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6-year fixed-rate mortgages in Canada: what you need to know.

If you’re comparing deals on six-year fixed-rate mortgages today, it’s probably because you want to lock in your interest rate over the long-term as a hedge against future rate increases.

However, most Canadians do not choose 6-year fixed-rate mortgages and the ones who do have very specific needs. Five years is the most popular term length as it provides security as well as flexibility — and the rates are cheaper than the ones on 6-year mortgages.

Finding the lowest interest rate on a mortgage will save you thousands of dollars in both the short and long term. LowestRates.ca allows Canadians to compare mortgages from many different lenders so you can immediately see which one is offering you the best deal.

We currently offer the ability to compare rates on 3 and 5-year mortgages, as they are the most popular terms with Canadian homebuyers.

However, we can still help you find the best 6-year fixed-rate mortgage today. We recommend filling out a quote for a 5-year fixed-rate mortgage. Interest rates on 5-year mortgages are more likely to be in the same ballpark as the rates on 6-year terms — in all likelihood, 5-year mortgages will probably be even cheaper.

Next, we will connect you to a mortgage broker. If you still believe that a 6-year mortgage is the right term length, your mortgage broker should be able to show you the current 6-year fixed mortgage rates from various Canadian mortgage brokers.

Not ready to start shopping for a mortgage just yet? Keep reading to learn more about how to qualify for the lowest rates on 6-year fixed mortgages.

Your questions about 6-year fixed-rate mortgages, answered.

What is a 6-year fixed-rate mortgage?

Simply put, a 6-year fixed-rate mortgage is a mortgage with a set interest rate that you’ll renew in six years. Those are the basics, but there’s a bit more to unpack than the exact meaning of the phrase, especially if you’re new to mortgage shopping.

The first thing to understand is the concept of a “mortgage term.” That’s the number of years your agreement with your lender will last before you renew your mortgage. In this case, the term is six years. A mortgage term is different from its amortization, which is the number of years it will take to pay down the total mortgage amount under your current loan agreement.

The second idea is the definition of a “fixed-rate” mortgage. Fixed-rate mortgages charge a single interest rate over the entire mortgage term. The alternative is a variable-rate mortgage, which has an interest rate that fluctuates with rates in the broader economy. Variable interest rates are generally lower than fixed interest rates. But there’s always a risk they may rise above fixed rates over the term of a mortgage. That’s why some people prefer fixed-rate mortgages. They risk paying a bit more over time, but they have peace of mind.

That peace of mind, however, doesn’t generally hold for 6-year mortgages. They usually come with higher interest rates than you’ll find with more common terms, such as five, seven, or 10-year mortgages. 

In Canada, a 6-year fixed term mortgage is not the norm, but you may find that this length offers the most stability and flexibility for your circumstance.

If you’re still looking for the best 6-year fixed-rate mortgage deals, your final decision is whether you want an open or closed mortgage.

Open mortgages typically come with higher interest rates, but you can make payments against the mortgage principal or break the mortgage itself without penalty. An open mortgage is good for people who think they might move during the mortgage term or who expect to make large payments on principal, say from bonuses at work or inheritances. If this sounds like you, we encourage you to shop around for rates on a 6-year fixed-open mortgage. 

Closed mortgages usually feature lower interest rates, but they limit — if not forbid — any extra payments against the principal. Your lender will also charge a stiff penalty for breaking the mortgage. However, closed mortgages offer stability and they’re cheaper in the short term. Talk to your broker about 6-year fixed-closed mortgage rates in Canada.

What is the interest rate on a 6-year fixed-rate mortgage?

Mortgage interest rates rise and fall alongside interest rates in the broader economy. It’s impossible to say what a specific rate will be at a specific time, other than right now. If the economy is slow and interest rates are down, you’ll find low rates for any type of mortgage, including 6-year mortgages.

Whether you’ll qualify for the lowest 6-year fixed mortgage rates available depends on several factors. Your personal credit rating is important. So is the amount of debt you have compared to your overall income. If you have a lot—car loans or lines of credit, for example—you may not get the best rates possible. When you’re preparing to begin shopping for offers on a 6-year fixed-rate mortgage, you may want to assess how you stack up in these areas. It’s a good idea to reduce other debt when shopping for a mortgage if you are able.

What are the fees involved with a 6-year fixed-rate mortgage?

Are you hoping your 6-year fixed-rate mortgage will come with no additional fees? We’re sorry to say that additional expenses are an unavoidable part of mortgages.

The cheapest 6-year fixed-rate mortgage with no fees may not exist, but if you know in advance what fees you are likely to encounter, you can be prepared. Here are some fees to keep an eye out for.

