If you’re considering breaking your fixed-rate mortgage to take advantage of a better rate, you know that comes with high financial penalties. However, there are other options that could save money without having to break your mortgage. One of those options is a blended mortgage.
A blended mortgage or a blended rate mortgage is a form of mortgage financing adjustment to your current mortgage. It blends your current mortgage interest rate with a lower interest rate on the new mortgage amount.
You still have your current mortgage but can secure an interest rate that is somewhere in between your old mortgage rate and the current rate your lender is offering. That way you don’t pay penalties and you could possibly save money with the lower rate. There are two types of blended mortgages: blend and extend, and blend to term.
Blend and extend is when you blend your already-existing mortgage rate with the lender’s currently offered rate while extending your mortgage term. So if you were halfway through a five-year term and negotiated a blended mortgage, you would secure the new rate but your term might be reset to another five years.
This option is good for someone who prefers stability with their payments for an extended period of time.
With blend to term, on the other hand, you still get the blended interest rate but your term isn’t extended. So if, for example, you have two years left in your term, that’s how long you will have your new blended interest rate for. This could result in a slightly higher rate because of the shorter term.
This option is good for homeowners who are confident mortgage rates might fall in the near future and want to take advantage of that.
The pros of a blended mortgage
- Access a lower interest rate. This is the primary reason for considering a blended mortgage. Opting for one could save you money over the term of your mortgage.
- Avoid prepayment penalties. You might have to pay some administrative fees to blend your mortgage but those will likely be lower than the costs associated with breaking a fixed-rate mortgage, which is either three months’ interest or the interest rate differential, whichever is the larger of the two.
- Unlock some home equity. You can tap some of the equity in your home when you refinance. You can use it toward something else, like home renovations or paying down a higher-interest debt.
The cons of a blended mortgage
- You can’t take it with you when you move. While some mortgages, depending on the contract, can be ported to a new home, blended mortgages can’t be ported or transferred.
- Could cost you more than breaking your mortgage. That’s why it’s always a good idea to calculate the numbers and decide if it’s actually cheaper to get a blended mortgage or to break the one you currently have, pay the penalties, and get a new mortgage.
- Interest rates can still go up. Our collective breath was taken away in July when the Bank of Canada announced a 1% increase to the overnight interest rate. In a rising-rate environment, a blended mortgage may not be as advantageous.
Whenever you’re in the market for a home, be sure to compare mortgage rates to ensure you’re getting the lowest rate possible for your situation.
As for whether a blended mortgage is right for you, it’s all about doing the math and figuring out which is less: getting a blended mortgage or paying the penalties for breaking your current mortgage and getting a new one.
Compare Mortgage Rates
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.