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Ever wonder how to port a mortgage? Porting a mortgage can be a cost saving procedure, we'll show you all the steps involved.

Buying a new house can be a thrilling experience, but it can also come with an avalanche of decisions to make. Aside from choosing new paint colours or furniture, one of the biggest things to consider is whether to break your current mortgage contract (which can come with penalties and fees) or to transfer your current mortgage to your new home and keep your existing mortgage term, rate, and lender.

This process is called porting a mortgage and is a viable option in some new home purchases.

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How Does Transferring a Mortgage Work?

When you port your mortgage, you are taking the mortgage contract and rate that you have with your lender and transferring it from your old home to your new one.

You can only port your mortgage if you’re purchasing a new property at the same time you’re selling your old one.

People primarily port their mortgages to avoid paying the penalties associated with breaking your mortgage contract term (for example, in year two of a five-year term,) or to avoid the hassle of applying for a whole new mortgage again.

You’ll still have to pay a fee to port your mortgage, and you’ll have to pay to have an appraiser review your new home, but those fees are usually lower than the steep penalties you’ll pay for breaking your mortgage early.

Is Porting Your Mortgage a Good Idea?

There are two primary scenarios where porting a mortgage is advantageous to you. The first is if you have to break your mortgage term to purchase a new home. The penalty for breaking a mortgage term ahead of schedule can be high.

While the penalties vary from lender to lender, the worst you can expect to pay is three months’ worth of loan and interest payments.

The second scenario where porting your mortgage is smart is if you have a lower interest rate on your mortgage than current market rates. Holding on to your lower interest rate can be very beneficial and could save you thousands of dollars in interest charges over the remaining term.

Can You Port a Mortgage?

Several factors determine whether you can port your mortgage, so consider these before making this part of your financial plan.

Your Mortgage Contract

First of all, not all mortgages can be ported. Your lender should have mentioned whether your mortgage is portable when you signed your loan papers, and if your mortgage doesn’t allow for portability, you can’t negotiate it as a term after the fact.

Fortunately, most mortgages offer portability as an option, so if you don’t remember your lender covering it when you signed your loan papers, don’t rule it out. Just call your lender and ask them whether your mortgage is portable.

Your Interest Rate

Portability is a feature that is generally reserved for fixed interest rate mortgage terms. If you have a variable interest rate (which means it doesn’t fluctuate with Canada’s prime rate), then your mortgage may not be portable.

Fortunately, most variable rate mortgage terms can be converted to fixed-rate, and from there, ported.

Your New Home’s Purchase Price

Your new home’s purchase price will also affect whether you can port your mortgage. If your new home has a different value than your old one, you may need to make some adjustments to achieve portability.

For example, if the value of the required mortgage on your new home is 0-25% lower than your current mortgage, you might need to make a large prepayment on your existing mortgage before you can port it.

On the other hand, if your new home is more expensive than your current home and needs a bigger mortgage than you currently have, you’ll need to negotiate a new agreement with your lender.

This scenario is so common that this type of mortgage has a name: the “Blend and Extend” mortgage. The final interest rate on this mortgage is usually somewhere between the old and new rates.

Keep in mind that if applying for a bigger mortgage, you’ll need to go through lender screening again, even if you already have a relationship with your mortgage provider.

Porting a Mortgage vs. Switching to a New Lender

The alternative to porting your mortgage is to obtain a new mortgage with a new lender. If you only have a few months left on your mortgage contract and the rates are lower with another lender, it’s an option worth exploring. But here’s a handy chart to compare your two options and help you decide what works better for you.

 Porting a MortgageSwitching to a New Lender
Interest RateSame as old rateToday’s market rates
Lender ScreeningOnly if you need a bigger mortgageYes
Mortgage TermSame as current termChoose your term
Interest RateFixedVariable or Fixed
PenaltiesNoUp to three month’s loan principal and interest

Finding the Best Mortgage Lenders in Canada

If you are confident that your home’s mortgage is portable and you can afford any prepayment that is required to port it, you can contact your lender to get started, and they will walk you through the process.

