Beginners Guide to Owning a Mortgage

Beginners Guide to Owning a Mortgage

A Beginners Guide to Owning a Mortgage

Beginners Guide to Owning a MortgagePreviously we talked about the Beginners Guide to Getting a Mortgage. Now that you got your mortgage here is a beginner’s guide to owning a mortgage.

Well, technically you don’t “own” your mortgage. In fact as soon as you get the mortgage you “owe” money to the lender who gave it to you. In this article A Beginners Guide to Owning a Mortgage we will raise awareness about and the importance of managing one of the largest debt’s that you will ever have; a mortgage loan

Mortgage Payment Frequency Options

At the most basic and elementary level, you need to pay back your mortgage on an on-time and regular basis as per the payment frequency you agreed upon with the lender. The Canadian Chartered Banks, Credit Unions, Trust companies, monoline lenders, and others will normally give you the borrower several payment frequency options to choose from; monthly, bi-monthly, bi-weekly, accelerated bi-weekly, weekly, and accelerated weekly.

The shorter between the payment frequency’s the more you are paying the lender back and therefore helping reducing the overall life of your mortgage, called the amortization. As well, the more payments you make, the less interest you pay and more of your payments go towards the principal owing, which in turn, the less you owe in principal the less interest is calculated on the lower principal amount.

We recommend to our clients to consider something in the middle ground. This way they won’t feel the pressure of making weekly payments, and at the same time will be taking advantage of making a little more payments than just 12 a year; the bi-weekly accelerated payment frequency option . The accelerated part means that the lender will increase your bi-weekly payment amount a little more by a certain percentage. For example if your bi-weekly payments are $1,000, then your accelerated bi-weekly could be $1,095. This extra $95 every two weeks can go a long way towards helping you save on interest payments.

Mortgage Prepayment Options

In a beginners guide to owning a mortgage we don’t want to forget telling you about the mortgage prepayment options the lenders give you throughout the year. Depending on which lender your mortgage is with, you are allowed to increase your regular mortgage payments by up to 10%, 15%, 20%, or 25% of the original payment amount.

As well, you are given the option to make a lump sum deposit towards paying down your outstanding mortgage balance. Again, depending on which lender your mortgage is with, you can make a lump sum payment of up to 10%, 15%, 20%, or 25% of the original mortgage amount towards your outstanding mortgage balance. And most lenders permit multiple lump sum payments throughout the year, as long as you don’t exceed the maximum percentages each year.

Although people don’t want to worry about any extra money being paid to the bank during their term with the lender, it is a good idea and a wise one to be mindful of setting aside a set amount each month for making lump-sum payments in the year or at the end of each year. By sacrificing a small amount earlier on in the life of the mortgage you are helping to pay less interest to the lender in the total life of the mortgage. For many borrowers who normally buy their homes at the prime of their life and having job security with a steady flow of income, making extra payments towards reducing their mortgage amount is definitely part of ‘owning’ your mortgage.

Be Wise and Prudent

Beginners Guide to Owning a Mortgage

A beginners guide to owning a mortgage wouldn’t be complete without a mention about being a wise and prudent borrower. Never borrow in excess and beyond your means. You wouldn’t want to put yourself in a situation where in the middle of your mortgage term you are unable to make mortgage payments or the high payment amounts create undue stress on your personal finances. The lenders are flexible and accommodating to a certain extent when it comes to late payments, or missed payments, however, they don’t like to see it happen too often, and certainly not regularly. Otherwise, you could find yourself in a legal mess and at the worst case scenario losing your home.

There are many resources out there, and since this article is a beginners guide to owning a mortgage here is one for your reading. Visit the Financial and Consumer Services Commission of New Brunswick and check out their Saving Money tip, which can help you towards controlling your debts and saving more money towards paying down your mortgage balance.

We always like to hear from our readers relevant feedback and information. What has been your experience with having a mortgage? Would you add anything else in a beginners guide to owning a mortgage?

Beginners Guide to Getting a Mortgage

Beginners Guide to Getting a Mortgage

A beginner’s guide to getting a mortgage

In this beginner’s guide to getting a mortgage we will take you through the main steps of applying for a mortgage application. This beginners guide to getting a mortgage will cover the main points that will help you better understand what is involved when getting a mortgage in Canada.

Beginners Guide to Getting a Mortgage

A beginner’s guide to getting a mortgage STEP 1 – find a mortgage professional

We strongly recommend you working with a Mortgage Broker or Agent. They are licensed with their respective Provincial Governments and have met all the required educational standards to become a licensed mortgage broker or agent.

There are many advantages to acquiring the services of a mortgage broker or agent. To name a few;

  1. They work for their client’s best interest,
  2. Mortgages are what they do day-in, day-out,
  3. Because a mortgage broker or agent is not working for any of the lenders there is no conflict of interest for them towards pushing you to one lender or the other,
  4. They constantly stay up to date with the real estate financing world by participating in continuing educational courses and workshops.

