More and more Canadians are taking advantage of historically low mortgage rates, but is it worth it to break your existing loan to get a lower rate somewhere else?

A viewer named Cindy wrote to us to ask if it's worth it to get out of a mortgage early.

She recently left her mortgage before the end of the term and was charged a hefty penalty. She said "[I] wasn't aware of the penalty until signing the closing documents."

There is often a penalty involved when you get out of a mortgage before the end of the term.

Usually in a mortgage contract it states the fee will be a three-month interest penalty or something called an "Interest Rate Differential."

What the IRD means is that you pay the bank the difference between your higher mortgage rate and today's lower rate times what you owe – and the multiplied by the remaining years on your mortgage.

For example, if your mortgage rate is six per cent and today's rate is four per cent that two per cent difference is multiplied by what you owe – say $300,000 – times the number of years remaining. If you had four years left that would give you a penalty of $24,000.

It's worth it to speak to your financial institution if you're thinking about leaving your mortgage early. They can discuss if you have any other options.

Watch CTV News tonight when Lynda Steele dips into the viewer mailbag and answers a handful of viewer questions…