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When you put your signature on your first mortgage agreement, it seems like you are set. All that's left to do is make the payments, right? Your mortgage payments are certainly a part of the story, but there is more to it than that. You'll have to renew your mortgage term several times throughout the fifteen to twenty-five years it will take you to repay your mortgage fully. Whether you opted for a three-year term, a five-year term or something more or less, don't wait until the last minute to deal with your mortgage renewal. Instead, plan ahead with a few simple activities to ensure that your mortgage renewal goes smoothly and your new mortgage term benefits you financially.

Change Things Up if it Makes Sense

Many people find that their circumstances change in the interval between getting a mortgage and renewing - sometimes for the better and sometimes not. Either way, your mortgage renewal is an opportunity to ensure that your mortgage meets your current needs. For example, switching from a fixed-rate mortgage to a lower-interest variable rate mortgage may be more beneficial. Maybe you are fortunate enough to be in a position to pay your mortgage down faster and need more flexible repayment terms. If things have gone the other way, you may choose to negotiate lower payments. In any case, treat your mortgage renewal as a chance to improve your situation.

Give Yourself Time to Think

Several months before the end of your mortgage term, you may hear from your mortgage lender an offer to renew. The offer is often similar to your current mortgage, or it may be a mortgage product that furthers their goals rather than yours. There is no need to jump at the first offer. Take the time to think about where you are now and whether there may be better options for your next mortgage. Giving yourself time to consider your options means you won't feel pressured into making a decision later. Here are five simple things you can do to make your renewal go smoothly. 

1 Know Your Mortgage

Many people have their mortgage payments automatically deducted from their bank account. So other than keeping an eye on your bank balance, you may not be in touch with your principal and interest payment information. Get a report showing your principal balance and refresh the memory of your current interest rate, remaining amortization time, repayment options, and other mortgage details.

2 Decide if You Need a Change

Have your circumstances changed since your mortgage term began? If so, is your current mortgage working for you? Making a change now could save you some money and accelerate your repayment. Even if nothing has changed, you may still benefit from making a change. 

3 Redo Your Budget

Revisit your budget numbers to help you decide whether a change is in order and to ensure that you can comfortably afford your mortgage renewal. You can also compare different scenarios to help determine what works best. 

4 Set Repayment Goals

Most people want to repay their mortgage as quickly as possible, and some set some lofty goals. Be realistic about your ability to double up payments or repay large sums each year before you prioritize the option to do so.

5 Shop around for rates

Accepting the first offer from your current mortgage lender may be the best option. But, you may be able to do better. You won't know unless you shop around to find out what other lenders offer. 

Renewing your mortgage is an excellent opportunity to ensure that you have the right type of mortgage with the right terms and the best interest rate - for now and the next few years. Get assistance from a mortgage broker to help you shop around and compare different offers. A mortgage broker can answer any questions you may have about mortgage renewals and help you through the steps above to make the entire process of renewing your mortgage smoother.