Of Prime Interest: Time for a mortgage financial check-up

Situations in your life change, and it’s important to assess how that can or will impact your mortgage.

  • Dec. 7, 2013 7:00 p.m.

While about 80 per cent of Canadians visit a doctor at least once a year for a health check-up, that figure is far less for those who review the financial health by their mortgage.

Plenty can change during a standard five-year mortgage payment period between interest rate adjustments—a career change, kids, retirement, newfound money.

Managing your financial lifestyle is just as important as managing your diet and exercise.

People often just wait for a renewal letter before looking at their mortgage, and even then they’ll send the contract back thinking it is futile to consider changing terms or providers.

Consumers tend to become complacent about their mortgage payments when they could have an opportunity to save money.

Interest rate changes tend to be most visible variable.

You’re making a commitment to be mortgage-free in 25 years so you should have a longer term view of what interest rates will look like over that period

As well, an existing mortgage can pay for home renovations, or to consolidate debt.

If you’re buying a new home, you may be able to use your current mortgage. A mortgage can also help you become more tax efficient if you’re thinking of investing in a business, buying a rental property or putting some money into mutual funds or the stock market. That’s because the interest paid on money borrowed on a principal property can be written off against revenue from those investments.

Situations in your life change, and when they do it’s important to assess how that can or will impact your mortgage.