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Long Amortizations Survive…With 20% Down

Amortization-ComparisonWhen the government cut maximum amortizations in 2008 and 2011, most big lenders reduced amortizations on all of their mortgages.

They didn’t need to apply the changes to uninsured mortgages, but many did anyway.

Not this time.

When the Department of Finance trimmed the insured amortization limit to 25 years on July 9, most lenders left their conventional mortgage amortizations at 30-35 years.

Even the major banks have left 30-year amortizations in place, which surprised many of us in the business.

In any event, what follows is a current list of amortization policies from some of the country’s largest lenders.

These are the longest available amortizations at each lender, assuming you’re getting a prime mortgage and putting down 20% or more.

MAXIMUM: 35 YEARS

  • B2B Bank
  • Coast Capital (B.C. only)
  • Laurentian Bank
  • Moncana Bank
  • Vancity (B.C. only)

MAXIMUM: 30 YEARS

  • ATB Financial (AB only)*
  • BMO
  • Canadiana Financial
  • CIBC
  • First Calgary Savings
  • First National
  • Home Trust
  • ICICI Bank
  • Industrial Alliance
  • Manulife Bank
  • MCAP
  • Meridian Credit Union (ON only)
  • Merix Financial
  • National Bank
  • Radius Financial (Raised to 30 in Oct 2012)
  • RBC
  • RMG Mortgages (Dropped to 30 in Oct 2012)
  • Scotiabank
  • Servus Credit Union (AB only)
  • Street Capital
  • TD

MAXIMUM: 25 YEARS

  • Bridgewater Bank
  • Desjardins
  • ING Direct (30 optional if client qualifies at 25)

Keep in mind, there may be exceptions to the above. Those exceptions may be based on the term of the mortgage, conditions related to specific promotions, or the type of mortgage (e.g., some lenders’ equity mortgages or cashback mortgages may have lower amortization limits).

Mortgage-PaymentsAs you can see from the screenshot at the top of this story, the payment difference between a 25-, 30- and 35-year mortgage is often not chump change. Folks who want to minimize their payments and allocate cashflow to other uses may find the first five lenders compelling. Those lenders, in turn, will enjoy a market advantage because of their flexibility.

If you know of other large lenders that should be added to the list, email us and we’ll post them.


* Exceptions to 35 years may be considered by ATB Financial with a large down payment.


Amortization Comparison:  The above screenshot comes from CMHC’s mortgage comparison tool. Here’s the link.


Rob McLister, CMT