Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What's the Score? How you can improve your credit score

The credit score, also referred to as a “FICO score,” is a mathematical formulae created by Fair, Issac and Company.
The credit score is used by most companies to decide if the applicant is a good credit risk or not. Equifax and Trans Union will calculate the numbers from the credit report and generate a number between 300 and 900.
A low score indicates a bad risk. A score of 680 or more puts the applicant in the lenders’ good books.
How scores are calculated:
Payment History
Bankruptcies, late payments, past due accounts and wage attachments, collections, judgements - none is better
Amounts Owed
Amount owed on accounts, proportion of balance to total credit limit - moderate use is best
Length of Credit History
Time since accounts opened, time since account activity – The longer you have had your account open, the better.
New Credit
Number of recent credit inquiries, number of recently opened accounts - less is best. 5 per year max.
Types of Credit
Number of various types of accounts (credit cards, retail cards, mortgage) - variety is good
Potential Totals
Fair Isaac reports that the American public's credit scores break out along these lines. It would be similar for Canadians.
Credit score
499 and below
2 percent
5 percent
8 percent
12 percent
15 percent
18 percent
27 percent
800 and above
13 percent
How Clients Can Improve Their Credit Score
  1. Order a copy of the credit report, review it carefully and correct any significant errors. 
  2. Pay bills on time. 
  3. If there is a questionable credit history, they could open a few new accounts and use them responsibly, paying them off on time. 
  4. Avoid opening accounts without intention of using them. You can, however, open it use it once and then maintain a balance of 0 which will build up your score.
  5. Having a credit card or instalment loan can help boost a credit score, as long as the balance is not too high. 
  6. Keep balance low in relation to available credit. If the credit limit is $1,000, keeping the balance below $500 (or 50 per cent of the limit) will improve the score. Balances of more than $750 (or 75 per cent of the limit) will decrease the score. Going over the limit has an even more negative effect and you can lose 35 points quickly.
  7. Pay off credit card debt instead of moving it around to lower rate cards. Moving balances to other credit cards (i.e., “balance transfer”) and closing an old account can hurt the score.
 If you would like advice on how to improve your credit score so that you can buy a home contact me through my website at    
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Monday, November 19, 2012

2/3's of Canadians pay off their mortgages early

Will Dunning, chief economist for CAAMP, The Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals  , came out with a report recently on the effects of mortgage rule changes in July by the Finance department and general observations on the housing market in Canada in 2012.

     Here are some of his observations.
Will Dunning
     Here are some of his observations.

1-Since the most recent round of mortgage tightening came into effect in July 2012, there has been a drop in Canadian housing resale activity: between August and October, sales were 8 per cent lower than in the year prior to the announcement

2- Approximately 17 per cent of high ratio mortgages funded in 2010 could not have been funded today, including 11% of prospective high ratio homebuyers who can’t qualify under the new 25 year amortization rule

3-Regardless of whether Canadians initially selected a 20, 30, or even 40 year amortization period, survey findings continue to indicate that actual repayment periods have generally been only two-thirds of the contracted periods

4- It is not only first time buyers who are affected: reduced activity at entry levels means that move-up activity will also be gradually impacted, because potential move-up buyers will find it more difficult to sell their current homes

5- Canadians have continued to show prudence when it comes to mortgage repayment: one-third of borrowers made additional payments or accelerated payments on their mortgages; 87 per cent of homeowners have at least 25 per cent equity in their homes

6- 61 per cent of people who renewed in the past year saw a reduction in their interest rates

7- Among borrowers who took out a new mortgage in 2012, a record 47 per cent obtained
from a mortgage broker.

What do each of these items mean to you?

1-If you want to sell a home in Canada, you will probably have to keep it on the market for a longer period of time.

2-it’s getting harder for first time home buyers to qualify for a mortgage, therefore move up home buyers will have to lower their sale price or wait longer for a qualified buyer.

3- Canadians have and remain to be prudent. They will pay off their mortgages faster.

4- ditto #2

5- there’s more proof of Canadian financial prudence. This is how we have avoided the
bubble the U.S. experienced.

