First Quarter Canadian GDP Was Stronger Than Expected Pushing the BoC Closer To Rate Hikes

General Greg Weaver 1 Jun

The Canadian economy continues to show marked resilience to high-interest rates. Statistics Canada released data this morning showing real GDP rose at an above-consensus 3.1% annual rate in the first quarter of this year. The estimate for April growth was also firm, a harbinger of continued strength in Q2. The combined drags of the public sector strike and the Alberta wildfires didn’t cause a significant downdraft.

First-quarter growth was driven by strong international trade and robust household spending. These factors were partly mitigated by slower inventory accumulation and declines in new housing construction and business investment in machinery and equipment.

After two quarters of minimal growth, household spending rose for goods (+1.5%) and services (+1.3%) in the first quarter of 2023. Expenditures on durable goods (+3.3%) were driven by motor vehicles, including new trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles (+7.8%). Spending on semi-durables (+4.3%) was led by garments (+4.5%), while spending on non-durable goods (-0.2%) declined slightly.

Service spending picked up in the first quarter of 2023, led by food and non-alcoholic beverage services (+4.4%), and alcoholic beverage services (+6.5%). Meanwhile, travel was on the rise, with expenditures by Canadians abroad up 6.8% in the first quarter, compared with a 3.3% decrease in the previous quarter.

These data do not portend a household sector overly burdened by rising mortgage and credit card payments.

Coinciding with higher borrowing costs and slowing mortgage borrowing, housing investment fell 3.9% in the first quarter of 2023, the fourth consecutive quarterly decrease. The decline in investment was widespread—as new construction (-6.0%), renovations (-2.1%), and ownership transfer costs (-1.5%), which represents resale activity, were all down.

We know housing activity has picked up considerably since the first quarter, undoubtedly adding to Q2 growth. Also expansionary is the persistent rise in employee compensation, led by salary gains in professional and personal services, manufacturing and construction.

One warning sign is the declining household savings rates and slower disposable income. Persistently high interest rates had a predominantly negative effect on net property income, as increases in interest income (+6.4%), mainly from deposits, did not keep pace with higher interest payments on mortgages (+14.7%) and consumer credit (+10.9%).

In contrast with lower disposable income, consumption expenditures (in nominal terms) rose 2.1% in the first quarter of 2023. This was faster than the 1.4% pace recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022, partly due to inflationary pressures. As a result, the household saving rate was 2.9% in the first quarter of 2023, down from 5.8% at the end of 2022. The household saving rate approached the pre-pandemic level, which averaged 2.1% in 2019.

Business incomes fell significantly in Q1, and judging from the stock market, corporate earnings news has also been disappointing across a wide array of sectors in the second quarter.

Bottom Line

The strength in today’s data and the higher-than-expected inflation number for April will cause the Bank of Canada to seriously consider raising the overnight rate by 25 bps to 4.75% when they meet again next week. I think they will hold off to see the May employment and inflation data before they pull the trigger.

Markets have already responded to the numbers. Short-term interest rates remain well above levels posted earlier this year, although that is mainly about the debt-ceiling issue in the U.S. The Bank’s statement will undoubtedly be rather hawkish.


The source of this article is from


Canadian CPI Inflation Ticked Up For The First Time In Nearly A Year

General Greg Weaver 17 May

Canadian Inflation Rose More Than Expected in April, But Core Inflation Slowed
There’s been an unexpected hiccup in the Bank of Canada’s ongoing battle against inflation. Year-over-year, price pressures escalated to 4.4% in April, an uptick from the previous month’s 4.3% and significantly exceeding the average economist’s prediction of 4.1%. This marks the first rise in overall inflation from the last June. Ironically, higher interest rates are intended to tackle inflation, but rising rent prices and mortgage interest costs contributed the most to the all-items CPI increase last month.

This sketches an unusual scenario for the Bank of Canada as it approaches its June 7th rate decision. The economy remains resilient, with Canadians grappling with escalated interest rates and continued price pressures. Spring 2023 increasingly looks like the turnaround point for Canada’s housing market after a year-long slump, and labour markets remained firm in April.

