Advice for Credit Challenge Clients

General Tammy Poirier 11 Aug

In today’s economic climate of tighter credit requirements and increased unemployment rates taking their toll on some Canadians, there’s no doubt that many people may not fit into the traditional banks’ financing boxes as easily as they may have just a year ago.

Your best solution is to consult your mortgage professional to determine whether your situation can be quickly repaired or if you face a longer road to credit recovery. Either way, there are solutions to every problem.

Mortgage professionals who are experts in the credit repair niche can help credit challenged clients improve their situations via a number of routes. And if the situation is beyond the expertise of a mortgage professional, they can help you get in touch with other professionals, including credit counsellors and bankruptcy trustees.

If you have some equity built up in your home and still have a manageable credit score, for instance, you can often refinance your mortgage and use that money to pay off high-interest credit card debt. By clearing up this debt, you are freeing up more cash flow each month.

In the current lending environment, with interest rates at an all-time low, now is an ideal time for you to refinance your mortgage and possibly save thousands of dollars per year, enabling you to pay more money per month towards the principal on your mortgage as opposed to the interest – which, in turn, can help build equity quicker.

Following are five steps you can use to help attain a speedy credit score boost:

1) Pay down credit cards. The number one way to increase your credit score is to pay down your credit cards so you’re only using 30% of your limits. Revolving credit like credit cards seems to have a more significant impact on credit scores than car loans, lines of credit, and so on.

2) Limit the use of credit cards. Racking up a large amount and then paying it off in monthly instalments can hurt your credit score. If there is a balance at the end of the month, this affects your score – credit formulas don’t take into account the fact that you may have paid the balance off the next month.

3) Check credit limits. If your lender is slower at reporting monthly transactions, this can have a significant impact on how other lenders may view your file. Ensure everything’s up to date as old bills that have been paid can come back to haunt you.

Some financial institutions don’t even report your maximum limits. As such, the credit bureau is left to only use the balance that’s on hand. The problem is, if you consistently charge the same amount each month – say $1,000 to $1,500 – it may appear to the credit-scoring agencies that you’re regularly maxing out your cards.

The best bet is to pay your balances down or off before your statement periods close.

4) Keep old cards. Older credit is better credit. If you stop using older credit cards, the issuers may stop updating your accounts. As such, the cards can lose their weight in the credit formula and, therefore, may not be as valuable – even though you have had the cards for a long time. You should use these cards periodically and then pay them off.

5) Don’t let mistakes build up. You should always dispute any mistakes or situations that may harm your score. If, for instance, a cell phone bill is incorrect and the company will not amend it, you can dispute this by making the credit bureau aware of the situation.

If, however, you have repeatedly missed payments on your credit cards, you may not be in a situation where refinancing or quickly boosting your credit score will be possible. Depending on the severity of your situation – and the reasons behind the delinquencies, including job loss, divorce, illness, and so on – your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage professional can help you address the concerns through a variety of means and even refer you to other professionals to help get your credit situation in check.  

Contact Tammy Poirier today at 604-329-5885 or at

A Pre-Approval is not really a Pre-Approval

General Tammy Poirier 10 Aug

There is a misconception out there that once you’re pre-approved, you’re good to go. A pre-approval simply means that based on your CURRENT income, expenses, down payment and credit you SHOULD be able to get fully approved once you find the right property (this is the first half of the equation). Many places won’t even pull a credit check (which is extremely important) and will just run a basic mortgage calculator and say “everything looks good” but that doesn’t mean anything. You leave thinking great, I’m pre-approved!

I always recommend that people put in a “subject to financing” clause with their realtor when they are putting in an offer to protect them each and every time. Here’s why:

You could be pre-approved but the lender still doesn’t know which property you’re purchasing (that’s the other half of the equation). Let’s say you find the house of your dreams (well within the maximum price that the mortgage broker went over with you) but we find out that the house was a former grow op. In this case, very few lenders will even look at this (even if it’s been fully remediated and there’s a stamp from the city saying it’s all good) and if they do, they’ll usually require a substantial down payment and further air quality testing that you must pay for as mould spores can grow behind walls and become airborne years later. Yes this is an extraordinary example but it can also happen where a bidding war has bid up the price and the best offer (yours) has been accepted. The lender sends in their appraiser to determine the value of the property and it may come in at a lower value than your accepted offer and so you’d have to come up with more money for a down payment (which you weren’t prepared for or don’t have).

If you have a “subject to financing” clause in your agreement, then you have a way out and can look for another property with no issue at all. If you don’t have a “subject to financing” clause at all and you’ve already given your deposit to the realtor (because you were under the impression that you were going to be approved), then you’re out of luck and will be stressed out and scrambling to find a lender that will help you out, even though you were technically “pre-approved”.

So in summary, always put in a “subject to financing clause” as that’s the only protection you have. This is much cheaper than forfeiting your deposit (and facing potential legal action from the seller) should you want to cancel your contract after the agreement has been made.

Better yet, contact your local Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Professional and have them do a proper pre-approval and have you fully prepared for what most likely will be the largest purchase in your life!