 In conclusion, the housing market is softening after 4 years and 4 changes to the mortgage rules. It will be harder to sell your starter home and move up to a bigger home unless you have substantial equity in your home.
 If you have questions, feel free to contact me As you can see almost half of Canadians are now using mortgage brokers. Why aren’t you?
David Cooke, your Calgary mortgage broker . Find his mortgage website at

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Consumer delinquencies at lowest level since pre-recession according to Equifax Canada

Toronto, ON, November 6, 2012 - According to Equifax Canada’s Q3 Quarterly Credit Trends Report, as of September 30, 2012, consumer delinquencies have dropped to 1.22 per cent, the lowest level since before the financial crisis.

The report also reveals that total Canadian non-mortgage debt increased slightly by 1.8 per cent since last year.

Furthermore, credit card balances continue to decrease, while other credit products such as bank loans and lines of credit show very moderate growth compared to the same period last year.

The greatest increase was captive Auto Finance loans, which grew by 9 per cent over last year. The report revealed the Auto Finance loans have the lowest level of delinquency.

“To see serious delinquencies drop to a record low of 1.22 per cent is a very positive sign that consumers are doing a great job at managing their debt obligations,” says Nadim Abdo, Vice President, Consulting Solutions, Equifax Canada.  “The growth in credit over the past two years has slowed down significantly and the Canadian appetite for new credit has also diminished. According to Equifax’s Credit Seeking Index, which measures the velocity at which consumers are seeking new credit facilities,  consumer demand for new credit now is 9 per cent lower than it was prior to the financial crisis.”

Cristian deRitis, Senior Director of Consumer Credit Economics at Moody’s Analytics commented on the report by adding “consumer credit conditions in Canada remain stable and are in line with Moody’s Analytics projections for GDP growth and unemployment. Debt levels and available credit continue to rise, though at a slower pace than several years ago. Balances are declining for credit cards, personal finance and sales finance loans as borrowers turn to bank installment loans and lines of credit to meet their needs.  Auto financing continues to experience rapid expansion as Canadians flock to dealer lots and showrooms,” deRitis explained.

Other Equifax Report observations:
  • Average consumer non-mortgage indebtedness in Q3/2012 increased by 2.6 per cent in the last 12 months, compared to a growth of 4.4 per cent in the same period last year;
  • Average credit card debt has continued to decrease for the past eight quarters; it decreased by 3.6 per cent in Q3/2012 from the same period last year;
  • Average bank installment loans grew by 4 per cent over same period last year and average bank revolving loans (lines of credit) remained stable;
  • 90-day delinquencies continue to improve and have decreased to a rate of 1.22 per cent; and
  • Consumer bankruptcies slightly increased slightly by 5 per cent from the same period last year.
For detailed graphs, please go to:

for more information contact David Cooke, your Calgary mortgage broker. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Changes to Canada's mortgage rules - November 1, 2012

Dominion Lending Centres Westcor - Calgary
    Today we received a reminder from our lenders about the changes to mortgage rules in Canada as of today. The major change that will affect people today is that if you want a line of credit , the maximum that you will be able to access is up to 65% of the value of your home. This is down from 80% yesterday. As Canadians grapple with high debts on credit cards and loans, this will remove one way for them to consolidate their debts. I suspect there will be more unsecured loans and more people driven into bankruptcy.
        The other big change is with conventional uninsured mortgages. As of today you will have to qualify at the bank's 5 year  benchmark rate intead of the lower rate for 1-4 year mortgages. This may make it difficult for investors and some home buyers.
 We will have to wait to see what the repercussions are from this latest change to the mortgage rules.
 If you want more information or to discuss these changes you can contact me here.
 I have included the whole notification below for you to read over yourself.
As I suspect you are aware, OSFI - the regulator of all Canadian Financial Institutions, has imposed underwriting guidelines for Residential Mortgages on all regulated lenders and CMHC.  These underwriting guidelines are known as B20 and have been created at the insistence of the Financial Stability Board, the financial oversight organization of all G20 nations.  The creation of these guidelines is a direct result of the financial crisis caused by poor American mortgage lending practices.

My purpose in writing this is to give you, our valued brokers, an overview of the components of B20 in general terms.  I will explain to you what it means to your lender partners - at least to Optimum Mortgage and secondly, what it means to you. 