To be sure, inflation is down significantly from the 8.1% year-on-year peak experienced last June. The initial reduction in inflation was swift and relatively straightforward, but predictably, the following phase is proving to be considerably more challenging.

The CPI was up 0.7% in April, following a 0.5% gain in March. Gasoline prices (+6.3%) contributed the most to the headline month-over-month movement. Excluding gasoline, the monthly CPI rose 0.5%. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.6%.

Gasoline prices rose 6.3% in April compared with March, the most significant monthly increase since October 2022 and contributing the most to the acceleration in the headline CPI. This increase followed an announcement from OPEC+ (countries from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries Plus) to reduce oil output, pushing prices higher. The switch to summer blend and increased carbon levies also boosted prices. Nevertheless, gas prices were 7.7% lower in April 2023 compared with April 2022, when prices were higher due in part to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Compared with 18 months earlier, gasoline prices were 10.0% higher in April 2023.

Shelter costs rose 4.9% year-over-year in April after a 5.4% increase in March. Canadians continued to pay more in mortgage interest cost in April (+28.5%) compared with April 2022, as more mortgages were initiated or renewed at higher interest rates. The higher interest rate environment may also contribute to rising rents in April 2023 (+6.1%) by stimulating higher rental demand. The year-over-year increase in the homeowners’ replacement cost index slowed for the 12th consecutive month in April (+0.2%) compared with March (+1.7%), reflecting a general cooling of the housing market.

Year over year, prices for groceries rose at a slower rate in April (+9.1%) than in March (+9.7%), with the slowdown stemming from smaller price increases for fresh vegetables and coffee and tea.

Bottom Line

The uptick in April inflation, especially monthly, shows that the road to 2% inflation will be bumpy. Still, the Bank of Canada will be content that their measures of core inflation continue to trend downward (see chart below). The Bank will likely continue the pause in June, but if the May employment numbers continue strong, the Governing Council will indeed warn that they will remain ever vigilant. I do not expect rate cuts this year.


The source of this article is from

What is an Uninsurable Mortgage?

General Greg Weaver 19 Apr

When it comes to mortgages, insurance is necessary to protect the lender on these types of loans, which deal in large sums of money. There are three different tiers relating to insurance, which all have different minimum down payment amounts and varying premium insurance fees.

  1. Insured mortgages typically have a less than 20% down payment and are insured with mortgage default insurance through one of Canada’s mortgage insurers: CMHC, Sagen or Canada Guaranty. In these cases, the premium is based on a percentage of the loan amount, which is added to the mortgage and paid monthly.
  2. Insurable mortgages typically have a 20% or higher down payment and do not require mortgage insurance, though they can qualify for it. In these cases, the homeowner wouldn’t have to pay an insurance premium, but the lender can if they choose to.
  3. Uninsurable mortgages do not meet mortgage insurer requirements; some examples of these types of mortgages can include: refinances, mortgages with an amortization longer than 25 years or mortgage files where the real estate is more than $1M in value and/or purchase price. No insurance premium is required.

While insured and insurable mortgages are more common and typically more cost-effective when it comes to lending money, therefore clients who opt for these mortgages often get better rates.

When it comes to an uninsurable mortgage, this means that the lender is providing their own funds to the client without the protection of insurance, and have to commit to the loan for the entire term. Due to this, uninsurable mortgages tend to have higher interest rates as they are a higher risk loan.

Typically, uninsurable mortgages require a minimum of 20% down on the loan and are available for up to 30-year amortization. It is also important to note that an uninsurable mortgage will often require a higher Gross Debt Service (GDS) and Total Debt Service (TDS) ratio to indicate that you can carry the loan without high risk.

While some lenders may offer more flexibility when it comes to an uninsurable mortgage, if you are looking to refinance or change to a longer amortization period, it is best to discuss your unique situation in detail with your mortgage expert before making any changes to your mortgage.

