If you are considering buying a house in the near future, your mind must already be buzzing with questions regarding the home buying process, budgeting, and even loan applications. After all, taking out a mortgage is a major financial responsibility that requires ample of preparation and deliberation by the borrower.
Good credit is key to buying a home. Lenders see credit scores as indications of how well you handle your finances and how risky it is to lend you money. Your rating will also help determine the rate and terms of your mortgage, once approved. Knowing what credit score is needed for a mortgage will help you set benchmarks for the upcoming years.
What Credit Score Is Needed For A Mortgage In Canada?
In Canada, credit scores range from 300 to 900. If your score is nowhere near the highest three-digit rating, this is not a cause for concern. You do not need perfect credit to get a mortgage. Is 600 a good credit score to buy a house, then? Technically, yes. A credit score between 600 and 700 should be enough to satisfy the credit requirements in your mortgage application.
If your credit score is 600 and up, it is good enough to meet the conservative lending requirements of Canadian prime lenders or financial institutions, including the major banks. You can even get mortgage rates as low as 3.49%. Meanwhile, scores lower than 600 pose greater risks for lenders, so they tend to compensate by charging you higher interest rates.
Trust companies or financial institutions catering to those with bad credit can give a mortgage to borrowers with ratings between 550 to 700. Of course, the loan comes with a higher interest rate, around 5.49%. For scores lower than 600, you have better chances of mortgage approval with private lenders, but their interest rates can be as big as 10% to 18%.
The amount of loan and the amortization requested also play an important role in the required credit score for mortgage approval. Your lender will likely require a higher credit rating if you are applying for a higher loan amount. Borrowers will also have to undergo a stress test where they have to prove to the creditor than they can afford repayments in case interest rates rise.
Other Factors Lenders Consider During Your Mortgage Application
Now that it is clear what credit score do you need to get a mortgage in Canada, it is time to discuss the other factors that lenders consider when reviewing applications for a mortgage. A favorable credit score can only help boost your chances up to a certain point. Your lender will still need to check if you have a good income and a satisfactory history of debt management.
When you apply for a mortgage, creditors will look into your credit report to examine your payment record. Even you if have a minimum credit score for mortgage Canada, your lender may still reject your application if they see that you have a history of debt and payment problems. Snags like these raise alarms and cause lenders to reconsider your level of creditworthiness.
Aside from your debt history, other aspects that can affect your mortgage application are your income, employment record, current debts, and general expenses. Lenders also calculate your monthly housing costs. This means that they are going to analyze your potential debt and payment problems. They will also estimate your cost of heating and other utilities.
After looking into your housing costs, creditors will then examine your overall debt load. This includes checking your credit card payments, car payments, and lines of credit. If you have student loans or are paying spousal or child support, these will also be part of the lender’s assessment. The same thing applies if you have other debts.
Mortgage Pre-Approval Process
One way of knowing if you have a good chance of receiving mortgage approval is by getting pre-approved. This is entirely optional on the potential homeowner’s part. It is typically done 60 to 120 days before they plan to purchase a home. Your lender will be checking your financial records to determine the maximum amount they can allow you to borrow.
A pre-approval will give you a clear glimpse of what your future mortgage payment be like. You can also get an idea of how your finances will be affected after the down payment and handling other costs involved in moving in. For this approval process, your lender will be requesting various documents, including proofs of your identity and residency, as well as employment.
Lenders will look for evidence that your finances are stable enough and that you can afford payments in the future. Information pertaining to your assets and various loans, including other financial obligations will also be taken into account. Note, however, that pre-approval will not guarantee that your mortgage application will be approved later on.
Getting A Mortgage With A Low Credit Score
Traditional lenders like big banks have stringent requirements for mortgage approval. A high credit score is a good sign that potential borrowers will be able to pay back their loans without problems. If you have a low credit score, you will have better luck dealing with private lenders. They have options offered to borrowers with bad credits looking to purchase a home.
Trust companies, credit unions and insurance companies typically deal with individuals who are considered high risks by conventional lenders. They are also more flexible to work with. However, as previously mentioned, you will likely pay higher interest rates with these creditors. This is to offset the gamble they are taking for lending money to someone with a sub-par credit.
All you need to do is seek a mortgage broker who will facilitate the approval process for you. A good broker can match you with top-rated mortgage lenders with the most competitive rates in your area. In evaluating offers, it is important that you choose the right lender for you. You do not want to get charged with prepayment penalties in case you want to switch lenders.
There is a reason why potential borrowers are encouraged to improve their credit scores before applying for a mortgage. Aside from fast loan approval, a good credit score will get you lower interest rates and save you a lot of money in the long run. It is best to know what credit score is needed for a mortgage and set realistic goals to achieve it.
Ways To Improve Your Credit Score
If you do not meet the minimum credit score for mortgage Canada, take heart. There are different ways in which you can improve your rating. Start by paying your bills on time and in full, or at least the minimum payment. If you cannot pay, contact your lender so they can accommodate you and extend your payment due date.
It is not wise to carry a large amount of unpaid debt. Your lender will see this as a red flag and mark you as a high-risk borrower. Pay off your balance and prevent your debts from accumulating. It is so easy to get into debt, but agonizingly difficult to get back out. Stop overspending and be mindful of each purchase.
If you have to use your credit card, use no more than 30% to 35% of your available credit limit.
For those who are building credit from the ground up, a secured credit card is the better option. Try to limit your application for new credit. Avoid applying for too much new credit in a short period of time. The more times you apply, the worse it will look to creditors.
Having at least two credit facilities and using them at least once a month will help you improve your credit score. If you can, do not cancel old credit cards, even if you rarely use them. Your credit rating will benefit from their credit history. Once you have established a long credit history, you do not have to worry about what credit score do you need to get a mortgage ever again.
Securing the Right Mortgage
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have their first application for mortgage approved. If your application gets denied due to a low credit score, do not give up. Take the time to improve your rating as much as you can before re-applying. Do some research to find the best lender for your financial needs, whether it be a bank or a credit union. With a good credit score, you can choose from the best deals with the lowest interest rates.
Enlisting the help of a reliable mortgage broker will be to your best interest. They will help you secure the right mortgage and avoid costly unexpected problems. Some can even match you with a mortgage product that fits your needs, regardless of your credit. A mortgage should help you secure the home that you and your family have been dreaming of. It should not be the cause of your financial strain.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is 600 a good credit score to buy a house?
A credit score between 600 and 700 should be enough to satisfy the credit requirements in your mortgage application. With this score, you can already buy a house.
What credit score do you need to get a mortgage in Canada?
If your credit score is 600 and up, it is good enough meet the conservative lending requirements of Canadian prime lenders or financial institutions, including the major banks.
Does pre-approval hurt your credit in Canada?
No, pre-approval will not hurt your credit in Canada. In the same way, a pre-approval will not guarantee that your mortgage application will be approved later on.
Can I borrow money for a down payment in Canada?
Yes, you may borrow funds to make a down payment if you have not saved enough money. Speak with your lender about your options.