Components of B20
The Guideline sets out what OSFI considers to be prudent residential mortgage underwriting standards.  A residential mortgage is considered to be a loan or any other product, like a HELOC, that is secured by a residential property - up to a four-unit dwelling. 

The Guideline sets 5 principles for sound residential mortgage underwriting:

1.       All lenders must have a policy outlining risk appetite, governance and over site mechanisms to ensure lenders follow their own policies;

2.       Lenders must confirm the borrower’s identity, background and demonstrated willingness to service debt obligations on a timely basis;

3.       Lenders must assess the borrower’s capacity to service their debt obligations on a timely basis;

4.       Lenders must be satisfied that the value of the property being financed has been confirmed by an independent third party; and,

5.       Lenders must stress test their book of business with unlikely, but plausible scenarios to determine the impact to their business.  Lenders are expected to impose a higher level of due-diligence on higher risk deals, conduct ongoing risk-assessments on the insurers they use and generally pay close attention to the risk attached to their residential mortgage portfolio.
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Friday, October 26, 2012

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Mark Carney and Bank of Canada (BoC) has once again elected to leave the key interest rate untouched. The central bank has kept this rate, at 1.00 per cent since September of 2010.
The central bank announced the Canadian economy continues to expand, but that housing activity is starting to decline and exports remain weak.  Ultra-low mortgage interest rates artificially inflate long-term affordability and incentivize consumers to borrow money. Unfortunately, Canadians have been taking on household debt to a record 163 per cent debt-to-income ratio. This has caused the Bank of Canada governor to label it as the greatest domestic threat to the economy.
Still, the bank said growth will average 2.2 per cent this year, one-tenth more than it had projected in July.
The next BoC rate meeting is December 4, 2012.

NOTE: while my official website shows a 5 year fixed rate of 3.04%, my brokerage has been able to negotiate a rate of 2.94%  O.A. C. 
Contact me for up to the minute rates. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My first promotional video

 Everyone these days does video. This is my attempt at doing one. The message is simple. With all the changes to mortgage rules , rates going up and down every day or two, you need a mortgage professional more than ever to help you get the best financing for your particular situation.
 Contact me via my website

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Only 2 weeks left to get a Cashback Mortgage

   October 31st is the deadline for getting a cash back mortgage that you can use the proceeds for your down payment. After October 31st, cash backs will be available but you will receive them after possession and can use them for buying drapes , new appliances etc. 
      What do you need to qualify for this type of mortgage? You need a good steady job, very good credit, and you have to be buying a nice property.
      What are the terms of this type of a mortgage? They are the same as a regular mortgage, the difference is that you pay the bank posted rate of 5.24% for the first five years and then get 5.5% back that you can use for a down payment or for other expenses you may have. 
   There is only one lender offering this and they do not deal directly with the public in western Canada. You can only get this deal through a mortgage broker.
Contact me if you want more information on this and to see if this is a product that would be good for you.
David Cooke
Dominion Lending Centres Westcor
Calgary, AB


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Expo 67 and my Career Choice

     45 years ago , on October 29th, Expo 67 closed it's doors for the last time. It is generally accepted that Expo 67 was the most successful worlds fair of the 20th Century. On the third day it was open over 560,000 people went through the turnstiles.
     I was only 10 years old at the time. All our friends and family descended on our home that summer to stay with us and visit Expo. I went over 70 times that summer and fall. At times, I was sent with the visitors to show them around. I knew exactly where to park, how much it cost, where to get the Expo Express train and which pavilions to see first.I enjoyed the look on their faces when they saw the dome of the US pavilion, shown above, or the gondolas in the canals and heard  the steel bands at the Trinidad and Tobago pavilion.
     I think that I changed in 1967. That was the year when I discovered I enjoyed instructing people. As a result, I later became a teacher, I specialized in adult education. 7 years ago, I became a mortgage broker. My Expo 67 experience and my teaching career have served me well in my new career. I still enjoy showing people how they can become home owners sooner. My biggest thrill is telling people that they are approved and now own a home.
      With recent changes to CMHC mortgage rules coming down from the Canadian government it is getting more and more difficult to obtain home financing and even harder to refinance an existing home. Mortgage brokers are getting busier than ever because of these rule changes. Only a mortgage broker can explain the differences and find a way to make your home financing dream possible. Contact me if you have any questions. I'll be happy to help.
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

60% of 1st time home buyers surprised by costs - Survey

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Today , TD Canada Trust issued a customer survey. The item that caught my eye was that 60% of home buyers did not know all the costs associated with the purchase of their home.