Canadian Inflation Falls To 4.3% – Lowest Level Since August 2021

General Greg Weaver 18 Apr

Great News on the Inflation Front

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell sharply in March to 4.3% year-over-year, continuing a pattern of repeated declines. Before we break out the champagne, however, much of the drop in inflation resulted from the steep monthly increase in prices in March one year ago (1.4% m/m), the so-called base-year effects.

Gasoline prices have fallen sharply since March 2022–down year-over-year by a whopping -13.8%. This was the second consecutive month in which gas prices caused inflation to fall. The fall in gasoline prices was mainly driven by steep price increases in March 2022, when gasoline rose 11.8% month-over-month due to supply uncertainty following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This increased crude oil prices, which pushed prices at the pump higher for Canadians. Gasoline price inflation was transitory.

There is no question that lower inflation portends a continued rate pause by the Bank of Canada.

Inflation at 4.3% was the smallest rise since August 2021. On a year-over-year basis, Canadians paid more in mortgage interest costs, offset by a decline in energy prices.

Excluding food and energy, prices were up 4.5% year over year in March, following a 4.8% gain in February, while the all-items CPI excluding mortgage interest cost rose 3.6% after increasing 4.7% in February.

Two key yearly measures tracked closely by the central bank — the so-called trim and median core rates — also dropped, averaging 4.5%, in line with forecasts.

On a monthly basis, the CPI was up 0.5% in March, following a 0.4% gain in February. Travel tours (+36.7%) contributed the most to the headline month-over-month movement, largely driven by increased seasonal demand during the March break. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, the CPI rose 0.1%.

While headline inflation has slowed in recent months, having increased 1.7% in March compared with six months ago, prices remain elevated. Compared with 18 months ago, for example, inflation has increased by 8.7%.

On a year-over-year basis, price growth for durable goods slowed in March (+1.6%) compared with February (+3.4%). Furniture prices led the deceleration in prices for durable goods, falling 0.3% year over year in March, following a 7.2% increase in February. The decline was primarily due to a base-year effect, as furniture prices rose 8.2% month over month in March 2022 amid supply chain issues.

Prices for passenger vehicles also contributed to the deceleration in prices for durable goods, increasing at a slower pace year over year in March 2023 (+4.7%) compared with February (+5.3%). Higher prices for passenger vehicles in March 2022, due to the global shortage of semiconductor chips, put downward pressure on the index in March 2023.

Month over month, new passenger vehicle prices were up 1.3% in March, attributable to the higher availability of new 2023-model-year vehicles. For comparison, prices for used cars rose 0.6% month over month in March, after a 1.9% decline in February.

Homeowners’ replacement costs continued to slow in March, rising 1.7% year over year compared with a 3.3% increase in February, reflecting a general cooling of the housing market.

In contrast, mortgage interest costs rose faster in March (+26.4%) compared with February (+23.9%). This was the most significant yearly increase on record as Canadians continued to renew and initiate mortgages at higher interest rates.

There has finally been some relief in grocery price inflation. Year over year, prices for food purchased from stores rose to a lesser extent in March (+9.7%) than in February (+10.6%), with the slowdown stemming from lower prices for fresh fruit and vegetables.

Service inflation slowed to 5.1% in March. But in a sign wage pressures could be picking up, more than 155,000 federal workers are set to go on strike starting Wednesday if no deal is reached on their talks with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government by Tuesday night.

Bottom Line

The Bank of Canada is no doubt delighted that inflation continues to cool. The Bank expects price gains to reach 3% by midyear and return to near their 2% target by the end of 2024. But they said getting the prices back to 2% could prove more difficult because inflation expectations are coming down slowly, and service prices and wage growth remain elevated.

Governor Tiff Macklem, speaking at the IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington recently, said the Bank of Canada is prepared to end quantitative tightening earlier than planned if the economy needs stimulation. Quantitative tightening is the selling of government bonds on the Bank’s balance sheet, which takes money out of the economy.

