Your Guide to Debt Consolidation

Debt consolidation is a means to get out of debt faster by combining multiple debts into a single loan with easier payment terms. By combining several debts into one, you will find it easier to handle your monthly budget and enable you to set aside more money towards loan repayment.

How Does Debt Consolidation Work?

The most common way to consolidate debt is by taking out a debt consolidation loan. A debt consolidation loan is typically a large loan with a relatively lower interest rate than your existing loans and used to pay off existing loans so that you’re left with just one loan to take care of later. The idea is to save on interest and to make loan repayment a lot easier for you.

There are many ways to consolidate debt. The first step is to determine which of the different types of debt consolidation loans to use by assessing which will be most beneficial for you. You may choose from the following:

Using a Balance Transfer Credit Card

If you have a small amount of debt and you think you can pay everything off in a year, moving all of your debt on one credit card may be a good idea. The downside is you usually need an impeccable credit score to qualify for this.

Getting a Secured Loan

If you’re a homeowner or a car owner, you can use your property to borrow money with a lower interest rate. Qualifying for a secured loan for debt consolidation have a varying degree of success and largely depend on how valuable the property you are willing to use as collateral is.

Using Debt Relief

If you’ve exhausted other means of debt consolidation, you may want to look in using debt relief. A debt company will negotiate with your creditors to lower your monthly repayments and APR or negotiate other terms on your behalf. The downside is that this usually comes with a lot of restrictions as well as other requirements that you must comply with.

Applying for a Personal Loan

If you need to pay off huge debts and is willing to take several years to pay off your debts, applying for a personal loan may work for you. With a personal loan, you will borrow a large amount of money to pay off your existing debts and in turn, you’ll end up with a single debt to pay off per month based on the terms you’ve agreed to. A personal loan usually requires that you have a stable income and relatively good credit rating to qualify.

Home Equity Loan for Debt Consolidation

If you’re a homeowner, you may tap into your home equity for debt consolidation. You can choose to get a second mortgage or apply for a home equity line of credit to convert your existing debts into a single lower-interest loan.

Debt consolidation is just the first step towards a debt-free life. You must work hard to identify and stop the behaviours that got you into debt for long-term financial management. Contact us if you want to know more about how you can use your home equity for debt consolidation and how to qualify for a debt consolidation loan even with bad credit.

Is it Time to Use Your Home Equity?

World economy has taken a hit due to the months-long lockdowns and quarantines that a lot of nations had to place themselves under of. Even countries with stronger economies like the United States and Canada are not exempt from the financially crippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The best way to bounce back is for households to have more purchasing power to in turn, jumpstart the economy; but that is something that is easier said than done. A lot of people have lost their jobs and sources of income, how then can they recover quicker?

Is it Time to Use Your Home Equity?

The good news is that the majority of people own their homes in North America. Owning a home means that the homeowner is sitting on a sleeping mound of financial asset in the form of home equity. When tapped, home equity can be a good source of emergency funds for households.

Unfortunately for Canada, more restrictions were placed on mortgage recently to address the housing boom as well as to control property prices. This means that it may not be as easy for many to liquidate their home equity into spendable wealth. There are also a lot of requirements, fees, and mandates that can hinder those with lower credit scores and no current income to qualify for ways to access home equity. A way to adapt to the looming economic crisis is to create easier qualifications that can allow the creation of more new home equity loans as well as approve more applications for refinancing mortgage.

Why Tap Your Home Equity?

It is estimated that the combined value of residential properties in the United States is at nearly $30 trillion. With this in mind, it won’t be a far out thought to estimate that Canadian home equity is also worth trillions of dollars. Given this data, hundreds of billions of dollars can easily be injected into the economy in the next few weeks if a small fraction of homeowners choose to borrow from their home equity at this time. Hundreds of billions of dollars can boost economic activity and keep everything running until businesses have had a chance to recover.

How About the Regulations?

There is talk that if the concerned agencies create a carve-out, it would be easier for lenders to have less strict requirements. It could be something that the Canadian government may look into in the following weeks to make it possible for lenders to approve more mortgage refinancing applications as well as have more slots for home equity loans.

Is it Smart to Get a HELOC or to Refinance Your Mortgage Now?

A $10,000 HELOC at 4% interest would mean having to pay only $33 per month in interest. Paying this is a cheap price to pay to enjoy extra funds and to have a means to get back on one’s feet. If regulations are relaxed, not only can more people avail of a HELOC, but more people will also be able to qualify for mortgage refinancing.

Are you a homeowner who’s open to try to apply for a HELOC or a mortgage refinance with a private lender? Contact us at Mortgage Central Canada today and let us walk you through your options.


