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Your cellphone account can impact whether you’ll be approved for a mortgage.

Equifax and TransUnion are the two main credit reporting agencies in Canada. They collect all the data on your loans, lines of credit and credit cards to create your credit report and calculate your credit score. This information is then used by lenders—including mortgage lenders—to determine whether you’re a good credit risk.

Recently, both credit reporting agencies started including cellphone accounts in their credit reports. This means if you make a cellphone payment after the due date, it appears on your credit report and reflects negatively on your borrowing profile. Even worse, if you allow your cellphone account to go delinquent and it’s sent to a collection agency, not only does this appear on your report, it can also reduce your credit score. Mortgage lenders use this information to make underwriting decisions. Therefore, having a negative record with your cellphone provider can actually impact your likelihood of being approved for a loan and increase the interest rate you’ll pay.

If you’ve recently walked away from a cellphone contract, it’s a good idea to get the company to put in writing that the contract has been fulfilled and is now closed. This can help prevent any damage to your credit rating. We are always pleased to help if you want more information on how to preserve or improve your credit rating.

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What is the difference between a Consumer Proposal & Bankruptcy?

There is much confusion today regarding the difference between a consumer proposal and a bankruptcy.

They both fall under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and allow you to extinguish unsecured debts but there are some very important differences as illustrated below:

Consumer Proposal:

A consumer proposal is an offer you can make to your creditors to pay off the debt as an interest free payment over a period of up to 5 years. Very often your creditors will accept less than what you own depending on your financial circumstances. Usually you will need to offer more than what the creditors would have otherwise received had you filed for bankruptcy. When you file a consumer proposal with a trustee in bankruptcy your assets are fully protected from the creditors, interest stops on your unsecured debts and creditors calls stop.

Consumer proposals can eliminate the debts such as credit cards, personal loans & lines of credit, over drafts, Tax & HST, student loans more than 7 years old, medical service plan and mortgage shortfalls.


When you file for bankruptcy your assets are not protected from the creditors and may be seized by a trustee in bankruptcy in order to pay off your debts.  Also, a portion of your income may be taken each month by the trustee in order to pay your creditors.

Unlike consumer proposal where the agreed monthly payments are fixed, in a bankruptcy your income is monitored and payments to your creditors are increased as your income increased. Also, if you win or inherit money during the bankruptcy period or receive a tax refund then the trustee will take this to pay your creditors. These monies would be protected in a consumer proposal.

In summary, a consumer proposal allows consumers to make an offer to their creditors to pay back what they owe through a fixed, interest free, monthly payment while protecting their assets.

Article courtesy from Peter Temple, Debt Consultant from 4 Pillars Consulting

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There are stricter debt ratio standards on the way as CMHC tightens mortgage rules.

There are stricter debt ratio standards on the way as CMHC tightens mortgage rules.

We are committed to keep you informed so you can take advantage of current guidelines. If you are looking at purchasing, refinancing or investing before the new guidelines come into effect at the end of this year, give us a call so we can find the best options for you.

When CMHC tightened mortgage rules last year, among the changes were stricter debt ratios and income confirmations. For typical borrowers, these are key factors in determining whether or not you’ll get a mortgage. If you’re close to the line on debt and income, last year’s changes have made it more difficult for you to qualify. And unfortunately, things are about to get even more difficult!

CMHC has issued new guidelines for calculating debt ratios and confirming income documents. While most lenders have already been following these rules, CMHC is now closing the “loopholes” that allowed some lenders to offer easier approval for borrowers with tight debt ratios. Here are some of the rules that have been clarified:

  • If you have variable income from things like bonuses, tips and investment income, lenders must use an amount not exceeding the average income of the past two years.
  • If you own other non-owner-occupied rental properties, the principal, interest, property taxes and heat on those properties must be deducted from gross rent revenue or included in “other debt obligations” when Total Debt Service ratio is calculated.
  • For unsecured credit lines and credit cards, no less than 3% of the outstanding balance must be included in monthly debt payments.
  • For secured lines of credit, lenders must factor in “the equivalent” of a payment that’s based on “the outstanding balance amortized over 25 years.”
  • For heating costs, lenders must obtain the actual heating cost records of a property or use a set heating cost formula. This can double or triple the cost factored into debt ratios on larger properties, and reduce it on smaller ones.

Since the new rules take effect on December 31, 2013, it’s important to talk to contact us today  to find the best options with the current guidelines. We still have access to a select group of lenders who may be able to provide the mortgage approval you need. For more information, call us today at 778.893.0525!

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Free presentation on Financial Literacy for teens and young adults – May 25th from 10 am to noon

We are hosting a free presentation on Saturday, May 25th from 10 am to noon on Financial Literacy for teens and young adults (great for teens of 15 years of age and older including adults).

As you know you don’t have to look very far to read an article in the newspapers or watch a segment in the news talking about the lack of education when it comes to teaching students the basics about Financial Literacy.

While the topic of Financial Literacy can be dry, dull and boring – enRICHed ACADEMY was created to be an incredibly powerful program that will both educate and entertain. This presentation will provide some good information about the understanding of money management and investing. This program was featured and endorsed by Dragon’s Den.

We will be covering the following topics:

  • Understanding how money works and where most North Americans are financially
  • Money myths and misconceptions
  • Why some people, including high earners, never get around to saving money & how to avoid the pitfall
  • The power of saving 10% of what you can earn and more
  • The magic behind compounding interest and how it works
  • How to systemize your savings and where to put your money for maximum wealth building
  • Understanding how the stock market works and how to get started investing
  • Understanding how to purchase your first rental property
  • How credit cards, credit score and credit card interest work
  • What happens if you only make minimum payments or neglect to pay your credit card on time
  • 6 steps to having an A+ credit score
  • What “Good Debt” and “Bad Debt” are and what makes the difference


Saturday, May 25th from 10 am to noon

Pinetree Community Centre, Room 8 located at 1260 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam

(next to the Douglas College, David Lam Campus)

Please register via:

Email: or

Call: 778.893.0525 or 604.931.9000

It would be great if you want to join us and please feel free to pass on to anyone that you think would enjoy attending this unique event.

Register today s space is limited!