Macklem said his officials discussed hiking rates further during deliberations for the April 12th decision to continue to pause and reiterated that “it is far too early to be thinking about cutting interest rates.”

His comments provide a glimpse into the Bank of Canada’s strategy for shrinking its balance sheet, which ballooned to more than $570 billion during the pandemic as it bought large quantities of government bonds — to restore market functioning during the initial Covid shock and then to provide a stimulus for the economy.

The remarks show an acknowledgment among policymakers that their plans could shift if there’s a negative economic shock that requires a loosening of monetary policy.

According to Bloomberg News, swaps traders are now betting the Bank of Canada’s next move will be a cut later this year. The governor pushed back on those expectations in a press conference this week. He and his officials discussed the possibility that rates need “to remain restrictive for longer to get inflation all the way back to target.”

In a speech last month, Deputy Governor Toni Gravelle said quantitative tightening will likely end in late 2024 or early 2025. That marked the first time the Bank of Canada put a date on abandoning the program.



Published by Sherry Cooper

Need an Appraisal? Tips for Success!

General Greg Weaver 4 Apr

If you are looking to buy a home or want a current value of your property, you will need an appraisal.

Before banks or lending institutions can consider loaning money for a property, they need to know the current market value of that property. The job of an appraiser is to check the general condition of your home and determine a comparable market value based on other homes in your area.

While you may think “it is what it is”, we actually have a few tips that can help improve your home’s appraisal to ensure you are getting top market value!

  1. Clean Up: The appraiser is basing the value of your property on how good it looks. A good rule of thumb is to treat the appraisal like an open house! Clean and declutter every room, vacuum, and scrub to ensure your home is as presentable and appealing as possible.
  2. Curb Appeal: First impressions can have a huge impact when it comes to an appraisal. Spending some time ensuring the outside of your property from your driveway entrance to front step is clean and welcoming can make a world of difference.
  3. Visibility: The appraiser must be able to see every room of the home, no exceptions. Refusal to allow an appraiser to see any room can cause issues and potentially kill your deal. If there are any issues with any spaces of your home, be sure to take care of them in advance to allow the appraiser full access.
  4. Upgrades and Features: Ensuring the appraiser is aware of any upgrades and features can go a long way. Make a list and include everything from plumbing and electrical to new floors, new appliances, etc. This way they have a reference as to what has been updated and how recent or professional that work was done.
  5. Be Prudent About Upgrades: While the bathroom and kitchen are popular areas, they are not necessarily the be-all-end-all for getting a higher home value. These renovations can be quite costly so it is a good idea to be prudent about how you spend your money and instead, focus on easy changes such as new paint, new light fixtures or plumbing and updated flooring to avoid breaking the bank while still having your home look fresh.
  6. Know Your Neighbourhood: You already know where you live better than the appraiser. Taking a look at similar homes in your neighbourhood and noting what they sold for will give you a ballpark. If your appraisal comes in low, you will be prepared to discuss with the appraiser the examples from your area and why you believe you property is worth more.
  7. Be Polite: The appraiser is there to get in and get out. Avoid asking them too many questions or making too many comments and simply be prepared should they have questions. Once they have completed the review of your home, that is a good time to bring up any comments you might have.

Don’t forget to contact a mortgage expert if you have any questions about your existing home or mortgage, or if you are looking to sell and relocate in the future!

What to Know about Porting Your Mortgage

General Greg Weaver 1 Nov

When it comes to getting a mortgage, one of the more overlooked elements is the option to be able to port the loan down the line.

Porting your mortgage is an option within your mortgage agreement, which enables you to move to another property without having to lose your existing interest rate, mortgage balance and term. Thereby allowing you to move or ‘port’ your mortgage over to the new home. Plus, the ability to port also saves you money by avoiding early discharge penalties should you move partway through your term.

