Canadians refinance their mortgage to lower their interest rate, access home equity or consolidate debt. It’s important to calculate the costs of refinancing. If you’re carrying high-interest credit card debt that has caused your cash flow to slow to a trickle, you owe it to your financial future to have a conversation about how you can roll that debt into your mortgage so you can save – sometimes thousands in interest – and start building wealth.
Worried about penalties? Don’t think it can make much difference? Think again. Using today’s historically low mortgage rates, you have a golden opportunity to give yourself a tremendous financial boost. By using your home equity to consolidate your debt, you can improve monthly cash flow, have one easy payment, and be mortgage-free quicker.
You could decrease your mortgages interest rate! The interest rate on your mortgage is tied directly to how much you pay on your mortgage each month–lower rates usually mean lower payments. You may be able to get a lower rate because of changes in the market conditions or because your credit score has improved. A lower interest rate also may allow you to build equity in your home more quickly.
Determining your eligibility for refinancing is similar to the approval process that you went through with your first mortgage. Your lender will consider your income and assets, credit score, other debts, the current value of the property, and the amount you want to borrow. If your credit score has improved, you may be able to get a loan at a lower rate. On the other hand, if your credit score is lower now than when you got your current mortgage, you may have to pay a higher interest rate on a new loan.
Lenders will look at the amount of the loan you request and the value of your home, determined from an appraisal. If the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio does not fall within their lending guidelines, they may not be willing to make a loan, or may offer you a loan with less-favorable terms than you already have.
If housing prices fall, your home may not be worth as much as you owe on the mortgage. Even if home prices stay the same, if you have a loan that includes negative amortization (when your monthly payment is less than the interest you owe, the unpaid interest is added to the amount you owe), you may owe more on your mortgage than you originally borrowed. If this is the case, it could be difficult for you to refinance.