While Canada’s tighter mortgage rules – which took effect on March 18 – saw the maximum amortization drop from 35 years to 30, that rule actually only applies to insured mortgages.

Any mortgage has to be insured if it makes up more than 80% of the value of the home. So if you have a 20% down payment or above – or if you have more than 20% equity in your home upon renewal – you don’t require the help of CMHC or its counterpart, Genworth Financial. Technically, that also mean you should be able to get your hands on a 35-year amortization.

The thing is, as we’ve seen with the tightening of previous mortgage rules, lenders seem to abide by the government’s new guidelines whether they are offering insured mortgages or not. This time around, however, certain lenders are going out on a limb and continuing to offer 35-year amortizations for “conventional” (or uninsured) mortgages. One lender that comes to mind is ING Direct.

Many lenders, however, are still opting to eliminate the 35-year amortization all together. If you’re up for renewal, or in the market for a new mortgage, and would like to obtain a 35-year amortization, drop me a line and I’ll be sure to tell you what your options are.