I always strive to leave the impression with my customers that the mortgage business is a service business first. You don't make a profit on one mortgage; you make it on the lasting relationships you establish. It's all about building partnerships.
The relationships I build with my customers are based on the same values I share with my family. Reliability, honesty and commitment are traits that have always impressed me. It seems natural to extend those same values to my customers
Your Banker's 6 Dirty Secrets...
There is a fine line between telling a lie and avoiding telling the truth. It comes back to intentions you can be hurt by a clever omission as easily as you can by an outright lie. It wont come as a surprise, but there are some things your bank would rather not tell you. Well look at six dirty secrets your banker has been keeping.
1. You probably dont need the insurance
Banks offer insurance, sometimes marketed as balance protection, on every debt instrument they offer. You can get insurance on a credit card, line of credit, plain vanilla loan and so on. In return, your payments are covered in certain cases and a death benefit is paid if you die with the debt.
Going through the contract can be interesting and enlightening for consumers. Often many conditions have to be met to receive the hardship qualifications to cover payments and the death benefit is capped at a maximum that may be much less than the value of the loan.
Your banker isnt to blame for that, the bank is. Where the bankers omission comes in is in not advising clients that their life insurance policy may already be enough to cover the new debt already and if not, adding coverage for the amount of the debt will be much cheaper in the long run than paying an extra percentage of your balance on top of the interest.
2. Even if I like you, the system decides
Many banks market the fact that you can go into any branch and have a productive conversation with their representatives the human touch. If you are looking for a loan or mortgage however, theres little human element to the decision process.
Large banks use a computer model that takes inputs such as income, current debt levels and assets, and decides whether you qualify for a loan and, if so, how much. For most people, this process is flexible enough that they dont notice. For farmers, entrepreneurs and business owners, though, this process can be enraging because it discounts elements of their business and often paints them as credit risks.
3. Im a salesman
There are many different terms for it complete banking, one-stop banking, holistic service but when it comes down to it, your banker is there to cross-sell you other products from the bank. Have a chequing account? How about a savings account, credit card, savings bond and a retirement account? Banks want to lock in a customer as much as possible.
4. We offer a complete package to get complete fees
Once a customer opens an account, the pressure is on to open three more. Holding more of a customers financial life at the same bank gives banks the ability to encourage the customer into more fee-bearing accounts without having to worry about the customer shopping around for a better deal. Your banker will never tell you that the bank down the road charges less in service fees and offers the same interest. Instead they emphasize the ease of transferring funds between your accounts within the branch, the transfer fees they wave and the deal they have on balance protection insurance.
5. We make more money from fees than banking
Banks have been pulling an ever-larger slice of their revenues from fees. The tipping point came in the late 90s, when fee income climbed to over half of revenue for the largest banks. Most people, your banker included, will tell you a bank makes its money off the interest it earns from loans to customers. And given how important fees are to revenue, take three guesses at which direction they will be heading in the future.
6. Use a mortgage broker
The biggest secret your banker is keeping is that mortgage brokers have access to the best rates in the business and represent ONLY the clients BEST interest. Instead, your banker will focus on the convenience of having lots of friendly staff wanting to serve you. All those people and buildings cost a lot to keep going. This cost is one of the reasons banks need to tighten their lending models and up their fees. By contrast, a mortgage brokers service doesnt cost you a penny.
The bottom line
Your banker is there to protect the banks interest, not necessarily yours. Its time to look into a Mortgage Broker. Just dont ask your banker for a recommendation, thats another of those things he just wont say.
Mark Fidgett is a Vancouver mortgage broker and the driver behind www.AdvancedEquity.ca
Your Vancouver Mortgage Broker For Life
OSFI tightens mortgage rules Edit
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI) published the final version of Guideline B-20 Residential Mortgage Underwriting Practices and Procedures. The revised Guideline, which comes into effect on January 1, 2018, applies to all federally regulated financial institutions.
The changes to Guideline B-20 reinforce OSFIs expectation that federally regulated mortgage lenders remain vigilant in their mortgage underwriting practices. The final Guideline focuses on the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages, expectations around loan-to-value (LTV) frameworks and limits, and restrictions to transactions designed to circumvent those LTV limits.
OSFI is setting a new minimum qualifying rate, or stress test, for uninsured mortgages.
Guideline B-20 now requires the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages to be the greater of the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada or the contractual mortgage rate +2%.
OSFI is requiring lenders to enhance their loan-to-value (LTV) measurement and limits so they will be dynamic and responsive to risk.
Under the final Guideline, federally regulated financial institutions must establish and adhere to appropriate LTV ratio limits that are reflective of risk and are updated as housing markets and the economic environment evolve.
OSFI is placing restrictions on certain lending arrangements that are designed, or appear designed to circumvent LTV limits.
A federally regulated financial institution is prohibited from arranging with another lender a mortgage, or a combination of a mortgage and other lending products, in any form that circumvents the institutions maximum LTV ratio or other limits in its residential mortgage underwriting policy, or any requirements established by law.
To find out how this will affect you, please contact me at anytime.
Easy ways to keep more money in your pocket
It goes without saying that most of us would appreciate a little more money in our pockets. Believe it or not, its actually an achievable goal. In fact, a few simple tips can help you uncover meaningful savings each and every month. Need some ideas? Heres a little inspiration to get you started:
1. Pack food from home for lunches and snacks. Skip sandwich bags and opt for reusable containers, cutlery and drink bottle.
2. Switch light bulbs to CFLs. On average, it costs $250 a year in energy costs to light your home with incandescents. Save $150 by going with CFLs. Theyre more expensive initially, but will last 10 times longer.
3. Review and negotiate your service plansphone, internet, cable and television content.
4. Invest in topping up your insulation. Attic insulation can settle and compact over time, diminishing its original R-value and increasing heating/cooling costs. Topping it up with a quality batt insulation, like Roxul Comfortbatt, will immediately help improve the comfort of your home and reduce your monthly energy bills.
5. Pay off credit card debt and swap cards for lower interest rate options.
6. Install low-flow water fixtures to cut down on excess water consumption.
7. Lower your thermostat by two degrees in cold weather and increase it by two degrees in warmer weather.
8. Launder your clothes in cold water and at off-peak times.
9. Avoid impulse shopping. Stick to your list and avoid window shopping, which tends to draw buyers in.
10. Save money on entertainment by looking for free activities. For options in your area, try a simple internet search. You might be pleasantly surprised at the wide variety of activities and entertainment available for no or low cost.
Collectively employing the tips above could potentially add up to thousands in annual savings, proving that sometimes change can be a good thing.