Mortgage Corner: Make the most of comparison shopping by asking these questions

Once you’ve made the decision to get a mortgage, it’s a great idea to look around and see what different mortgage providers are offering.  Generally speaking, you increase your chances of getting the mortgage that best suits your needs if you do some comparison shopping.  It’s important to make sure you read over the entire mortgage agreement and get any and all questions answered before signing any agreement.   (Also note: in Ontario if you are using a mortgage brokerage, broker or agent you are required to be given at least 2 business days to review the mortgage disclosure statement before you sign it, or before you make a mortgage payment, whichever is earlier).
So, you may ask, what questions should you be asking to get the most out of the process?  Most likely, you already have some questions; here are 9 questions you should add to your list (if they aren’t already on there!)  to get answered when speaking with mortgage providers.
  1. What type of mortgage is best for me?  You want to know if you should be getting a fixed, variable or adjustable rate mortgage OR an open, closed or convertible mortgage.
  2. Which mortgage features should I be looking for.  Options include; short or long mortgage term, short or long amortization period, frequent or less frequent mortgage payments, the ability to make prepayments or lump sum payments, or the option to transfer the mortgage to another home if you sell.
  3. How will different factors influence the total cost of your mortgage?  For example; frequency of payments and amortization.
  4. What options do you have if you can’t make a payment?  Find out if you can skip a payment a year or if you can apply any prepayments that you have made in past to the current payment due.
  5. What are the penalties for breaking your mortgage contract or renegotiating a new one?  If there are penalties exactly how are they calculated.
  6. Is there an extra fee for a late payment?
  7. Is there any way to change the size of the mortgage payments?
  8. What are the fees involved in the process of setting up, discharging or renewing the mortgage?  Find out how they are calculated.
  9. Is there any way to save on interest charges?


If you would like more information on the mortgage brokering industry in Ontario check out the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, they’re the agency responsible for overseeing the industry in Ontario.

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