30 Jan

PRE-APPROVALS & PRE-QUALIFICATIONS

General

Posted by: Peter Paley & Associates

Pre-approval vs. pre-qualification is a huge distinction. Today’s blog comes from our colleague Ryan Oake.

enjoy.

PRE-APPROVALS & PRE-QUALIFICATIONS
Throughout the mortgage and home buying process, there are many steps and many checkpoints a buyer will need to complete before they can move on to the next one. A buyer will not be able to close on a purchase if they do not have a lawyer. Financing conditions need to be lifted after confirmation from a mortgage broker that a file is broker complete. A buyer should never write an offer on a home until they have a realtor working for them. Most importantly, a buyer should never be looking at property they are considering buying until they have been pre-qualified and pre-approved.

Now, one thing we need to make clear- pre-qualified and pre-approved are two different things. Pre-qualified is when someone completes a mortgage application with a mortgage broker or a bank representative and is told how much they can afford. Pre-approved is when someone has written confirmation from a lender stating they are willing to lend based on what is stated in an application and the applicant’s current credit history.

The difference?

Pre-qualifications are based solely on the knowledge and experience (sometimes even opinion) of a broker or bank rep. A pre-approval on the other hand is backed by the lender actually willing to give you the money. When someone says they are pre-qualified, that means they have taken an application with a mortgage broker or bank and in broker or bank rep’s opinion, they can afford “x” amount on a home. A pre-approval is a written letter from a lender stating based on applicants current credit history, declared income on application and current assets, we will lend “x” amount pending confirmation everything stated in the application is verifiable and the property meets all lender requirements.

As you can probably tell, one can be more reliable than the other, especially if you are working with a mortgage broker or bank rep that is inexperienced in the industry. Pre-approvals also usually come with a rate hold. What a rate hold does is guarantee you the interest rates that lender is offering today for a certain amount of time (usually 120 days), and if you put an offer on a place within that time period, they will give you that previous rate even if they went up. If rates go down, they will allow you to access the lower interest rate as well.

You must always get yourself pre-qualified before you begin looking at homes so you know what you can afford. Once you have and you are actively looking, it is very important you try and get a pre-approval before you write an offer. It will give you that extra confirmation your application is acceptable, and protect you against interest rate increases while you look.

If you require a pre-qualification, pre-approval, or want to speak with someone about your current situation, please give a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional a call.

Ryan Oake

11 Jan

9½ STEPS TO REPAIR AND IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT

General

Posted by: Peter Paley & Associates

9½ STEPS TO REPAIR AND IMPROVE YOUR CREDIT
Though credit scores aren’t always an indicator of financial health, they are used in a variety of ways that could have a major impact on your life. Interest rates (including mortgage rates) are almost always determined by your credit score. Some employers & landlords may require a credit check to see if you have past credit issues.
Remember this is your credit report, not your “I’m Fiscally Responsible” report. Lenders want to know how you have historically handled credit in order to determine if you are a good credit risk. Higher risk = higher rates!

The Rule of Two:
• You should always have 2 “tradelines” going. This can be a combination of 2 credit cards OR a credit card and a line of credit/ loan etc.
• Credit lines should have a minimum $2,000 limit
• Minimum of 2 years old

So, if your credit score sucks, it could be costing you.
The good news is, you don’t have to live with bad credit forever. There are plenty of things you can do to improve your credit score. Use the 9½ tips below, to improve your credit score

#1) Know Your Credit Score and Credit History
Request a free copy of your credit report from both of Canada’s credit agencies (TransUnion and Equifax). You are legally entitled to one free credit report yearly from each credit agency. Check out my BLOG How to Get a FREE Copy of Your Credit Bureau

#2) Review both TransUnion & Equifax Reports for Any Errors or Discrepancies.
If you find any errors in your credit report, you should dispute them with Equifax or TransUnion and request to have them correct any errors.

#3) Pay On Time, EVERY time!
This might seem obvious, but you need to make your payments on time, every time! This is crucial to repairing and maintaining your credit rating. The largest percentage of your credit score is based on your payment history!! Even being a couple of days late will have a negative impact on your score. Staying current with your payments has a huge positive impact. If you can’t pay the balance off in full, pay the minimum amount on time!

