthly budget. If interest rates rise by next renewal keep your mortgage payments the same and ride out the high rates by taking shorter renewal terms. This way you will get in the habit of making the same larger mortgage payment over time and by doing so will save thousands in interest charges.
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Q What is a fixed rate Quebec mortgage?
A It simply means that for the term of your Quebec mortgage the interest rate charged is a fixed amount and does not change during the term of your Quebec mortgage. If you look at our rate comparisons you will see this distinction between fixed and variable Quebec rates.
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Q What is a variable interest rate Quebec mortgage?
A Compared to a fixed rate Quebec mortgage a variable interest rate 'floats'. Although the Quebec mortgage payment amount may stay the same the actual interest charged may change on a monthly basis. A drop in interest rates is great news for you and it will mean that more of your Quebec mortgage payment will go towards reducing your mortgage principle. If interest rates rise then less money will be used for reducing your principle and will instead be used for paying higher interest costs. If you think interest rates will fall over the next 3 to 5 years then purchasing a variable Quebec mortgage makes a lot of sense. With Quebec mortgages you pay a price for certainty. You generally pay more for a fixed rate Quebec mortgage because the lender is taking the risk as to what the rates will do by fixing the rate for you. You generally pay less for a variable rate mortgage because it is you that is taking the risk of uncertainty as to how interest rates will move - up or down. With low interest rates variable interest rate Quebec mortgages have become popular. Often it is possible to get a rate just over or under the bank prime rate!
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Q What can I do if I have variable interest rate Quebec mortgage and interest rates start to rise?
A Most variable Quebec mortgages give you the right to change to a fixed rate at any time. If you think the interest rise is not just a short-term fluctuation but will be a long-term trend then 'lock into' a fixed rate immediately. There is usually no charge for this great benefit.
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Q What is an open Quebec mortgage?
A An open Quebec mortgage gives you the most flexibility in making extra payments towards your mortgage principal and even lets you pay off your mortgage entirely whenever you wish to. If you have uncertainty in your life such as a serious illness, a looming separation or a possible job transfer to another city it is better to have an open mortgage. This way if you 'have to move' you can pay off your Quebec mortgage without any penalty. This could save you thousands in prepayment penalties. Warning! Not all-open Quebec mortgages are created equal. Check with a Quebec mortgage broker to see just how 'open' your Quebec mortgage is!
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Q What is a closed Quebec mortgage?
A Compared to open a closed Quebec mortgage offers little to no privileges in paying off your mortgage early. You can not pay off your Quebec mortgage without attracting penalties, called prepayment penalties, from the lender. Warning! Not all closed Quebec mortgages are created equal check with your Quebec mortgage broker as to how your prepayment penalties are calculated. The difference between one lender definition of penalty to another lender is enormous. Only people with very predictable lives should pick closed Quebec mortgages with long terms. And really, whose life is that predictable these days? Avoid long term-closed Quebec mortgages.
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Q Is there ever a good time to break my closed Quebec mortgage and pay the prepayment penalties?
A Yes! A good rule of thumb is whenever making a change will result in a 2% - 3% interest rate saving. This is so popular that it is even has a name - the 'break and run' strategy in the lending industry. The improved rate change will absorb any prepayment penalty over the next 5 years in any switch when the spread between the old rate and the new Quebec mortgage rate is great enough. Check with a Quebec mortgage broker as often he or she can find additional incentives or deals that reimburse some or all of your prepayment penalties. If you switch and keep your Quebec mortgage loan amount the same there are usually no legal fees involved - just a simple 'no fee' switch with the new lender.
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Q Are there always penalties when I switch my Quebec mortgage to another Quebec mortgage lender?
