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Most mortgage terms in Canada don't exceed 10 years, but of course there are exceptions. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate is one of them, and means that your interest rate is locked in for a full 15 years.
It's very rare for a borrower to choose a 15-year fixed mortgage since a minority of people under the age of 50 remain in their home for that long. That significantly increases the likelihood of needing to break the mortgage early, which would entail a potentially large prepayment penalty.
This term is one of the longest in Canada and is currently only offered by Sunrise Credit Union in Manitoba.
There are very few people who would opt to lock in a rate for 15 years, aside mostly from investors. But one of the benefits of an extra-long mortgage term is the security of knowing that the mortgage payment and interest rate will remain stable for the duration of the term.
The downside of locking in a rate for such a long period is the rate premium. That long-term price stability comes at a steep price compared to the lowest rates currently available for shorter terms. The premium for a 15-year fixed mortgage can be more than two percentage points higher than the best 5-year fixed rates, for example, which translates into much more interest being paid out over the term.
Engaging a mortgage broker before renewing can help you make a better decision. Mortgage brokers are an excellent source of information for deals specific to your area, contract terms, and their services require no out-of-pocket fees if you are well qualified.
Here at RATESDOTCA, we compare rates from the best Canadian mortgage brokers, major banks and dozens of smaller competitors.