It’s a lot of paperwork, but the good news is that they will do most of the heavy lifting.

However, after crunching the numbers, you may decide that finding a new mortgage lender may be the better option.

For instance, if you only have a few months left on your current mortgage contract and ower interest rate are available elsewhere, breaking your mortgage, paying a small(ish) penalty, and going with a new lender may make the most financial sense.

If you decide that breaking your mortgage contract is the better option vs. porting, shop around to find the best mortgage lenders in Canada.

A second option: instead of porting your mortgage, you could offer to sign it over to the buyers of your home. That frees you up to find a new and lower mortgage interest rate without breaking your contract.

Depending on your mortgage interest rate is, this offer can be seen as a selling feature since it lets the buyers take advantage of that potentially low-interest rate, and also helps you avoid paying those hefty penalties for breaking your mortgage.

In either scenario, you’ll need to apply for a new mortgage on your new home. For a low mortgage interest rate, consider one of the best online lenders in Canada.

For convenience, one that stands out is Breezeful. It’s easy to use and you will get the most competitive rates available from more than 30 banks in just minutes. You’ll also have assistance from a mortgage expert who can walk you through the entire process. It’s a seamless experience that saves you plenty of time and effort.

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Is Porting a Mortgage the Right Decision?

Porting a mortgage has benefits and disadvantages, and you should be careful to consider them fully before deciding to port or refinance your mortgage.

Make sure that you’ve carefully considered the potential prepayments and the legwork involved with porting your mortgage.

If the numbers work, it can usually be an easier way to obtain financing on a new home while avoiding penalties for breaking your mortgage contract, excessive paperwork, and preserving the lower mortgage interest rate from your previous home.

Article comments

Eric Payne says:

I am going to be selling. My mortgage is 160,000.<. I am looking at selling at 229k. The market we are looking at is 240k.
How does the money flow? If we Port do I keep all of the proceeds from the sale? Then use that in the purchase?
If we cannot Port we get the proceeds over and above the mortgage and qualify again?
This is all of course minus fees assessed by the lawyers and real estate fees.
I am getting nothing but cryptic answers from my lender

Sand Kozo says:

I am considering downsizing and purchasing a property in British Columbia. I currently have a mortgage left on my condo of 130,000 at a flexible rate. I want to port my mortgage and buy something inexpensive as I am retired now. Possibly a mobile home. If I purchase something less expensive how does it work? I stand to sell and have appx 50 thousand dollars pay out. Is porting a good idea?

Robb Engen says:

Hi Sand, it probably makes the most sense to just sell your home and use the proceeds to buy what you want – and then apply for a new and smaller mortgage if needed. Best to speak with a mortgage broker who is familiar with the market, your area, and the area you want to move to.

Desirae says:

Thanks for all the great info. I want to move into a larger home and am considering porting my mortgage. (My mortgage is portable) My new mortgage would be higher than present. Current owe 425K sell for about 510K, new mortgage 625K, The reasons why I am considering porting is because my prepayment buyout Interest rate differential penalties are quite high because I took a cash back mortgage to pay off my car loan at the time which meant a higher mortgage rate (4.95%). I would also be required to pay back a prorated amount of the cash back. By sale and completion of a new property I would be just over the half way mark of a Fixed 5 yr term. At close of the new purchase am I starting a new 5 yr term? If I were to port my mortgage for a larger one, would this keep the 4.95% rate on the whole new mortgage amount? The remaining balance of my current mortgage for another 5 year term? Or for just the remaining 2.5 yrs then move to a current rate which is closer to to 3%? Or would the entire new mortgage loan be somewhere in the middle of these? I’m a bit confused how this works and I am trying to decide if porting is a viable option in my case despite my current high rate. When I inquired about penalties they said about 25K for prepayment and 10k for cash back. That is a lot of $$. Please help clarify if you have a moment. Thank you kindly!

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Desirae,

We would recommend speaking with your mortgage lender. Every borrower and lender is different, so we can’t really comment on individual circumstances.