#4) Don’t Go Over Your Card’s Credit Limit
Going over your credit limit, even once will have a huge negative impact on your credit score. You need to be aware of your credit limit and your current debt levels to avoid this.

#5) Pay Off Any Overdue Accounts ASAP
Paying off a collection account will not remove it from your credit report, so do your best to avoid going to collections. If you have any overdue accounts that have gone to collections, negotiate to pay them off ASAP.

#6) Reduce Your Debt
Easier said than done, but if you want to increase your credit rating, you need to reduce your debt. The closer you are to your credit limit, the lower your score. In a perfect world you only want to use about 30% of your available credit. If you have a lot of credit card debt you might consider a loan (with lower interest rates than the credit cards) to consolidate your debts.

#7) Limit Your Inquiries for New Credit
You lose points from excessive hard inquiries on your credit bureau. Any attempts to take on multiple loans/credit cards will look bad in your report.

#8) Avoid Closing Credit Cards
Account age is a factor that reflects positively on your credit score. Too many new accounts lowers your average account age and negatively impacts your credit score. For the same reason, you may want to keep an old account open, even if you are not actively using it.

#9) Time is your Friend
When rebuilding your credit, time will be your best friend. The impact of past credit problems lessens with time, so that a late payment from a year ago will have much less weight than a late payment today. Get current and stay current.

#9.5) Protect Your Credit from Identity Theft
As more of our personal information gets circulated via the internet, there’s more room for “bad people” to steal your personal details so that they can make fraudulent purchases in your name. This can be extremely damaging to your credit history. You can protect your credit history from this by paying for a service that can alert you to fraud.

If you have any questions, contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker near you.

Kelly Hudson
KELLY HUDSON

7 Jan

How To Renew Your Mortgage In 5 Simple Steps

General

Posted by: Peter Paley & Associates

So your mortgage is renewing this year. What do you do? When you initially shopped for the mortgage you did your best to make sure you received a great rate and great mortgage terms. So why not now? Getting a 2nd opinion about your renewal is very important, especially with all of you new mortgage rules. Our blog today comes from our colleague Chris Cabel.

Enjoy the blog!

HOW TO RENEW YOUR MORTGAGE IN 5 SIMPLE STEPS!

If you have a mortgage, you’ll be completing a mortgage renewal when your current term has finished.
While most Canadians spend a lot of time and expend tons of effort shopping for an initial mortgage, the same is generally not the case when looking at mortgage renewals.

So what is a mortgage renewal?

Mortgages terms are locked in rates that are *over a set term* which can vary from 1-10 years.

About 3 months before the end of your term, your current lender will suddenly become your best friend showering you with attention and trying to entice you with early renewal offers…And the first offer is never their best. It really shows how they value the relationship.
“Please, please sign here on the dotted line to renew… it’s sooo easy!!”

You have 3 options

1. Sign and send back with no alterations or changes (don’t do it, really I mean it… don’t do it!!)
2. Check the market to make sure you are getting the best rate and renegotiate with your current lender
3. Talk to a mortgage expert and together we can discuss the best options available for your situation

Lenders know that 80% of people will sign their renewal forms because it’s fast, easy and convenient. Banks & lenders push this “take it as it is” tactic to borrowers to ensure they make the highest profits to keep their shareholders happy. As an educated consumer, you need to take the time to ensure you are being offered the best possible rate & terms you can get.
Remember all those hours of research you did regarding lenders and mortgage rates when you were buying your first home… don’t forget!
It is true that signing the renewal document is easy, however it is in your best interest to take a more proactive approach. Money in the lenders pocket comes directly out of your pocket.

5 steps to save you money on your mortgage renewal

1. Receive the renewal offer from your current mortgage lender and examine immediately. This gives you enough time to make an informed decision
2. Do your online research about the best current rates for you
3. Call your current lender and negotiate!
4. If your lender will not offer you a better rate then it is time to move your mortgage. You will have to complete a mortgage application and gather applicable documentation just like you did for your original mortgage, but we will help with most of the work!
5. Take a look at your budget and see if you can increase the amount of your mortgage payments. This will eventually save you money by paying off your mortgage faster

Your mortgage is one of your biggest expenses. For this reason, it is so important to find the best interest rates and mortgage terms you possibly can.
As you can tell there is lots to discuss about mortgage renewals. We can help. Contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional today!

