2 Apr

Why You Should Monitor Your Credit Report Once You’re on ANY Debt Deferral Program

Credit

Posted by: Garth Chapman

Why You Should Monitor Your Credit Report and Score Once You are on a Mortgage or any other Debt Payment Deferral Program

  • The banks all have automated systems that report on your Credit Bureau that you did or did not make a payment as agreed. When the payment is controlled by a Pre-authorized Debit the bank’s system knows when the payment is due and debits your account.
  • When a payment request is rejected, usually due to insufficient funds or a cancellation made by you, the bank’s systems then automatically notifies the Credit Reporting Bureaus (Equifax and TransUnion) of the late payment.
  • When the bank grants you a payment deferral they re-set your next payment due date for the date that you are to re-start making payments. So if you started a 6-month deferral on April 1 the bank re-sets your next payment due date to October 1.
  • With these deferral programs being a brand new process and the banks scrambling to do this in a very short timeline, it is possible a few mortgage payments may end up not being re-set to the deferred date. This will be unusual, but it is possible. Those who made the deferral agreement with their bank just a very few days before of their next payment might be more at risk of that happening.  Again, it will be very rare.
  • Check your credit reports weekly for the next 5-6 weeks to ensure there are no errors on your credit report related to any mortgage or other payment deferrals.
  • If you find there is an incorrect reporting of a late or missed payment, write immediately to your Bank and strongly request that they immediately correct their reporting to all Credit Bureaus that they report to, and also have them write you a letter confirming that the reporting was incorrect. Make sure they refer in the letter to exactly what was incorrectly reported, when, and any other relevant details.
  • So with that in mind, now is a great time to begin the process of monitoring your credit report and credit score. See below what that looks like – it is very easy, free, and completely automatic.

How to Automate the Monitoring of Your Credit – and How to Check it Manually

You can easily have your bank monitor your credit for you, which will result in alerts when your credit is pulled, and perhaps other alerts as well. To do this login to your bank account and activate their free credit monitoring.  All the big-6 banks have these services (at Scotiabank it is called InfoAlerts).

We also have these two free services monitoring our credit.

  • Credit Karma https://www.creditkarma.ca/
    • Free to use.
    • Provides alerts by email.
    • Does not create a ‘hard pull’ on your credit (no impact on credit score).
    • Is a good source for your detailed TransUnion credit report. 
    • The credit score you see is not the Beacon Score that Banks and Mortgage Brokers see, but it is close enough to tell you how lenders will view your credit in general terms.
    • You can login anytime to review your full credit report, and you can drill down to the details of each item on your credit report.
  • Borrowell https://app.borrowell.com/#/public/login
    • Free to use.
    • Does not create a ‘hard pull’ on your credit (no impact on credit score).
    • Is a good source for your detailed Equifax credit report.
    • The credit score you see is not the Beacon Score that Banks and Mortgage Brokers see, but it is close enough to tell you how lenders will view your credit in general terms.
    • You can login anytime to review your full credit report, and you can drill down to the details of each item on your credit report. 
2 Apr

How to Automate the Monitoring of Your Credit

Credit

Posted by: Garth Chapman

How to Automate the Monitoring of Your Credit and How to Manually Check the Detailed Report

You can easily have your bank monitor your credit for you, which will result in alerts when your credit is pulled, and perhaps other alerts as well. To do this login to your bank account and activate their free credit monitoring.  All the big-6 banks have these services (at Scotiabank it is called InfoAlerts).

I also have these two free services monitoring our credit.

  • Credit Karma https://www.creditkarma.ca/
    • Free to use.
    • Provides alerts by email.
    • Does not create a ‘hard pull’ on your credit (no impact on credit score).
    • Is a good source for your detailed TransUnion credit report. 
    • You can login anytime to review your full credit report, and you can drill down to the details of each item on your credit report.
    • The credit score you see is not the Beacon Score that Banks and Mortgage Brokers see, but it is close enough to tell you how lenders will view your credit in general terms.
  • Borrowell https://app.borrowell.com/#/public/login
    • Free to use.
    • Does not create a ‘hard pull’ on your credit (no impact on credit score).
    • Is a good source for your detailed Equifax credit report.
    • You can login anytime to review your full credit report, and you can drill down to the details of each item on your credit report.
    • The credit score you see is not the Beacon Score that Banks and Mortgage Brokers see, but it is close enough to tell you how lenders will view your credit in general terms.

