The decision to choose a fixed or variable rate is not always an easy one. It should depend on your tolerance for risk as well as your ability to withstand increases in mortgage payments.
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Fixed Rate Vs. Variable Rate
You can sometimes expect a financial reward for going with the variable rate, although the precise magnitude will ebb and flow depending on the economic environment.
Fixed-rate mortgages often appeal to clients who want stability in their payments, manage a tight monthly budget, or are generally more conservative. For example, young couples with large mortgages relative to their income might be better off opting for the peace of mind that a fixed-rate brings.
A variable rate mortgage often allows the borrower to take advantage of lower rates – the interest rate is calculated on an ongoing basis at a lenders’ prime rate minus or plus a set percentage. For example, if the current prime mortgage rate is 5.5 percent, the holder of a prime minus 0.5 percent mortgage would pay a 5.00 percent variable interest rate.
As a consumer, the best option is to have a candid discussion with your mortgage professional to ensure you have a full understanding of the risks and rewards of each type of mortgage.
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