Best of luck!

Laura says:

Hi Kyle,

So glad that I came across your article, as we are now thinking about moving, and I’m a little lost! So, we currently have a 5 year mortgage (30 year amortization) , due to mature in a year (july 2020). We are thinking about moving, however the property we are currently looking at is valued quite a bit lower then ours. The bank talked about porting, but I think it’s better for us if we don’t, if I am understanding everything correctly. So, our current mortgage is $450,000. Our agent is thinking about 1M for where we are, and what we are looking at is $650,000. I think we would be farther ahead if we pay off our existing mortgage, put a decent down payment, and then have a new, lower mortgage with money in our pocket going forward. I have to still dig out my paperwork and read the fine print, but using the online calculator from CIBC (where we bank), my cost of paying it all is just over $3000. Even if higher, I still feel like it would be the better option. If I am wrong, please correct me!

Barrykehler says:

Hello have a question on cmhc insurance
I’m porting a mortgage of $180,000 and borrowing a additional 140,000
Do I pay cmhc on $140,000 or the full $320000
Thanks in advance

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Barry,

Ask your mortgage lender and they can give you a break down.

Andrew says:

Hi Kyle,

This is great. Hopefully your still able to answer a few more.

We just sold our place for $610k and still owe $292k at a 2.89% rate for the remainder of our term (2 years left)
We just bought a place for $900k and the current rates in the market are 2.47% at a 5 year fixed rate.
Is it better off to pay the penalty and and renew term. Or port my existing mortgage into the new mortgage. Sorry I am also a little confused with this stuff.

Tony says:

Hi Kyle & everyone:

Thanks for all these beautiful infos.

I and my wife are planning to buy a new home, She would be a first time home owner and will be able to get first time benefits. I bought the home we currently living now in 2014 but we’ve been thinking of buying a bigger house together, but our realtor said I cant port my mortgage because in doing that my wife will loose the first time home owners advantage, is this true? If i do loose that advantage what are some options we have to get a bigger home and have us both on the mortgage and as well pay 5% down payment?

Thanks guys

Kyle says:

Hi Tony, if you’re wife is currently living with you then you she isn’t eligible for the HBP anyway (you can read more about it on this site as well, but just to give you an outside source, see this article from Turbo Tax.

This is the problem with Realtors today… Anything to get people into a new home!

I suggest downloading our free eBook about buying a home in Canada Tony – it will explain everything. I’d pay particular attention to avoiding a 5% downpayment!

Nheddie says:

I think there should be a caveat on that last section: when I bought my home, placing 20% down and not needing mortgage insurance, my broker was very explicit with me that transferring the mortgage to someone else would be very dangerous and to be avoided at all costs. If I remember correctly, in the absence of mortgage insurance, my name will forever be associated with that mortgage contract, even if it’s been transferred – if the new buyer defaults, they could come after me.

Breanne says:

Do you have any experience with the process of buying a new development home from a builder?

How does the mortgage process work when purchasing new? Do we secure the mortgage now when choosing a lot and home, or do we secure it when we take possession?

We do have an existing mortgage on our current property for 184K. The new build would cost 430K.

Kyle says:

New development homes are a bit different Breanne – do you own the land right now and you are doing a new build – or is the house completely built and you’re just buying it and the land as a package deal from the developer?

Leonie says:

Hi Kyle,
I think an article on variable and fixed rate mortgages is needed.
My TD variable mortgage recently went up .25% at the time of the new mortgage rules. They were expecting the other banks to follow suit, and could blame it on incresded costs with new rules.

Learnt from my mortgage broker that variable rates are not reliant on the bank costs eg BoC rates. Bank can move the rate up and down however they like.
Not pass on the full BOoC drop, hike rates for no reason, hike them higher than a Boc rise.
This was news to me. You are at their mercy for 5 years, and the only thing that is keeping you is the cost to refinance.

