IMPROVING YOUR CREDIT SCORE

General Anne-Marie Sieders 15 Feb

Your credit score is a big factor when you apply for a mortgage. It can dictate how good your interest rate will be and the type of mortgage you qualify for.

Mortgage Professionals are experienced helping clients with a wide range of credit scores so we can find you a mortgage product even if your credit is far from perfect.

The good news about your credit score is that it can be improved:

Stop looking for more credit. If you’re frequently seeking credit that can affect your score as can the size of the balances you carry. Every time you apply for credit there is a hard credit check. It is particularly important that you not apply for a credit card in the six months leading up to your mortgage application. These credit checks may stay on your file for up to three years.
If your credit card is maxed out all the time, that’s going to hurt your credit score. Make some small monthly regular payments to reduce your balance and start using your debit card more. It’s important that you try to keep your balance under 30% or even 20% of your credit limit.
It’s also important to make your credit payments on time. People are often surprised that not paying their cell phone bill can hurt their credit score in the same way as not making their mortgage payment.
You should use your credit cards at least every few months. That’s so its use is reported to credit reporting agencies. As long as you pay the balance off quickly you won’t pay any interest.
You may wish to consider special credit cards used to rebuild credit. You simply make a deposit on the card and you get a credit limit for the value of that deposit. They are easy to get because the credit card company isn’t taking any risks.
Contact a Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Professional if you have any questions.

Tracy Valko
Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Tracy is part of DLC Forest City Funding based in London, ON.

8 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO GET THE BEST RENEWAL

Mortgage Tips Anne-Marie Sieders 8 Feb

With 47 per cent of homeowners scheduled to renew their mortgages this year, 2018 is a year of change for lots of Canadians.
Here are the top 8 things you can do to get the best renewal:

1. Pull out your mortgage renewal now, and start early. When you are proactive instead of reactive you can see if there is anything on your credit score or lifestyle that we can modify to ensure you are positioned for the best renewal. You are only in a position to do this when you start early- in the last year of your mortgage you will have the most amount of options available. For example, there can be an inaccuracy in your credit report or you may be considering an income/job change that would impact your options. We can look at timing accordingly for you.

2. Do not just sign the renewal offered. Lenders can change the terms of your mortgage, and the renewal you are signing can cost you up to four per cent of your equity if you are with the wrong lender for your current life stage.

3. Most people think the best rate is the best renewal – WRONG. The terms are most important and with all terms moving or selling is the only reason most people think they would ever break a mortgage- THIS is simply not the case, a change in the interest rate market, divorce, health, job change, investment opportunity and many other reasons would contribute to a future modification being beneficial for a consumer.

4. Take into consideration lender history. The lender can have a higher prime then anyone because they know the cost to leave outweighs staying the course. The lenders are very smart with their calculated risks- and this is not something they have an obligation to disclose.

5. Remember your lender has a bias – their job is to handcuff you so they can make as much profit off you as possible- don’t be a victim.

6. Do not shop each lender on your own, it takes points off of your credit score. All lenders have different rates based on your score and you want to position yourself to get the best. By using a mortgage professional, they can shop multiple lenders protecting your credit using only one application, while the rate variation can be on average a half a percent!

7. Don’t get sucked into the online rate shopping- any monkey can post a rate online and you can drive yourself crazy looking at something that does not exists. In today’s complex mortgage market there are significantly different rates based on – insured mortgage vs uninsured mortgage, switch vs refinance, purchase or renewal, principal residence vs rental, salary or self-employed, 600 credit score or 700 credit score, amortization of 20 years to 30 years, type of property condo vs house, and leased land or freehold. The variations can mean a difference in thousands of dollars. Like diagnosing a medical condition, you can’t go online, you do have to put in the appropriate application and supporting documents to verify which options are available to you that will result in the lowest cost in borrowing.

8. Remember your mortgage is the largest debt and investment most of us have, when you contact an independent mortgage professional, we are going to invest all the work and expertise and advise you in your best interest regardless if we get your business. We may after our review advise you to stick with your existing lender, or make another recommendation for you. We are only here to enhance your finances and save you money, and there is no cost for our service.

Angela Calla
Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Angela is part of DLC Angela Calla Mortgage Team based in Port Coquitlam, BC.