Thinking of Using Your Home Equity or Refinancing Your Mortgage?

Do you want to change the terms of your mortgage or do you need money for a big purchase? If you’re on the fence about these, then you might also be wanting to know if it is better to use your home equity or to refinance your mortgage for funding. Read on below to help you make a better-informed decision.

Is It A Good Idea to Refinance My Mortgage?

Take a look at the interest rates. If they are currently lower than when you signed your mortgage, then refinancing might be a good idea now. You have to consider too that refinancing your mortgage means replacing your existing mortgage with another one with different terms. Your lender will calculate your new loan-to-value ratio to see if it is lower than 80% which is often the qualifying number. The lender will also look at your monthly debt payments in relation to income. They’ll ask for copies of recent pay stub, property tax bill, mortgage statement, notice of assessment, T4 slip, copies of recent assets or investments, savings accounts, and RRSPs.

Benefits of Refinancing

Getting a lower interest rate that will save you thousands of dollars over the years is the main benefit of refinancing. Another benefit is lower monthly payments. The cash that you can free up via cash-out refinance can be used to consolidate debt, invested for a venture, or saved as an emergency fund or money for higher education. Don’t forget that you may be able to change your mortgage type and other terms to help you achieve your financial goals faster.

Is it A Good Idea to Tap Home Equity?

Any payment that you make towards your mortgage will go into building your home equity. You can estimate your home equity by subtracting the amount you still owe from the current market value of your home. Once you have a certain percentage of home equity, you’ll be eligible to tap it using a home equity loan. Compared to other types of home loans, a home equity loan has a lower interest rate because it is a secured loan.

Benefits of a Home Equity Loan

A home equity loan will give you access to a substantial amount of cash that you can use to pay for home renovation, home improvement repairs, big purchases like a vehicle or an investment, and a lot more. You can also opt for a HELOC or a home equity line of credit if you think that you will have a series of smaller expenses in the near future.

Note that both refinancing your mortgage and getting a home equity loan will incur fees. You may need to pay for an appraisal, legal fees, and possibly, discharge fees as well as prepayment charges depending on a lot of details. If you have questions regarding the details of a home equity loan and mortgage refinance, do not hesitate to contact us at Mortgage Central Canada. We’re open at these trying times and happy to be of service to you.


What You Need to Know About a Second Mortgage

Applying for a second mortgage is not easy if you do not know what you are doing especially during uncertain times. However, now might be a smart time to get a second mortgage with the help of mortgage professionals who can assist you and put your needs as a priority. Read on below to find out the things that you must know when applying for a second mortgage.

Getting a Second Mortgage

True to its name, a second mortgage is a type of mortgage loan that you can get on top of your primary or first mortgage. It is a home loan because it is secured by your home equity. A second mortgage will allow you to access as much as 80% to 90% of your home equity depending on the specific type of second mortgage that you plan to get. Most people who apply for a second mortgage instead of a mortgage refinance do so because they are trying to avoid the fees linked to breaking a primary mortgage.

Why Get a Second Mortgage

Although there are many uses for a second mortgage, the most common reasons people cite is that they want to use the funds for a home renovation project, debt consolidation, or to pay for higher education. By getting a second mortgage, you can take advantage of specific benefits that come with each mortgage type and can help place yourself in a better financial position than your current situation.

Kinds of Second Mortgages

A second mortgage can be a smart financial decision if you know how to use it. You can choose to get a HELOC to help you pay for several smaller expenses that are coming up and cannot be covered by your savings. It is a revolving line of credit that will also allow you to reuse your credit line after payments. Think of a HELOC like a credit card that you can borrow from again and again as long as you are paying off when you can to keep your line of credit open. You can also opt for a home equity loan if you need access to a lump sum of cash for huge expenses or purchases such as for debt consolidation, investment funds, or an extensive home renovation.

Dangers of Second Mortgages

Second mortgages have a higher risk of not getting paid compared to a first mortgage. In the event of financial difficulty, any monies left will go to paying debts; however, a primary mortgage will always have first priority before a second mortgage. Because second mortgages carry a lot of risks for the lender, they set a higher interest rate for it as well as pose more requirements before qualifying someone to avail of it. Bigger institutions are typically very strict about their requirements, which is why it can be easier to apply for a second mortgage with a smaller lender.

Should You Get a Second Mortgage?

You need to take a hard and objective look at your current financial situation to gauge if you can qualify for a second mortgage. You’ll have to take into consideration that lenders will typically have slight variations in their requirements that can allow you to qualify for one and not the other. If you need help applying for a second mortgage or getting approval, be sure to contact us at Mortgage Central Canada for professional assistance. Contact us today!


