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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

What' Affecting Your Credit Score?

With the introduction of Equifax’s new Beacon 9 scoring system last summer, there are some things you need to be mindful of that can significantly impact your credit score. Most people are not aware of a few simple things that could be pulling their credit scores down by as much as 50-100 points or more. Credit scores range from 300-900 with 900 being the top score. As credit scores play a huge part in obtaining a mortgage and/or other forms of loans, you will want to keep your score at a minimum of 650 or higher. Here are some helpful hints to achieve this.

Balances on Revolving Credit 

Running close to or over your Limits on your credit cards and lines of credit will greatly impact your score. With the new scoring system, this seems to be the number one thing that I find that is reducing scores. Try keeping your balances at least 75% or less than the limit. (e.g. if you have a limit of $1000 keep your balance below $750). If you find you are consistently carrying a balance close to your limit, then ask for a limit increase so you can keep a good spread between the balance owing and credit limit. (Keep in mind I am not saying to get into more debt but the bigger the gap the better chance your score won’t be affected).

Payments on time

Make sure you make at least your monthly minimum payment on time and do not skip payments.  It’s a myth that you need to have a balance owing to build credit. You can build good credit by using a credit card and paying off the balance in full without going into debt. Also, make sure you don’t ignore debts that are owed such as letting creditors write off the debt and close the account or letting the account go into collections. This won’t go away so deal with the debt by arranging with the Creditor a plan to pay it off.  Also, make sure your loans are in good standing and payments are made. If you are feeling you may be falling behind, contact the lender and let them know. Keeping them informed will lead to less of a chance of it having an impact on your credit.


Be careful you aren’t applying for too much credit which will add inquiries to your credit bureau thus potentially bringing down your score. Also, when car shopping make sure every dealer you visit isn’t pulling your credit bureau. Once you’ve found your vehicle and need the loan, at that point let the Dealer check your credit.

Always keep at least two revolving trades open (credit cards, line of credit) however be careful you don’t have too much revolving credit!

Sheila Cooper,
Mortgage Broker
(204) 730-0141

Filed under: Mortgage Broker,  Credit Score,  Loans,  Mortgage,  

Posted by Centum Mortgage Choice @ 15:54 | 0 Comments | E-mail this blog entry to a friend | PermaLink

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

What it Means When Prime Rate Changes

With the recent increase that TD has made to their Prime rate, it leaves a lot of mortgage holders with a variable rate questioning what this means to them. Let me tell you.

First, it is only TD that has recently changed their Prime rate from 2.7% to 2.85% – so far anyway. Typically once one lender makes that change, the rest will eventually follow but for now, this only affects you if you have a variable rate mortgage with TD bank.

When a bank decides to raise their Prime rate, it could mean you will have an increase in your mortgage payment to cover the extra interest but each bank does have the option to leave your mortgage payment the same and instead adjust the amount of your mortgage payment that will go toward your principle balance vs your interest. Meaning, a little more of your mortgage payment will be going to interest and a little less to principle. This will cause you to pay more interest over the term and will leave you with a higher balance at maturity.

This is just one of the many changes that have happened in our mortgage world over the last few weeks. If you are concerned with how these changes may affect your ability to buy, your current mortgage or even your future renewal options, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

 Naomi Hamm, Mortgage Broker & Partner

 Office: (204) 727-2177

 Cell: (204) 724-7290


Filed under: Mortgage,  Mortgage Rate,  Rates,  Mortgage Broker

Posted by Centum Mortgage Choice @ 15:06 | 0 Comments | E-mail this blog entry to a friend | PermaLink

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Why you NEED to get pre approved for a mortgage

I get it, buying a home is arguably one of life’s most exciting moments, for a lot of people it’s the largest financial decision you’ll ever make.  Not only that, to make matters worse, it’s FUN too.  All the different houses you get to look at and consider, virtually any home for sale could be yours, it’s a big deal.  In the same way it’s monumental for you, it’s equally as impactful for a few other people too which I don’t think many people consider during the buying process.  Not only that, but there’s a few things that I think are overlooked before people start looking at homes.  With that, here’s a few things to consider before you go shopping.


Make sure you’re the real deal

House shopping without a pre approval is like intentionally going grocery shopping without your wallet.  It doesn’t matter how many things you find that you like, you don’t have a way to pay for them anyway.  Before you get your heart set on a house, make sure you know that you can get approved for it.  Not only does that save you some embarrassment if you do write an offer and then get declined but having a pre approval upfront can potentially save you some money too.

