Common Myths About Credit Scores

General Harvir Mann 12 May

Making The Grade: Common Myths About Credit Scores.
How is your credit score calculated? It is a complex answer and, as such, common myths persist. Today, we are going to help you get a better understanding of your credit score and how to make the grade by busting the most common credit score myths!

The reality is that cancelling healthy, active cards or accounts hurts more than having too many. When you cancel a card, all your payment history is lost as well as the type of credit granted. While you may think having a couple credit cards is extreme, the average Canadian has TEN credit sources. What many Canadians don’t realize is that lenders want to see a history of credit; they want to see payments made on time. In addition, lenders also want to see balances maintained at no more than 70% of your credit limit in use. So, if you have a $10,000 credit card, you don’t want to owe more than $7,000 on it at a time.

It is easy to think that different forms of credit matter more than others, but that is simply not the case. In fact, all lenders want to see is a history of credit and payments made on time. This is what will build your credit score and, eventually, give you the ability to qualify for financing. A history of on-time payments and manageable balances shows the lender that you are a promising investment and not likely to default.

Unfortunately, paying utilities does not build credit. In fact, these providers only check your credit score to determine creditworthiness; they don’t report your payment history to the bureau. Unless you are late to pay, that is. The other organizations that only report on default are municipalities and vehicle insurance providers, so make sure you keep these payments up-to-date. Be sure to pay any traffic tickets and bylaw infractions too!

Don’t be discouraged. Lenders understand that you are only human and, in many cases, they are often willing to work with you if there is a late payment. If they are notified within a timely manner, a late payment can be easily reversed. Just be careful not to make a habit of it.

Not exactly. There are two types of credit inquiries: soft and hard. A soft inquiry occurs when you pull your own credit report. Credit card companies also pull this type of inquiry when marketing pre-approval offers. Soft inquiries do not affect your credit score.

A hard inquiry, on the other hand, is triggered by the applicant when submitting a loan or credit card applications. As a result, hard inquiries will affect your credit score slightly as they are included in the calculation done. Recording the number of inquiries a consumer has on the credit report allows potential lenders to see how often a consumer has applied for new credit; this can be a precursor to someone facing credit difficulty. Too many inquiries could mean that a consumer is deeply in debt and is looking for loans or new credit cards to bail themselves out. Another reason for recording inquiries is for preventing identity theft. Hard inquiries that aren’t made by you could possibly be from a fraudster trying to open accounts in your name; therefore only individuals with a specific business purpose can check your score. Creditors, lenders, employers and landlords are some examples of approved business people. The inquiry only appears on the credit report that was checked.

In addition, hard inquiries remain on all credit reports for two years, after which they are removed. Soft inquiries only appear on the report that you request from the credit bureaus and will not be visible to potential creditors.

Credit score plays a vital role when it comes to potential financing for car loans, mortgages, or even personal loans. It is important to recognize good credit habits now and maintain them for a higher credit score today, and better chance of financial approval in the future. The great news is working with a mortgage broker, we have access to a variety of different lenders that cater to different credit situations. Give me a call today to get started on your mortgage approval! 604-832-2849 or

Mortgage Broker vs Mortgage Specialist

General Harvir Mann 1 Feb

Mortgage Broker vs Mortgage Specialist.

broker vs specialist: what’s the difference?

To most consumers outside of the mortgage space, the terms “mortgage broker” and “mortgage specialist” would seem interchangeable – but they aren’t. As a potential homeowner, the differences are more important than you might think.

First and foremost, it is important to understand the definition of these groups before looking at the major differences. Mortgage brokers belong to an independent firm. This allows us unique access to rates and offers from various lenders’ (banks, credit unions, private lenders and alternative options). Conversely, a mortgage specialist is employed by a single lender and works to sell that particular institution’s products.

Mortgage Broker vs Specialist

Unlike a mortgage specialist, who is paid by the bank to sell their products, a broker works for YOU! A broker works as a link between you and the lender; we filter through the offerings to find you the best rate and product. The best part? A mortgage broker’s services are FREE! Brokers are paid by the lender of choice once the ideal mortgage product has been found. This means you get to utilize our expert advice and lender access at no cost! You will only come across costs for using a mortgage broker if your mortgage app requires unique solutions such as private and alternate lending products.


