The term of the mortgage is the contractual life of your mortgage loan. The term represents the length of time that you and the financial institution are obligated to each other with respect to your mortgage. As you choose your mortgage, the term is one of the decisions you will need to make. The term of the mortgage is usually shorter than the actual life, or amortization of your mortgage. Once the term has expired, the mortgage is completely open for renegotiation. At that time, you have the right to find a new lender if you wish and your financial institution has the right to re-qualify you before renewing your mortgage. In practice, as long as your mortgage is current and all payments have been made as agreed, financial institutions will often automatically renew your mortgage, and not require that you re-qualify.