Self Employed Mortgage

A Self Employed Mortgage can be the write lending option

A self employed mortgage could be right, for example, if you own a business or work independently as a contractor. It has always been a known fact that self employed mortgages are hard to come by and once found difficult to get approved for. But that does not necessarily have to be the case.

Another issue for self employed individuals who are looking for a self employed mortgage product is how much down payment they can afford to provide the lender. With the readiness and availability of mortgage default insurance it has made it available now for self employed individuals to get approved for a mortgage with less than 20% down payment.

Working with a Mortgage Broker or Mortgage Agent is of great benefit for self employed individuals as these professional’s offer one-on-one service and work with the individuals on finding a self employed mortgage that is suitable for their unique situation and needs.

One example of a mortgage default insurance provider here in Canada is Genworth Canada, and one of their insurance products they offer through the lending institutions is their Business For Self program.

Have a look at this recent article we provided about them:

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sefl employed mortgage


Mortgage Down Payment

Mortgage Down Payment

If you have been or are currently a first time home buyer, one of the many questions that you will probably have is about the mortgage down payment. What is the mortgage down payment all about and how much is enough to have.

In Canada for the majority of the consumer who are looking to purchase an owner-occupied home – this means a home that you will be living in – the minimum mortgage down payment amount is 5% of the purchase price.

If you are buying a second home for your kids to live in while in school, or you would like to get that cottage property or vacation property that you have always dreamed of having, you can still put down as low as 5% as your mortgage down payment.

With any mortgage product, there is always the lending institutions own underwriting guidelines that you have to meet and be approved by, but 5% is the available minimum amount to go with.

Acceptable sources of your mortgage down payment

For the most part, if you are only providing 5% down payment for your mortgage, then there is a very high probability that you will be getting your mortgage from one of the big Canadian Banks or mortgage broker channel lenders that work with the mortgage loan insurance providers; CMHC – Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Genworth, and Canada Guaranty.

Because these lenders get their mortgage insured and protected against any mortgage defaults by the client – you the consumer – they have to meet their requirements as to the source of where your down payment is coming from. We may add that even if you were to provide more than 20% down payment and no mortgage loan insurance is required, many of the banks still go by the similar guidelines of the insurers that we are about to explain.

Your mortgage down payment must come from your own resources. The funds you use for the down payment must be sitting in your own bank account, investment account, RRSP account, or any other account that is registered to you the applicant’s name for a minimum of three months.

The only time that you can get down payment from someone else is when you receive gift money from immediate family members, in which case the banks would accept it as it is not a loan.

Therefore, you cannot borrow money to put towards your down payment. If you do borrow the money from another lending institution, the bank will turn it down and ask that you prove that you have enough money in your own accounts. If you do not have the down payment or have to borrow it from someone or some institution, then you could get a lot of headaches and trouble from the bank and there is a good chance that they will decline your mortgage application.

In conclusion; if you are planning to buy your own home sometime in the near future, you should start saving up now.

What is mortgage loan insurance

Mortgage Loan Insurance

Source: Government of Canada Department of Finance

Mortgage loan insurance (which is sometimes called mortgage default insurance) is a credit risk management tool that protects lenders from losses on mortgage loans. If a borrower defaults on a mortgage, and the proceeds from the foreclosure of the property are insufficient to cover the resulting loss, the lender submits a claim to the mortgage insurer to recover its losses.

The law requires federally regulated lenders to obtain mortgage insurance on loans in which the homebuyer has made a down payment of less than 20 per cent of the purchase price (also called high loan-to-value mortgages). The homebuyer pays the premiums for this insurance, which protects the lender if the homebuyer defaults.

The Government backs insured residential mortgages in Canada. It is responsible for the obligations of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) as it is an agent Crown corporation. In order for private mortgage insurers to compete with CMHC, the Government backs private mortgage insurers’ obligations to lenders, subject to a deductible equal to 10 per cent of the original principal amount of the loan.

Since 2008, the Government has taken measured steps to strengthen the minimum standards for government-backed insured mortgages, including:

  • Requiring a minimum down payment of five per cent for owner-occupied properties and 20 per cent for speculative properties.
  • Limiting the maximum amortization period to 30 years.
  • Lowering the maximum amount Canadians can withdraw in refinancing to 85 per cent of the value of their homes.
  • Requiring that borrowers meet the standards for a five-year fixed-rate mortgage even if they choose a mortgage with a lower interest rate and shorter term.
  • Withdrawing Government insurance backing on lines of credit secured by homes.