Typically, portability options are offered on fixed-rate mortgages. Lenders often use a “blended” system where your current mortgage rate stays the same on the mortgage amount ported over to the new property and the new balance is calculated using the current interest rate. When it comes to variable-rate mortgages, you may not have the same option. However, when breaking a variable-rate mortgage, you would only be faced with a three-month interest penalty charge. While this can range up to $4,000, it is much lower than the average penalty to break a fixed mortgage. In addition, there are cases where you can be reimbursed the fee with your new mortgage.

If you already have the existing option to port your mortgage, or are considering it for your next mortgage cycle, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Timeframe: Some portability options require the sale and purchase to occur on the same day. Other lenders offer a week to do this, some a month, and others up to three months.
  2. Terms: Keep in mind, some lenders don’t allow a changed term or might force you into a longer term as part of agreeing to port you mortgage.
  3. Penalty Reimbursements: Some lenders may reimburse your entire penalty, whether you are a fixed or variable borrower, if you simply get a new mortgage with the same lender – replacing the one being discharged. Additionally, some lenders will even allow you to move into a brand-new term of your choice and start fresh. Keep in mind, there can be cases where it’s better to pay a penalty at the time of selling and get into a new term at a brand-new rate that could save back your penalty over the course of the new term.

To get all the details about mortgage portability and find out if you have this option (or the potential penalties if you don’t), contact me today for expert advice and a helping hand throughout your mortgage journey!


Published by DLC Marketing Team

Advice for Single Homebuyers.

General Greg Weaver 5 Oct

Buying a home is an exciting experience for anyone, and even more of a milestone when you’re doing it solo, but it can be a little different when you’re purchasing on your own. While it can be easier to tailor your mortgage and home search to exactly your needs, it can be somewhat more stressful handling the purchase of a home on your own… fortunately, that’s where a mortgage expert can help! We assist with your mortgage application, pre-approvals and final financing to make the entire mortgage process much smoother.

In addition to using a mortgage expert and having a trusted realtor, here are some other tips that can help improve your homebuying experience:

1. Be Aware of Your Financial History

Understanding your credit score and your financial history can help to improve your qualification potential. If your credit score is a little lower than it should be, or lower than you’d like for what you are trying to qualify for, you can take steps to improve this prior to seeking a mortgage and get better results.

2. Ramp Up Your Savings

Of course, while a mortgage will cover a large chunk of your home purchase, you are also required to have a down payment. In addition, you need to consider closing costs (1.5-4%) of the purchase price, as well as ongoing maintenance and costs for your new home (repairs, utilities, property taxes). It is important to determine your budget so you are aware of what you can afford monthly. BUT before you shop is also a great time to start ramping up your savings account so you can put more down and potentially reduce the overall mortgage.

3. Study The Marketplace

One of the most important aspects of homeownership is understanding what you can afford and where you want to live. These two key components can help you to determine your budget and the areas that you should be looking for a home, as well as what type of home size, amenities, etc. Understanding what is available can provide you with more information and help you fine-tune your shopping list.

4. Be Flexible When Possible and Firm When Not

While shopping for a home on your own can be much easier as you’re only concerned about your own needs, it is still important to be flexible. While it is easier to find a home that fits just ‘you’, keeping your options open can also have its benefits. Of course, if there are things you cannot live without or a location you really need to be in, it’s important to be firm about those things as well. Creating a list of wants and needs can help you determine where there is room to be flexible, and where there isn’t.

5. Consider Your Present and Future Needs

While you’re shopping for your new home for you today, you will also want to consider what your life might look like in the future. What are you doing 5 years from now? 10 years? Do you want to start a family or have children? Do you plan on changing jobs or perhaps requiring a move in a few years? All these things are important to be aware of so you can make the best choice for you today, but also ensure that you are considering your future needs.

6. Protect Yourself

Lastly, while you might not be purchasing your current home with a partner, it is important to leave room for this in the future to ensure that you and your home are protected. If you have another individual move into your home down the line, you could become common-law and that could cause complications. Having an honest conversation about expectations and responsibilities can help, as well as writing up a document for both parties to sign, indicating these responsibilities as well as outlining the investment made by the original owner and new partner.