Also can you talk about additional costs of refinancing/ porting eg. Property valuation costs, taxes, and legal fees. Its not just about the bank penalties that have to be considered. If its a matter of up to a year then it may be worth timing your sale to the mortgage, or perhaps making all the legal prepayments youcan before refinancing/ porting to bring the penalties down.

Finally, the bank will make money out of you whether you are refinancing, porting or getting your first mortgage.

My TD variable mortgage should be named TD can charge wahtever they want mortgage.
This will make me think about the integrity of the bank when considering lender in 2.5 years. As well as varaible versus fixed

Kyle says:

Hi Leonie, stay tuned – variable vs fixed article coming soon. While BoC rates aren’t the sole determinant of interest rates, they are the main cause. Ultimately yes, the banks can do what they want, but because they are in competition with each other there is a limit to the premium they can charge right?

Zishan says:


If we have a mortgage on old house and the new house is worth more than old house. And if we would like to add another person to title can we still port mortgage?

Kyle says:

It would all depend on the specifics in your particular mortgage Zishan. In my experience almost everything is negotiable!

Nathan says:


I have a question regarding moving a mortgage without having to pay it off.

For example.

Imagine that my home is worth $600,000 and I have a $300,000 mortgage owing on it.

I sell my home for $600,000. So I have the $600,000 given to me for the sale and I still owe the $300,000 mortgage.

I buy a cheap home for $300,000 using the existing mortgage (transferred over) to buy it.

Could I continue paying the $300,000 mortgage and keep the $600,000 ?

My mortgage can be portered but i have been informed that any time i sell my home I have to pay up the mortgage and get a new one which seems crazy.

Any help would be very much appreciated. Thanks so much. Nathan.

Kyle says:

Hi Nathan, if you have to do that then your mortgage is by definition not portable. The whole idea would be to port the mortgage over to the new property. At today’s low rates though you might be better off breaking the mortgage anyway!

alina says:

hi – i am glad i came across your article. i have a mortgage with td. My new mortgage will be 450000. current stands at 303000. I am not sure what to do, had 5 years fixed mortgage and my current interest 3.19%. at closing there will be 9 months remaining. does it make sense to port in my case or should i break my mortgage if penalty to break is around $4500 and new lender is offering me 2.34%. any advise will be highly valuable. in addition, would you lock that low rate for 5 years or it’s better to go fixed for shorter term? or variable? many thanks.

Kyle says:

Hello Alina,

With only 9 months remaining Alina I’d try and negotiate with a new lender to eat the cost in order to bring that large new mortgage over to them. They’re going to make mint off of you over the course of that mortgage so you should be able to get them to eat that cost. I have no idea whether to go short or long term because no one can truly tell you where interest rates are going Alina – look how many have been wrong over the last 5 years alone! I will say that there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of advantage to going variable right now as lenders have really reduced discounts. Good luck!

Sean says:

Here is where we are. The housing market has cooled quite a bit where we live. My wife has accepted a transfer so we can be closer to friends and family. We believe that selling our current house would leave us up to $30,000 short on what we owe. Will a lender port over the remaining $30,000 left owing to the new mortgage which would be less than the current one? i.e – owe $340,000, sell for $310,000 buy for $160,000 plus port over the extra $30,000 for a total of $190,000

Kyle says:

I’m not sure how this would work in terms of the new mortgage rate and old mortgage rate, but I would think that combination would be negotiable. Let us know what you’re able to get?

jacqui says:

my lender does have ‘port a mortgage’ option.
my current mortgage is $280.
if I sell my house for $400 and buy a house for $280, I get to pocket the balance of $120 right? if not, please tell me why.

Kyle says:

Minus fees that would be correct jacqui.

Deb says:

Hi my current morgage I owe 20010.00 but I want to buy a house that there is a morgage of 169000 the people said we can take over there morgage how would that work for us if we sell our home

Kyle says:

There are several variables that could come into play here Deb. I suggest talking to a lawyer that specializes in real estate about the specifics.

