A revolution in real time
You can't blame Greg Stanley, president of Home n Work Mortgages, for being excited. After all, it's not every day that you get to change the way an industry does its business - which is exactly what he says will be the result of the new Smart Equity program and its claim to save the average homeowner over $100,000 in interest over the life of a mortgage.
Stanley, also a certified financial planner, says that it's all part of what he believes should be the true role of a mortgage broker - being the clients' personal coach to help relieve them of debt as efficiently as possible. Most lenders and competitors shy away from encouraging clients to be clear title and debt-free, he says.
"They are more renewal-motivated rather than referral-motivated, but as coaches we don't want to see people simply refinancing every five years. We want them focused - without needing to change their current budget - to pay off all debt as quickly as possible."
The premise to the program sounds surprisingly simple, but it is the result of complex software that Stanley says will reduce the time it takes to pay down mortgages as well as other debts that any client may have at any given time, and will tell the client when to pay what on a monthly basis.
"What we're doing is using a line of credit to make a pay down on their actual existing first mortgage, so on the very first day Smart Equity will prompt you to take $5,000 and throw it on your mortgage, so on a $100,000 mortgage that is now $95,000, it's still accepting payments as if it was $100,000," he says.
The result is a lower amortization, which is accompanied by having normal revenue and expenses flow out of the line of credit until it is back to zero, in which the program will prompt the client to put another $2,500 down on the mortgage, and so on, until the debt is gone. Basically, it first sets the monthly payment at a fully discounted bank rate. Then it will power down the effective rate of the mortgage to be lower while keeping the payment the same, explains Stanley.
"Naturally what is going to happen is that it's paid off quicker, so rather than 30 years it's done possibly in 12 or nine."
Home n Work also has an extensive financial adviser network across Canada, with plans to train 1,000 more in the next year. All Home n Work mortgage consultants are assigned to the advisers in order to work together to "come up with creative solutions that improve immediate cash flow, plan for wealth accumulation and pay off debts faster," he says.
Another one of the benefits of the program, says Stanley, is that "we don't need to wait for the next five-year renewal to see what is happening with our clients' finance because the household budget of each client is uploaded every 30 days - that is as close to real time tracking as you can get in the mortgage brokerage industry."
All this, he says, will simply mean more clients paying off their debts sooner.
"Our mission is to be the national mortgage broker that saves thousands of Canadian households billions in unnecessary interest costs."