Managing your mortgage

Learn how to pay down your Desjardins mortgage faster or in full, or in situations where you have to pay a mortgage prepayment penalty.

Mortgage glossary


Period of time required to completely repay your mortgage (e.g., 20, 25 or 30 years). This period may vary if a variable interest rate is selected.

Cash back

Amount sometimes awarded borrowers when repaying or renewing a mortgage. In some cases, borrowers may have to pay back a portion of the cash back amount (e.g.: when prepaying a loan and subject to a penalty). Your contract states how the amount is calculated in these cases.

Closed mortgage

A mortgage that can be paid off in advance provided a prepayment penalty is paid, except in the case of some partial payments. These can be fixed rate mortgages, Yearly Rate Resetter Mortgage Loans, Reduced Variable-Rate Mortgages and Protected Variable-Rate Mortgages.
Learn more about closed mortgages.

Fixed-rate mortgage

Open or closed mortgage where the rate remains fixed until the end of the term (Terms may vary from 6 months to 10 years. The most common term is 5 years.) You know what the credit charges and due date of your mortgage are right away.
Learn more about fixed-rate mortgages (PDF, 134 KB).

Interest rate differential (IRD)

Used to calculate a prepayment penalty on a closed fixed-rate mortgage. It's the difference between your mortgage rate and the posted rate*, that is, the rate recommended by the Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec to affiliated caisses for fixed-rate closed mortgages where the term most resembles the remaining term of your mortgage. This rate difference is used to calculate the penalty by applying it to the prepayment amount, until the end of the term.

* You can find the posted rate on the Desjardins mortgage rates page or by contacting your caisse. If you receive written confirmation of a lower interest rate, the posted rate is reduced by a percentage equal to the rate reduction.

Interest rate reduction

Discounted interest rate sometimes set when a mortgage is taken out or renewed.

Open mortgage

A mortgage that can be paid back at any time, in whole or in part, without penalty. This is the case for open fixed-rate mortgages and regular variable rate mortgages.
Learn more about open mortgages.

Prepayment charge (or penalty)

A sum of money required from borrowers when they fully or partially prepay their mortgage before the term, serving to compensate mortgage lenders for losses incurred when mortgages are prepaid.


Period between the date the mortgage deed or renewal agreement is signed, and the date the balance of the mortgage is due (e.g., 5 years). At the end of the term, you may pay your mortgage in full or renew it under new conditions, depending on your needs and situation. Note that the term of a mortgage is not the same as the amortization period.

Variable-rate mortgage

Open or closed mortgage where the rate fluctuates with the Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec prime rate during your mortgage term. Your payments remain the same, even if the rates fluctuate; only the amortization period varies based on rate fluctuations. Variable-rate mortgages let you benefit from dropping interest rates and repay your mortgage faster.
Learn more about variable-rate mortgages (PDF, 134 KB).

Yearly Rate Resetter Mortgage Loan

A 1-year fixed-rate mortgage revised annually for a 5-year term, including a predetermined discount for each year.
Learn more about the Yearly Rate Resetter Mortgage Loan.

N.B.: The text in this section was simplified to achieve optimal clarity so some secondary details were omitted. It bears no legal value. Please refer to the contracts you signed with the caisse to ascertain your rights and obligations pertaining to this information.