Mortgage Shopping Made Easy
Check your credit
Get a copy of your credit report from Equifax.com (or a similar service). Double-check every item listed and if there are any errors or omissions, contact your credit bureau to change them. How’s your score? One way to improve your rating is to pay off any outstanding credit card debt.
Do the math
Meet with a bank or lender. They’ll ask you some questions that may point out some things you missed in your initial estimate, like liabilities – or assets you didn’t realize you had. Using all this information, they’ll give you a rough estimate of how much you can borrow. However, this informal process isn’t a guarantee or a pre-approval. It’s simply a way to help you gauge the properties you can afford and figure out if you’re ready to make this type of financial commitment.
Learn the lingo
Choose a lender
A mortgage is one of the biggest financial commitments you can make, so it pays to shop around. Even if you have an excellent relationship with your bank, there’s no harm in exploring the option of obtaining financing from another company.
Many homebuyers have found financing online, whether it’s through a mortgage finding service or a bricks-and-mortar institution. You don’t have to leave your home to do it, and you can shop 24/7. The downside of doing it online is that lacks a personal touch – you may miss out on an option that you might have come across by talking to someone in person.
If you’re pressed for time, a mortgage broker can do your “shopping around” for you, and find the best rate available. Before choosing a broker, make sure he or she isn’t affiliated with a specific bank or lending institution.
Trademarks owned or controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association. Used under licence.