An open mortgage allows you the flexibility to pay off some or all of the mortgage at any time, without a penalty. Interest rates are usually higher and are tied to the Bank Prime.
Variable Rate Mortgage
A variable rate mortgage allows you to take advantage of today's low Prime Rates. The interest rate fluctuates in relation to the 'Prime Rate'. Lenders compete by offering various discounts below the prime rate. Payments may be fixed for up to 5 years although the rate of interest will always fluctuate according to Bank Prime. If the Prime rate climbs you pay more interest and if the prime rate descends you pay off more of the principal.
Closed or Fixed Mortgage
A closed or fixed mortgage offers you the security of locking in your interest rate for the term of your mortgage, so you know exactly how much principal and interest you will be paying on the mortgage during the term. Terms range from 6 months through to 10 years.
Many lenders will allow prepayments of up to 20% of the balance annually without a penalty. If the mortgage is paid off in it's entirety before the end of the term, most lenders will collect a fee of three months interest or charge the lost interest to the end of the term.