Making sure you have a ‘clean bill of mortgage health’

Jean-Guy Turcotte

February is ‘Mortgage Health Month’

Stick out your mortgage paperwork and say, “Ahhh!”

It’s time for your annual mortgage health check up. Mortgage experts agree that if you make time for a quick review at the beginning of each year, it may yield you some fruitful financial savings.

Your 2011 home loan review should examine the most common potential monthly savings opportunities, including high-interest credit card debt or fixed loan payments. Perhaps your home is financed through a first and second mortgage? If so, reviewing your options to combine the two could result in having more money left over at the end of each month.

With interest rates near historic 40-year lows, now is the time to investigate all your options and perhaps save yourself thousands of dollars per year! Imagine what you could do with the savings – anything from renovating or investing to going on a much-needed vacation or putting money towards your children’s education.

During the past couple of months I’ve had the pleasure of helping a lot of families lower their interest on their mortgage and consolidate their debt. One family in particular had an extreme amount of savings. They had good credit, but high amounts of debts, mostly because of some renovations, but the husband in the family was also let go from his company due to some downsizing so naturally they used credit to keep the household humming. Their interest rate went from 5.30% to 3.89%, and we paid off $65,000 worth of debts! Their total household payments were lowered by over $1,000 per month.

With the economy essentially fully recovered and interest rates beginning their rise toward normalcy, time is of the essence to try and save as much as possible. Rates this past week rose from between 3.69% – 3.94% to 4.14% -4.39%, so the lenders are tightening up because their cost of funds is rising.

The better the economy performs, the higher the interest rates to offset inflation. Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says to expect further fixed interest rate hikes as we move forward.

Additionally, no review would be complete without examining your options for mortgage insurance and whether you really have the protection your family deserves. Many mortgage brokers also offer mortgage protection plans, and can make recommendations that will protect you and your loved ones now and into the future.

Completing a straightforward review with a qualified mortgage professional will keep your home financing as lean and trim as possible. In other words, you will have a clean bill of mortgage health, which is just what the doctor ordered!

Jean-Guy Turcotte is an Accredited Mortgage Professional and can be reached for appointments at 403-343-1125, texted to 403-391-2552 or emailed to jturcotte@regionalmortgage.ca.

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