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If you are one of the thousands of Canadians who has had to declare bankruptcy or enter into negotiations with creditors to settle your debt with a consumer proposal, it’s likely that your credit rating has gone through the dirt.

In the future, getting a mortgage can be challenging since your tarnished credit has the ability to limit your options. If you’re a credit-challenged buyer you need to research and plan carefully. In this case, there are a few things you need to know.

Wait It Out
If your bankruptcy or consumer proposal is underway when you decide to purchase a new home, know that mainstream lenders will not approve or even consider you until two years after you’ve been discharged. Even after the two-year mark you’ll need to be able to prove that your job is stable and that you have income.

We know that two years might seem like a long time, but waiting it out could be the best option and in your best interest. If you simply cannot wait for two years to pass, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get a mortgage, but there will be less even options for you including up to a 25 percent down payment.

Mortgage Rates
Getting a mortgage following a bankruptcy or consumer proposal will require you to pay a sub-prime rate premium, on top of your broker fees. The reason being it that all mortgages are priced by lenders depending on the level of risk a home buyer presents.

However, non-prime rates can be 4 or 5 percent, but this really depends on your employment and income stability and the reason why your credit was trashed in the first place. If your explanation for bad credit is considered reasonable then you could potential get a better rate. Let’s say your reason is due to medical illness, lenders may have more sympathy for you.

To increase your chances of getting an even lower rate, be ready to prove six to twelve months of on-time repayment for your utility or home-related bills.

Re-Establish Your Credit
Although your past may show signs of your inability or avoidance to pay your debts and bills on time, you can make this right through the bankruptcy or consumer proposal processes by re-establishing your credit. This is what will help you to earn back trust with lenders. For lenders to take you seriously, you should have:

● A minimum of two credit accounts (credit card, instalment loan, car loan, etc)
● At least two years of payment history on the two credit accounts
● A minimum credit limit of $1,000

Take Your Time
With a new mortgage and homeownership, comes more responsibilities and expenses. Buying a home isn’t an urgent thing when your credit is not in the greatest shape, but once your credit is repaired (at least between 650 to 680) and you have savings for your down payment this is the perfect time to jump right into it.

At this time, your mortgage payments will be more affordable and save you thousands of dollars in interest.

If you’re ready to get started or want to learn more before taking the next step contact us.