This troubleshooter video shows the dangers of subprime mortgages in Canada. A couple bought at the peak of the market in Wetaskawin with a 0 down 40 year mortgage from Wells Fargo. They are no longer operating in Canada and the uninsured mortgage was difficult to renew with other lenders.
One thing that caught my attention is that they were offered a mortgage for 10.75% by another lender at renewal. That's almost triple a discount 5 year rate! Is there any value in a loan like that? These loans exist for new borrowers as well, like this couple's original purchase, and they typically have these higher rates. One aspect of these loans is the longer amortizations which I covered in a previous post.
But it's not just longer amortizations. These predatory subprime lenders charge a significant premium on interest rates. With higher interest rates less money goes towards principal repayment, even with constant amortization. Consider the charts below which illustrates mortgage balance outstanding over time at various interest rates amortized over 25 years.
Looking at the first five years shows the pace of principal reduction over the initial term. With a 3.75% rate the $300,000 balance is reduced over $40,000 while at 10.75% it is reduced by less than $17,000. So not only are subprime borrowers paying an extreme amount in monthly payments, the higher rates makes it impossible to tackle the balance. With the buy to rent calculations so marginal even with low rates what is the benefit of homeowership under these conditions?
Answer: None. It's a trap.