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Canadian Debt Hits Another Record High – What Does This Mean for You?

Canadian household debt continues to rise in Canada, with Canada closing last year at another record high. Like the housing market, historically low interest rates continue to make buying and borrowing an attractive option for Canadians. You can read the full release from the Toronto Star on the 4th quarter numbers here:

This presents a valuable opportunity to you as a broker. If Canadian families are carrying record debts and you offer financial products that can alleviate the financial pressure some families are feeling, you are well-positioned to help. You know that leveraging home equity is one of the most affordable ways for your customers to finance large items such as debt, major renovations, a child’s education, etc., so targeting this market as a niche may make good sense in the current environment.

We spoke with Paul Mangion, Principal Broker/Owner at MOS Mortgage One Solutions, a franchise of the Mortgage Centre in the GTA, whose business does a high volume of refinance business. According to Paul’s experience, “There is a lot of demand from homeowners who want to use their equity to clear up debt. The landscape as it relates to refinance mortgages though has changed with new mortgage rules that eliminate insured refinance mortgages. Because the major lenders who do primarily insured business can no longer market those products, this has pushed the business over to B-lenders. This means that homeowners must have more equity if they want to refinance.”

We asked Paul what he believes would make an agent or broker who wants to target refinance business most competitive. His answer: “Applicants want answers fast and want the deal you propose to actually happen. Having a wide range of lenders who offer refinance products to different types of borrowers is critical. So are speed and accuracy in your underwriting. Agents and brokers who want to be successful in this market have to be able to quickly assess that the property being financed is worth the stated value and that the mortgages registered are in-line with what is stated in your deal. Housing values in the GTA have climbed at such a rapid rate that many homeowners have difficulty evaluating what their property is actually worth. Incorrectly declared information like overestimating value and under estimating mortgages registered are two things that can make or break a deal every time. Validating these two main criteria quickly makes you competitive in a refinance market.”

Sage advice from a fellow mortgage professional. Being on top of different factors in the economy is critical for mortgage brokers. You are up against the big banks who have massive marketing budgets – looking for the same customers – so competing means being in the know and adjusting your business model accordingly.

Interested in knowing more about how you can verify property related information like value and registered mortgages?

Please visit Purview today at


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