Mortgage Intelligence

Oshawa's Mortgage News Desk!


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How to deal with mortgage payment difficulties

Sometimes unforeseen financial circumstances can impact your ability to make your regular mortgage payments. Or perhaps your debt demons have been caused by taking on too much other high-interest debt.  It can be tempting to want to conceal your debt problem for as long as possible – but that’s almost never the best strategy. With early intervention, there are weapons available that can help you fight these demons! Your mortgage lender doesn’t want to see you default on your mortgage; they’d much rather help homeowners find a way to keep their home.

For mortgages insured by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), they have identified several tools available to help you ride out a period of financial uncertainty:

  1. Converting a variable-interest rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage to protect you in the event of a sudden jump in interest rates.
  2. Your lender may be willing to offer a temporary payment deferral, or other flexible options for short-term relief. If you’ve made any lump-sum payments against your mortgage in the past – or if you’ve been on an accelerated payment schedule – that history can help.
  3. You may be able to extend your amortization period to reduce your monthly payments. You can shorten the amortization again later if your circumstances change.
  4. If you’ve actually missed a few payments already, you may ask if the lender is willing to add them to the mortgage balance and extend the payment period accordingly. (Best, however, to start talking before you start missing payments!)
  5. A special payment arrangement unique to your situation may also be possible.

Genworth Canada also has a Homeowner Assistance Program designed to help homeowners who are experiencing temporary financial difficulties that may put their mortgage at risk.

Ultimately though, it’s best to seek help at the first sign of financial trouble. Getting in touch with the team at MiMortgage.ca and getting your situation assessed by an expert is a great place to begin – because as independent mortgage professionals, we work for our clients and look out for their best interests, and ensure that their needs are met.

It’s possible that your financial situation just requires some extra penny-pinching to stay on budget. But if you find yourself adding to your credit card debt – or borrowing to make mortgage payments – then it’s time have that conversation with an expert at MiMortgage.ca. Conatct us at 1 866 452-1100 to speak to an expert now. The earlier you get help, the easier it will be to conquer those debt demons!

 

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Back to school on saving money

September is here so let’s use that brisk back-to-work attitude to make sure your personal finances are on track to save you money over the long term.  If we haven’t talked in the last year, or if any of these situations apply, please get in touch:

  1. You are considering a refinance for any reason – too much high interest debt is making cash flow tight, or you are considering a renovation, investment property, or have a large looming expense.  Proposed new mortgage rules include stress testing for conventional mortgages which, if implemented, will make refinancing more difficult for many Canadians.  Don’t delay; the new rules could be in place before year end.
  2. You are thinking about moving to a new home and want to review your mortgage options.
  3. You are wondering if you should lock in your variable-rate mortgage.
  4. Your mortgage is coming up for renewal and you want to guarantee your rate now and ensure you get the best deal possible.
  5. You know someone who could benefit from a fresh look at their mortgage options and would appreciate paying the least amount of interest and fees during their mortgage years.

Always keep in mind that the right mortgage plan can save you thousands of dollars!  Enjoy the fall season, and thank you so much for your ongoing support.

P.S. Do you have any home improvement store purchases coming up?  We have a new product that will save you money on these purchases.  Contact the team at MiMortgage.ca at 1 866 452-1100. Let us know if this applies to you!


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After the rate hike, what’s next?

On July 12th, for the first time in seven years, the Bank of Canada increased the overnight rate by .25%, withdrawing some of the stimulus that was needed after the oil price collapse and 2008 financial crisis. Variable rate mortgages and lines of credit will see higher rates and modest payment increases. Fixed-rate mortgage – which are based on the bond market – had already been trending slightly upward, although if you have a fixed mortgage, you aren’t affected until it’s time to renew. Keep in mind that this is a very small increase, and we’re still in an ultra-low rate environment and an incredibly stable market. We’ve also seen increases before to only see them decrease again. But rates have risen, so here are answers to the questions we’re getting:

Should I jump into the market now?  Actually, our advice is always the same: buy when you are financially ready. Don’t jump the gun just because rates “may” go higher.  But by all means, if you’re thinking about buying, we can arrange a pre-approval so you’re protected from rate increases while you shop around.

Should I lock in my variable rate mortgage ASAP? That depends. Your new rate with the hike is probably still less than current 5-year fixed rates, and you’ll still likely pay less if there is another .25% increase. So why pay more money than you have to? Stick with your original strategy of focusing on payment vs. rate. But if it’s going to keep you awake at night – or the few extra dollars are hard to find in your budget – then let’s talk about your conversion options. Remember though, you should be confident you’ll stay in a 5-year fixed mortgage for the full term. Breaking a fixed mortgage can result in some tough penalties.