What is CMHC?

General Anne-Marie Sieders 6 Feb

WHAT IS THE CANADIAN MORTGAGE AND HOUSING CORPORATION (CMHC)?
The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is a corporation that most are semi-familiar with, but do not know what CMHC actually does.

CMHC is Canada’s authority on housing. They contribute to the stability of the housing market and the financial system. They also provide support for Canadians in housing need and offer objective housing research and advice to Canadian Governments, Consumers and the Housing Industry.

CMHC offers a variety of different services, all pertaining to Canadian Housing. These services include:

1. Policy and Research
One of CMHC’s cornerstone services is the provision of market analysis information, housing-related data and information, and key housing sector data and information. They are one of Canada’s leading sources of reliable and objective housing market analysis and information. Their research and activities support informed business decisions, policy development for governing bodies and housing program design and delivery.

2. Affordable Housing Measures
CMHC (on behalf of the Government of Canada) also is the primary funder for affordable housing endeavors across Canada. Each year, CMHC invests approximately 2 billion on behalf of the Canadian government to help provide safe, affordable, stable housing opportunities for each province and territory. CMHC oversees approximately 80% of the existing social portfolio administered by provinces and territories, and manages the remaining 20% independently to fund federally housing units such as housing cooperatives. They also work under the IAH (Investment in Affordable Housing) Act, which allows for cost-matching the federal investment to allow for new construction, renovation, homeowner assistance, rent supplements, shelter allowances, and more.

3. Consumer Assistance
The final key services that CMHC offers to Canadians is providing relevant, timely information that can be accessed and used by the public. On their website you can access detailed information on topics such as the:

CMHC green building and renovation practices
Homeowners How-To Guides
Housing Related Research
Homeowner grants and opportunities
4. Mortgage Loan Insurance
In addition to the above, CMHC is also the #1 provider of Mortgage Loan Insurance to Canadians. Mortgage loan insurance is typically required by lenders when homebuyers make a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price. Mortgage loan insurance helps protect lenders against mortgage default, and enables consumers to purchase homes with a minimum down payment starting at 5%* – with interest rates comparable to those with a 20% down payment. In addition to CMHC, there are also 2 other primary mortgage loan insurance providers, Genworth Canada and Canada Guaranty.

CMHC strives to promote mortgage literacy and provide home buyers with in depth knowledge and tools to help them prepare to purchase a home.

Essentially, CMHC is the Canadian Government’s organization that seeks to inform and educate Canadians on the housing and mortgage industry. It reports to the Parliament of Canada through a Minister, governed by the Board of Directors. CMHC makes recommendations based on it’s data and surveys to advise and assist the government of Canada in making decisions that directly impact the mortgage and housing industry. For instance, the date and information provided by CMHC provided information that led to:

February 2016:
Minimum down payment rules changed to:

Up to $500K – 5%
Up to $1MM – 5% for the first $500K and 10% up to $1MM
$1MM and greater requires 20% down (no mortgage insurance available)
Exemption for BC Property Transfer Tax on NEW BUILDS regardless if one was a 1st time home buyer with a purchase price of 750K or less.
July 2016
Still fresh in our minds, the introduction of the foreign tax stating that an ADDITIONAL 15% Property Transfer Tax is applied for all non-residents or corporations that are not incorporated in Canada purchasing property in British Columbia.

October 17, 2016: STRESS TESTING
INSURED mortgages with less than 20% down Have to qualify at Bank of Canada 5 year posted rate.

January 1, 2018: B-20 GUIDELINE CHANGES
The new guidelines will require that all conventional mortgages (those with a down payment higher than 20%) will have to undergo stress testing. Stress testing means that the borrower would have to qualify at the greater of the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada or the contractual mortgage rate +2%

While CMHC does not implement or guide the mortgage/housing changes, they play an integral part in them. They provide the cornerstone of data that the provincial and federal governments use to determine updates, rules, and changes to help to regulate the industry. So, well we may not always like what the data indicates and implicates, it does serve to regulate and make the process of owning a home easier for Canadians. If you have any questions, feel free to contact your local Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional.

Geoff Lee
GEOFF LEE
Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Geoff is part of DLC GLM Mortgage Group based in Vancouver, BC.