Collateral Mortgages vs. Conventional Mortgages – We often hear the terms collateralized loan obligation (CLO) and collateralized mortgage obligation (CMO). What do those terms actually mean, and how do they differ from conventional mortgages?

How do you choose between collateral loans and conventional loans? This article will explain what you should know about the two types of loans, how each works, and which one you should choose to finance your home purchase.

The lending market for conventional loans differs from that for collateralised mortgage obligations (CMOs). The difference between a conventional mortgage and a CMO is that the latter is a type of loan that is often secured by a mortgage on a primary residence together with a second property, while the conventional mortgage is a mortgage on a house, as the name suggests.

When you take out a loan to buy a property, your mortgage will either be a conventional mortgage or a secured mortgage. The average borrower probably doesn’t notice the difference between the two types of loans and may not even know which one they have. However, there are important differences in the following scenarios: You want to take money out of your home, you want to change lenders, you need a second mortgage. Otherwise, from the borrower’s point of view, the process is exactly the same (in terms of repayment, interest, monthly payments). Let’s take a closer look at these two types of mortgages.

Guarantee for conventional mortgages: At a glance


  Determination Normal
Capital receipts Simple, cheap or free Must take out a second mortgage or HELOC.
Transfer appropriations The mortgage must be paid off and re-mortgaged, which incurs legal fees. Very simple, just transfer the mortgage
Second mortgage Only possible with the same creditor Easy to get, as long as you get approval.

What is a conventional mortgage?

The conventional mortgage, also known as a conventional mortgage, is the mortgage that borrowers are most familiar with. Your credit is based on the amount you borrow, and as you pay it back, your credit decreases. If you take out a $500,000 mortgage and pay off $100,000 in five years, your mortgage is reduced to $400,000. What happens if you want to withdraw the capital from the house? You have several options:

  • Take an equity line of credit (HELOC), which is self-secured, and pay an opening fee of about $500 to $1,000.
  • Take out a second mortgage from your current lender, another lender or even a private lender.

At the end of the term, you can easily refinance your mortgage to another lender. A new lender may charge a few hundred dollars in application fees, but you can usually find an offer that avoids these costs.

Advantages and disadvantages of conventional mortgages


  • It is easy to change lenders at the end of the term to get a better interest rate or better terms.
  • It’s easy to get a second mortgage even if your current lender turns you down because of your qualifications.
  • Predictability, clarity and transparency. You take out a mortgage for the exact amount you need, pay it off, and the mortgage goes down.


  • If you want to get equity out of your home, you will need to apply for a new loan, which will likely be a HELOC.

What is a secured mortgage?

word-image-6191 Image source: Shutterstock The best way to declare a secured mortgage is to use a repayment option such as a HELOC.  Your lender maintains the mortgage at the amount of the loan you took out, sometimes even higher, but the amount borrowed does not technically decrease when you repay. This allows you to easily dispose of the equity in your home without having to take out a second mortgage or a HELOC. In the example above, with a collateralized mortgage, your lender is recording your mortgage for $500,000, and even if you pay off $100,000, the total mortgage amount is still recorded as $500,000. This does not mean that you will not pay off your mortgage over time, nor will you have to make additional payments. On the contrary, it means that a higher amount of credit exists and is available. So instead of paying a fee to open a HELOC, you can just talk to your lender and access the money for less. If you never want to use equity, this is not your concern. The problem is that it is harder to get a second mortgage from another lender, and you may be restricted from getting an additional mortgage from the same lender. Of course, if you are not in dire financial straits and do not need to take out a second mortgage, this will not affect you either. Another disadvantage is that if you change lenders at the end of the term, you cannot easily transfer your mortgage from one organization to another. Instead, you will need to register an entirely new mortgage. But everything happens behind the scenes with your lender; you don’t have to do anything special. You may have to pay about $1,000 in legal fees, but even those can be at least partially offset if there is a grant.

Advantages and disadvantages of secured mortgages

The pros and cons of a secured mortgage are only relevant if you want to take out equity or transfer the mortgage to a new lender.


  • It is easier and cheaper to get a mortgage because the loan you started with is still available.


  • It will be difficult to get a second mortgage from another lender, and it can cost up to $1,000 to change lenders before the end of the term.

How do they both work?

As mentioned earlier, secured and conventional mortgages work in much the same way from the borrower’s perspective. Therefore, whatever you choose, it is important to understand how mortgages work.

Initial payment

They shall contribute at least 20 % of the purchase price. If your contribution is less than 20%, you have what’s called a high-ratio mortgage and you need to buy insurance from CMHC or Genworth to cover your lender because the risk of default is higher.

Mooring system

You take out a loan from a lender for 80% or less of the value of the house and pay it back over a period of time, usually 25 or 30 years.


