Paying more for your mortgage?
I know it's not easy after enjoying such low interest rates for such a long time, but there may be some ways to manage it.
If you're in an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (also sometimes called a Variable Rate Mortgage with a non-static payment), you have likely noticed that your payments have started to rise with the Bank of Canada rate increases/increases to Prime Rate.
First, before you panic about rates rising and whether you will be able to make your payments, try to remember that, for the past 2-4 years, all mortgage borrowers have had to qualify for their mortgages based on the mandatory Government "stress test". This means that, despite some of the record low interest rates that we have actually been paying over the past few years, borrowers have been forced to show that they will be able to make the payments if rates were to rise as high as 4.89-5.25%, using approximately 40-44% of their income to pay for mortgage and non-mortgage debt. If you got a mortgage in the last 4 years, then you passed this test. Granted, I know this calculation does not include a number of factors such as daycare costs (for some of you), gas prices, and the overall increase to the cost of living lately, but hopefully it's a tiny bit comforting to know that *on paper* you should hypothetically be able to make the payments based on 40% of your pretax income, leaving 60% of your income for those other expenses and taxes.
If that's not comforting (I tried!), here are a few ideas to help you minimize/manage your mortgage payments:
Just one more note: if you're in a Variable Rate Mortgage (with a static payment), your payment may not have risen automatically. However, if paying off your mortgage is your goal, you may want to think about increasing your payment (if you are able to), since more of your mortgage payment is now going towards interest instead of paying your principal balance.
Questions? Please feel free to reach out! I am happy to help.
Hang in there! We won't be in this space, or in this place, forever.
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