“From being more thorough in their budget to exploring their mortgage options carefully, many first time buyers think they could have prepared better for their house-hunt,” says Farhaneh Haque, Director of Mortgage Advice, TD Canada Trust. “Prospective buyers can learn from other buyers’ mistakes. If you think you’re ready for home ownership, do your research and make sure you know as much as you can about the process and on-going commitment.”
    I was shocked by this figure. I know that when I have a first time buyer, I always go over the costs with them. I've put together a info letter on all the steps from pre-approval up to possession. Some people have rented their whole lives and don't know anything about buying a home and the costs involved. In addition, Canada and the United States are countries that attract large numbers of immigrants. The home buying process is very different in other countries and these people need to be educated in order to make proper decisions.
   You may think of legal costs, appraisals and surveys as being common knowledge but it really isn't. Many people are in the dark about the whole home buying process. I find the hardest thing for first time homebuyers to get their heads around is reconciliation of the property taxes. They don't quite get the part about the sellers having paid next years' taxes and that they have to re-pay the seller for this.
  How niave are people? I had a lady contact me 4 years ago. She said she wanted to buy a home and she had 3 children and a well behaved dog. I wondered why she would include this information in her email to me. Then the penny dropped, this woman has always rented and having a well behaved dog is important to landlords.
   I responded to her and asked her where she was going to live and what sort of a budget did she have. She asked me what houses I had available. I then realized that this lady thought that a mortgage broker and a realtor were the same thing. I wrote her back and suggested she contact a realtor and that I would only be able to help her with the financial side of the home buying process.
    If 60% of first time homebuyers in Canada feel that there were hidden costs that they had not budgeted for then banks and mortgage brokers are not doing their jobs properly. By asking just one more question;-Do you know all the costs involved in buying a home? - 60% of home buyers would be feeling satisfied now.
  If you have any questions about the TD Survey
contact me via my website

My question for you, my readers , is - What did a first time home buyers say or do that surprised you, even though you are a real estate professional?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Don’t put off getting your line of credit set up

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In June 2012, the Minister of Finance announced that mortgage amortizations would be shortened once again. This time the maximum amortization would be down to 25 years from 30 years.  This would not affect existing mortgage but only affect those making new purchases. However, in the same week the OSFI , the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada, a division of the government of Canada also announced changes that could affect Canadians even more.

    The OSFI announced that effective October 31st , the maximum amount that you could finance your home using a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) would drop from 80% of the house value to 65%.
 How will this affect your average Canadian? If you were thinking about opening a line of credit to give you funds for finishing the basement, re-doing the roof , paying for a wedding or even buying a car, you will be limited in how much cash you can pull out of your home’s equity as of October 31st.  If you have ever made a large purchase you know that paying cash gets you a better price. HELOC’s give you the option to pay cash and then pay the amount down over time when you have extra cash, while having an interest rate at or near bank prime rate. This is one of the cheapest forms of credit and it will be limited  soon.
   My advice is to establish a line of credit now even if you are not planning on using it right away. The reason being, that all lines of credit up to 80% will be grandfathered and you will have the freedom down the road of having re-advance able credit using 15% more of your house equity.
    Here’s another fact you should be aware of, Eco-rebates from CMHC and Genworth. When you purchased your home you paid a premium to CMHC or Genworth to insure your home. This may have been over $10,000 . Did you know that if you make your home more energy efficient you can get 10% of your premiums returned to you?  Did you know that there’s no DEADLINE on how long after your home purchase you can claim this rebate? $1000 could pay almost half of the cost of new furnace, or for a new window. You can find out more about this program by visiting CMHC’s website here If your home was insured with Genworth, they have a similar program
    Why do you have to act now if there’s an October 31st deadline? Experience has taught me that when these restrictions are announced the banks tend to react quickly and they won’t wait until October to implement the changes. I would think that by Labour Day we will see all the banks using the new guidelines. Now is the time to act. Call or email me at and we can discuss whether this is a good option for you.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mortgage Wars 2012

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July 9th , Canada's finance minister changed the rules for getting and renewing mortgages for the 4th time in 4 years. We are now back to where we were before he changed the rules in 2006. What has happened each time he changed the rules was he cut out more potential home buyers and this resulted in a dip in mortgage applications. Moving from a 30 year amortization to a 25 year amortization made the monthly payments for a $300,000 home go up by $157. per month. It's not a huge amount but it took some buyers out of the market and meant that other buyers could not afford as much house as they could have bought in June.