Similarly to the above, Mortgage Brokers care for their clients. Not only because we work for YOU but also because most brokers are self-employed and rely on referrals. As a majority of our business is done through word-of-mouth, this results in the best experience for clients.


It might surprise you to know that mortgage and bank specialists are not required to have any formal training. While some lenders do provide in-house training, this varies from the provincially regulated course that mortgage brokers are required to pass. Mortgage brokers also continue to maintain their education through license renewals and educational courses. As a result, a mortgage broker provides expert advice you can trust!


A mortgage broker is employed by an independent firm and has access to 90+ lenders, while a mortgage specialist can only access their particular lenders’ products. This can mean a big difference in rates and mortgage terms for homeowners! If you are looking at getting a mortgage with your bank (say Bank X), then your mortgage specialist can tell you exactly what Bank X offers. But, by seeking the advice of a mortgage broker, they can tell you what Bank X offers… as well as your options with Bank Y, Bank Z, Bank A, etc. When you are looking for the best mortgage product to fit your unique needs, more options to choose from just makes sense!


When it comes to mortgage brokers, all we do is mortgages; we live and breath home ownership! Mortgage specialists and bank staff are often trained with a focus on cross-selling. While you may have booked an appointment to discuss a mortgage, many times they will focus on other bank products. This might include offering credit cards, insurance, RRSP, lines of credit, etc. This can sometimes be helpful, but many potential homeowners may find it overwhelming or pushy; especially when they are specifically looking for a single product – a mortgage.


Most banks don’t offer great business hours, which can make it hard to book an appointment with a specialist. As many mortgage brokers are self-employed, we are motivated to assist clients. This means we are often available for appointments outside of business hours such as evenings or weekends. This can be especially comforting to individuals who are new to the mortgage process and may have questions or concerns that they would prefer to have answered right away. If you have any questions around your mortgage needs feel free to contact me any time; or 604-832-2849.




Published by DLC Marketing Team

Rate Holds Explained

General Harvir Mann 7 Jan

Rate Holds Explained.

If you are shopping for a home, or have worked with a mortgage professional in the past, you’ve most likely heard of rate holds before. If not, it is something that every potential homeowner should be aware of. This is especially true for the application process as it has some great benefits for active shoppers.

If you are not familiar with the term, a ‘rate hold’ refers to locking in a specific mortgage rate for a limited period of time. This is offered through most lenders, assuming you are a potential client looking to purchase a home and need a mortgage. They are not eligible for individuals that are refinancing their mortgage, or looking to transfer it to another lender.

If you qualify for a rate hold, there are a few things you should know – from restrictions to benefits! The first and most important is that rate holds are typically only offered for a period of 90-120 days. So, once you have created your mortgage application with a broker and submitted it at the interest rate that best suits you, that rate will be protected for 90-120 days while you shop.

A rate hold is not a commitment. It does not force you to work with that lender, or the mortgage broker who submitted it. It also does not affect your future chances of receiving approval down the road. Instead, it simply guarantees that rate for you, if you find a home you want to purchase and sign the mortgage agreement before the rate hold is up.

This can be truly beneficial in volatile markets or those with high competition. If you submit your application to a lender for a fixed rate of 2.49% on a five year term, but while you are searching for your perfect home that rate moves up to 2.99%, the rate hold will protect you and allow you to still sign at 2.49%. This can mean huge savings!

For instance, if you are looking for a standard $500,000 mortgage (25 years amortization, fixed-rate, 5-year term), your monthly payments would be $2,237.35 at 2.49% interest. This would jump up to $2,363.67 per month at 2.99 percent. This is a difference of $126.32 per month or $1,515.84 annually; which can really add up on a 25-year mortgage!

Another benefit is that, if the rates go down, it does not stop you from taking advantage of the lower offer. Instead, it protects you from rate increases after you’ve determined your budget and are in the process of purchasing a home.

It is also important to note that, once the rate hold expires after 90-120 days, there is nothing stopping you from submitting another rate hold. It will just be subject to the interest rates as they stand on the day of submission.