It’s example time boys and girls so fire up your imagination for a second:

Let’s pretend I’m selling my house for 200K and my realtor has brought me two different offers to consider.  Offer #1 is for 200K, exactly what I listed for, but the customer needs 1 week to go to the bank and see if they’re approved.  Offer #2 is for 195K, 5K less than I’m asking, but they’ve included their pre approval letter to show they’ve already been pre approved.  Now, I can take my chances on Offer #1 but what if they don’t get approved and then I’ve lost the sure thing that was Offer #2?  What if after that deal falls through no one else writes an offer on my house for weeks, maybe months?  On the other hand, Offer #2 is a sure thing, if I accept it I’m done!  I’ve sold my home and I can move on with my life, maybe I needed this house to sell because it’s holding up financing the new house I’ve bought.  You know what?  I’m just gonna play it safe and take the sure thing in Offer #2 because even though it’s 5K less it’s sold, no more worry, no more stress.  Not only that but my realtor told me to expect around that sale price anyway.

See, not only is it good to have peace of mind you CAN actually buy the home you like but there’s a possible discount in it for you too.


Just like yours, a Realtors time is valuable too

I’ve seen it far too often, a realtor shows potential clients home after home only to realize in the end that they don’t qualify.  Not only is this bad news for the buyer but the realtor just donated all that time for nothing.  You see, realtors are paid commission after the completed sale of the home, up until then they’re just volunteering their time hoping to be compensated eventually.  I don’t know about you but I’m not that keen on working for free.  You wouldn’t go into work tomorrow and say to your boss, “hey, I’m going to work today but I don’t want any pay”, would you?  Realtors will do their absolute best to find you the home of your dreams, the least we can do is make sure we’ve been pre approved to show that we respect their time and effort, just like we’d expect others to do for us.


Showings affect the Seller

Even with the help of a real estate professional it’s still a lot of work when you’re selling your home.  Imagine a time where you’ve got to keep your house SHOW ROOM spotless at all times because at any moment that phone could ring with someone that wants to come see it.  It’s not just the 24 hour cleaning but you’ve got to be willing to pack up and leave your home in a moments notice if someone wants to view it.  If you’ve got kids, you’ve got to pack them up, grab the dog and get out the door so a potential buyer can come by and potentially buy your house.  Now, sellers are willing to do this, they understand what they’re getting into, but I hope you can see why they’d probably prefer to do that for someone who has the ability to actually buy there home.

At the end of the day its up to you whether you’d like to get pre approved before starting the process.  After reading this and realizing all the people that are impacted I know you’ll want to do the right thing and make sure you’re not wasting anyones time, most importantly you’re own.  To get the whole process start you can call, email or even text me.  The sooner we get your pre approval done the sooner you can start the fun part, shopping!

Filed under: rbc,  mortgages,  rates,  brandon,  westman,  house

Posted by Centum Mortgage Choice @ 16:58 | 0 Comments | E-mail this blog entry to a friend | PermaLink

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Most lenders will want to see the following 6 things when we send up an application for a mortgage approval:

  1. Your credit history
  2. Your gross income (income before deductions)
  3. Monthly debts you currently have
  4. Your employment history
  5. Assets
  6. The property that you want to purchase

Credit– Having good credit is one of the most important things when you are trying to apply for a mortgage. You will build your credit by having loans, credit cards, etc. (trade lines) so it is imperative that you start building it is as soon as possible as lenders will want to see a minimum of 2 trade lines for 2 years. Here’s another catch…you must make monthly payments on time! I know some people are scared to even get a credit card as they think they will rack it up so they just don’t bother. The thing is that you need to show a history of making monthly payments and they use your credit bureau as proof of this. If you are worried about over spending my suggestion is to get the card and for example; have your cell phone bill charged to the card and pay the credit card every month instead of the cell phone provider. This way you can tuck the card away and have it build your credit for you while avoiding the fear of “binge shopping”. Remember that you will want 2 trades so if you don’t have any loans or lines of credit then it’s a great idea to get 2 cards. As far as limits they like to see a reasonable limit so if you get asked if you want an increase take it but remember to not go too crazy high on the revolving debt …it’s all about balance! If you are short on the trades and only have one sometimes a lender may look at an alternate monthly payment such as hydro, autopac, etc. so it’s a good idea to have things in your name.