Big Bank Penalties

General Tammy Poirier 11 Mar

What does your current mortgage holder charge you for a penalty?

Did you know that “big banks” calculate their pre-payment penalty differently than some other lenders?

Did you know that the average Canadian breaks or refinances their mortgage after 3 years, but most take out a 5 year term?

This could mean thousands of dollars in pre-payment penalty charges!

Here’s the difference; if you had your mortgage with a “big bank” they would charge your penalty based on the “Posted Rate” at the time you took out your mortgage. Well, 3 years ago (April 2012), that posted rate was 5.44%, even though you may have gotten a 3.49% interest rate (which most lenders were offering at that time).

On a $250,000 mortgage that would mean a penalty of $13,250 whereas other lenders would charge you a $3.500 penalty! That’s almost $10,000 more! That’s a lot of money that comes out of the equity of your home. What could you do with $10,000?

If you are thinking of refinancing your home or purchasing a new one. Talk to a trust mortgage professional so that you can get the best product for your needs. It’s not always about rate, it’s about what your long-term goal is.

Fixed Rate Mortgages Closing the Gap on Variable

General Tammy Poirier 11 Oct

With interest rates hovering near record lows, many Canadians may be considering the purchase of a homeor to refinance their existing mortgage. And in the current interest rate environment, now more than ever home buyers are grapping with the age-old question of whether to choose a faxed or variable rate mortgage.

Typically, borrowers have saved money by staying in a variable rate product, but ther are a number of points to consider.

– Long-term declining rate environment

– There’s limited further downside for variable rates

– Fixed rates were advantageous only during 2 recent periods; late 1970’s and late 80’s. In both cases ahead of a period of rising interest rates which is likely the case in 2012.

So, who’s the winner? It really depends on the individual and what your needs and long term goals are.

To read the full article, go to

If you would like to know how much you can qualify and whether a variable rate or fixed rate is right for you, contact me at or visit


Client so happy

General Tammy Poirier 29 Sep

I just secured financing for a client that thought she’d never be able to own her own home again! She is thrilled with the fact that I not only got her financing on her purchase, but also got her a great rate. She is very excited to be moving into her own home next month and is thankful she won’t have to deal with any landlords again.

If you are not sure if you are able to purchase your own home, give me a few minutes of your time and I’ll let you know right off the bat if you can, or if you can’t… or tell you what you need to do to get into your own home in the future.

Happy Birthday Dominion Lending Centres

General Tammy Poirier 27 Jan

Dominion Lending Centres turns 4 years old today!


In this short time Dominion Lending Centres has grown from one mortgage broker to over 1,500 mortgage brokers across Canada.  And, guess what – we have not only managed to succeed but, in 2009, Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Professionals funded more mortgage volume than any other brokerage in Canada!


It’s thanks to the top-notch mortgage professionals who have believed in DLC and what the company stands for as well as a head office team second-to-none that supported Gary and Chris’ vision and sealed the deal for DLC’s success!



Up or Down?

General Tammy Poirier 20 Jan

Last week there were threats that fixed rates were going to rise… and yes, a handful of Lenders raised their 3 and 5 year rates a bit, but it seems they are starting to drop again.

As of today, the 5 year rate is as low as 3.75% if you close by February 23, 2010.

If you would like to take advantage of this low rate, call or email me today!

Now is The Time to Buy

General Tammy Poirier 6 Jan

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has vowed to intervene in the hot housing market if prices reach “irrational” levels, leading to both praise and scorn over the holiday period.

In an interview with CTV News, Flaherty says he may cut the maximum term of mortgages insured by the government, or increase the size of the down payment required for such mortgages.

Some media analysts have argued prices have reached unsustainable highs and action is necessary. But not all in the industry want to see such tightening measures.

Joe Santos, president of the Mortgage Brokers Association of BC, says the market will be able to stabilize on its own, despite unexpected gains in 2009.

“In the last few months, prices have rebounded and affordability is less of a motivator,” he says in a released response to Flaherty’s comments. “We feel that we’ve brought forward transactional volume from 2010 into the current business year, and expect stability in prices and volumes in the new year.”

Raising interest rates and reducing amortization will “severely impact” first home buyers in 2010, he says, and potentially cause home values to decrease.

Why Use a Mortgage Professional?

General Tammy Poirier 29 Oct

There are generally two ways to get a mortgage in Canada: From a bank, or from a licensed mortgage professional.

While a bank only offers the products from their particular institution, licensed mortgage professionals send millions of dollars in mortgage business each year to Canada’s largest banks, credit unions, and trust companies … offering their clients more choice, and access to hundreds of mortgage products!

As a result, clients benefit from the trust, confidence, and security of knowing they are getting the best mortgage for their needs.

Mortgage professionals work for you, and not the banks; therefore, they work in your best interest. From the first consultation to the signing of your mortgage, their services are free. A fee is charged only for the most challenging credit solutions, and it’s especially under those circumstances that a mortgage professional can do for you what your bank cannot.

Whether you’re purchasing a home for the first time, taking out equity from your home for investment or pleasure, or your current mortgage is simply up for renewal, it’s important that you are making an educated buying decision with professional unbiased advice.