Carol says:

I have a mortgage of 300, 000 if I sell my home for 600,000 and port my mortgage to my new home that I purchase for the same 300,000. Would I then be left with the amount of 600,000 in the bank? Or do I pay 300 ,000 to the bank to pay off my current mortgage and porting the mortgage means I then will have a new 300,000 mortgage just with the same interest rate. Leaving me with 300,000 in the bank. Does this make sense?

Kyle says:

What sort of mortgage and downpayment are you putting on your new house Carol?

j.drury@rogers.com says:

scenario selling old house buying new . cost is $220,000 Old has $143,000 Mortgage
to port cash diff is $77,000. what happens on closing day with respect the $143,000 that would be owed to the $220,000 Seller.
Thanks very much
I don’t know why this seems complicated but it is.

Kyle says:

Likely the easiest thing would just be to pay off the mortgage when you get paid and then take out a new mortgage on the 220,000 minus whatever downpayment you will have. My reason for the simplicity and not worrying about porting right now is that there are the best interest rates currently available that Canadians have basically ever seen.

Marie L says:

I am thinking about porting my mortgage, How does it work?
I am looking to downsize so I will need a smaller mortgage loan.
My question is, does the old mortgage have to be paid in full or can I pay the diffirance plus a penelty. HELP

Kyle says:

Hi Marie,

It all depends on your original mortgage contract. Talk to your lender and see what can be worked out. Most likely it makes sense in this super-low interest environment to just pay off the original mortgage and then take a new one.

Oscar says:

Hi there , I’m in need of some advice please , I’m porting my mortgage to another property …I am downsizing and I’m selling my house for

cody cheladyn says:

i hate to do it but I have a question…just a little info would help tho so…I have a mortgage due this july 2014, I owe ~$383K and expect to sell at ~$525K, Looking to houses that are less than the $383K, i understand that porting would still cost me the 5% down, the rest of my mortgage term is 30yrs, (Vancouver mortgage), do you think that the porting would transfer the Term of 30 yrs as well as the low interest rate to the…say ~$360K home that i am looking at? I hope this is coherent…i plan to use the excess to pay off bad debt…any thoughts?

Kyle says:

Not exactly sure of the details Cody (wasn’t quite clear), but that mortgage should be portable. You might have to take a bit of a hit on the fact that it will be a slightly smaller mortgage than the one your currently have. Honestly, what I would look at doing is just negotiating with the bank you are at for a new mortgage. How low could your current rate possibly be? Right now there are some very attractive rates available – especially if you have a longstanding good relationship with the bank.

jerrett says:

please help

I am looking to buy a new home, i will be a first time home owner so I will be able to get first time benefits, my girlfriend recently bought a new starter home and we’ve been thinking about going in on a bigger house together, now we’ve been told she can port her mortgage but in doing that will i loose the first time home owners advantage? If i do loose that advantage what are some options we can do to get a bigger home and have us both on the mortgage and not have to put down the full 20 % down payment?

Karoll says:

Please help!

I want to upsize and my realtor gave me the idea of porting my mortgage, the new place I like its $325 k , I still own the bank $199k, at a 3% interest rate, I would like to know if is worth it to port and if I still have to put down the 5%, Im confused !!

Teacher Man says:

Hello Karoll, I’m not real estate professional, but if you’re porting your existing mortgage don’t you already have some equity in your house? How much is your current house worth? I’m almost certain you would not need to “put down 5%” as if you were buying your first home.

The way it works is think of the new mortgage as split into two pieces. One piece is going to be 199K, the other piece is going to be 126K-minus whatever equity you had in your old home. On the first piece of your mortgage, you could pay 3%-your old interest rate. On the new piece of your mortgage you’ll have to pay whatever you negotiate with the lender. After that, what the lender will probably do is combine those two halves to set a “blended rate” just to make it easier for you to understand. It’s a good deal if you can’t get a better interest rate today.

cait says:

Hi. I just have a question. When porting your mortgage do you still pay a full down payment on the home you are purchasing or just a down payment on the extra you are borrowing?

Current mortgage: 100, 000
New Home: 150,00
That’s a difference of 50,000
Do you pay a down payment on the full amount or just the 50, 000?