A No. If you switch from one Quebec mortgage lender to another at your renewal date there will not be any penalties whatsoever. If you switch before your maturity or renewal date there may be a penalty. If you have an open Quebec mortgage there probably will not be any charge. If you have a closed mortgage you will most likely have a cost. It is important to consult with a Quebec mortgage broker so that you can determine whether or not a 'break and run' strategy will work for you. Often your penalties can be minimized when a Quebec mortgage broker finds a new lender anxious for your business. A new Quebec mortgage lender will often assist with incentives to lure you over to them. Sometimes the incentive can be as high as a 3% cash back offer that can be used towards any prepayment penalties.
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Q If I see a dramatic change with a higher interest rate posted by banks should I immediately lock into a fixed rate Quebec mortgage?
A Absolutely not. Do not chase newspaper headlines but do ask yourself why a change is occurring and whether or not it appears to be a long-term trend or a short term 'blip'. For example, it is not uncommon to see a dramatic interest rate jump due to a constitutional referendum or a fear of a heated economy. But it is short lived. Ask your Quebec mortgage broker or another advisor such as certified financial planner for an opinion on this matter.
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Q It is possible to negotiate a Quebec mortgage rate?
A Yes! This is the whole point of using a Quebec mortgage broker. When you shop the market you will look at your newspaper for current mortgage rates or use ‘Ask an Expert’ of this site for a more complete summary of best-posted mortgage rates. This is what the Quebec mortgage lenders are posting as their best rates available. However, it is possible to then negotiate a further ½ % to a full 1% off the posted rate! If you try this yourself get it in writing. If you don't get your rate guaranteed in writing you may find out that a lender has 'amnesia' just before renewal and you may get stuck with a poor renewal rate. Ask for a letter of commitment to secure your rate. If you wish to shop to more than one bank it is wise to use a Quebec mortgage broker. When you use a Quebec mortgage broker there is only one credit report done. When you shop around at various lenders they all do one and this will effect your credit rating. Further, a Quebec mortgage broker knows where the deals are and the particular lending habits of the different Quebec mortgage lenders that would best suit your needs. He or she will find the best-posted rate and then negotiate to better your rate even further. The Quebec lenders know that when a Quebec mortgage broker is involved the deal will get placed and so they will actively bid to get it before a competitor does.
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Q O.K. so there is many reasons to use a Quebec mortgage broker, but what does that cost?
A For conventional residential Quebec mortgages there is no fee paid by you. Instead the lender pays a finders fee to the Quebec mortgage broker. For commercial properties a mortgage broker will charge fees but will always put this in writing before any work is commenced. In any case, ethics and laws bind a Quebec mortgage broker to state to you whether or not any fees will be charged and to put it in writing before any work is commenced.
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Q Is there any other reason to use a Quebec mortgage broker?
A It is less stressful for you. Quebec mortgage lenders like to pretend that Quebec mortgages are complex and can not be understood by ordinary people. People feel intimidated and rarely feel courageous enough to play hard ball with negotiation on prepayment penalties, open versus closed options, rates and flexibility for repayment. a Quebec mortgage broker plays hard ball for you with the lender and designs the best Quebec mortgage for you - and rarely charges you a fee for his or her services. What could be easier?
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Q What is a high ratio or insured Quebec mortgage?
A Whenever you need a Quebec mortgage loan that is 76% or greater of the current market appraised value of your home it is considered a high ratio or insured Quebec mortgage. If you are a first time home buyer then you can borrow up to 95% value and only need to come up with a 5 percent minimum down payment. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) insures the Quebec mortgage lender in case you default on your loan. You must pay for this insurance premium which is usually tacked on top of your loan. If the Quebec mortgage lender feels that you are still a risk for default even though you have paid more than 25% down the lender can insist that you insure the mortgage anyway. However, in this situation a Quebec mortgage broker would probably shop this mortgage to a Quebec lender that didn't insist on insuring. The fees for CMHC can be as high as 2.5% of the Quebec mortgage principal but is often not noticed by a borrower because of being added to your mortgage principal. Rates for a high ratio loan vary widely between Quebec mortgage lenders so it is best to use a Quebec mortgage broker to explore the best options for you.
