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A 700 Credit Score Doesn’t = Good Credit
Theres more to a credit report than a score. You can have good income and a 700credit score(which is about average) and still not qualify for a mortgage. The reason is that lenders generally look for one key factor: repayment history. Suppose, for example, that you have a 710 credit score but only one credit account. Worse yet, that one account is a credit card that youve had for only two months. Before that, youve had either no credit or bad credit (most likely, any bad credit would be from a few years ago, given your score). In this case, your 710 score may not get the job done. Lenders often want to see a minimum of 1-2 years of satisfactory payment history and at least two trade lines (loans or revolving credit accounts). A trade line can consist of a major credit card with a $1,500+ limit (a rough rule of thumb), a revolving credit line, a reported lease, or an instalment loan (like a vehicle or investment loan). So, if you have no credit and you hope to apply for a mortgage, start building credit pronto. Get a credit card (even if its secured), a small instalment loan, a Futureshop card, whatever. And dontevermake a late payment. Many lenders require squeaky clean repayment history for at least 1-2 years. Of course, there are lots of exceptions to the aboveincluding cases where a co-signor or alternative credit can make up for traditional repayment history. (As noted in CMHCsNewcomerprogram, Alternative credit can include things like proof of satisfactory rent payments and utility payments for 12 months). Keep in mind, however, that alternative credit is an exception and not a rule. Speak with a mortgage professional if you have questions about your own unique circumstances.
Minister Morneau announces new benchmark rate for qualifying insured mortgages
For many Canadians, their home is the most important investment they will make in their lifetime. That is why the Government of Canada has introduced measures to help more Canadians achieve their housing needs while also taking measured actions to contain risks in the housing market. A stable and healthy housing market is part of a strong economy, which is vital to building and supporting a strong middle class. Today, Minister of Finance, Bill Morneau, announced changes to the benchmark rate used to determine the minimum qualifying rate for insured mortgages, also known as the stress test. These changes will come into effect on April 6, 2020. The new benchmark rate will be the weekly median 5-year fixed insured mortgage rate from mortgage insurance applications, plus 2%. This follows a recent review by federal financial agencies which concluded that the minimum qualifying rate should be more dynamic to better reflect the evolution of market conditions. Overall, the review concluded that mortgage standards are working to ensure that home buyers are able to afford their homes even if interest rates rise, incomes change, or families are faced with unforeseen expenses. This adjustment to the stress test will allow it to be more representative of the mortgage rates offered by lenders and more responsive to market conditions. The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) also announced today that it is considering the same new benchmark rate to determine the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages. OSFI is seeking input from interested stakeholders on this proposal before March 17, 2020.
The Contagion of Fear
Fears of a possible coronavirus pandemic are sweeping the world. Markets are jittery with little hard data to go on. With the first case now reported in Canada, many are recalling the 2003 SARS where Canada was one of the epicenters. Arguably the biggest (economic) lesson from that experience is that fear is the biggest risk to the outlook. The impact of the SARS pandemic on the Canadian economy is difficult to estimate, confounded as it was by the slowing US economy, the invasion of Iraq and other events, but the Bank of Canada estimated -0.6ppt hit to annualized growth in Q2-2003, or just over 0.1% on the level of GDP. While it is premature to predict the path of todays coronavirus outbreak, we estimate that a SARS-equivalent pandemic today could have a similar impact on the Canadian economy with an estimated hit of just over 0.1% on the level of GDP by mid-2020, at which point a pandemic should be contained. This estimate is subject to a significant degree of uncertainty with risks skewed to a potentially larger impact. The effect should not be significant enough to trigger a broader economic malaise, but could this finally push Governor Poloz over the line to proactively stimulate the economy in his next rate call? Source: https://www.scotiabank.com/content/dam/scotiabank/sub-brands/scotiabank-economics/english/documents/insights-views/2020-01-27_IV.pdf