If you are a single homeowner looking to make a purchase but are not sure where to start, don’t hesitate to reach out to a mortgage expert like Greg Weaver.  As an expert in mortgages, he has experience in all types of situations and purchases and the knowledge to walk you through the process and ensure you get the best home and mortgage for YOU.


Published by DLC Marketing Team

The Real Deal about Transfers and Switches

General Greg Weaver 29 Sep

Most people who are thinking about a transfer or switch want to take advantage of a lower interest rate or to get a new mortgage product with terms that better suit their needs.

Up for Renewal?

If your mortgage is approaching renewal and you are considering a transfer or switch – great news! You won’t be charged a penalty. BUT you are still required to qualify at the current qualifying rate and need to consider potential costs around legal charges, appraisal fees and penalty fees (if applicable). In some cases, the lender will offer you the option to include these fees in your mortgage or even cover the costs for you.

Currently have a Collateral Charge Mortgage?

If you have a collateral charge mortgage (which secures your loan against collateral such as the property), these loans cannot be switched; they can only be registered or discharged. This means you would need to discharge the mortgage from your current lender (and pay any fees associated) before registering it with a new lender (and pay any fees associated).

Still locked into your Mortgage?

If you’re considering a transfer or switch in the middle of your mortgage term, you will likely incur a penalty for breaking that mortgage. Typically, transfers and switches are done to take advantage of a lower interest rate (and lower monthly payments), but you want to be confident that the penalty doesn’t outweigh the potential savings before moving ahead.

Things to consider for a transfer or switch:

  1. You may be required to pay fees associated with the transfer or switch, including possible admin and legal fees.
  2. You will need to requalify under the qualifying rate to show that you can carry the mortgage with the new lender.
  3. You will be required to submit documents that may include, but are not limited to, the following (depending on the lender):
  • Application and credit bureau
  • Verification of income and employment
  • Renewal or annual statement indicating mortgage number
  • Pre-Authorized Payment form accompanied by VOID cheque
  • Signed commitment
  • Confirmation of fire insurance is required
  • If LTV is above 80%, confirmation of valid CMHC, Sagen or Canada Guaranty insurance is required
  • Appraisal
  • Payout authorization form
  • Property tax bill

If your mortgage is currently up for renewal, consider reaching out. Not only can we advise you of any penalties or fees that may be associated with your desired transfer or switch, but we also have the knowledge and ability to shop the market for you to find the best options to meet your needs. This extensive network of lender options allows brokers to ensure that you are not only getting the sharpest rate, but that the mortgage product and terms are suitable for you now – and in the future.


Published by DLC Marketing Team

5 Reasons You Don’t Qualify for a Mortgage

General Greg Weaver 16 Sep

When it comes to shopping for a mortgage, it is important to know what you need to qualify – but it is just as important to understand some of the reasons why you DON’T qualify so that you can make some changes and budget accordingly for when the time is right.

If you are in the market for a home, make sure you know the 5 major reasons you may not qualify for a mortgage:

1. Too Much Debt

One of the biggest reasons that individuals fail to qualify for a mortgage is that they are carrying too much debt already. This debt can be in the form of credit cards, lines of credit or other loans. Regardless of where the debt comes from, it all contributes to your Total Debt Servicing ratio (TDS), which is one of the qualifiers for a mortgage loan. The goal is for your monthly debt payments to NOT exceed 40% of your gross monthly income.

PRO TIP: Find ways to lessen your expenses, budget or consolidate debt where possible.

2. Credit History

Another indicator of not qualifying for a mortgage can be your credit history. It is always important to pull your credit score before you start house hunting so that you can understand what your credit rating is to help determine what you qualify for. Your credit score is a direct reflection of your potential risk and, if you have a poor credit history then it makes it harder to secure a mortgage loan.

PRO TIP: To improve your credit score, be sure to avoid late or missed payments, exceeding your credit card limit or applying for multiple new credit cards.