Chris Cabel

3 Jan

9 REASONS WHY PEOPLE BREAK THEIR MORTGAGES

General

Posted by: Peter Paley & Associates

This is one of my personal favourite BLOG posts from 2018. When you are in house hunting mode, the though that you may need to break your mortgage is inconceivable. Why would I ever need to break my mortgage, the house we found is perfect!!! Well, life happens. Our colleague Kelly Hudson outlines some very important points to consider. The best advice is to contact a dedicated mortgage professional.

Enjoy the blog!

9 REASONS WHY PEOPLE BREAK THEIR MORTGAGES

Did you know that 60 per cent of people break their mortgage before their mortgage term matures?

Most homeowners are blissfully unaware that when you break your mortgage with your lender, you will incur penalties and those penalties can be painfully expensive.

Many homeowners are so focused on the rate that they are ignorant about the terms of their mortgage.

Is it sensible to save $15/month on a lower interest rate only to find out that, two years down the road you need to break your mortgage and that “safe” 5-year fixed rate could cost you over $20,000 in penalties?

There are a variety of different mortgage choices available. Knowing my 9 reasons for a possible break in your mortgage might help you avoid them (and those troublesome penalties)!

9 reasons why people break their mortgages:

1. Sale and purchase of a home
• If you are considering moving within the next 5 years you need to consider a portable mortgage.
• Not all of mortgages are portable. Some lenders avoid portable mortgages by giving a slightly lower interest rate.
• Please note: when you port a mortgage, you will need to requalify to ensure you can afford the “ported” mortgage based on your current income and any the current mortgage rules.

2. To take equity out
• In the last 3 years many home owners (especially in Vancouver & Toronto) have seen a huge increase in their home values. Some home owners will want to take out the available equity from their homes for investment purposes, such as buying a rental property.

3. To pay off debt
• Life happens, and you may have accumulated some debt. By rolling your debts into your mortgage, you can pay off the debts over a long period of time at a much lower interest rate than credit cards. Now that you are no longer paying the high interest rates on credit cards, it gives you the opportunity to get your finances in order.

4. Cohabitation & marriage & children
• You and your partner decide it’s time to live together… you both have a home and can’t afford to keep both homes, or you both have a no rental clause. The reality is that you have one home too many and may need to sell one of the homes.
• You’re bursting at the seams in your 1-bedroom condo with baby #2 on the way.

5. Relationship/marriage break up
• 43% of Canadian marriages are now expected to end in divorce. When a couple separates, typically the equity in the home will be split between both parties.
• If one partner wants to buy out the other partner, they will need to refinance the home

6. Health challenges & life circumstances
• Major life events such as illness, unemployment, death of a partner (or someone on title), etc. may require the home to be refinanced or even sold.

7. Remove a person from Title
• 20% of parents help their children purchase a home. Once the kids are financially secure and can qualify on their own, many parents want to be removed from Title.
o Some lenders allow parents to be removed from Title with an administration fee & legal fees.
o Other lenders say that changing the people on Title equates to breaking your mortgage – yup… there will be penalties.

8. To save money, with a lower interest rate
• Mortgage interest rates may be lower now than when you originally got your mortgage.
• Work with your mortgage broker to crunch the numbers to see if it’s worthwhile to break your mortgage for the lower interest rate.

9. Pay the mortgage off before the maturity date
• YIPEE – you’ve won the lottery, got an inheritance, scored the world’s best job or some other windfall of cash!! Some people will have the funds to pay off their mortgage early.
• With a good mortgage, you should be able to pay off your mortgage in 5 years, there by avoiding penalties.

Some of these 9 reasons are avoidable, others are not…

Mortgages are complicated… Therefore, you need a mortgage expert!

Give a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage specialist a call and let’s discuss the best mortgage for you, not your bank!

Kelly Hudson