A beginner’s guide to getting a mortgage STEP 2 – ‘checks and balances’

Buying real estate is, for most people, the largest single investment they will ever make, and because of this, getting a mortgage should not be taken lightly. Every person thinking about buying their own home whether now or in the future should start planning for the inevitable. What is the inevitable you ask? It is being able to show the lender that you are able to pay them back on a timely manner as agreed upon based on your credit strength and income. And how do you show this in practicality? Lenders such as Chartered Banks, Trust Companies, and Credit Unions follow Government underwriting guidelines, and as well their own internal policy’s, all designed to test how strong or week someone’s personal financial strength is in comparison to their debt level’s to be able to pay back the mortgage loan. To do this the lenders have certain requirements and they ask for information from the borrower when considering whether to approve them for a mortgage loan or not. They want to make sure at minimum the borrower has:

  • Enough income to pay back the monthly principle and interest of the loan
  • At least 5% down payment or more; you can even use gifted money from immediate family
  • A satisfactory credit history and a healthy credit score
  • We also recommend checking your credit report and score regularly, perhaps every year or two at Equifax and Transunion. This is great preparation for when you are ready to apply for a mortgage by making sure there are no discrepancies or fraud activity in your accounts.

Beginners Guide to Getting a Mortgage

That means from now you can start putting aside money each month in your bank account for your down payment and making sure that you have a steady job or income coming in to show the lender that you can afford to pay back the loan. As well, you want to make sure that you are paying back your debt on time, and on a monthly basis, and not be late making those payments.

A beginner’s guide to getting a mortgage STEP 3 – Consult with your Mortgage Broker or Mortgage Agent

Beginners Guide to Getting a Mortgage

Now that you have done your checks and balances, you can contact your Mortgage Broker or Mortgage Agent and consult with her or him about your current financial strength and debt obligations. They will ask you to fill out their mortgage application so that they can better assess your financial health and credit worthiness/readiness to apply for a mortgage. Your mortgage professional will, after reviewing your financial and debt history, ask further questions and give you advice on what steps to take next; whether to continue with your mortgage application or to wait until other matters are taken care of to strengthen and improve your chances of getting approved for a mortgage.

 

This post and its content, we hope, has provided you with the basic information you need when considering applying for a mortgage. Don’t hesitate to Contact Us with your questions, and if you would like to start the mortgage application process. As well, we invite you to share any thoughts you may have about the mortgage application and approval process below in the comments section.

How Many Credit Cards

How Many Credit Cards

How Many Credit Cards is too many credit cards?

How many credit cards do you have? Are you the type of person who is good in controlling him or herself when it comes to spending with credit cards, or do you fill out every credit card application at every retailer for the sake of getting the gift that comes with it?

There is such a thing as having too many credit cards. Everyone should ask themselves how many credit cards they really need. In reality, you really need one or two credit cards; perhaps one Visa card and one MasterCard or American Express card. Most retailers, online shops, and other merchants accept Visa and MasterCard, so if you have one of each card you’re pretty well covered everywhere you go to buy things.

How many credit cards you need? We suggest no more than two. Here are some disadvantages of having too many credit cards:

  • The likelihood of losing a card can increase by having too many credit cards.
  • If you are not good with controlling your spending, you can easily max out on your credit cards.
  • Maxing out on credit cards is not healthy for your credit rating as your credit score will start to drop.
  • When time comes to apply for a loan, having too many credit cards can raise a red flag for the person or institution who is considering lending you money.
  • Having too many credit cards can create challenges in managing them and paying their balances on time each month, which in turn will negatively affect your credit rating.
  • Every time you apply for a credit card your credit report will take a hit; meaning, the credit card company has to check your credit report to make sure everything is good before they accept your credit card application. That hit to your credit report can affect your rating.

how many credit cards

 

Some people in their efforts of trying to help you out will consider how many credit cards you need based on whether you are newly starting to establish credit or not. That’s fine, but we still think having just two credit cards is enough to help with establishing credit history. Down the road you may, if your income can support it and your track record of paying back loans on time, consider getting a third credit card.

how many credit cards

 

In the context of building and strengthening your credit report and history with the credit bureaus, here is a ‘link‘ to Industry Canada talking about improving your credit score.

Save Money for your Children

Save Money for your Children

Save Money for your Children

November is Financial Literacy Month #FLM2014. In this post we wanted to raise awareness on the importance of parents setting aside money on a systematic and regular basis for their children’s future. To save money for your children is a noble thing to do. It show’s your detachment from money and your keen interest for the financial future wellbeing of your children. Naturally to save money for your children does not mean that you are supposed to pay their way for the rest of their lives. No. It means to save money for their future post-secondary educational plans. After all, it is still true that with education you empower people to do good things, to earn a livelihood and support oneself and loved ones.

save money for your children

There are certainly diverse set of ways to save money for your children. Perhaps the simplest way would be to just open a savings bank account and every month deposit predetermined amounts into the account and let compound interest work its magic.

