HSBC launched a great new promotion for mortgage planners this week on fixed and variable-rate mortgages. That’s made us look twice at HSBC’s venerable Equity Power Mortgage (EPM).
If you’ve got at least 20% to put down, you might find the EPM a very interesting option. Here’s a quick rundown…
Maximum Loan-to-value: 80%
Minimum credit score: 650
Rate options: Fixed, variable, or both
What we Like
The EPM is a hybrid mortgage. You can get part of your mortgage at a variable rate and part at a fixed rate. This is key if you’re big on debt diversification.
The variable portion is fully open after 36 months (i.e. no penalties for breaking it)
You can get a fixed payment on the variable-rate mortgage so changes to prime don’t raise your payment (exceptions apply).
Even though 80% is the maximum loan-to-value, HSBC can register the mortgage for up to 100% of the home value. This let you increase your credit limit later (e.g. if your home value rises) without doing a full new application and paying legal/closing fees.
You can have five or more sub-accounts in the line of credit. (Good for separating investing and personal borrowing)
You can pre-pay up to 20% per year, in one lump sum, or by doubling up monthly payments periodically.
Payments can be increased annually up to 20%.
To readvance funds you have to call the branch and sign paperwork. We prefer automatic readvancing, a la FirstLine’s Matrix, RBC’s Homeline, etc. But if you don’t use the credit line regularly for investing then it’s not that big a deal.
HSBC, last we heard, charges a $25 fee per re-advance.
There’s no 40-year amortization on variables, only on fixed rate mortgages. Variables have a maximum 30-year am.
The EPM is a collateral charge, and is not transferable.
Call a mortgage planner for complete details.
The EPM’s interest rates are a bonus. If you’re closing by August 31, 2008 and have an excellent credit/income profile, you’ll get outstanding interest rates on this product. Call any mortgage planner or contact us for a quote.
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