Reaching out to a mortgage professional can help you better understand the current rates and benefits of a rate hold. In addition, they can help you find the best option to suit your needs thanks to their connections with hundreds of lenders! Why wait? Contact me today anytime via email @ or 604-832-2849.

What is a HELOC?

General Harvir Mann 23 Oct

In its simplest form, a HELOC works something like a credit card. You can borrow money up to a certain credit limit set by your lender and then pay back the borrowed amount with interest. This option can offer great flexibility as you can withdraw and make payments on a daily, or weekly basis if necessary.

What Determines a HELOC’s credit limit?
A HELOC’s credit limit depends on a number of factors, including your credit and unpaid debts, but it is determined largely by the market value of your home and the amount you owe on your mortgage.For instance, if you own a home valued at $700,000 and still owe $480,000 on your first mortgage, then your home equity stands at $220,000. Lenders typically limit the amount you can borrow to no more than 80% of the appraised value of your home minus what you still owe on your mortgage.

In this case, the maximum amount you’d be able to borrow is $80,000.

Home’s market value: $700,000

80% of home’s value: $560,000

Minus mortgage balance: $560,000-$480,000

Potential Home Equity Line of Credit: $80,000

Benefits of a HELOC?

A HELOC is an open mortgage and can be paid back at any time with no pre-payment penalty. There is no cost to use a HELOC unless you have a balance on it. The minimum payments each month are interest only.

What is the length of a HELOC term?

the length is tied into your mortgage term. If you renew with your lender then the HELOC can be renewed as well. If you change lenders at any time, you can look to have another HELOC attached to your property.

What does it Cost to set up a HELOC?

The costs on setting up your HELOC will depend on your individual situation as there may be an appraisal and legal component that come into play, other mortgages are set up for HELOC’s already so there may not be a cost.

How to use a HELOC?

  • Debt consolidation, HELOC’s offer as much lower interest rate than unsecured debt such as credit cards, personal loans, etc. so applying these funds to wipe out high interest debt can save you thousands in the long run.
  • Repairs or maintenance on your home.
  • Emergency funds for loss of job, health etc.
  • Purchasing investment property


Whats next?

Before you decide to take out a HELOC consider what you will actually need it for. As in some cases it might make more sense to do an actual refinance considering the low rate environment we are in today. As always, when it comes to mortgage financing there is no one size fits all solution. If you find yourself interested in finding out more about your options give me a call at 604-832-2849 or email anytime at

5 Mistakes to Avoid as a First Time Homebuyer

General Harvir Mann 5 Oct

Buying your first home is arguably the biggest purchase you will make. Without a plan in place it can be easy to overlook some important details that can lead to a stressful home buying experience. Below is a list of just a few of the common mistakes you can avoid before making an offer on your dream home.

1. Not Getting Pre-Approved

Before the excitement of getting out to look at homes it is important to know how much home you can afford. Getting pre-approved with a mortgage broker takes into account your income, debts and credit to give you a snapshot of how much you can you can qualify for so that you can feel confident that you will have no issues getting the keys to your dream home. It is never a fun process to spend days looking for homes and think you have finally found the one only to find out you may not qualify for a mortgage for that amount. Plan ahead and have a pre-approval in place!

2. Overlooking the True Cost of Buying a Home

Fees and more fees, one commonly overlooked part of becoming a home owner are all the fees and closing costs involved in the process. These include but are not limited to:

-Legal Fees
-Property Insurance
-Property Taxes
-Appraisal Fees
-Inspection Fees
-Strata Fees
-Move in expenses
-Cable/Internet Fees

3. Buying a Home Solely Based on Looks

It can be easy to think you may have found the one when you see the home you like, but be sure to ask the right questions so you know what you are buying. Some questions to ask include:

-When was the furnace replaced?
-Has the roof been replaced?
-How old is the house itself? Are there any issues with electrical/plumbing?

This is why getting a home inspection done is critical in the home buying process. This will give you peace of mind as well as uncover any issues such as cracks in the foundation, water damage and many more issues that may lie beneath the physical properties of the home. A small investment which can save you thousands in the long run!