   As Europe looks like its going to be suffering for some time to come, and China's economy is slowing down as well, the world economy looks like it will take some time to recover. Canada's mortgage lenders are responding to the economic slowdown and the mortgage rule changes by lowering mortgage rates again.. Will this mean another mortgage rate war?

 As of this week, the 5 year fixed rate mortgage has dropped with some lenders from 3.09% to 2.99%. This means that a mortgage for $300,000 with a 25 year amortization would have monthly payments of $1418. instead of $1433. What is even more interesting is the variable rate mortgage.
For the past year, rates have been at prime or slightly above it. Many lenders are at Prime + .20% or 3.20% . As of yesterday one lender has dropped their 5 year variable rate mortgage to Prime - .35% !
 This translates into a 2.65% rate which is amazing.
These are not big changes but they may result in lenders competing for market share . The one to benefit from mortgage wars will be you, the borrower. If you want to discuss how these  changes affect you, contact me through my website or call me at 403-836-1201.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

The 5 Dumbest Things you can do if you have too much debt

If you’re struggling with too much debt you’re not alone. It seems as if the whole nation has a borrowing hangover. For years, credit was easy and many people became overextended. But we now live in an era of austerity and it’s time to get our affairs in order.

 The 5 strategies you may want to avoid:
 The first advice of experts in the field is to be sure you don't make your situation worse by making common mistakes. In particular try to avoid: · Paying only the minimum payment on your debt as this will results in the amount you owe actually growing and your problems will only become worse. ·
 Relying on friends and family as this can damage relationships with the most important people in your life. ·
 Unscrupulous credit counselors that demand cash upfront or high fees for help they promise, but don't deliver. ·
 Using new high-interest loan to pay off lower interest rate loans – while it may be easier to just have one payment but it will actually increase the amount you have to pay back. ·
Declaring bankruptcy – this can have permanent and severe consequences on your financial future, avoid if you can, especially when debt settlement may work for you... Debt Settlement For many people, working with a Debt Settlement company can actually be a great solution. You’ve probably heard a lot of advertising for these services recently, but what exactly do they do. Debt settlement is the process of negotiating with creditors to get them to forgive a big portion of your debt. Why would a credit card company do this? Well, it’s not out of the generosity of their heart. They have made the financial calculations and determined they are better off knowing for certain that they’ll get paid something rather than not knowing at all if they will get paid anything. Settlement companies work with individual consumers to determine a reasonable monthly amount that they can afford to pay against their debt load. The individual makes the affordable payment every month into a special-purpose account, and as these funds accumulate, the settlement company reaches out to creditors to negotiate a full and final actual settlement amount that they will take. Typically, these companies have excellent relationships with creditors and are negotiating on behalf of thousands of people every day. The amount of savings they can obtain for consumers can be significant. While each situation is different, it’s not uncommon for debt settlement companies to negotiate reductions of as much as 50% of the outstanding amount and help get their customer debt free in just a few years. There are a many debt-settlement agencies, so the next question is how to find a legitimate and trustworthy company to work with?
One great way to start is by visiting your local mortgage broker .. They offer a free, no-obligation consultation to evaluate your options. Then, if you chose to proceed, they will develop a plan that meets your specific needs and negotiate it on your behalf with your credit card companies . To learn how much of your debt can be reduced, and how quickly you can be debt free Contact David Cooke, your Calgary Mortgage broker at

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Good News ! - Alberta Mortgage Arrears decreasing

Mortgage arrears data came out today. A very reassuring trend is developing. Mortgage arrears are decreasing. Arrears is when you are behind on your mortgage payments by 3 or more months. This is usually a sign of financial distress. Illness, loss of a job , or lossing your overtime hours can all create stresses in a family's finances. The graph here shows that while Alberta enjoyed low mortgage arrears in 2008 of .30% or 1/2 of 1% , this number "rocketed" up to .84% during the past couple of years. Down arrears are trending downward and now sit around .60%. This is a good sign of a recovering economy. People are back to paying their bills and mortgages on time. One thing that is helping is that people are renewing their mortgages are much lower rates today. If you would like to explore the option of renewing your mortgage early contact me to discuss the different ways I can help you. Alberta Mortgage Arrears
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Monday, June 18, 2012

Mortgage Fraud:How to protect yourself when purchasing or refinancing a home.

