You can buy a home with as little as 5% of the total purchase price of the new home, which means you can borrow up to 95% of the value of the home. The amount of your down payment will determine what kind of mortgage you qualify for.
- If you have a down payment of less than 20%: you’ll need a high ratio mortgage. With this type of mortgage, you’ll need to purchase mortgage default insurance. The cost of default insurance can be added to your mortgage or paid in a one-time payment.
- If you have a down payment of 20% or more: you can have a conventional mortgage. With a conventional mortgage, there’s no need to purchase mortgage default insurance.
Your credit score is a numerical rating from 300 to 900 that reflects your ability to repay debts – and your credit worthiness for lenders. The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to be approved for a loan.
Some common factors that affect your credit score include:
- Your payment history
- Outstanding debt balances
- Recent inquiries by lenders
- The types of credit you have
There are several ways to improve your credit score:
- Pay all your bills on time (including credit cards, a car lease, utilities and loans)
- Reduce your debt (account balances should be less than 50% of your available credit)
- Avoid excessive inquiries by lenders (don’t apply for credit often)
- Review your credit report to ensure all information is up to date
You can become mortgage-free sooner in two ways:
- You can increase your regular payment amount
- You can make extra payments
In both cases, your extra payment is directly reducing your mortgage balance. Closed term mortgages have limits on how much you can make in extra payments. If you want to pay down your mortgage a lot faster, choose a mortgage that offers payment flexibility, such as Manulife One or an open term mortgage.