If you’re one of the many Canadians that have a mortgage coming up for renewal this year, chances are—in the coming weeks or months—you’ll receive a call from your lender. Here are a few things you may want to ask when you find yourself on that call:
- What is my existing rate—and what are you prepared to offer me?
Actually, you probably won’t have to ask this since it’s the purpose of the call. But you may want to have a pen and paper handy to jot the information down. Now would also be the time to get a refresher on your existing mortgage’s features—is it open or closed? Portable? Does it allow for lump sum payments without penalty? This information will come in handy later.
- How long do I have to decide?
A mortgage term is a big decision—and definitely something you can’t decide on the fly. If your lender is offering you a special rate to renew (ahead of the lock-in period) find out how long it will be on the table. Alternatively, you will probably want to touch base with them about 60 days before renewal, when they’ll be willing to lock in a rate for you.
- What other rates are out there?
Very rarely do you get the best rate when you opt to blindly renew with your existing lender—but it does happen. Take some time to either research existing mortgage rates (making sure to compare similar mortgage products) or contact your mortgage broker to find out what’s out there. They’ll be able to further evaluate your current mortgage needs and suggest some alternative options.
Whatever you do, don’t let your mortgage lapse! By marking your renewal date in your calendar—and taking some proactive measures—you may be able to save significant money in the years ahead.