Choosing the length of your amortization period, which means the number of years you will need to pay off your mortgage, is an important decision that can affect how much interest you pay over the life of your mortgage.
Historically, the standard amortization period has been 25 years. However, shorter and in some cases longer time frames may be available depending on the amount of down payment you have available.
A shorter amortization saves you money as you will pay less in interest costs over the life of your mortgage. Your regular mortgage payment amount would be higher than if you had selected a longer amortization, as more of your payment goes towards paying down your principal balance. However, the benefits are that you build the equity in your home faster and are mortgage free sooner.
A longer amortization provides you lower monthly payments and because of this it is appealing to many people. However, it does mean that more interest will be paid over the life of the mortgage and you will build the equity in your home at a slower pace.
Note: If you choose an amortization over 25 years, you must have a down payment of at least 20%.
The chart below shows the impact of two different amortization periods on the monthly mortgage payment and total interest costs (over the full amortization). It is important to be aware that the total interest costs increase significantly if the amortization period exceeds 25 years.
|Details||25 Year||30 Year|
|Monthly Mortgage Payment (P & I)(5 yr Term @ 4.00%)||$789.04||$713.28|
|Interests Costs for Full Amortization||$86,707.04||$106,779.45|
Choosing the longer 30-year amortization would reduce your monthly mortgage payment by $75.76; however, you would also pay an additional $20,072.41(1) in total interest costs over the full amortization than you would with a shorter 25-year amortization.
Let one of our mortgage specialists help determine the amortization period that is right for you.
Regardless of which amortization period you select when you originally applied for your mortgage, it does not mean you have to stay with it throughout the life of your mortgage.
It makes good financial sense to re-evaluate your amortization every time you renew your mortgage.
We also offer a breadth of mortgage features designed to help you pay down your mortgage and build your home equity faster.