Broker fees: Mortgage brokers can help you shop the mortgage market effectively. However, they do charge fees for their services. This includes an ‘origination fee’ — a fee for pulling rates from different lenders. However, if you are considered a ‘prime’ client — you have an excellent credit score and have had a stable source of income for many years — you may not have to pay these fees. Another charge to watch out for is a cancellation fee. Make sure to inquire about fees before moving forward with your mortgage broker.

Taxes: Depending on where you live, you may have to pay land-transfer taxes on your home purchase. These may be levied by provincial governments or municipal governments or sometimes—as is the case in Toronto—both. If you’re buying a new home you may also have to pay HST/GST. If you do, ask your mortgage agent about federal and provincial tax credits, such as the federal government’s First Time Homebuyers tax credit. They can help take the sting out of the expense.

Mortgage default insurance: If your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price of your home, you’ll be taking on a “high-ratio” mortgage. Your lender will require insurance from the CMHC to ensure payments are made. This will cost you somewhere between 2.8% and 4% of your total mortgage depending on the size of your down payment. You can either pay the premium upfront or have it added to your mortgage and pay it down over time. But there is a caveat: At this time, you can’t get CMHC insurance on a mortgage of more than $1 million. Keep that in mind if you're home-hunting in places like Vancouver and Toronto.

Legal Fees: You’ll need to hire a lawyer to cover various tasks to your home purchase. These tasks include reviewing legal documents associated with the sale of the home, ensuring no one else has a claim on the property, drafting mortgage documents, arranging title insurance, and so on.

Adjustments: You’ll need to reimburse the previous owner of your new home for any payments they may have made in advance. These can include costs such as condo fees, utility fees, and property taxes. Your lawyer will figure out if anything is owing.

Other costs: Your lender will want proof of fire and property insurance for your new home before finalizing your mortgage. Be sure you have this. You may also want to pay for various services such as a home inspection or home valuation before you buy. Inspections are optional but note your mortgage lender may require a valuation

Even with the best 6-year fixed rate mortgage, a no-fees payable option doesn’t exist. It’s a good idea to include these additional costs when you’re estimating how much home you can afford. That way you won’t be surprised when it comes time to close the deal. A mortgage broker can help you comparison shop for 6 year fixed mortgage rates — but don’t forget to ask them about what fees are included in your contract.

Where can I get the cheapest rate on a 6-year fixed-rate mortgage in Canada?

Mortgage brokers are good at this because they can compare the mortgage market. A rate comparison site can also help you find the best 6-year fixed-rate mortgage rates in Canada, without the hassle of engaging a broker.

However, some people prefer the peace of mind that comes from working with a traditional bank. If you have a strong relationship with your bank, it will be able to look at your mortgage as part of a larger financial plan. That alone might be worth paying slightly more for your mortgage than the deal you get through a broker. However, Canadian banks cannot show you 6 year fixed mortgage rates from a competing bank or lender and that’s where brokers have an advantage.

Brokers are popular because they work with multiple lenders—from online banks and credit unions to trust companies and more. You can generally expect a broker to find lower interest rates than you’ll get from your bank, be it a six-year fixed mortgage or something else entirely.

However, you may want to consider using a rate comparison site like LowestRates.ca before you speak with a broker. Comparison sites will aggregate rates for you and show you which lender is offering it as well as which broker can lock it in for you. 

The answer to the question, “What is the lowest 6-year fixed-rate mortgage?” will vary for everyone. It's not about where you go, but how desirable of a borrower you are from the lender’s perspective.

To secure the lowest possible 6-year fixed mortgage rates, make sure you are in good standing in the following areas:

  • Your Total Debt Service and Gross Debt Service ratios are 32% and 40% or under, respectively.
  • You pass the mortgage stress test.
  • You have a high credit score.
  • You have a decent down payment.
  • You have a stable income.

What is the best 6-year fixed mortgage? For the reasons we’ve stated above, the answer will be unique to everyone.

What other mortgage terms are available?

Mortgages come in terms that can last from a few months up to 10 years—even more. It all depends on your needs. Some people want shorter terms because they don’t have long to go until they pay off their mortgages. Or they think they might move relatively soon and want to avoid penalties that can come with breaking a mortgage. Other people like the idea of making a consistent monthly mortgage over a long period of time—especially if they can lock in when rates are super low and don’t expect they’ll ever need to break their mortgage.

But if you’re looking at a 6-year fixed-rate mortgage because you want to lock in a rate—beware. Six-year mortgages carry higher interest rates than five-, seven- or 10-year mortgages. If peace of mind is your goal, chances are you’ll get a better deal with a different term.

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