CMHC recently published a number of article meant to educate the public. I want to share this information with my readers. Here is the CMHC article in its entirety.

What is Mortgage Fraud?

Mortgage fraud occurs when someone deliberately misrepresents information on a loan application, to obtain mortgage financing that likely would not have been approved if the truth had been known. There are several different forms of mortgage fraud. One of the most common is when a con artist convinces someone with good credit to act as a “straw buyer.” A straw buyer is someone who agrees to put his or her name on a mortgage application for a home that someone else will be buying.

Mortgage applications for straw buyers also often misrepresent other important information as well, such as their income, occupation and the real source of a down payment. In return for their participation, straw buyers may be offered cash or promised high returns when the property is sold. While the promise of an easy payday may be tempting, consumers should be aware that in most cases, the fraudsters are the ones who walk away with all the profits, while the straw buyer is left “holding the bag” when the mortgage defaults. Consumers who knowingly take part in these frauds will also be responsible for any shortfall when the property is resold, and could even be held criminally responsible for their misrepresentation.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?

To protect yourself and your family from becoming victims of, or accomplices to, mortgage fraud, be an informed consumer. This means: Never accept money, guarantee a loan or add your name to a mortgage unless you fully intend to purchase the property. If you allow your personal information to be used for a mortgage, even for a brief period, you could be held responsible for the entire debt even after the property is sold. Always know who you are doing business with. If you are buying or selling a home, use only licensed Real Estate Agents and other industry professionals. And never sign anything until you know exactly what you are signing.
 Determine the sales history of any property you are thinking about buying, and consider having it inspected and appraised.
Ask for a copy of the land title search.
Find out if anyone other than the seller has a financial interest in the home
. If a deposit is required, make sure the funds are held “in trust” by the Vendor’s Realty company or lawyer / notary.
Get independent legal advice from your own lawyer / notary.
 Talk to your lawyer / notary about title insurance and other alternative methods of protection.
Be wary of anyone who approaches you with an offer to make “easy money” in real estate.

Remember: if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

 There are also several simple steps you can take to protect yourself from another common form of fraud: identity theft.
These include:
 Never give out your personal information until you know who you are dealing with and how your information will be used.
This includes requests for information in person, by mail, or over the phone or Internet.
Never reply to e-mails or phone calls that ask for your banking information, credit card details, passwords or other personal or sensitive information, particularly if you did not initiate the exchange.

Review your mail, bank statements and other financial statements on a regular basis to look for any inconsistencies.
If you don’t receive a bill on time, follow up with your creditors or service

David Cooke
 DLC Westcor Calgary, Alberta
Tel: 403-836-1201

 The information is provided by CMHC for general illustrative purposes only, and does not take into account the specific objectives, circumstances and individual needs of the reader. It does not provide advice, and should not be relied upon in that regard. The information is believed to be reliable, but its accuracy, completeness and currency cannot be guaranteed.

Neither CMHC and its employees nor any other party identified in this Fact Sheet (Lender, Broker, etc.) assumes any liability of any kind in connection with the information provided. CMHC stake holders are permitted to distribute the materials at their expense.