The Government of Canada has created special plans just for children and their future.

Registered Education Savings Plan (RESPs).

Here is Canada Revenue Agency’s explanation.

A registered education savings plan (RESP) is a contract between an individual (the subscriber) and a      person or organization (the promoter).

Under the contract, the subscriber names one or more beneficiaries (the future student(s)) and agrees to make contributions for them, and the promoter agrees to pay educational assistance payments (EAPs) to the beneficiaries. For more information, see How an RESP works.

There are two different types of RESP available: family plans and specified plans.

Canada Learning Bond

CRA explains “the Canada Learning Bond offered by the Government of Canada helps parents get a head start in saving for their child’s education after high school.” Find out if your children are ‘ELIGIBLE.

Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG),

which is money that the Government of Canada will add to your child’s savings in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). To learn more about the program click on ‘LINK.

save money for your children

 

Many Canadian banking institutions also support and work with the Government of Canada in providing bank accounts and services towards its programs to help you the parent save money for your children. Visit their web sites to learn more about their services.

Why Your Credit Score is Important

Why Your Credit Score is Important

Why Your Credit Score is Important why your credit score is important

As part of our coverage of November Financial Literacy Month #FLM2014, in this blog we will share with you information about the importance of why your credit score is important.

In Canada, and the United States having a strong credit score or what we call in the industry a beacon score, with a rich history of on time debt repayment is very important and goes a long way when it comes to applying for a mortgage or any other type of a loan.

We will focus our discussion in this blog on the Canadian mortgage market and why your credit score is important.

If you have good credit it will be that much easier to get approved for a mortgage. Throughout your lifetime of spending and purchasing items using your credit card or a line of credit or both, and as well other credit items such as car loans, these transactions are all recorded by the two credit bureaus here in Canada, namely Equifax and Transunion. These credit bureaus use mathematical algorithms to create your credit score based on your spending, credit limits, credit balances, and whether you pay back on time every month your debt obligations or not. They even take to account how many days or months you are late with making your payments and use this information when building and updating your beacon score.

Equifax_Transunion

The reason why your credit score is important for getting approved for a loan, such as a mortgage, is because the creditor or the mortgagee relies on the credit report to decide your credit worthiness and repayment ability if they were to give you a loan or a mortgage respectively.

The starting point for your beacon score, once your name and first credit activity is recorded in the bureau’s database normally is 650. From this point onwards, it is hoped that the borrower pays back their loan or debt on a monthly basis, and as they do, their beacon score begins to climb; eventually rising above 700.

The opposite is true if the borrower cannot or does not make payments on time and is late, their credit score will start to drop below 650 making it difficult for them to get approved for a loan or a mortgage from traditional creditors / lenders. Many times borrowers with poor credit scores have no choice but to wait on their plans to buy a home and get a mortgage until their repayment history improves and their beacon score begins to rise again. Or they have to apply for a mortgage on unfavorable terms from a secondary or private lender who will charge a premium to approve the loan, but will overlook and be forgiving for the poor credit history and beacon score. The premium includes a much higher interest rate, lender fee, and shorter mortgage terms, normally one or two years. This is another reason why your credit score is important.

We always recommend that you pull your own credit reports from Equifax and Transunion every year or two to see what information about you is stored in their records. There are several advantages to doing this. Firstly by doing your own credit check to your name, there is no negative ‘hit’ to your beacon score unlike when you apply for a loan or a mortgage and the lender does a credit check on you. Secondly, you can see if your personal information is correct and up to date. Thirdly, you will get a detailed historical overview of your credit spending, which will show, for example, the payment you made on time to the particular credit card company or your car lease or whatever else, was actually reported by them and recorded in the credit report. An example of a potential issue is with old student loans or credit card accounts that you had asked to be closed. The student loan that you paid back in full is not shown to be paid off and still active in your credit report, and the credit card that you paid back and thought was closed is still showing as open with a balance in the credit report. These errors need to be corrected right away because they will have a negative impact on your beacon score. By doing a credit check you can find out about these abnormalities and rectify the matter.

This is why your credit score is important, because in Canada, for that matter in North America, much of the lending is based on the borrower’s credit strength and healthy history of making payments on time and being able to manage your debts responsibly.

If you are in a position right now with a low beacon score and bad credit history, and no major bank or lender will give you a credit card, we can help. Contact us and we will help you get a credit card so that you can start to rebuild your credit history and beacon score.

