Mortgage Types

Open Mortgages

If you want to make large payments on your mortgage or pay off the entire mortgage without penalty, then an open mortgage is for you. An open mortgage offers maximum flexibility. These homeowners are willing to accept some fluctuation in the interest rate for the flexibility of paying off the entire mortgage before the term is complete.

It is important to keep in mind that most regular mortgages will allow homeowners to make lump sum payments of up to 20% of the entire mortgage once a year without penalty. These are often called privilege payments. That payment goes directly towards paying down the principal of the amount borrowed. You may therefore not need an open mortgage, with higher interest rates, to make additional payments.

Closed Mortgages

A closed mortgage is a commitment with a pre-determined interest rate, over a pre-determined period of time. A buyer who uses a closed mortgage will likely have to pay the lender a penalty if the loan is fully paid before the end of the closed term.

With a closed mortgage, the interest rate will not change over the length of the term and the length of the term will not change. Payment amounts are predictable and the principal amount owing at the end of the term is predictable.

Closed mortgages generally have lower interest rates than open mortgages. Most closed mortgages will allow the homeowner to make a payment up to 20% of the entire mortgage once a year without penalty. This payment goes directly toward paying down the principal of the amount owing.

Convertible Mortgages

A convertible mortgage is an agreement made at the beginning of a term that allows homeowners to change the type of mortgage they hold during its term. If a homeowner wants to start with an open mortgage and then lock into a closed mortgage, a convertible mortgage is the right choice. It offers lower rates than an open mortgage, and has the option of switching to a closed term.

Reverse Mortgages

This type of mortgage allows older consumers to convert their home equity into monthly cash payment(s), generally for living expenses. A homeowner's equity is gradually drawn down by a series of monthly payments from the lender to the homeowner - the borrower. At the end of the loan period, or upon the death of the borrower, the loan balance is due, which is usually settled by the heirs who sell the property to meet the outstanding obligation