What if my mortgage is coming up for renewal? Don’t feel rushed or pressured by a renewal letter or call. Let’s discuss your options. We’ll review your renewal offer together and we’ll shop around to see if it’s really the best deal available. Got too much other debt? This may be the time to roll it into a new mortgage to boost cash flow and save on interest costs.

Should we talk? Yes for sure. You should have confidence in your mortgage plan and that’s why professional mortgage advice is so critical.  We have access to a wide range of lenders and know the right questions to ask to assess your situation and make sure you have the best mortgage strategy. Contact the team at MiMortgage.ca at 1 866 452-1100 to speak to an expert or apply online now!

 


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Love It and Renovate!

Looking to do renovations to your home this summer? Speak to an expert at MiMortgage.ca about a refinancing options that’s best suited for you. Contact the team at MiMortgage.ca at 1 866 452-1100 to speak to an expert or apply online now!


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Are you ready to buy a home?

There’s lots of perks for owning your own home – monthly payments you make will be towards paying off your mortgage instead of paying a landlord, build home equity, become a part of a community and you can decorate the way you want!

Here’s what you need to know, to get started..

To find out more about how much you can qualify for, get in touch with the team at MiMortgage.ca. Call us at 1 866 452-1100 to speak to an expert or apply online now!

 


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What’s up with zero downpayment? For some, it can make all the difference.

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Image by courtsey of erastarr.com

Many Canadians are not aware that zero down is alive and well and offered by a handful of excellent lenders to qualified borrowers. Of course, you have to wonder if zero-down can possibly make good financial sense. The answer is both yes and no.

A zero-down mortgage is not for everyone – but for well qualified homebuyers, a zero-down plan can get them into their homes faster, saving potentially thousands in rent, and providing a jump start on building wealth.

If you have excellent income and credit, and the ability to manage your mortgage payment and ongoing housing expenses comfortably within your budget, then you could be a candidate for a zero-down mortgage.  Consider that the money currently going to rent could be helping you build home equity right now, and that we continue to be in a period of historically low interest rates.

So how can you get around saving that critical minimum downpayment required to qualify for an insured mortgage? You can borrow the downpayment from a line of credit, personal loan or family member. With excellent credit and stable income, your interest rate will be fully discounted. The loan payment of course will be used in your qualifying calculation, and your mortgage insurance premium will be higher. You’ll also need to have funds set aside to cover your closing costs.

Want to learn if you qualify to purchase now without waiting, how to build your downpayment faster, or the steps you can take to improve your credit rating so you qualify for a great rate when the time comes? Contact the team at MiMortgage.ca. Let’s talk!

 


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5 ways to improve mortgage qualifying success

 

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Yes new mortgage rules have made it harder to qualify for a mortgage, whether you are a first-time buyer or looking to renew or refinance your mortgage with a new lender. That’s why you should get yourself mortgage ready well in advance.  Here are 5 tips to help you do just that:

  1. Get your credit report. Getting a copy of your credit report will let you know how you will be viewed by lenders. You can order yours for free through the mail or for a small fee online at www.equifax.ca. If you spot a problem, contact Equifax to resolve the issue.
  2. Polish your credit. You can boost your score by several points fairly quickly with continual good credit habits. Most importantly, pay your bills on time, every time. Don’t let your credit accounts exceed 50% of the credit available. Before you cancel any credit cards, get advice. And don’t apply for a store card just to save on your purchase that day. Make a habit of checking your credit score each year, and watch how those good credit habits push your credit score skywards!
  3. Cash is king. Plan to go into homeownership with the maximum downpayment possible. If you are in the “saving up” stage of preparing for homeownership, now is the time to meet. There are several downpayment savings strategies available that we can put to work for you.
  4. Get a boost from family. Parents and grandparents have enjoyed the personal and financial benefits of home ownership themselves, and see how hard it is today to make that important first step into the market. Check to see if they are willing to help by gifting or loaning some or all of the downpayment, or by helping you with other debts.
  5. Start a dialogue early. Get in touch with the team MiMortgage.ca earlier on in the process to talk about your purchase, refinance or renewal plans. We can help you be fully prepared to get you where you want to go, and to make sure you can take advantage of any opportunities that come your way.

Also remember, history has proven that it is almost impossible to perfectly time the market.  Further, home ownership has proven to be a very solid investment in the long term, so focus on buying a home when you are financially ready and when it fits your lifestyle;