What Is A Mortgage Term?

Your mortgage term is the number of years or months over which you agree to pay a specified interest rate and the lender commits to not changing it or asking for their money back (except in default of course). This also refers to whether it is an open or closed term.  The terms can be any of the follow:

  • 6 months, 1 to 10 years
  • Up to 25 years for secured lines of credit although fully open
  • A term that renews on a specific date the lender sets in the future e.g. could result in a 2 year 6 month term

The Term Can Be Open Or Closed:

  • Open: Even though a length of term is stipulated, you can pay it back in full with no penalty
  • Closed so a penalty is payable by you if you repay early

So How Do You Select The Right One For You?

First we have to determine which term you actually qualify for.  You may be limited to a 5 year fixed term based on recent legislation changes – if you want a 1 to 4 year term or a variable; you typically have to qualify at a much higher interest rate known as the benchmark rate…. This might reduce the amount you qualify for.  I can let you know your options.

Consider selecting your term based on the current trend for interest rates going up or down:

  • You may select a 5 year fixed term because rates are starting to go up and you want to “lock in” that lower rate
  • You may  select a shorter term if rates are expected to remain low and aren’t expected to rise

Consider selecting your term based on any expected changes in your income.  Maybe having a 5 year fixed term at the same rate and payment for the next five years makes more sense and better suits your needs now

Consider how long you intend to stay in this home, a question we asked earlier.  You might want to align the term with your future moving plans or even possible job relocation opportunities

You may be expecting to receive a large sum of money soon and want to pay your mortgage off in full or a large part.

Paying it in full before the term expires may result in a penalty if the term is closed, e.g. selecting say a 2 year term which is when you plan to pay it off in full will save you money and penalty costs!

If you are not sure what mortgage term you have on your current mortgage, I can always show you. I can be reached at 519-760-4391 or melissa@melissabendo.com.