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5 YearFixed (promo)2.29%-*call for restrictions
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5 YearVariable (promo)2.10%
* Subject to change without notice *OAC *Some Underwriting Restrictions Apply
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5 YearFixed2.29%**restricted, call for details
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7 YearFixed2.99%
10 YearFixed3.54%

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Sometimes bankers, brokers and real estate agents also refer to Equity-Take-Out mortgages as a refinance, but the meaning of Equity Take-Out Mortgage is taken on because the borrower is increasing the size of the loan secured against their home in exchange for cash to be used for another purpose. This process has also been coined a Debt Consolidation Mortgage as the funds received are often used to pay off other high interest rate debts such as credit cards or vehicle loans.


Value of home $500,000 Current Mortgage $200,000

A borrower would make a request through their mortgage broker or existing lender to increase the size of their mortgage. Let’s say that this particular borrower had credit card debt totalling $100,000 at a high interest rate of 19%, and they also needed $100,000 to pay tuition and living for a child attending graduate school. They might wish to increase their mortgage to 80% of the current value of their home (80% of $500,000 = $400,000) and get a $400,000 new mortgage.

 $400,000          NEW MORTGAGE AMOUNT
($     1,250)         LEGAL FEES AND DISBURSEMENTS

It is common for a borrower who needs to access money in their home to try and improve the other terms of their mortgage as well. Some of the other preferred modifications to a mortgage are:

  • Better interest rate
  • More favorable prepayment terms
  • A mortgage term that is more compatible with future goals
  • More flexible options

Why Take a Home Equity Loan?

  • Trade high interest rate debts for a lower interest rate on a mortgage. A person may increase their mortgage by $100,000 to pay off credit cards for $100,000. The interest rate swap may be as good as:
    (19% credit card rate) – (3% mortgage rate) = 16% savings
  • Investment Strategy though not a good fit for everyone is a very common reason for many home owners to refinance. Theory is to borrow at a lower interest rate, and earn a return on your money equal to or greater than the cost of borrowing. This concept is known also as leveraging your assets.  Your home has gained significantly in value and you wish to use some Equity to invest in a vacation home or rental property
  • Debt Consolidation or to pay off higher interest rate credit and/or bills (why not replace the credit card interest rates around 19% with a mortgage rate often under 5%?)
  • You want a product with greater flexibility, perhaps an OPEN mortgage allowing of larger and more frequent payments to be made in the future.
  • Better terms and conditions are some of the most popular reasons. If interest rates have dropped since you signed on the dotted line, why not trade the old mortgage in for a new one?

Alberta allows for the transfer of mortgages from one lender to another which means as a mortgagor/borrower you are very likely to avoid the legal costs associated with reregistering your mortgage on title. Making a refinance/switch/transfer even more attractive are the promotions lenders offer to bring your mortgage over to their institution. In many situations you can transfer your mortgage for a better rate to a new mortgage lender without incurring any costs!

How much equity can I take from my home?

The first part of this equation is the maximum loan amount in comparison to the value of your home which is referred to as loan-to-value. For the most part a home equity loan will be limited at 80% of the value of your home. For example: If your home is worth $500,000 and you wanted to know what your maximum mortgage would be you could multiply $500,000 x 80% = $400,000. This is not always the case, but, the discussion of 2nd mortgages is beyond the scope of this web page.

The second part of the equation is how much money a lender is willing to issue to the borrower. For instance, some lenders have a maximum increase to the mortgage that is based on the cash resulting from an equity-take-out of $200,000. To explain this would be the difference between the old mortgage (original mortgage) and the new mortgage. This means that regardless of the loan to value they will not fund a mortgage that will result in the borrower being able to extract more than $200,000 in cash. Every lender has different policies they follow, so it is important to make sure you know in advance what your maximum mortgage will be.

Does the lender dictate how I use my money?

In some cases; yes they do! The perfect example would be a borrower that needs $100,000 to pay off their credit cards and this was the purpose indicated on the mortgage application that was sent into the lender. In many circumstances the lender would instruct the lawyer to pay out the credit cards with the mortgage proceeds as a condition to the mortgage loan. The money that was in excess of the pay-outs would then be available to the borrower to use as they wish.