Deferring Your Mortgage Could Cost You More Down the Road + MORE Jun 4th

Learn more about Canadian mortgage rates, rules and the latest news – read on!
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Q2 2020 Bank Earnings – All About Provisions and Mortgage Deferrals + MORE Jun 19th

For the second-quarter earnings season, all eyes were on the Big 6 banks’ credit loss provisions and mortgage payment deferral programs. With the onslaught of COVID-19, the banks granted payment deferrals to more than 700,000 Canadians to help prevent a wave of defaults. In their second-quarte.... More »

Latest in Mortgage News: June Data Indicates a Housing Rebound. But Will it Last? + MORE Jul 13th

Home prices, sales and new starts are all rebounding, according to the latest June data. But some, including the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), say risks remain. This week, a slew of housing data was released from local real estate boards and the CMHC showing overall improvements in.... More »
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Prospective home buyers feel the heat over new mortgage rules, but all hope is not lost, industry leaders say Jul 7th

Mortgage default insurance is mandatory on down payments between five and 19.99 per cent, and as of July 1 it will be even harder to qualify through the national housing agency. But don’t panic just yet..... More »

9 Ways to Keep Your Credit Score as High as Possible (Part II) Jul 10th

In our previous post, we spoke about the fact that there are so many credit score providers out there, all providing different results, and chances are none of those results are the credit score lenders see when you apply for a loan product such as a mortgage, credit card or car loan. How are you su.... More »
The single biggest mistake when trying to control and pay down debt is failing to eliminate the highest-interest debt first. You have to prioritize by two factors: the rate of interest being paid and whether or not it’s tax deductible. Credit-card debt for consumption purposes is the most pernicious because a) the interest rates are onerous at near 20% a year; and b) there’s no way to deduct the expense of this interest from your taxes.
Given this, the obvious conclusion is to pay off high-interest, non-deductible credit-card debt ahead of all other debts—ahead of student loans and ahead of mortgage debt, both of which usually involve much lower rates of interest.
The second biggest mistake is paying off non-tax-deductible debt ahead of valid tax-deductible debt. You may ask what debts ARE tax deductible? Well, if you are a business owner you may have a corporate credit card you use exclusively for valid business expenses that should therefore be deductible from business income: valid auto expenses, office supplies and equipment, various professional services and the like…

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Q. I am 51, single and have no dependents, with many working years ahead of me. I earn about $70,000 annually at my tech job. Due to life circumstances, my finances are not in the best shape.
I have $6,000 in emergency fund savings in a high-interest savings account, $16,000 in an RRSP ($70,000 contribution room still available), no TFSA contributions and no unregistered investments. I also have a company pension and no personal debt except for a mortgage of $239,643 (at a variable rate of 3.2%), with a bi-weekly payment of $868 ($768 payment plus an extra $100 towards principal).
I have between $1,500 and $1,800 per month in cash flow available after all expenses and commitments have been met.
My current financial goal is to build the emergency savings to $20,000 (six months’ worth of expenses) and not make any RRSP contributions or extra mortgage payments until the goal is met (eight months from now, by my estimation). Would this be wise?
A. Thanks for your question, Sami—and congratulations on having no debt other than the mortgage; that is the cornerstone of good financial planning…

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Deferring Your Mortgage Could Cost You More Down the Road
Well over 700,000 Canadian homeowners have now taken advantage of various mortgage payment deferral programs offered by most mortgage lenders.
It’s no wonder there’s been so much demand, considering more than three million jobs have been lost across the country since the start of March when the COVID-19 lockdowns started to come into effect.
This translated to an unemployment rate of 13% in April, and the employment rate reaching a record low of 52.1%.
Realizing that thousands of newly unemployed Canadians were at risk of defaulting on their mortgages, dozens of lenders, led by the Big Six banks, agreed to allow applicable homeowners the option to defer their mortgage payments. To be eligible, applicants simply had to show that they lost their income as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis.
The cost of deferring your mortgage
According to the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA), as of mid-May, well over 700,000 Canadians had taken advantage of the mortgage deferral scheme. For these homeowners, the ability to postpone their mortgage payments for up to six months was surely a welcome relief, even though that relief comes at a cost…

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Announcements from the Bank of Canada are rarely something to get excited about, but you may want to keep your eye on news of increasing interest rates.
A single increase in the overnight rate by 0.25% is not going to radically change the economy and household finances, but it would be more than just symbolically significant. Many Canadians have become accustomed to cheap debt—mortgage rates, for example, have been falling since the 1980s—and the next few years could see a reversal of that trend.
It’s important to acknowledge that rates could steadily climb over the next several years, and that sooner than later the economy will be heading towards a higher rate environment.
Here’s how that will play out in a few key ways.
Growth in household debt will slow
One number has probably generated more economic headlines and hysteria than any other: the household debt-to-income ratio. As of the fourth quarter of 2019, Canadians owed $1.76 for every dollar of disposable income earned…

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