How to Borrow Against Home Equity

Owning a home comes with a lot of financial responsibilities which can add up and make things difficult especially for those who are just making enough to cover their needs. For a lot of Canadians, having a savings account for unforeseen needs is not always possible and hence, tapping their home equity is one of the best financial solutions to cover a large expense. So, what should one know about borrowing against home equity?

For starters, home equity is defined as the value of one’s home that the homeowner truly owns. If you’re paying your mortgage, the money that goes towards payment builds your home equity. It can also be defined as the market value of the home minus the amount still owed in the mortgage. This means that when property prices increase, your home equity rises with it.

Borrowing Against Home Equity

Given the above, the first thing you should do before you borrow from your home equity is to determine how much home equity you have. You need a computation of how much you still owe in your mortgage and have your home appraised to know the current market value.

There are many different ways to borrow against home equity and they all come with specific requirements when it comes to the minimum home equity a homeowner should have before qualifying for a home equity loan.

Types of Home Equity Loans

There are 3 common or traditional ways to access home equity. By getting a home equity loan or a second mortgage, by getting a HELOC, or by refinancing your mortgage.

Getting a second mortgage will allow you to access up to 80% of your home equity. It works like other secured loans with the main difference being the fact that this one uses your home equity as security. Failing to pay a second mortgage can still result to you losing your home although, in case of continuous nonpayment, the primary mortgage will be the first one to get paid after assets are seized.

Getting a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) is like getting a credit card with a relatively substantial credit limit and is backed by your home equity. Just like a credit card, you can keep borrowing from a set limit as long as you adhere to the set terms. A HELOC is great for covering small expenses that can’t be covered by your income. Most HELOCs require that you have at least 20% equity and a good credit score but some lenders may be more lenient.

Refinancing your mortgage allows you to access some of your equity after you break your first mortgage with your current lender. Refinancing will let you access up to 80% of your equity but remember that you’ll have to pay prepayment penalty fee for breaking your first mortgage.

Using Your Home Equity Loan

You can use your home equity loan to fund big projects, to invest in your home, pay for university education, or start a new business. The key to success with borrowing against your home equity is to approach the right lender with your intent and show that you’re capable of handling the loan you’re applying for. If you need help borrowing against your home equity, contact us at Mortgage Central Canada.



What You Must Know When Borrowing Money Using Home Equity

Thousands of people borrow money using home equity in any given month, but not a lot of people truly understand what it means and how to do it. For instance, plenty of homeowners are not aware that borrowing money using home equity has a higher chance of approval versus applying for other types of loans. Read on below and find out more!

How Much Is Your Home Equity?

You can estimate a calculation of your home equity before going to a lender to borrow money. Basically, your home equity is the value of your home that you currently own. You can estimate it by subtracting your remaining mortgage balance from the current market value of your home. This means that the higher your home’s market value and the more you paid for your mortgage’s balance, the higher is the value of your home equity. A large home equity can help you qualify for loans faster, including sizable loans.

Note that your own estimate is just to give you an idea how much your home equity is. You will need a professional appraisal done to apply for loans. You need information that are as complete and as updated as possible because you will have to provide these details to the lender when applying for a home equity loan.

Applying for a Home Equity Loan

Getting a home equity loan starts with applying for it from a lender. The loan will be based on your perceived ability to pay and the value of your home equity. You can get any of the following home equity loans if you meet the requirements for home equity:

  • You can get a Mortgage Refinance by renegotiating your contract with your lender or by breaking your first mortgage contract. A penalty will have to be paid but you will gain access to up to 80% of your home equity. For someone with a big expense and want to take advantage of better interest rates, a Mortgage Refinance may be a smart option.
  • You can apply for a HELOC or a home equity line of credit. This will allow you to tap 65% to 80% of your home equity either in one go or via small amounts over a set span of time. A HELOC will also allow you to reborrow or withdraw from your line as you pay the minimum billed to you. Interest rate for a HELOC is lower than other second mortgages and you’ll also enjoy a lot of flexibility in terms of when and how much of your home equity to use.
  • You can consider getting a Second Mortgage to use on top of your primary mortgage. The downside is that you will have to be capable of paying off two mortgages at once but could be a good choice if you have a sudden need for a substantial lump sum of cash.

Remember that applying for a home equity loan means using the value that you own in your home as collateral. Your home will be at risk if you fail to pay. If you need help deciding which option is best for you to borrow money using home equity, feel free to contact us so that our mortgage professionals can answers your queries.