Another group of borrowers are those who are new to Canada and don’t have any credit history here and want to buy real estate right away. If you fall under this category, we can also help you get a mortgage without having a credit history or beacon score. Review our information about the New to Canada mortgage product and contact us for further details and to get your mortgage application process started.

why your credit score is important

Mortgage Glossary

Mortgage Glossary

Mortgage glossary – terms that you will like to know about

In the spirit of November’s Financial Literacy Month #FLM2014, we share with you Genworth Canada’s mortgage glossary, where you can search for all the main mortgage terms that come up in documents from banks and other lenders when getting a mortgage.

It can be confusing and intimidating when confronted with so many different strange or unfamiliar words that are not used in day to day conversation. The mortgage glossary can help alleviate this anxiety.

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Sit down, relax, and enjoy your cup of coffee with a nice read through the Genworth Canada mortgage glossary page. Review the mortgage glossary of common phrases that new buyers need to know. Here’s an A-Z guide to the key mortgage jargon. Learning more mortgage terms will help you also when its time to purchase your home as you will be able to better understand your realtor. Even if you’re not ready yet to buy a place, but are starting to do research and check out the Bank web sites and the MLS, the mortgage glossary can help you navigate the world of financial and real estate vocabulary.

Here are some examples of words that can be found in the Genworth Canada Mortgage Glossary:

Closed mortgage

A mortgage that discourages prepayment privileges (making extra payments beyond the agreement terms, to pay your mortgage off faster). Closed mortgages allow prepayment privileges of no more than 10% of your mortgage each year.

Open mortgage

If you want to pay off your mortgage faster, you can make as many “extra” payments of any amount as you wish, with no penalty. “Extra” payments are called prepayment.

 

mortgage glossary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about Genworth Canada, visit their web site at http://homeownership.ca.

Home Buying Defining Financial Terms

Home Buying Defining Financial Terms

In the video Home Buying Defining Financial Terms, the Canadian Real Estate Association of Canada explains what the amortization period is. #FinancialLiteracyMonth


Home Buying Defining the Financial Terms

 

 

 

 

 

November is Financial Literacy Month and Trusterra Mortgage is here to spread the word about it.  When home buying defining financial terms is on your mind it is always important to seek all avenues of information and resources that are available across the world wide web and more importantly from industry professionals, such as #MortgageBrokers, MortgageAgents, #Realtors, and others.

At the federal level you can find more information about this initiative from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada. You can also search for hashtag #FLM2014.

Financial Literacy Month

November is Financial Literacy Month

The Government of Canada has declared November to be Financial Literacy Month (FLM). On it’s national governing agency’s web site the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada FCAC states that “Financial literacy means having the knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions.”

Financial Literacy Month

More than ever more Canadian individuals and families are finding themselves in deeper levels of debt, making them sometimes feel lonely and helpless. The Canadian Government in its commitment to help Canadians manage or avoid debt, have created this month to be focused on education, financial knowledge creation and personal empowerment to take control of their financial future and health.

This years theme for Financial Literacy Month is Strengthening Financial Literacy through Collaboration. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada emphasizes “the importance of coordinating efforts of organizations that offer programs, resources, information and services to help Canadians understand and manage their personal finances.”

In our commitment to Financial Literacy Month we will be sharing throughout the month information and resources about financial literacy. Make sure to return here regularly and check out our blog postings. We will also be active on our social media sources. You can follow us by clicking on our social media links above; including Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and many more (see above).

Remember that there is help available should you be stuck in a difficult place with debt management or other personal financial matters. Below are some links that you may find helpful:

Financial literacy self-assessment quiz

Find out how your money management skills measure up

Financial Goal Calculator

Use the Financial Goal Calculator to create a realistic plan to:
  • get out of debt
  • save for retirement
  • save for other priorities, such as education, a down payment, a vacation, an emergency fund and more.

Budget Calculator

Good budgeting and money management are the foundation for putting your finances on solid ground. Financial goals can be anything from saving for a purchase to paying down debt to saving for retirement.

Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services

Helping Canadian’s establish a culture of responsible financial behaviour.

How to Protect Yourself from Financial Fraud

How to protect yourself from financial fraud

 

You can easily learn how to protect yourself from financial fraud. The first thing to remember and accept is financial fraud can happen to anyone and you need to take the necessary steps and measures to protect yourself from financial fraud.

In learning how to protect yourself from financial fraud you need to first recognize in what forms fraudulent activities come in; such as emails, phone messages, web sites, SMS, from a stranger, lottery, survey call, or even from a friend.

In this video prepared by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, whose  mission is to empower Canadian financial consumers and promoting responsible financial market conduct, we learn the types of fraud, tips to avoid scams and what fraud victims should do.

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how to protect yourself from financial fraud

 

If you feel that you have been a victim of fraud contact your local law enforcement agency immediately. You can also visit the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s web site for more tools and resources to help you.