Why You Should Monitor Your Credit Bureau and Score once on a Debt Deferral Program

  • The banks all have automated systems that report on your Credit Bureau that you did or did not make a payment as agreed.
  • When the payment is controlled by a Pre-authorized Debit the bank’s system knows when the payment is due and debits your account.
  • When a payment request is rejected, usually due to insufficient funds or a cancellation made by you, the bank’s systems then automatically notifies the Credit Reporting Bureaus (Equifax and TransUnion) of the late payment.
  • When the bank grants you a payment deferral they re-set your next payment due date for the date that you are to re-start making payments. So if you started a 6-month deferral on April 1 the bank re-sets your next payment due date to October 1.
  • With these deferral programs being a brand new process and the banks scrambling to do this in a very short timeline, it is possible a few mortgage payments may end up not being re-set to the deferred date. This will be unusual, but it is possible. Those who made the deferral agreement with their bank just a very few days before of their next payment might be more at risk of that happening.  Again, it will be very rare.
  • So with that in mind, now is a great time to begin the process of monitoring your credit report and credit score. See below what that looks like – it is very easy, free, and completely automatic.
12 Mar

Track Your Spending on the Go with the Best Budget Apps in Canada 2019

Financial

Posted by: Garth Chapman

We have found that crafting and sticking to a realistic budget has been a key in our own financial health.  In our early years together, after our expenses started to get ahead of our income, we started with a hand-written budget and an envelope for each expense item.  These days we have computers and smart phones, so it is so much easier now to create a budget and manage.  Here is a good breakdown of what is available in 2019.  Each of these Apps has a different approach, so you might just find the one that fits you from this selection of Apps.

From the article “Whether we like to admit it or not, money has a powerful influence on our lives. Your bank account balance affects whether you can pursue higher education, own a home and have a secure retirement. Having a good income is nice, but the health of your finances can often depend on how you manage the money you make, rather than on how much you make.

While it would be great if we could all afford to have our own personal financial manager, budgeting is something most of us must do on our own. Luckily, thanks to the popularity of smartphones and an ever-growing array of finance apps, it’s possible to have your own mobile money manager in the palm of your hand.

The best budgeting apps work by making it as easy and automatic as possible to see where your money goes. Many apps link directly to your financial accounts and instantly tabulate your savings and expenses. Others highlight key areas of concern like debt repayment or can show you where you’re overspending.”

Read more

21 Feb

Bruised Credit And Need A Mortgage?

Credit

Posted by: Garth Chapman

Many people think that their credit score will hold them back from obtaining a mortgage. For some, they may have work to do on their debt beforehand, but sometimes people believe their credit is poor, only to find that it isn’t as bad as they thought. It pays to seek help from a Jencor Mortgage Advisor to find out where you stand.
What is bruised credit and how does it impact your ability to obtain a mortgage?
Mortgage lenders use your credit reports to evaluate risk by looking at your repayment history to see how responsible you are with credit. Although a 790-beacon score and zero late payments in the last three years is ideal for all lenders, bruised credit means something slightly different to some lenders. So, what is bruised credit? It can be a result of many circumstances including, late payments on loans, collections & judgements, bankruptcy, consumer proposal or credit counselling, late payments on your mortgage, foreclosure & even identity theft. Traditional mortgage lenders and insurers will not commonly approve applications with credit histories that show challenges with borrowing in the recent past. The good news is that there are still options with alternative mortgage lenders with a minimum down payment of 20% to 30%. With these mortgages, you will be paying higher interest rates, usually for two years, while you rebuild your credit. We can then transition you into a regular mortgage.
Rebuilding credit takes time.
There are some things you can do which will bring your score up substantially in one swoop, but normally it takes time to rebuild. Here are some of the basics to improve your credit:

1. Have at least two credit accounts reporting to your credit report besides cell phone bills, school loans or mortgages. Use your credit cards every month, even just one purchase monthly and pay it in full before the due date. The credit limits should be at least approximately $2000 each.

2. Always pay all your debts on time – making even the minimum payment on time, is better than making a larger payment late. If need be, reach out to the account holder and make payment arrangements. Never ignore a payment and hope for the best.
No Late mortgage payments – these are extremely detrimental to you obtaining a mortgage.

3. Do not max out your credit. Use less than 50% of your limits and never go over the limit. Going over limit impacts your score immediately and severely, and even when you bring it back in line, it still has a lingering effect on your score.

4. Do not apply for too much credit and do not cancel existing credit – both these actions will negatively impact your score – yes, you would think that cancelling existing credit would help, but by doing so, you are reducing the overall credit available to you and therefore immediately increasing credit usage. Also, by cancelling credit, you might be cancelling a credit card that you have held the longest and longevity of credit has an impact on your rating.

5. New loans, such as car loans will have an immediate negative impact on your score – so do not obtain a new car loan if you are thinking about obtaining a mortgage. Because of the size of the loan, your credit usage increases substantially.

6. Do not let anything go to collections – even though some utilities, rental payments, gym memberships and the like, do not report to your credit bureau, when they go to collections, they will be reported.

7. Ensure that everything on your report is correct. If not, you must take steps with the creditor or the reporting agency (Equifax or TransUnion) to correct them.

8. In some cases, if you already own your home, there may be an opportunity to consolidate debt into your mortgage and improve your credit.

Don’t be defeated; get advice, get back on track!

Ultimately, how each item impacts your score, depends on how it interacts with everything else on your report. One late payment, for some with long-held credit and very little past delinquencies, will have less of an impact than for someone with bruised credit or someone with new credit.

If you have bruised credit, don’t write off your dream of home ownership. Contact your Jencor Mortgage Advisor who can advise you on the necessary steps to obtain the mortgage you need.

Written and originally posted here
by Ayashah Kothawala – Mortgage Advisor Jencor Mortgage