Mortgage Arrears and Foreclosures

Mortgage arrears is increasingly becoming a problem for more homeowners these days. No matter how much one’s finances are planned, it is not uncommon to fall behind on payments during months of financial difficulty. Most people do not realize how important it is to make sure that they should prioritize paying their monthly mortgages. It seems it is easy for a lot to forget that failing to pay one’s mortgage on time can result in mortgage arrears and foreclosures depending on the terms in one’s mortgage.

What to Do if You Missed Some Mortgage Payments

The first thing you should do when you realize that you’ve missed some mortgage payments is to contact your lender right away. Ideally, you should do this prior to missing any payment at all. Be sure to be as open and honest as possible with your lender so that your lender can offer a solution or a compromise that can work well with both of you. Make sure that you honour any new payment agreement with your lender and cooperate as best as you can.

Note that failing to pay your mortgage or not following through with a new payment scheme can mean hearing the word “foreclosure” from your lender. Lenders will typically avoid foreclosure because it is a lengthy and headache-inducing process. However, also note that lending companies cannot afford to let people simply not pay their mortgages. To recuperate their losses, they are within their legal rights to foreclose a home with mortgage arrears.

What is Foreclosure?

By definition, foreclosure is a legal action taken by a lender against a mortgage borrower who failed to make payments beyond the terms agreed upon by both parties. Because the home is the collateral for a mortgage loan, the lender is legally allowed to repossess a home and sell it to recover any loses from the money that the is owed.

Foreclosure can happen after a homeowner failed to make several mortgage payments. It doesn’t happen after a single missed payment. Foreclosure happens as a result of mortgage arrears, which means missing payments for a few months in a row and not cooperating with the lender in terms of payment. The process is lengthy and will mean receiving a few demand letters at first, typically at the 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days mark of missing a payment. Mortgage arrears will kick in after 90 days of non-payment. The foreclosure process will then soon follow.

The foreclosure process can vary between provinces in Canada. It is best to take initiative and address any mortgage arrears as soon as possible to avoid foreclosure. Once a property has been in mortgage arrears for more than a certain length of time, the lender can either go through a judicial sale or a power of sale for them to be able to recover their loses.

Save Your Home

The best way to save your home in case of mortgage arrears is to contact the lender or find a way to make payments as soon as possible. We may be able to offer some mortgage arrears solutions for you at Mortgage Central Canada. Contact us and we’ll discuss what we can do for you based on your situation.


Compelling Reasons to Tap Your Home Equity

Tapping home equity is still an uncommon idea for a lot of people although this has been increasingly becoming the norm in the past decade with the increase in home values in Canada. This can be both good and bad. It can be good because not everyone will be wise about spending money they can have easy access to. For these people, not knowing that home equity can be used this way can be good to prevent them from borrowing too much until they go deeper into debt. However, not knowing that home equity can be tapped without selling the home can be bad for people who know how to proceed with caution. These individuals are the ones who only access their home equity if there are compelling reasons and make wise decisions in terms of managing their finances. But wait, what are good and compelling enough reasons to access home equity?

When a homeowner accesses home equity, it means that the homeowner is borrowing against the actual value of the home. While this can be considered as borrowing against one’s own money, note that using more of the home equity means losing money saved up in the form of real estate property. This is why it is so important to spend it wisely. If you’re thinking about using your home equity, then be sure to at least use it for reasons such as the ones shared below.

Paying for Home Improvements

Home improvements add value to the home and can further increase home equity. More so, home improvement that focuses on function can greatly enhance the living experience of the homeowners and will make owning the home much more enjoyable.

Investing in Education

College is expensive. Postgraduate studies, even more so. The thing is, using home equity to pay for college tuition or postgraduate studies is a smart move because better education means possibly getting better jobs that can allow an individual to achieve more in life aside from just getting to a higher income bracket.

Managing Debt

Debt consolidation by tapping home equity is a smart way to convert several high-interest loans into an easy-to-manage lower-interest loan. The key is to make sure that the fees needed to access home equity via a second mortgage or HELOC will be worth the savings in the long run.

Saving for Emergency Expenses

Emergency expenses have a way of coming out of nowhere and costing much more than an average person’s savings. By using home equity as savings for an emergency, the homeowner can be sure that they got something saved for a rainy day or when expenses pile up when finances are not in a good state.

Funding Long-Term Investments

Home equity can be accessed to purchase stocks or to use as downpayment for investment real estate. Although using home equity this way carries risks, the rewards are worth it if things are managed appropriately.

