Securing a Good Mortgage Rate

Scott McEachern |

I am thinking of buying a house. What can I do to secure a good mortgage rate?

While we are not mortgage specialists, we can offer a few ideas on how to improve your credit rating.

  1. If you are looking at a mortgage, avoid those “Don’t pay for two years” sales concepts. It shows creditors that you aren’t disciplined enough to save money.
  2. If you are cancelling credit cards, make sure you keep your oldest card. It has the most history for creditors to look at.
  3. Credit usage vs. Credit limit. If you have a $2,000 credit card limit and always have a $1,900 balance on it, this hurts your score. Even if you pay off your bill monthly, try to ensure you are nowhere near your limit when applying for a mortgage.
  4. You can look into your own credit score for about $25 at This is something you shouldn’t need to do more than once a year. Get your score checked before you go to a mortgage lender because it gives you the opportunity to fix your score before you apply.
  5. Talk to a mortgage broker or financial institution that will give you better than posted rates and can find lenders that fit your specific situation.

The Government of Canada has some more valuable information available at their Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website:

How can I save money when I have so much debt or a low paying job?

This may not be the answer you are looking for, but you have to make more money. If you don’t like that answer, the second answer may be to cut back on your spending – the concert tickets, the nice car, or cable. Sorry, but Nickelback isn’t paying for your retirement so you may want to skip this year’s hot concert and save those dollars instead. Another option is to sell stuff that you’ve accumulated but no longer use. Put all that money into savings. The problem with this recommendation is what happens when you run out of stuff to sell? So make more, spend less, or do nothing. The choice is yours.