What the Bank of Canada Increase Means for Mortgage Interest Rates
If you’re reading this blog, you likely already know that the Bank of Canada interest rate increased again on January 17, 2018, going up to 1.25 per cent. You likely also know that the Bank of Canada (BOC) interest rate hike affects all forms of debt — credit card, student loans, and, of course, mortgages.
But what you may not know is just what the BOC increase means for your mortgage interest rates. That’s where we come in.
Exactly how much the BOC interest rate increase will affect your mortgage depends on several factors. The first of these factors is what type of mortgage you have.
There are two types of mortgages: fixed-rate and variable-rate. Fixed-rate mortgages have a standard payment that is made every month. The payment amount stays the same for the duration of your loan agreement and you always know what you will pay and when. For those who already have a fixed-rate mortgage, the BOC interest rate hike likely won’t affect you unless it’s time for you to refinance your mortgage (more on that in a minute).
The second type of mortgage is the variable-rate mortgage. This is the mortgage type that is most immediately affected by increasing interest rates as the amount you pay monthly changes based on current interest rates. So, if you have a variable-rate mortgage and the BOC interest rate goes up by 0.25 per cent, your mortgage interest rate will be going up by 0.25 per cent. If you have a variable-rate mortgage, you may want to consider locking into a fixed-rate term instead. It’s still up for debate among economists how much money switching to a fixed-rate mortgage will save over the long run, but if interest rates continue increasing (which the BOC governing council has said they likely will) switching could result in bigger savings and, at the very least, a lot less stress.
There is, however, a scenario where a fixed-rate mortgage could still be affected by the increasing interest rates: mortgage renewal. When the BOC interest rate increases, banks follow by raising mortgage interest rates, so if you are renewing your mortgage, you may be affected by the increased interest rates. Canada’s new mortgage rules also affect mortgage renewals. If you’re renewing or refinancing your mortgage, you may be subject to a stress test to make sure you can afford your mortgage. One way you can prepare for the stress test is to create a cushion in your savings and budget to ensure you can afford these slight increases.
The combined interest rate increases and new mortgage rules could make it more difficult for potential homebuyers to purchase a house and obtain a mortgage from traditional big banks. There are other options available, though.
At DebtCare Canada, our financing programs offer financial help to people with all types of credit and income. When the bank says no, we say yes. We can help with first mortgages, second mortgages, home equity lines of credit, and more, even for those with bad credit. Learn more about our competitive financial programs by calling 1-888-890-0888 or visiting www.debtcare.ca.