Kyle says:

Even when porting your mortgage you still have to pay the full down payment. You should have sold your house for more than the current mortgage right? (hopefully this wasn’t the case in many places in the USA). This could be your down payment. In your case that 50K difference would require a new mortgage loan and what most places would do is “blend in” that amount and give you a new rate.

Debbie says:

Need help. I am porting my mortgage and am taking less money. I have purchased a new house that is less then my existing. I have decreased my mortgage by the 15% allowed before penelty. Now my broker is telling me that I have to maintain my % down payment that I made when I first got this mortgage. Is this normal procedures when porting decrease?????I now will have to pay a penetly on the difference.

Teacher Man says:

I’m not sure I understand the question Debbie, what doesn’t “maintain my % down” payment mean exactly? I’m not an expert in this field to be honest, but if you’re looking to renew the mortgage contract with the bank you are at they would probably be accommodating if you negotiate with someone that is high enough up the management chain to help you out. I might try pitching the fact that if they are strict about these rules you’re going to take all of your assets and go with cheap online banking. This is really your only leverage, but it is a solid card to play in a negotiation.

Thanks for sharing very Informative Post!

Jim says:

Be careful on option 2. Most mortgages have a “3 months interest or interest rate differential – whichever is more clause”.

The interest rate differential (IRD) can be quite costly depending on the gap between your current rate and the new rate, and how many years you have left on your mortgage. Many providers will use the rate that most closely matches the remainder of your term (so if you have two years left, they will use the two year rate which creates an even larger differential).

At the end of the day – calculate how much how much the penalty to break your mortgage will be and home much interest you will pay if you port your current mortgage vs how much interest you would pay with a new one. Which every comes out lowest of the two wins.

Teacher Man says:

Definitely great advice Jim. I’m a huge fan of dedicating an hour or two to crunch numbers and possibly save thousands of dollars over the length of your mortgage (and consequently, probably thousands more in interest).

I would not worry in 4) about blending because the goal for the bank is to keep you around and borrow. If you blend and extend, it’s a bonus for them. I have never finished a term as I have always done a blend and extend by watching the rates.

I have “ported” my mortgage twice and it’s not a big deal really. The bank wants your business. They will either be flexible or not. You may have to decide if paying a fee for breaking your mortgage is worth it and that’s it.

I stumbled upon a 2010 Money Sense magazine discussing the crazy low rates and how you had to plan to lock in for long … 2 years later, the rates are still low. Where rates will go is unknown… It will go up but when is the question and is it worth paying more for 2 or 3 years is a question to think about.

Teacher Man says:

Thanks for input PIE. Glad to hear you’ve had good experiences. Just out of curiosity were the rates lower when you “blended and extended” because that would makes things easier I’m sure. Also, if you don’t mind me asking, were you with one of Canada’s big six? I’m fairly certain rates will stay low for the next two years, after that, I don’t think anyone knows. I don’t care what Mark Carney says, we can’t raise our dollar when the American one stays so beaten up, it will kill our export industries.

Jim says:

What surprised me is my current mortgage provider was not willing to play ball and be competitive. I had 5 months left of my current mortgage when I started looking at houses. 1 month will be left on my current mortgage at the time I close. My new mortgage will be larger than my current one.

My current provider (not a big bank, but fairly larger and well know mortgage provider) was going to charge me a penalty and make me pay a blended rate the remaining month of my term.

Kind of shocking to be honest that they wouldn’t bend over backwards to keep me as a customer. They fees they’d waive would pale compared to the amount they would make on the 10 year mortgage I’m getting.

Teacher Man says:

This is exactly the sort of experience I was worried about. Dumb business, but they have probably done studies that show that people won’t go through the process of switching banks. If enough people are intimidated by the process, or are simply that lazy, then the banks stand to make a huge profit.

Julia says:

Hi! Have you been able to sell your old place and buy the new one at the same time? Does the sale of one and the closing of another have to occur on the same date? What if it doesn’t?

So many questions!