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Different Types of Mortgages in Canada Finding the Right Fit for You

August 18, 2023

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Different Types of Mortgages

Home purchasing is one of the most important financial decisions, and choosing the right mortgage is essential. Whether you're looking for bungalows for sale or homes for sale in general, the Canadian housing market needs clarification, especially regarding loans and mortgages. In Canada, several types of mortgages are available to borrowers, each with its features and benefits. 

This detailed article by Bungalow Finder will help you make an informed decision, provide a comprehensive overview of different mortgage options in Canada and help you find the right fit for your needs. Let's dive in!

1.What is a Mortgage?

Mortgages are legal agreements between a borrower and a lender, typically a bank or financial institution, that enables the borrower to obtain a loan to purchase a property, such as a home. The borrower receives a specific amount of money and agrees to repay it over a set period through regular monthly payments that include both principal and interest. The mortgaged property acts as collateral for the loan: if the borrower fails to make payments, then the lender has the right to take ownership of the property. 

Mortgages allow individuals and families to become homeowners by spreading out the cost of purchasing a home over time. Choosing the right mortgage is crucial as it affects the borrower's ability to manage payments, save on interest, and achieve long-term financial stability. Furthermore, the real estate board occasionally revises and edits the mortgage laws and rates so most new homes for sale are also within the reach of many families.

Read more: Rising Mortgage Rates: How Should You Plan Home Buying?

2.Seven Types of Mortgages in Canada

While traditional mortgage options are well-known, a realm of less-common choices is available in Canada. These alternatives offer unique features to meet varying financial needs, from open mortgages to cashback mortgages. This section will delve into the world of unconventional mortgages, providing a glimpse into the possibilities that may be the perfect fit for your homeownership journey. 

a.Conventional Mortgages

Conventional mortgages are one of the most common types in Canada. These typically require a down payment of at least 20% of the home's purchase price. By providing a larger down payment, borrowers can avoid paying for mortgage default insurance, which is mandatory for loans with a down payment of less than 20%. Conventional mortgages offer greater flexibility and typically have lower interest rates than high-ratio mortgages.

Conventional mortgages provide various benefits to borrowers:

(1).Since they don't require mortgage default insurance, borrowers save on insurance premiums, reducing the overall cost of the mortgage.

(2).With a lower loan-to-value ratio, borrowers have increased home equity, giving them greater financial security.

(3).Conventional mortgages often have more lenient terms and conditions, providing borrowers with additional options for repayment and refinancing.

b.High-Ratio Mortgages

High-ratio mortgages are for homebuyers with a down payment of less than 20%. In this case, borrowers must obtain mortgage default insurance, which protects the lender in case of any misfortune. This insurance allows lenders to offer loans with a smaller down payment. High-ratio mortgages can be an attractive option for first-time homebuyers who may have a small down payment saved.

High-ratio mortgages offer benefits such as increased accessibility for first-time homebuyers, allowing borrowers to purchase a home with a smaller down payment. Additionally, by spreading the payment over a longer period, high-ratio mortgages provide more manageable monthly payments for borrowers. However, it's important to note that mortgage default insurance premiums will be added to the mortgage amount, increasing the overall cost.

c.Fixed-Rate Mortgages

As by its name, fixed-rate mortgages come with a stagnant interest rate, meaning it remains unchanged for the entire term of the loan. It provides stability and predictability for borrowers, as their monthly mortgage payments remain unchanged. Fixed-rate mortgages are popular because they allow homeowners to budget effectively and protect against rising interest rates. However, it's important to note that fixed-rate mortgages may have higher interest rates than variable-rate mortgages.

Fixed-rate mortgages offer peace of mind for borrowers by providing monthly payments unaffected by interest rate fluctuations. It allows homeowners to plan their budgets more effectively and understand their financial obligations. Fixed-rate mortgages are suitable for individuals who prefer stability and are unwilling to take risks associated with potential interest rate hikes.

If you need clarification about the calculations based on mortgage rates and the cost of homes for sale, you can take the help of our Mortgage Rate Calculator.

d.Variable-Rate Mortgages

Variable-rate mortgages have interest rates that fluctuate with the prime lending rate. Changes influence the prime rate in the Bank of Canada's policy interest rate. With a variable-rate mortgage, borrowers may benefit from lower interest rates initially. However, as rates change, the monthly mortgage payment can increase or decrease accordingly. Variable-rate mortgages are suitable for borrowers who can tolerate fluctuations in their budget.

Variable-rate mortgages offer the potential for cost savings if interest rates decrease over time. Borrowers benefit from the initially lower interest rates, allowing them to save money during the early years of their mortgage term. However, one shall always be prepared for potential interest rate increases, which can result in higher monthly payments. Borrowers with the financial flexibility to absorb possible payment fluctuations may find variable-rate mortgages appealing.

e.Open Mortgages

Open mortgages offer the flexibility to make additional payments or pay the entire mortgage without penalties. These mortgages benefit borrowers who expect to receive a lump sum payment shortly, such as an inheritance or bonus. While open mortgages provide flexibility, they often have higher interest rates than closed mortgages.

Open mortgages are ideal for borrowers who anticipate having extra funds to make lump sum payments toward their mortgage. By doing so, borrowers can reduce the overall interest costs and pay off the mortgage sooner. 

f.Closed Mortgages

Closed mortgages are the most common type in Canada. They have a fixed term, typically one to ten years, during which the interest rate and monthly payments are fixed. However, prepayment options may be limited, and penalties may apply if the mortgage is paid off before the term ends. 

Closed mortgages provide borrowers with the security of fixed interest rates and predictable monthly payments. They are ideal for individuals who prefer a structured approach to budgeting and don't anticipate making large lump sum payments towards their mortgage during the term. While prepayment options may be limited, borrowers can often use prepayment privileges allowing annual lump sum payments and increased monthly payment amounts.

g.Cash Back Mortgages

Cashback mortgages provide borrowers with a lump sum cash payment at closing. Cashback is a percentage of the mortgage amount for various purposes, such as covering moving expenses or home improvements. However, it's important to consider that cashback mortgages often come with higher interest rates and may have penalties for early repayment.

Cashback mortgages offer immediate cash to borrowers, providing them with the funds they may need for various expenses associated with purchasing a home. While the upfront money can be beneficial, borrowers should carefully evaluate the higher interest rates associated with these mortgages. Considering the overall cost of borrowing over the mortgage term is crucial to determine if the cashback option aligns with your financial goals.


Selecting the right mortgage is crucial when purchasing a home in Canada. By understanding the different types of mortgages available, you can choose the right type that aligns with your financial goals and circumstances. Whether you opt for a conventional or high-ratio mortgage, a fixed or variable rate, or consider the flexibility of open or closed mortgages, each option has its benefits and considerations. Take the time to evaluate your financial situation and consult with mortgage professionals to find the mortgage that best suits your needs. Remember, a well-chosen mortgage can help you achieve your homeownership dreams while ensuring long-term financial stability.

Read more:Canada's Mortgage Rate Forecasting 2023 For Lands