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What are 7-year mortgage terms?
What are fixed rates?
Are 7-year fixed-rate mortgages better than other terms?
Check out the best current mortgage rates
Jamie David, Business Director Mortgages
Taking out a mortgage is always a big commitment - your home is typically your largest asset, and your mortgage will probably be with you for decades. As a result, it's important that you find the right mortgage for your needs. Luckily, there are a lot of different types of mortgages in Canada!
The 7-year fixed-rate mortgage isn't the most common mortgage type, but it can be compelling for the right customer. Read on to understand what sets 7-year fixed mortgage rates apart and whether they're the right choice for you.
7-year fixed mortgage rates: Quick facts
- Mortgage rates are fixed over a 7-year term
- 74% of Canadians have fixed mortgage rates (Source: Statistics Canada)
7-year fixed mortgage rates explained
A 7-year fixed-rate mortgage is a relatively long mortgage term, with a rate that stays constant for the entire 7 year period. This means that whatever mortgage rate you're approved for at the start of your mortgage term will be with you for 7 years.
Of course, that can be a good or bad thing. If rates drop during your mortgage term, you'll end up paying more than you would have if you had a variable-rate mortgage. Alternatively, if your financial position gets better after a few years, you won't be able to requalify for a lower rate, which you might have been able to do with a shorter term. Conversely, rates could rise or your financial position could worsen, which would generally leave you better off than you might have been with a different mortgage.
Whatever mortgage you decide to apply for, there's some speculation required, which will open you up to more or less risk. That's why it's so important to fully understand the mortgage products available to you.
Pros of a 7-year fixed-rate mortgage
- Lets you lock in a rate for a long time
- Your mortgage payments will be steady for the entire mortgage term
- If market rates increase, you'll still pay your lower rate
Cons of a 7-year fixed-rate mortgage
- A long term gives you little flexibility to change your mortgage within your term
- If prime rates decrease, you'll be stuck paying a higher rate
- 7-year fixed rates are generally higher than 5-year fixed rates, which are more popular
- Breaking your mortgage early can result in significant prepayment penalties
Fixed vs variable mortgage rates
One of the biggest decisions you'll need to make when you apply for a mortgage is whether you want a fixed or variable mortgage rate. Fixed rates are set at the beginning of your term and remain steady for the entire term length, while variable rates will fluctuate alongside your lender's prime rate.
While a fixed mortgage rate lets you lock in a rate for a longer period of time, it means you won't benefit if your lender's prime rate drops. A longer term (like a 7-year term) also delays your renewal date, which is when you can renegotiate your mortgage if your financial circumstances improve.
Something else to consider is that historically, variable rates have tended to be cheaper for borrowers over the long term. Essentially, fixed rates see you trade flexibility and potential savings for certainty in your monthly payments. That's often a trade that's worth making, but you'll need to make that decision for yourself.
The bottom line
7-year fixed-rate mortgages are just one of the many options you have when you're looking to buy a home, so it's great that you've spent the time here learning a bit about them. If you're still a little confused as to which mortgage product is right for you, one of the best things you can do is to get in touch with a licensed mortgage broker for advice. Mortgage brokers don't charge consultation fees, as they're paid on commission. They can also help you get a better mortgage rate if you do decide to go ahead with a purchase.
Jamie David is the Business Director of Mortgages at Ratehub.ca. A graduate of the Systems Design Engineering program at the University of Waterloo, she has over 15 years of business, marketing, and engineering experience in the financial technology, banking, education, energy and retail industries. She has worked in top organizations like TD Bank, Trading Pursuits, Petro-Canada, and the TTC. Her passion for personal finance, investing, education, and business strategy brought her to Ratehub.ca where she heads a very talented, cross-functional team that is dedicated to providing Canadians with the best mortgage experience all the way through from online search to (keys-in-your-hand) funded mortgage.
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