Newcomers to Canada will find getting a mortgage in Canada is easier than they think. Canada created a program specifically for borrowers that are new to Canada to help overcome the two major obstacles to obtaining a mortgage – a lack of Canadian credit history and/or less than two years of employment history. Applicants can qualify for a mortgage under this program if they have been in Canada for less than five years and have secured permanent, steady employment.
The major requirements for any borrower to qualify for a standard mortgage are a down payment of at least five percent, two-year income verification, and a credit history that shows the borrower has paid their debts on time. It is often one of the last two (or both) requirements that newcomers to Canada cannot satisfy. The New to Canada Mortgage Program is designed to help borrowers qualify for a mortgage despite not being able to satisfy these last two requirements
The New to Canada Mortgage Program is offered by all three of Canada’s mortgage insurers - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Sagen (formerly known as Genworth Canada), and Canada Guaranty. Under these insurer’s New to Canada Mortgage Program guidelines, the minimum down payment requirement will depend on whether or not you are a permanent resident.
Permanent residents of less than five years in Canada are able to qualify for a mortgage with as little as five percent down payment. Non-permanent residents on a work permit who have applied for their PR status may also qualify for a mortgage with as little as five percent down payment. However, all other non-permanent residents will need to provide at least a ten percent down payment in addition to satisfying stricter requirements to prove creditworthiness.
Under the New to Canada Mortgage program, borrowers who lack a credit history are able to prove creditworthiness using alternative sources of credit. These include confirmation of payment of rent or room and board, plus one additional financial obligation or documented regular savings, for the preceding 12 months. If confirmation of rent payments is not available, borrowers will need to provide verification of three other types of obligations, over the preceding 12-month period, including but not limited to: utilities, cable, childcare expenses, insurance premiums, or documented regular savings. Non-permanent residents may also need to provide a letter of reference from their financial institution in their country of origin.
For more information, head over to our blog post Getting a mortgage when you’re New to Canada
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