With the above said, note that accessing home equity is an individual decision that should be based on several factors. There are many ways to tap home equity and they all have their pros and cons for each specific situation. Contact us if you want to use your home equity soon and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.


Were You Rejected for a Home Equity Loan Despite a Good Credit Score?

Most people believe that a good credit score means instant approval when it comes to getting a home equity loan. This is a misconception. Each day, people with good credit score face rejection for a home equity loan. While it is true that a good credit score is key to getting a mortgage approval, this doesn’t necessarily apply to getting a home equity loan. This is because credit score is just one of the many indicators that lenders look into when determining whether an individual may be able to pay back a loan. Below are possible reasons why someone with a good credit score can get rejected for a home equity loan.

Look into Your Income to Debt Ratio

If you have a lot of debt and have a modest income, lenders may doubt your ability to afford paying for more loans. Lenders usually have minimum and maximum requirements when it comes to the ratio of debt and income with most lenders having a limit of between 43% and 49% debt to income ratio.

Having Low Income or Unreliable Income

If you have a highly variable and fluctuating income due to self-employment or work status, some lenders may be more careful about lending to you. Lenders consider each loan they approve as an investment. If there is a high probability that the loan won’t be paid back, it means that they might lose their investment. A solid proof of reliable income is what lenders want to see these days.

History of Foreclosure or Bankruptcy

Are you aware that your credit score will bear the marks of bankruptcy for up to 6 years since a bankruptcy was completed and that your records will be marred for 14 years if you happen to file for bankruptcy twice? A foreclosure or bankruptcy that happened a long time ago can have a huge impact on a home equity loan application at present time even when things are going well.

How to Get Approved for a Home Equity Loan

Do not be discouraged with the information shared above. It is still possible to get approved for a home equity loan even with declined previous applications. As soon as your finances improve or your credit score gets better, you can show that you are capable of paying bills in a timely manner. A credit score of around 680 will make most lenders more apt to lend to you but it won’t hurt to try because repeated checking and denial of application has no bearing on your actual credit score. You may reapply and recheck every few months until you get approved.

Are you worried about getting denied for a new application of a home equity loan due to a previous denial? Talk to us at Mortgage Central Canada! Our mortgage experts will assess your unique situation and assist you in getting a home equity loan approved. Contact us today to get approved as soon as possible!


Facts About Getting A Second Mortgage

A second mortgage is unlike a first mortgage or financing a mortgage. With a second mortgage, the lender will have to evaluate the equity built into the home before approval. Less significance is placed on other factors such as credit score and income source whether you will be getting a second mortgage from private lenders or from institutional lenders such as banks. Just note that some banks may still have stricter qualifications when it comes to having regular employment and a high credit score.

Applying for a Second Mortgage

At current time, debt consolidation is the most popular reason for people who are applying for a second mortgage. Another popular reason is to pay for home renovations to improve their property’s value. Some use a second mortgage to pay for higher education or to serve as emergency fund especially during trying times. The beauty of a second mortgage is that lenders typically do not need to know what the funds will be used for provided that their loan requirements are met by the homeowner.

How Much Does A Second Mortgage Cost?

Homeowners in Canada can access as much as 80-90% of their home equity via a second mortgage. That amount of money can ease financial burdens and change lives if used wisely. For a lot of people, a second mortgage is a much smarter choice than other loans considering that it only has an interest of 5-15% whereas other loans may charge as much as 30% in interest. Although 5-15% interest may still sound a lot for many people, it is still a savings of more than 50% compared to other loan products. That interest rate is further justified if you’ll note that in case of any problems with payments, the primary mortgage will get the first priority when it comes to getting paid. A lender for a second mortgage has to charge a slightly higher interest than a primary mortgage to cover the cost of risks for them.

How to Pay for a Second Mortgage?

As a borrower, you are supposed to pay a monthly payment that covers the interest and pay according to the terms that you agreed with. It is possible to have prepayment options and this is best discussed with your lender. Note that after you’ve reached the term of your loan, there may be an option to renew for another year. If you do not wish to go this route, then simply follow the agreed-on payment terms.

Facts About Second Mortgages

Below is a list of information that you have to know when applying for a second mortgage:

  • You may be able to access as much as 80-90% of your home equity
  • Different lenders have their own set of requirements. If you were turned down by a bank or a financial institution, it is still possible to get a second mortgage from a private lender
  • Most second mortgages offer 1-year terms. Prior to the payment term, the borrower is usually charged for the interest only

Are you thinking of applying for a second mortgage? Contact us and we will make sure to get back to you as soon as possible. We will be happy to answer your questions and assist you in assessing what mortgage loan type is right for your needs.