Category Archives: Personal Finance

The Fastest Way to Improve Your Credit

A good credit score can open many doors, while a bad score will shut them tight.  A poor credit score will not only prevent you from getting the best mortgage rate, it may prevent you from getting approved at all. Credit scores are controlled by Equifax and Trans Union.  These 2 firms each maintain your credit record itemizing your payment history on each credit card, loan and line of credit.  … Read More

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Porting Your Mortgage

The ability to port your mortgage is a common mortgage feature that has come to be expected by most Canadians.  On the face of it, the concept seems straightforward, but the details may prevent you from keeping your rate or eliminating your mortgage penalty.  Make sure you understand your lender’s policies. The main benefits of porting your mortgage are the elimination of pre-payment penalties and the ability to keep your … Read More

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Get Smart about Money

If you feel a little lost when it comes to managing your finances, you may want to check out This website is packed full of information that can help you with both investing your money and planning your finances. It tackles everything from managing debt to planning for retirement to choosing the best investment vehicle for your personality. Check out the quiz section. Whether you’re getting married, having a … Read More

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Interest Only Mortgages

An interest only mortgage is simply a mortgage that only requires periodic interest payments.  While borrowers will enjoy better cash flows, the obvious downside is that they may never pay down their mortgage. A typical mortgage requires a constant payment of both interest and principal.  The longer the amortization (the time it takes to pay-off the mortgage) the lower the payment and the less principal paid each month.  Recent department … Read More

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Meditate Your Mortgage Away

I bet you never thought you’d see meditate and mortgage in the same sentence together.  Mortgages are serious financial vehicles designed to help Canadians achieve home ownership sooner while meditation is reserved for crossed legged guru’s sitting on Tibetan mountain tops.  Not!  Meditation has become a mainstream method for Canadians of all religious backgrounds to unwind, solve inner-conflicts and achieve a greater state of happiness. The key to a successful … Read More

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Mortgaging Your Next Cottage

Cottage season is in full bloom or Cabin season if you’re from the West.  Now’s the time to enjoy the lazy hazy days of summer at your summer retreat before the season slips away.  Although it’s just started, the hot summer weather typically only lasts a couple months here in the great white north.  Of course now is also the time to be looking to upgrade your cottage or purchase … Read More

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Mortgage Penalty Loophole

Mortgage penalties are a fact of life for mortgage holders. When it comes time to sell your house or refinance your mortgage you’ll rarely find yourself near your renewal date.  Mortgage penalties are not always a bad thing though.  They can be associated with the better option, especially if you are breaking your term to get a better mortgage rate. After all, it’s about saving money over the life of … Read More

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Eliminate Your Mortgage Sooner

Mortgage pre-payment privileges not only allow you to make annual lump sum payments, they also allow you to increase the amount of your mortgage payment each year.  These pre-payment privileges are usually described as 15% + 15% or 20% + 20%.  The greater the percentage the more you are allowed to increase your regular payments.  There are two numbers given because the first is the annual lump sum percentage and … Read More

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Is Your Mortgage Prepayment Privilege 20/20?

Mortgage pre-payment privileges are an important component of any mortgage, but they are often confusing and misunderstood.  A major challenge is that although each mortgage company is familiar with their mortgage terms they are unclear with the rest of the market and how they compare.  In an effort to simplify their meaning mortgage lenders will advertise terms like 15% / 15% or 20% + 20%.  If these terms meant the … Read More

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BMO’s Mortgage Spin Doctors at Work

It’s amazing how a little spin can turn a constraint into a marketing tool.  Bank of Montreal’s (BMO’s) “Low Rate Mortgage” comes with some fine print, and one of the least offensive of these is a maximum amortization of 25 years.  Most other mortgages offer the flexibility to go to 30 years, although you have the choice to set it much lower if you want.  Not a big deal, but … Read More

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