 The above mentioned stake holder organization is responsible for the distribution of this document. providers.
Shred or destroy all personal and financial documents before you throw them away.
 Inspect your credit report on a regular basis by contacting Canada’s two credit-reporting agencies: Equifax Canada at and TransUnion Canada at
Find Out More If you suspect that you or someone you know has been the victim of mortgage fraud, contact your local police department immediately.
To find out more about mortgage fraud,
 visit the fraud prevention section of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) website at For more tips, visit CMHC’s Homebuying Step by Step Guide at CMHC is Canada's largest provider of mortgage loan insurance, helping Canadians buy a home with a minimum of five per cent down
. Ask your mortgage pro
To contact me on how to protect yourself or any other mortgage questions contact me via my website.
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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Market Commentary

Earlier today, First National Financial, one of Canada's largest mortgage companies issued a market summary. This is what their economists predict will be happening for the rest of 2012. It's a guess, but it's an educated guess. Here's what they had to say. "The latest interest rate announcement and policy statement from the Bank of Canada make it pretty clear there’s unlikely to be any increase this year. While the economy appeared to be making all the right moves early in the first quarter, in the end, the results didn’t meet expectations. The resurgence of the Greek problem, the growing troubles in Spain (the euro zone finance ministers agreed to lend Spain up to $125-billion (U.S.) to shore up its struggling banks),slowing in the rest of Europe, China and the U.S., and weaker than expect growth at home have the central bank backing away from hints about a hike. Nonetheless the Bank remains concerned about the risk of a housing bubble and a high level of household debt." With rates this low, is it time for you to renew your mortgage early or consider getting a preapproval? Contact me to discuss your options. If you would like to get a weekly email with current mortgage rates click here and fill out your email address under Subscribe to News and Rates. David Cooke - your Calgary mortgage broker
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Monday, June 4, 2012

More Canadians locking into low interest rates

An article in the Vancouver Province newspaper highlighted some changes going on in the Canadian mortgage market. People are slowly moving away from variable rate mortgages. At this time 29% of homeowners have variable rate mortgages but over time, they switch to fixed rates. Why? Interest rates are at all time lows, where will they be going? Up , of course. Another interesting trend is how people are taking advantage of pre-payment privileges. 23% of mortgage holders are increasing their monthly payments, and 19% of making lump sum payments. Is there an incentive behind this? Yes, every dollar that you pay down saves you $3. In interest over the term of the mortgage. Put down an extra $1000 from your Christmas bonus and save $3000. Canadians have also been bombarded by news reports about how average household debt is increasing. This is how many people are reacting. Personally I think that you should start with your high interest debts. Pay off your credit cards at 19% , follow that up with your car payments at 6-8% and then tackle your mortgage. You may wonder where you can come up with the money. Well, it's the time of year when we all get our tax refunds. Instead of spending it on sometime we don't need why not spend it on paying down debt and saving huge amounts of interest. That can be very rewarding and gratifying. Try it now and see how much more money you will have next year at this time. For more information on mortgages and credit visit visit your favourite Calgary mortgage broker at my website.
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Crystal Ball Time - Calgary housing prices are going up

Today's Calgary Herald had an article about how MLS sales had gone up substantially in May. How much? 27.9% as of May 28th. Year over year we are up over 7% from 2011. What does this mean for the Calgary housing market? Housing prices have already started to go up and are about to jump. What makes me feel confident that this is about to happen? There are a number of factors which lead me to believe this. 1- oil prices are sitting around $100 +. This means that the oil sands projects are profitable , conventional oil is profitable and so there's cash being spent. We are already seeing news articles on a shortage of trained workers. This means we will see more British ex-pats and Americans coming to Calgary. They will need housing. 2- Jim Flaherty seems to feel that mortgages are bad debt and keeps tightening the rules. I heard that he is going to lower the maximum allowable amount for home equity lines of credit (HELOC's) to 65% from 80% Any tightening of the rules will make fence sitters jump. 3 - While there are new homes being built, if demand goes up too quickly, builders will not be able to keep up and existing homes will increase in value. 4- finally as values for existing homes near the 2007 peak, people who bought homes at that time who want to move will put their homes up for sale and look for new digs. Remember, in Calgary, your average person moves once every 3 years. There are probably thousands who are chewing at the bit and ready to move as soon as they see they wont' lose on selling their present home. What does this mean for you? If your mortgage is coming due in the next 24 months, it is time to look at renewing. Mortgage rules are tightening and interest rates are going up as soon as the Bank of Canada feels Canadians are confident and the economy is secure. If you want to apply for a early renewal or are looking for a pre approval so that you can go house hunting , click here . Approvals are quick and easy when you use David Cooke as your Calgary mortgage broker.
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