Income and Debts – I decided to combine these two as they somewhat go hand in hand. Your monthly income and the amount of debt you have is very important. Do you have enough income coming in to support the household payments (GDS) AND your other monthly obligations (TDS)? This is something your Broker can determine for you. We use your GROSS income from your paystub. If you have varied hours and income, then we need to see your T-4’s or Notice of Assessments and/or tax returns if self employed. GDS – Gross debt servicing is your monthly income divided by the monthly mortgage payment plus property taxes (PIT), plus heating. TDS- total debts serving is the GDS plus your other monthly obligations (credit card payments, loans, lines of credit, child support, etc). This is why we always say…don’t go buy that fancy new vehicle until AFTER you get the house! While the new expensive vehicle is a great to have…you can’t live in it.

Employment – It really helps if you have a history of continued stable employment, which means usually within the same job for a few years. However, a short history in your current job shouldn’t affect your chances from getting a mortgage if there hasn’t periods of no income over the past few years. If you have just switched jobs but you are within the same field of work or industry, then that will help. With that said, they like do like to see that it’s a permanent position and preferably not on probation.

Assets – While not always a must if everything else is really strong, it is important to try and have some type of assets…A car, Investments, and/or some savings in your bank accounts can really add strength to the overall application.

The Property – They will also want to know that the house you plan to purchase is worth what you have offered and keep in mind location and condition of the home can also affect the lenders decision to mortgage the property.

If you are thinking of purchasing a home in the near future, even if you are thinking 2-3 years away, prepare ahead of time and make an appointment to see a me. This way, if any of the above need to be worked on I can prepare you ahead of time ensuring your application will be solid when you are ready to purchase.  I'm here to help and it’s only about an hour of your time to prepare for the biggest purchase of your life!



Sheila Cooper

Mortgage Broker
CENTUM Mortgage Choice Corp

Cell: (204) 730-0141
Fax: (204) 725-1018


Filed under: mortgage,  loans,  RBC,  rates,  home buying

Posted by Centum Mortgage Choice @ 16:42 | 0 Comments | E-mail this blog entry to a friend | PermaLink

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Zero Down Payment?

It may sound funny, but I get asked all the time if you can still purchase a home with nothing down. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but gone are the days when you could buy a house with virtually no down payment.

No money down mortgages became available in 2006 when Genworth Financial and CMHC introduced mortgage default insurance for 100% financing. If you’re looking for a no money down (“zero down”) mortgage, you’re in for some bad news: these mortgages are no longer available in Canada. As of September 2012, the minimum down payment is 5% and there is no way around this. Thankfully, there are still alternatives such as using your RRSP as a down payment. No RRSP’s? No worries as I know of some creative ways to obtain these and get you into a home sooner.

There is also a Flex down option in which you can borrow the down payment. Of course you will need to talk to your Mortgage Broker to see what the restrictions are and if you qualify for this.

Another way is to reach out to family. Most parents are overjoyed to hear that their children are buying a home, but even if they are unable to help, the worst they can do is say no.

Selling Assets could be another option. Take a look around your current residence. Put a price tag on everything, and sell the things you don’t absolutely need. You might be shocked to see just how much stuff you have, and how much can be sold on E-Brandon, Kijiji, or at a garage sale. Here’s another point: owning less stuff makes it easier to move!

And lastly, Cut your costs and save up. Just think about all of the things you buy on a regular basis and build a budget around that. Just keep in mind that every dollar you save every month is multiplied by 12 months in a year, and multiplied again by every year you save it. Think long term: A $2 coffee every day before work equates to $2,600 over five years, and a $400 car lease is $24,000 in the same time. (Speaking of car leases, HOLD OFF ON THE CAR until AFTER you get the mortgage!)

If you want to get into your own home and are tired of paying rent don’t hesitate to contact me for more information on how you can get into your own home sooner. It may not be as hard as you think!

Sheila Cooper is a mortgage broker with Centum Mortgage Choice Corp.

Cell: (204) 730-0141

Filed under: mortgage,  rates,  centum,  westman

Posted by Centum Mortgage Choice @ 12:46 | 0 Comments | E-mail this blog entry to a friend | PermaLink

My Recent Entries

 What' Affecting Your Credit Score?
 What it Means When Prime Rate Changes
 Why you NEED to get pre approved for a mortgage
 Zero Down Payment?
 How Much Will it Really Cost?
 Are Your Debts Weighing You Down?
 Is Buying a Home Now a Good Idea?
 Property Tax Payments Explained
 Equity Take Out To Purchase A Revenue Property
 CMHC Premiums Rise
 Financing An Acreage

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