These standards apply for mortgages on residential property with four units or less. They do not affect multi-unit buildings with five units or more.


Further Measures have been initiated by the Federal Government

The Government announced further changes to the standards for government-backed insured mortgages. These measures would apply to new high loan-to-value mortgages backed by the Government.

Limit the Maximum Amortization Period to 25 Years

The amortization period is the length of time it will take to pay off the entire mortgage loan. It is usually much longer than the term of the mortgage. A typical mortgage in Canada may have a term of five years or less during which a specific fixed or variable interest rate will apply, and the mortgage can be renewed at the end of the term.

The measure announced today will reduce the maximum amortization period from 30 years to 25 years for high loan-to-value mortgages, which are backed by government insurance. (Banks will still be able to offer 30-year amortization periods on low ratio—20 per cent or more down payment—mortgages, if they so choose.). For any given mortgage loan, a lower amortization period would result in a moderate increase in the monthly payment along with a significant reduction in the total interest paid over the amortization period. The following table illustrates the benefit of reducing the amortization period from 30 years to 25 years for a mortgage loan of $350,000.1

Interest Rate 30-Year Amortization—Monthly Payment 25-Year Amortization—Monthly Payment Difference in Monthly Payment—
25-Year vs. 30-Year Amortization
Interest Savings—25-Year vs. 30-Year Amortization
3 per cent $1,472 $1,656 $184 $33,052
4 per cent $1,664 $1,841 $177 $46,832
5 per cent $1,868 $2,036 $168 $61,765


Lower the Maximum Refinancing Amount to 80 Per Cent of the Loan-to-Value Ratio

Borrowers can refinance their mortgage and increase the amount of the loan secured against their home. The measure announced today will reduce the limit on refinancing from 85 per cent to 80 per cent of the value of the home. Reducing the maximum refinancing amount to 80 per cent follows the change from 90 per cent to 85 per cent in March 2011. Reducing the maximum loan-to-value ratio on refinancing will encourage Canadians to keep equity in their home and save through home ownership.

As an illustration, for a home valued at $350,000, refinancing at 85 per cent would allow the homeowner to access up to $297,500, whereas refinancing at 80 per cent would allow the homeowner to access up to $280,000. The lower refinancing limit means homeowners will keep an additional $17,500 in the equity of their home and at the same time save up to $5,200 in insurance premiums.

Limit the Gross Debt Service Ratio to 39 Per Cent and Total Debt Service Ratio to 44 Per Cent

There are two ratios commonly used to measure the risk associated with household debt: the gross debt service (GDS) ratio and the total debt service (TDS) ratio. The GDS ratio is the share of the borrower’s gross household income that is needed to pay for home-related expenses, such as mortgage payments, property taxes and heating expenses. The TDS ratio is the share of the borrower’s gross income that is needed to pay for home-related expenses and all other debt obligations.

Lenders must review a borrower’s debt service ratios before granting a mortgage loan. In 2008, the Government announced a 45 per cent TDS limit as part of the adjustments to the rules for government-backed insured mortgages. The measure announced today will limit the GDS ratio to 39 per cent and lower the maximum TDS ratio to 44 per cent. Setting a GDS limit and lowering the TDS limit will help prevent Canadian households from overextending themselves and reduce the number of financially vulnerable households.

Limit the Availability of Government-Backed Insured Mortgages to Homes With a Purchase Price of Less Than $1 Million

The measure announced today will establish that government-backed mortgage insurance is only available for a new high loan-to-value mortgage if the home purchase price is under $1 million.

Establishing a maximum allowable price will ensure that government-backed mortgage insurance operates the way it was originally intended: to help working families and first-time homebuyers. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the national average price (based on Multiple Listing Service sales activity) for a home sold in May 2012 was $375,605. This measure is expected to have a negligible impact on working families and first-time homebuyers as the vast majority of these borrowers purchase properties priced below the threshold. Borrowers purchasing homes priced at or above the maximum allowable price would require a down payment of at least 20 per cent.

Implementation of the New Framework started on July 9, 2012.


1 The mortgage loan amount used in the illustrative example represents approximately the size of the mortgage loan needed for an average house in Canada. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the national average price (based on Multiple Listing Service sales activity) for a home sold in May 2012 was $375,605.