At mortgage renewal time, it is important to keep in mind that all financial institutions are about making a profit. Unfortunately, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), between 60-70% of Canadians ignore this at mortgage renewal time and sign the letter and mail it back without taking time to review their options. A bank isn’t going to automatically drop your interest rate from 6 to 5% just because your credit score has improved. This is why it is so important to shop around before you renew.
If you want to make sure you are getting the best rate you can, it is a good idea to contact a mortgage broker. Brokers have access to the lowest rates, and once you have their quote, you can call the original financial institution and notify them that if they do not match the rate, you will leave. Typically, a lender will match the rate, and may even beat it. If your lender chooses not to match, then it is time to leave. A reduced interest is simply too important to ignore as the savings can add up to many thousands of dollars over the term of your loan and can also reduce your monthly payments.
One of the best things about renewal is that it is free, meaning there are no penalties for renewal. In some cases; however, a renewal requires a new appraisal which can costs between $300-600. As long as you have a clean credit history, and have made all your mortgage payments on time, the financial institution granting the loan should take care of this. In addition, there is also a $100-200 discharge fee that confirms you have a new lender. You are not responsible for this.
Note: If you have credit problems you may be responsible for mortgage renewal costs, if you are in doubt contact your lending institution to be sure.