The federal government introduced a six-month Mortgage Deferral Program – which officially wrapped up September 30th – to help Canadians stay in their homes while the job market recovered from COVID-19. With the deferral program coming to an end, stress has mounted for those still unemployed, especially in hard-hit industries such as airlines, hospitality and retail.
As of August 31st, Canadian Bankers Association members provided help through mortgage deferrals or skip a payment options to more than 778,000 Canadians, which represents about 16% of the number of mortgages in bank portfolios.
Thankfully, there are several solutions that may work to help you if you’ve deferred your mortgage payments or skipped your maximum number of payments and are still having trouble making ends meet.
Five options to help keep you in your home:
Your mortgage agent is an excellent resource to help you access your home equity in a number of ways to get past this strenuous financial time. Consider these five points below to help alleviate your money stress:
- Ask your lender for an extension. Be proactive. Don’t wait for your lender to reach out to you. Now is the time to potentially ask for a further extension or even look for a co-signer.
- Consider a refinance. You may be able to renegotiate your mortgage, access home equity and lower the payment by extending your amortization period.
- Explore a reverse mortgage. If you’re 55+, this may be a great way to access home equity without having to make regular payments.
- Look into a home equity line of credit (HELOC). Access home equity without having to change the conditions on your current mortgage. Once approved, you can tap into this money as needed and you’re only charged interest on the portion you use.
- Talk to family members. Someone close to you may be in a position to help with a loan.
Have questions about mortgage deferrals or your options moving forward? Answers are a call or email away!