3. Insufficient Assets or Income

With rising housing prices and stagnant income levels, one roadblock for mortgage approval can be lacking sufficient income or assets to put against your loan. For some buyers, the only option is to save up more money for your down payment to reduce the overall mortgage or look at suite income or alternative lenders.

4. Not Enough Down Payment

Another reason you may not qualify for a mortgage could be that you do not have enough of a down payment. In Canada, a 20% down payment is required to avoid mortgage default insurance BUT you can still purchase a home with less than 20%; you simply need to account for the insurance premiums, which are calculated as a percentage of the loan and is based on the size of your down payment.

5. Inadequate Employment History

Lastly, employment history can have a big impact on mortgage approval. Most lenders prefer a 2-year consistent employment history. If you do not have an adequate employment history, have been at your job for a short time or do not have a record of long-term positions, you might find it harder to get a mortgage loan.

Whether you’re looking to get your first mortgage, are ready to move or are simply shopping around, understanding what can impact your mortgage application will help ensure you have greater success!

If you are struggling currently with your mortgage approval or have recently been denied – that’s okay! Don’t be deterred. With a little effort and patience, you will be able to put yourself in a better position to reapply in the future!  If you’re ready, contact Greg Weaver today to discuss your options.


Published by DLC Marketing Team

Back to School: Credit Clean Up!

General Greg Weaver 13 Sep

It’s time to go back to school… for your finances! The fall is the perfect time for a credit clean-up so that you are ready for the holiday spending season – and anything else the year can throw at you!

When it comes to cleaning up credit, there is no better time than now to recognize the importance of your credit score and check if you are on track with your habits. To get started with your credit clean-up, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Pull Your Credit Report: For most of us, our credit score is something we only think about when we need it. However, if you are unsure of where you stand, this is a great time to find out! The Fair Credit Reporting Act lets you get one free credit report every year through Equifax or TransUnion. Pulling your own credit report results in a “soft” inquiry on your report and will not affect your credit score. Click here to get your free credit report today!
  2. If You Find Errors, Dispute Them: When doing your annual credit score review, it is a good idea to go through line-by-line and confirm no errors. If you find any errors, report and dispute them immediately as they could be affecting your score.
  3. Consolidate Your Loans: One of the best tips for managing your credit and working towards future financial success is to consolidate your debt. Consolidating debt means reducing multiple loans to a single monthly payment, which typically has a lower interest rate allowing you to maximize spending on the principal amount.

Once you have put the effort into cleaning up your credit, you will want to keep it that way! A few tips for maintaining your credit and maximizing your financial future include:

  1. Pay Your Bills: This seems pretty straightforward, but it is not that simple. You not only have to pay the bills, but you have to do so in full AND on time whenever possible.  Paying bills on time is one of the key behaviours lenders and creditors look for when deciding to grant you a loan or mortgage. If you are unable to afford the full amount, a good tip is to at least pay the minimum required as shown on your monthly statement to prevent any flags on your account.
  2. Pay Your Debts: Whether you have credit card debt, a car loan, a line of credit or a mortgage, the goal should be to pay your debt off as quickly as possible. To make the most impact, start by paying the lowest debt items first and then work towards the larger amounts. By removing the low debt items, you also remove the interest payments on those loans which frees up money that can be put towards paying off larger items.
  3. Stay Within Your Limit: This is key when it comes to managing debt and maintaining a good credit score. Using all or most of your available credit is not advised. Your goal should be to use 30% or less of your available credit. For instance, if you have a limit of $1000 on your credit card, you should never go over $700.

NOTE: If you find you need more credit, it is better to increase the limit versus utilizing more than 70% of what is available each month.

Whether you qualify for a mortgage through a bank, credit union or other financial institution, you should be aiming for a credit score of 680 for at least one borrower (or guarantor). If you are ready to start your home-buying journey, or are looking to refinance your existing mortgage, a DLC Mortgage Expert can help you review your credit score and financial information to help you get the most from your money.


Published by DLC Marketing Team