Monday, 16 September 2013

Mortgage Refinancing: A Viable Debt Solution?


Debt in Canada has become a major problem for many individuals. The ease with which credit is granted by many credit companies sometimes makes it tough to avoid temptation, but the aftereffects can be distressing, especially if it gets to the point that it is hard to keep up with or make payments. There are many debt solutions out there, one of the most popular being mortgage refinancing.  

What is mortgage refinancing? When you refinance your mortgage to consolidate debt you are essentially using your home equity to pay off debt. Many people choose to refinance their mortgages to pay off debt because mortgage financing offers flexibility and often you can get a far lower interest rate as well as the convenience of a much more manageable single monthly payment.

Over the past year there have been many changes to Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) rules, many of which make it tougher for homeowners to consolidate using mortgage refinancing. Previously CMHC would refinance as much as 95% of an individual’s home, and would offer lines of credit to do so. However, they no longer issue lines of credit to consolidate, and the amount has been lowered to 80%.

The banks have backed these changes. As a general rule, banks will only grant refinancing if your new mortgage will not exceed 75% of your home’s current value (some approve at an even lower percentage). That means that if your new mortgage plus your unsecured debt is more than 75% of the value of your home, approval is not likely.

CMHC insured mortgages are one of many mortgage options for refinancing your mortgage to pay off and consolidate debt. There are so many different types of companies outside of the banks who will compete for your business: credit unions, finance companies, trust companies, mortgage investment firms and even private individuals.

What if your credit isn’t great? If you have less than stellar credit it might be harder to obtain mortgage refinancing for debt consolidation through a bank. Banks and finance companies like to see that those they invest in are not a high risk, and if your credit is bad you may be too risky. With that said, if you have good equity many other lenders may be willing to extend financing to you. If you seek mortgage refinancing as a debt solution but are unable to find approval, an alternative solution might be a better option. Non-mortgage refinancing debt consolidation, a consumer proposal or bankruptcy might be better suited to your situation.

If you are thinking about mortgage refinancing as a possible debt solution, it is best to speak with an experienced debt consultant first, one who will assess you and present you with all of the financial options available to you, the pros and cons, and guide you to the best financial plan.   

For more information about mortgage refinancing please contact DebtCare Canada today by calling 1-800-890-0888.

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