Nearly one in six Canadians couldn't handle a $500 mortgage increase
According to the bank, 16% of respondents said they would not be able to afford such an increase, while more than a quarter, or roughly 27%, would need to review their budget.
The ultimate goal of most Canadians should be the elimination of debt, but the first step needs to be getting rid of bad debt, said Chris Buttigieg, senior manager of wealth planning strategy at BMO, which has the potential to destabilize a households financial situation.
Another 26% said they would be concerned, but could probably handle it.
Such an increase would be generated in the case of a three percentage point hike in interest rates - from 2.75% to 5.75% - on a $300,000 mortgage with a 25-year amoritization period.
Given that interest rates are likely to increase in the foreseeable future, the bank said there was no better time to put together a detailed debt management plan.
A report by Statistics Canada last month found the ratio of household credit market debt to disposable income climbed in the second quarter of 2015 to 164.6%, up from 163% in the first three months of the year.
That means Canadians owed nearly $1.65 in consumer credit and mortgage and non-mortgage loans for every dollar of disposable income.
The report by BMOs Wealth Institute found that almost half of Canadians, 47%, believed that the high level of debt in Canada has been influenced by soaring real estate values, while 40% believed it has been influenced by low rates.
Files from The Canadian Press
Professionals who can help you with home buying
Because purchasing a home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make, youll definitely want a team of professionals working with you throughout the process.
The Real Estate Agent
Helps you find the ideal home
Writes an Offer of Purchase
Negotiates on your behalf
Gives you important information about the community Can help you plan the home inspection
A lawyer (or a notary in Quebec) protects your legal rights. He or she will review all contracts before you sign them, especially the Offer (or Agreement) to Purchase. Remember that a lawyer/notary should:
Be a licensed, full-time lawyer/notary
Be local and understand real estate laws, regulations and restrictions Have realistic and acceptable fees
Be able to explain things in plain language
The Home Inspector
Performs an inspection of the visible components of the home
Tells you the condition of the house; what is working properly; what needs to be changed; what is unsafe; and what repairs need to be made
Can tell you where there may have been problems in the past
Usually belongs to a provincial or industry association
A good credit report and credit score are important factors in determining whether or not you will be approved for a mortgage. Here are some simple steps you can take to maintain a good credit history, and improve your chances of being approved.
What is a Credit Score
Your credit score is a number that illustrates your financial health at a specific point in time. It also serves as an indicator of your financial past, and how consistently you pay off your bills and debts. This is one of the factors mortgage professionals consider in qualifying you for a mortgage.
How to Check Your Credit Score
To find out your credit score, contact Canadas two credit-reporting agencies: Equifax Canada at www.equifax.ca and TransUnion Canada at www.transunion.ca. For a fee, these agencies will provide you with an online copy of your credit score as well as a credit report a detailed summary of your credit history, employment history and personal financial information on file. You can also obtain a free copy of your credit report by mail. If you find any errors in your report, notify the credit-reporting agency and the organization responsible for the inaccuracy immediately.
If You Do Not Have a Credit Score
Its important to begin building a credit history as early as possible. You can begin to build one by applying for and responsibly using a credit card. Your financial institution or mortgage professional can help.
How to Improve Your Credit Score
Demonstrating your ability to manage credit is key to maintaining a good credit score. There are a number of things you can do to improve your credit score. These include: Always pay your bills in full and on time. If you cannot pay the full amount, try to pay at least the required minimum shown on your monthly statement. Pay off your debts (such as loans, credit cards, lines of credit, etc.) as quickly as possible. Never go over the limit on your credit cards, and try to keep your balances well below the limits. Reduce the number of credit card or loan applications you make. Once your credit score has improved, work with your mortgage professional to obtain a mortgage that works for you.
Find Out More
To find out more about credit scores and reports, visit the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website and download or request a free copy of their guide, Understanding Your Credit Report and Credit Score. This guide provides practical, straightforward information on how to obtain and understand your credit report and score, as well as how to build and maintain a good credit history.