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Q When making a mortgage payment is it better to pay weekly or monthly?
A It is not really the frequency that makes a real difference but how much you pay. An actuary could do the math and say that by paying weekly you are 'slightly' better off when comparing 12 monthly payments versus 52-week payments. There is a lot of advertising out there that promotes weekly but the difference is really not that significant. What is important is whether or not you are making an extra payment towards your principal with whatever frequency that you choose. Any extra payment towards your principal dramatically improves your amortization period. In fact a 10% increase in your payment amount may knock off almost 8 years in your mortgage. That is nearly ONE HUNDRED less monthly mortgage payments! Just imagine 100 mortgage payments that you don’t have to make! Think of the vacations you could go on! Think payment amount not frequency of payment.
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Q Is it important to insure my Quebec mortgage with mortgage life insurance and disability mortgage insurance?
A Yes. If one spouse dies, without coverage, the Quebec mortgage lender often will ‘call the mortgage‘, and that may mean losing the family home. It is hard enough to lose a loved one … but to also lose your home that you shared with your loved one? That is just too cruel. For a very small premium each month you can prevent a financial hardship situation from occurring.
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Q Well, would it not be easier to buy my mortgage insurance direct from the bank when I obtain my Quebec mortgage?

A We could go on and on about ‘why’ one should buy mortgage insurance from someone who offers coverage that can be ‘portable’ in the future whenever you switch Quebec lenders. But, instead, our first comment is ‘just get mortgage insurance now … if you don’t have it .. .protect yourself and your family from this preventable financial hardship that is created by death’. And please do it now. But for more information … instead of purchasing creditor insurance from the bank it is better to purchase private insurance from a licensed insurance agent or with group creditor insurance that includes a ‘portability‘ feature. Meaning, you can take your mortgage insurance with you … anytime in the future … even if you switch Quebec lenders. From a Quebec mortgage broker point of view, we are very concerned when your insurance is tied to your Quebec mortgage lender. What do you do if you want to switch to a more competitive Quebec mortgage lender at your next mortgage renewal? When you switch you will lose your creditor insurance. If you are unhealthy you may not qualify for another insurance plan elsewhere! This means you may be stuck staying with a lousy interest rate with the old Quebec mortgage lender just because you need to keep your mortgage insurance. This is poor planning that could cost you thousands of dollars. Keep the Quebec mortgage lender and your mortgage insurance separate from each other. Also, with creditor insurance once your Quebec mortgage is paid off it ceases to exist. There are many reasons why you may wish mortgage insurance coverage to continue for estate purposes and with ‘portable’ mortgage insurance you will have that option.
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Q If I have extra cash should I pay off my Quebec mortgage or buy a RSP?
A Assuming that you are already making a Quebec mortgage payment 10% greater than necessary and you still have extra cash then we would answer the following way 1: if interest rates are high then pay off your Quebec mortgage more with additional payments 2: if your investment returns are 2% lower than your Quebec mortgage rate then pay down your mortgage more 3: if you are in a low tax bracket then pay off your Quebec mortgage. And if you are part of the investment fund craze seeking higher investment returns consider purchasing segregated funds over mutual funds for similar returns but better financial safety. Or, invest in safe second mortgage investments (where the loan-to- value is not greater than 75% of the appraised value of the property)

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Q Does it make sense at my next Quebec mortgage renewal to increase my loan amount to buy RSPs?
A Absolutely. If you are in a high tax bracket and have not taken advantage of your RSP room it is an excellent opportunity for you to buy a large amount of RSPs and obtain a large tax refund. Your new RSP portfolio could even be used as an income splitting tool to transfer wealth to your spouse with a spousal RSP. You would get the deduction and your spouse would get investments accruing in his or her name. At retirement, you and your spouse would both draw out pension income that would taxed at a lower rate than if being claimed by only one pensioner. Finally, you could use the tax refund to pay down your Quebec mortgage even further.

 

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