The Canadian mortgage stress test, explained Jul 18th

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The Canadian mortgage stress test applies to anyone applying for a mortgage, refinancing their current home loan, or renegotiating the terms of their mortgage contract with a federally regulated lender. And while provincially regulated lenders have more flexibility when it comes to mortgage approvals, many still use the test to evaluate customers’ financial risk. This means that most home buyers in Canada are subjected to the stress test.

“It applies to everyone—you, me, first-time buyers and 10-time buyers,” says Maxine Crawford, a mortgage broker who serves the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and elsewhere in Ontario. “That includes people who already own a home and need to refinance or renew their mortgage [with a different lender.]”

In spite of its broad application, many Canadians have never heard of the stress test or still don’t understand how it works. Here’s what you should know before you apply for your next home loan.

What is the mortgage stress test?

First off, it’s not a test like the kind you encounter in school…

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