Safely Securing a Mortgage
Written by Cassie Steele
Canada is in a golden age for mortgages. Bank of Canada’s latest figures revealed that whilst households are in larger amounts of debt than ever before, only 0.24% of mortgages are in arrears, showing that people are making their repayments – and confidently. With such encouraging figures and a housing market that remains strong, it’s an encouraging time for anyone seeking to secure a new property.
Eyeing up your new property is an exciting time and it can be easy to get ahead of yourself, especially with good quality housing stock springing up. However, you shouldn’t rush ahead with your mortgage without a comprehensive independent home inspection and the necessary awareness of being careful.
Protecting yourself in the market
The majority of mortgage applicants will be absolutely happy with the process and never be at risk of criminal activity. This is due to the safeguards and regulations built into Canada’s housing market. However, it remains that mortgage fraud is up 52% since 2013 according to Equifax and Canadian Government statistics. Mortgage fraud committed against an honest applicant is therefully thankfully rare, but it doesn’t hurt to be aware of how fraudsters target you.
Common types of mortgage fraud typically involve the misrepresentation of funds. This can either be done on the buyer end, affecting lower down the purchase chain. Or, intermediaries and other agencies in the buying process are acting unscrupulously. As in all walks of life, the best thing to do is be thorough in your research, and use your gut feeling to scope out any situations that don’t feel right.
Maximizing your credit score – but not relying on it entirely
The fabled credit score is king when it comes to a mortgage application. As the most definitive history of your reliability as a borrower, it’s not without merit. Ensure your credit score is up to date by checking the record for corrections, minimizing any credit activity and keeping your data secure. Bear in mind, though, that there are now extra rules on top of the standard credit score regulations. Global News reported that homeowners would be “stress tested” before a mortgage is issued. Be aware that you will need to prove your adaptability to fluctuations in conditions and interest rates, but remember this could work to your advantage, too.
Securing a mortgage and enjoying your new home is a case of diligence. Make sure your desired property is all it seems; make sure you protect yourself from harm; and make the most of your financial situation to get the best deal.