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Credit Scores

Your credit score is a big factor when you apply for a mortgage.  It can dictate how good your interest rate will be and the type of mortgage you qualify for. We’re experienced helping clients with a wide range of credit scores so we can find you a mortgage product even if your credit is far from perfect. The good news about your credit score is that it can be improved: Stop looking for more credit.  If you’re frequently seeking credit that can affect your score as can the size of the balances you carry. Every time you apply for credit there is a hard credit check.  It is particularly important that you not apply for a credit card in the six months leading up to your mortgage application.  These credit checks may stay on your file for up to three years. If your credit card is maxed out all …
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Mortgage Rule Changes Explained

By now, we’re all aware of the major mortgage rule changes that have started to come into effect at the start of the year. To recap, in October, the Office of Superintendent of Financial Institutions, or OSFI, introduced tighter rules on mortgages set for Jan. 1, 2018. While there were several changes announced, the biggest affects consumers with uninsured mortgages, who must now undergo a qualifying stress test. More specifically, under the new rules, non-insured mortgage consumers (buyers using a conventional mortgage with a down payment worth 20 per cent or more of the purchase price) must now qualify using a new minimum qualifying rate. The minimum rate will be the greater of the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada or the lender’s contractual mortgage rate plus two percentage points. The stress test for non-insured mortgages applies to both fixed- and variable-rate mortgages. The new qualifying rules …
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10 Tips for Dealing with the Limbo of Separation and Divorce

This is a guest blog written by Colette Fortin, Owner of Fairway Divorce Solutions Waterloo-Wellington. Being in limbo – not knowing where one will be in the near future, whether it’s 3 months or 3 weeks, has got to be one of the most stressful stages of any life change – and especially in separation and divorce. As human beings, we like to have a sense of control and security.  So when the human brain is under stress, the ‘fight or flight’ mode is fully engaged.  Our sense of equilibrium is shaky.  We can easily become emotionally hijacked and we don’t have access to our rational brain. So how do you calm the fearful ‘lizard’ brain when you’re passing through the limbo phase of a separation and divorce?  Here are 10 suggestions for getting through the next few months. 1. Regain some perspective – if only to recognize that your …
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Making 2018 Your Turnaround Year

It’s become a bit of a cliché to talk about resolutions at the start of the New Year. You’re going to be inundated with pitches to exercise more, “eat right” or pick up a new hobby. These resolutions start out with the best of intentions but ultimately most of us can’t manage to keep them. Within a few days or weeks, we’re back to our old habits. Perhaps only a psychiatrist knows why we can’t keep our resolutions. While giving up the sweets might seem like an impossible task, getting into some good financial habits at the start of the year is easier than you think. And there is no better time to look at what you might be doing right and perhaps wrong when it comes to your finances and make a change to see a more prosperous 2018. These are by no means brand new ideas but rather …
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How mortgage brokers help you get approved by ‘A’ lenders

Every year Canadian families are caught in unexpected bad circumstances only to find out that in most cases the banks and the credit unions are there to lend you money in the good times, not so much during the bad times. This is where thousands of families have benefited over the years from the services of a skilled mortgage broker that has access, as I do, to dozens of different lending solutions including trust companies and private lending corporations. These short-term solutions can help a family bridge the gap through business challenges, employment challenges, health challenges, etc. The key to taking on these sorts of mortgages is always in having a clear exit strategy, which in some cases may be as simple as a sale deferred to the spring market. Most times, the exit strategy involves cleaning up credit challenges, getting consistent income back in place and moving the mortgage …
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The Tracy Valko Mortgage Team

Big Mortgage Changes Coming January First

There has been significant media coverage around upcoming changes to mortgage lending rules that will take effect Jan. 1, 2018. These rules will affect many more people than most realize. They will affect people seeking a mortgage most obviously, but they will also affect those with a mortgage in many ways as well. Let’s take a look at some key areas of concern for both groups, those with a mortgage, and those without (but seeking) a mortgage. What is the impact? A reduction of 20 per cent-plus in maximum borrowing power for those with a 20 per cent or GREATER down payment. You read that correctly, a big reduction for the group with the bigger down payments. The Have Nots You don’t have a mortgage yet, but you have a Pre-Approval, so you think you’re safe with that Pre-Approval…you may be and also you may not be. A select group …
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3 Mortgage Terms You Need to Know

Prepayment, Portability and Assumability Prepayments One of the most common questions the Valko team gets is about mortgage prepayments.  The conditions vary from lender to lender but the nice thing about prepayments is that you can pay a little more every year if you want to pay off your mortage faster. A great way to do this is through prepayments. They’re always something to ask your broker about because each lender is very different.  You can always do an increase on your payments and that means that you pay a little bit more each week or each month when you make your mortgage payment.  You can also make a lump sum payment.  Perhaps you get a bonus every year or you get a lot of Christmas money.  You can just throw that on your mortgage.   It goes right on the principle so you’re not paying interest on those extra funds.  …
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Alternative Lending – What is it and Why might I need it?

This is a guest blog written by Dan Pauls from Magenta Capital written for The Valko Team.  Dan is a Business Development Manager for Magenta Capital.   “Alternative lending” is a broad term that covers the many loan options available to any borrower that might not qualify for traditional mortgage financing.  The reasons for borrowers not qualifying are widely varied, since every borrower has a situation or circumstance that is unique to them. Banks and traditional lenders have rigid, standard criteria that they must follow to approve someone for a mortgage.  Their borrowers’ credit history, job history, job type, income type, debt ratios, property type, down payment, etc. must all meet those requirements, which continue to get tighter and tighter in our current environment.  The benefit of the Alternative Lenders is that they can look at your unique circumstances for what they are, and they will assess the big picture …
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The Bank of Canada on Hold

On Oct. 25, the Bank of Canada made no change to the overnight lending rate. This lack of movement was widely expected, then again the Bank of Canada surprised 27 of 33 economists polled with the previous 0.25% rate hike on Sept 6, following a previous 0.25% hike July 12. At this point cooler heads are prevailing. These two recent increases should be viewed with the consideration that the last time the Prime rate reached a level this ‘high’ was September 2010, where it then sat stagnant for more than four years. Until a shock to the system triggered two 0.25% drops in early 2015. A response to the sudden drop in oil prices. Shocks to the system often cause rates to drop, the unexpected. What will cause rates to continue to rise in the future? Economic good news, which is something that tends to build in a predictable and slower fashion. …
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Know your Options when it comes to Separation and Divorce

This is a guest blog written by Colette Fortin, Owner of Fairway Divorce Solutions Waterloo-Wellington. Divorce is ranked the second most stressful event in a person’s life.  People describe those early days of separation as a roller coaster of emotions.  Lack of sleep, brain fog and feelings of sadness, anger, fear of the future can leave you feeling overwhelmed.  Many times, there are so many good-intentioned advice givers that the anxiety of ‘what’s my next step’ is compounded.  The internet can also be filled with so much false or misleading information.  People simply don’t know where to turn. Fortunately, now more than ever, there are options available to help with your separation.  Understanding these options will help you and your spouse make the right choice for your situation.  the separation agreement is the legal document that describes the decisions a couple has made regarding 2 key areas – the finances …
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Why use a mortgage broker?

While the banks can only offer you their own mortgage products, we have access to hundreds of options from Canada’s largest banks, credit unions, trust companies, and financial institutions.

Plus countless other reasons, let us explain more.

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