When your mortgage is up for renewal you do have options. Believe it or not nearly 70% of Canadians sign their mortgage renewal letter without actually considering other options for a better rate or product. When you receive a renewal letter from your lender, the lender (mainly banks) will not offer you the best discount rate. They are hoping (and in most cases are correct) that you will just sign the renewal letter and send it back to the lender. The lenders save allot of money by taken this approach.
Your mortgage on renewal is completely OPEN. This means you can change lenders, product or both. You are in the driving seat so you do yourself a favour and do not just sign the renewal letter. You are losing out on thousands of dollars in savings. You have the option of asking your lender for a better rate or you can move to another lender for a better product and rate. Switching a mortgage to a new lender is very straight forward. Yes you will have to prequalify but unless you are adding on more money there is no legal costs and the process is quick and easy. Even on refinances some lenders will pick up the legal cost. On a typical $300,000.00 mortgage a .50% difference in interest rate could save you $10,000.00 over a 5 year term. That is $10,000.00 in your pocket.
So do yourself a favour and do not just sign your renewal notice, consultant with your Mortgage broker first.