Even if it takes decades to pay off your mortgage, you should agree on an interest rate term of one to five years. Five-year terms are the most popular. The only problem is that many people sell their homes within five years, in which case they have to tear up the mortgage. This results in heavy penalties: usually three months interest for a variable rate mortgage and three months interest plus the calculated interest rate difference for a fixed rate mortgage.  If you think you can sell your home faster, you should opt for a shorter term or a variable interest rate.

Variable and fixed

For each term, you can choose a fixed or variable interest rate, depending on the evolution of interest rates. Variable interest rates usually save you money because they decrease, but most Canadians prefer fixed interest rates because of their stability. There is a misconception that with variable interest rates, your monthly payments can fluctuate, but this only happens when the interest rate increases dramatically, usually by more than two percentage points over the life of the loan. Instead, the same amount will be debited to your bank account each month. Only the interest portion of your monthly payment differs from the amount you pay for the principal. At the end of the term, you can negotiate a new term with your current lender, or switch the mortgage to a new lender that offers better rates or terms. There may be commissions, but they can usually be recouped through a promotion.

What should I choose?

Both mortgages are suitable for the average Canadian who wants to buy a home and pay off their mortgage within their means.

A secured mortgage may make more sense if you:

  • You buy an expensive property and you know that at some point you will want to use the capital.
  • Loyal to their creditor
  • have a short repayment period (less chance of having to change lenders)
  • The resale buyer has a high income or is not concerned about having to take out a second mortgage at some point.

A conventional mortgage may be more suitable if you:

  • I love the choice of rates and I look forward to changing lenders.
  • Don’t plan on taking money out of your home because you want to be mortgage free.
  • Expect financial hardship and be forced to take out a second mortgage on your home, possibly with a private lender.
  • You are buying a house for the first time and the repayment period is long.

Note that most Canadian banks offer both regular and secured mortgages, but some offer only secured mortgages. If you opt for a conventional mortgage, avoid these lenders.

Concluding remarks

HELOCs have become hugely popular with Canadians in recent years and are far more popular than second mortgages. This is probably because property values have risen so much that it seems foolish not to use that capital and access historically low interest rates. It is possible that one day you will have this opportunity. Nevertheless, both types of mortgages make it relatively easy to obtain equity. It’s just that your secured mortgage is already a HELOC, and with a conventional mortgage you would have to register a HELOC loan. It’s almost all gone. If in doubt, we recommend you consult a mortgage adviser who can explain the advantages and disadvantages of your specific situation.Collateral Mortgages and Conventional Mortgages are two of the most common types of mortgages that are used by people across the country. Collateral Mortgages are used by many first time home buyers because they can be a good option if you want to make a large down payment, and you can also finance more than 80% of the home value. Conventional Mortgages are also commonly used, and they are ideal for first time buyers and home owners with FICO scores of 660 and higher.. Read more about are collateral mortgages bad and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a collateral and conventional mortgage?

Both collateral and conventional mortgages work, but the differences between the two are crucial to understand before you decide which one you need. Both collateral and conventional mortgages offer the same basic product: the ability to buy a home with a loan. However, the two types of mortgage products serve different purposes. People who are considering a home purchase or refinancing need to ask a lot of questions before they do anything. So many choices are involved — down payment, property, closing costs, interest rates and the biggest one of all, what type of mortgage to choose.

Why are collateral mortgages bad?

There are several different types of mortgages available. The most popular type of mortgage is the conventional mortgage. These are the mortgages that you probably think of when you think of a mortgage, such as the ones you might have taken out to buy your home, or the one you took out when you bought your car. While it is generally accepted that up to 80% of the cost of a home is the interest on the mortgage, most consumers are unaware that a large percentage of the interest on their mortgage is actually paid by the borrower—you. This is because the majority of the interest in a mortgage is paid in the form of a “collateral” mortgage. Collateral mortgages are a type of mortgage that you may have if you are a first-time homebuyer or have an outstanding mortgage on your current residence. Collateral mortgages are also known as “second mortgages”, “second lien mortgages” or “second mortgages”.

What is Collateral Mortgage Canada?

Conventional loans have a lot of benefits, such as the ability to borrow more money and pay lower interest rates, but they do come with some drawbacks such as an increased risk of default, a larger down payment, a longer amortization period and a lower age of retirement. Collateral Mortgage Canada is a mortgage product designed for people who have never been to Canada before. They offer a mortgage solution that can make the process of buying a house in Canada a lot easier and faster. You may have heard that collateral mortgage loans are the way to go if you want to get a home loan. Or, you may have heard that collateral mortgage loans are the way to go if you want to get a home loan in Canada.

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