4. Not Working With a Realtor

It is easy to look up properties online and feel in control of all aspects of the home buying process but in reality there are many nuances and details that you may be unaware of. Working with the right realtor can help make sure you are paying a fair price for the home you want, as well as giving you access to properties that may be off market giving you more choices.

5. Not Working With a Mortgage Broker

Lastly and most importantly, working with a mortgage broker can give you the benefit of having access to multiple lenders as we shop for the best rates and products for you. Relying solely on your bank for your mortgage may mean you are missing out on the best product and rate for your lifestyle. You are not limited to banking hours and you always have direct access to any questions you may need answered. You are not alone when we work together for your mortgage needs, in fact our relationship only begins when you get the keys to your home!

To get started on your mortgage pre-approval or simply put together a plan to help you get into home ownership give me a call at 604-832-2849 or email

the True Costs of Buying your First Home

General Harvir Mann 10 Jul

So you have saved up your hard earned money for a down payment, meaning you’re all set to make your first time home purchase, right? Well almost…

In addition to the down payment there are many other costs associated with purchasing a home, these costs are typically referred to as closing costs.

The closing costs highlight the costs associated with finalizing your purchase and these costs are usually paid out of pocket meaning they cannot be rolled into your mortgage. This is a big reason why preparing for your closing costs ahead of time, before you start looking for a place to buy will play a major part of making things smooth and stress free as possible. In fact, if you are putting less than 20% down, meaning you will be taking an insured mortgage (in which the lender is protected in case of mortgage default) the insurer may expect to see 1.5%-4% of the purchase price saved in closing costs before approving the mortgage. Below is a list of costs to consider when purchasing a home.

Legal Fees

These are costs associated with the lawyer or notary to handle all the legal paperwork which is required when completing a real estate transaction. They assist in transferring legal title of property from sellers name to your name and verify the lender is registered correctly on title.


Depending on which province you are located in and what kind of property you are purchasing there will be Property Transfer Tax or Land Transfer Tax. These taxes can be a significant amount and should be disclosed and considered before making any offer.


An Appraisal is done by a professional who assesses the property and compares it to recent sales of comparable properties, lenders will often require an appraisal to verify that the property is worth the price that is being paid before lending against it.


A home inspection is done by a professional who inspects the home to make sure there are no surprises or extra maintenance required on the property before you complete your purchase.


Lenders will often require you to have insurance in place on your home in the event of unforeseen emergencies or disasters so that they are protected as well as you in case of emergency should something ever happen to your home.

There is also mortgage insurance, life insurance, and disability insurance which all deserves a deeper conversation as taking on a mortgage is a big obligation and depending on your life stage and situation these can be invaluable should the unforeseen happen.

Moving Expenses

This one might seem obvious but don’t underestimate the cost of moving, and if this is your first home purchase and you have all this room to furnish there may be a few IKEA trips in your future.

Hopefully the above list hasn’t scared you off of home ownership as it really isn’t as daunting as it might seem! All it takes is having a plan in place, give me a call at 604-832-2849 or send me an email @ and we can start working on your home ownership dream and turn it into a reality.

5 Productivity Tips for Working from Home

General Harvir Mann 23 Apr

Since many of us have been forced to shift from our actual office to a remote office, I thought I’d share some quick and easy tips to make the most of having the flexibility to be able to work from home;

1. Dress for your day. This one might seem tough but even just changing out of your pj’s goes a long way to make you feel like your day has started.

2. Move around. Going for an afternoon walk or squeezing in a morning workout during the time you would be commuting can make a world of a difference in your energy levels throughout the day.

3. Find your spot. Set a dedicated space as your work area, where you can limit distractions and follow a schedule.

4. Take breaks. It’s important to give yourself that scheduled time away from your work space to reset and take your mind off all things work during this period.

5. Embrace technology. There are so many tools which have made this transition super easy to stay connected and productive; ie zoom, google hangouts, podcasts etc.

Admittedly some of these are easier to implement than others. As always I am available to address any of your mortgage needs during these times, I am fortunate to have access to all the tools that allow me to assist you quickly and efficiently as possible. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about your mortgage or refinancing needs E: C:604-832-2849