Millennial Knowledge of Mortgage Risks Low

Only 12 per cent of millennials are confident they can make the best decisions

Toronto, ON (Nov. 24, 2016) – A recent survey among Ontario millennials raises concerns about how prepared those with mortgages are to deal with the likelihood of rising interest rates, and how ready first-time homebuyers are for the realities of having a mortgage.

The survey conducted by Environics Research for the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) asked how confident Ontario millennials are when dealing with banks and other lenders regarding mortgages. Only 12 per cent of those likely to get a mortgage said they felt very confident that they know everything they need to know to be able to make the best decisions for themselves. Forty-seven per cent said they were not very or at all confident.

Other findings included:

  • Only 22 per cent of millennials likely to get a mortgage knew that they would have to contribute at least five per cent of the purchase price as a down payment in order to buy a home in Ontario.
  • When asked about closing costs, only 39 per cent named legal fees, 24 per cent Land Transfer Tax and eight per cent insurance such as home insurance. Twenty-five percent said they didn’t know what closing costs might be.
  • Meanwhile, of millennials who already have a mortgage, many are not prepared to deal with unexpected events or costs:
  • Just 42 per cent said they have built up six months of emergency savings in case something unexpected happens such as losing a job;
  • Only 37 per cent said they understand very well what happens if they miss a mortgage payment; and
  • Only 43 per cent have a life, disability or critical illness insurance policy on the mortgage.

The survey was conducted as part of FSCO’s Financial Literacy Month campaign that aims to increase awareness among typical first-time homebuyers aged 25-34, of the responsibilities of getting a mortgage. The campaign will also improve knowledge about their rights as financial consumers.

FSCO recommends Ontarians planning to renew or obtain a mortgage should at the very least:

  • Ensure they are able to afford the mortgage by taking a close look at their finances, future plans and lifestyle, considering not just how much money they have today, but their financial position for the length of the mortgage.
  • Consider how they would manage payments if their income fell, their expenses rose, or their mortgage payments increased.
  • Plan ahead for hard times by building up emergency savings, identifying other funds they can access and clarifying payment options available on their mortgage contract.
  • Do their research regarding the process of saving, shopping and applying for a mortgage by visiting FSCO’s Understanding Mortgages website and other helpful online resources.

Quick Facts

  • One million home owners in Canada renewed or refinanced their mortgages in 2015, with the average still owing $203,000 (Mortgage Professionals Canada)

Additional Resources


  • “Buying a home is an enormous responsibility and agreeing to a mortgage loan is a serious commitment. Being informed empowers you to make good financial decisions for today and for your future.”
    – Anatol Monid, Executive Director, Licensing and Market Conduct Division, FSCO

Survey Methodology

This online survey was conducted by Environics Research from October 19th to 24th, 2016 with a representative sample of n=801 Ontario adults aged 25 to 44, including n=495 Millennials (age 25-34) and n=306 members of “Gen-X” (age 35-44). Quotas were set by region, age and gender to ensure the sample was representative of this population, as defined by the most recent National Household Survey data.

Because an online survey is not a probability sample, a margin of sampling error cannot be ascribed.

About the Financial Services Commission of Ontario

FSCO was established under the Financial Services Commission of Ontario Act, 1997 (FSCO Act) with a legislative mandate set out in the FSCO Act.

FSCO’s legislative mandate is to provide regulatory services that protect the public interest and enhance public confidence in the sectors it regulates.

FSCO regulates the insurance sector; pension plans; loan and trust companies; credit unions and caisses populaires; the mortgage brokering sector; co-operative corporations in Ontario; and service providers who invoice auto insurers for statutory accident benefits claims. FSCO is accountable to the Minister of Finance.

About Environics Research

Environics Research is one of Canada’s leading consultancies, offering data-based advice in support of clients’ strategic, communications, policy, reputational and issues management challenges. Headquartered in Toronto, Environics is a full-service, Canadian-owned company that has been providing consulting and research services for governments, businesses and not-for-profit associations since 1970. Learn more at

Source: Financial Services Commission of Ontario