29 Aug

What happens when your credit card account is closed


Posted by: Charlene Elliott

What does happen when you close your credit card account? Read below to find out!

What happens when your credit card account is closed

I have been working in the mortgage industry since 2005. I have had all sorts of clients over the years. Every once in a while I get someone who has a car loan , a couple of credit cards but there’s a collection from a credit card, a dentist or some other creditor. When I ask why this has not been paid, I am told that they had a dispute with this firm and they are not going to be pushed around. The client doesn’t care if the account is sent to collection, they won’t pay it just on principle.

While I admire people who stick to their guns, they are on a slippery slope and things will not work out well for them. Sometimes they think that because the account is closed they don’t have to pay anymore. This is totally wrong.

As the creditor has reported your late or missing payment, your score goes down with the credit reporting agencies every month until you get to 120 days late or the creditor closes the account. However, they may send your account to a collection agency who will add their fees to the account and threaten or harass you. While you may not owe the money to your original creditor, they have sold the debt to someone else. You still owe your original amount and probably more with interest accruing every month.

Something that most people do not realize is that this refusal to pay an account means that you won’t get a mortgage or any new credit lines until the problem is resolved. The longer you hold out, the more likely that you will need to use a B lender for your next mortgage and car loan. I have seen car loans with 26% interest and mortgage with 16% interest over the years.
My advice is don’t ignore the problem. Get it resolved as soon as possible. I know that you want to stick to your guns but it’s going to end up costing you a lot of money. If you have any questions, contact a Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker near you.

David Cooke

David Cooke

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional

22 Aug

7 Sure-Fire Ways to Grow Your Credit Score


Posted by: Charlene Elliott

Read below on how to grow your credit score.  7 important points

7 Sure-Fire Ways to Grow Your Credit Score

Have you ever wished for a simplified guide on how to actually GROW your credit score? Well today is your lucky day! We have had years of experience working with individuals who come to us with poor or damaged credit and we have found 7 steps that prove to be tried and true in fixing it.

First off though—why are we so focused in on credit scores? Simply put, your credit score details your history of borrowing money. It shows how timely you are on payments; how responsible you are with it and how you manage it.

In a Nutshell: Your credit score represents to the lender that you have proven yourself capable of paying your bills on time and are responsible when managing credit. You credit score will also impact the interest rate that you receive. So, when we are talking about mortgages, your credit score=very important.

Now that we have that covered, here are our 7 sure-fire ways to grow your credit and make the mortgage application process, a breeze:

1. Have at least 2 credit lines at all times
This means that you should always have 2 “tradelines” going. Whether this be 2 credit cards, a credit card and a line of credit and a car loan etc. You want to show that you can manage credit, and this is one easy way to do it. As an added note, the limit on the credit lines will need to be set at a minimum $2,000.

2. Make your payments on time each and every month
No skipped payments! You should ALWAYS make the minimum payment required on all your lines of credit each month.

3. Do not let your credit be pulled too often.
This one is something people often forget about. Having your credit pulled for new credit cards, car loans, and other things frequently raises a red flag for lenders and can significantly lower your credit score

4. Do not exceed 50% of the available credit limit on your credit card or credit line.
We know this one can be hard to do. One easy way to monitor this is to only use a credit card for certain fixed bills such as a cable/internet bill, cell-phone bill, etc. This way you can easily keep track of what credit you have used and what is available still.

5. If you have missed a payment, get back on track right away.
If you did, by chance, miss a payment, do not fret. Instead, get back on track with your month by month payments. Lenders would look at the one missed payment as an abnormality versus a normal occurrence if you are back on track by the following month.

6. Make sure each partner has their own credit.
We cannot tell you how frustrating it can be for couples when they realize that all their credit cards and lines of credit are only under one name…leaving the other person with no proven track record of managing credit! We advise clients to both grow their credit by making sure all joint accounts report for you both.

7. Do not exceed the Credit limit.
It is important to not go over or exceed the credit limit you have been given. Having overdrawn credit, shows the lender that you are not able to responsibly manage credit.

If you follow these 7 steps and are responsible with your credit, you will have no problem when it comes time to purchase a home! In need of more advice? Contact a Dominion Lending Centres Broker-they will be more than happy to help you.

Geoff Lee

Geoff Lee

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional

20 Aug

Mortgage brokers have solutions


Posted by: Charlene Elliott

Don’t let the new mortgage stress test rules stress you..  There are options

Mortgage brokers have solutions

A lot of people are getting stressed out by Canada’s new mortgage stress test. In the past, if you had a good sized down payment (ie 20%) someone with a low income could purchase a home even if they did not meet the debt level guidelines for insured mortgages of 32/40 . Later this was changed to 35/44 which made life even easier but – no more.

What is a person with a low income, good credit and a good down payment supposed to do now?

Here’s a solution – get a roommate. If you purchase a home with a friend who is going to share the other bedroom of your condo or take over the basement, the rules do not allow you to include the rent. But there are plenty of homes out in the market with a legal basement suite, a duplex or perhaps a granny suite over the garage. As long as the income portion of your property is zoned for a rental portion, you can claim a portion of the rent as income and qualify for more house.

There are certain minimum guidelines for lenders  – they usually want a separate entrance, kitchen and washroom. They may ask for a separate hot water tank as well. Lenders will credit 50% -85% of the rent towards your annual income. Don’t worry , your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker knows the rules and can guide you through the process.  Calling us can get you into a home faster than you thought possible.

David Cooke

David Cooke

16 Aug

4 Key Things You Need To Know About A Second Mortgage


Posted by: Charlene Elliott

Helpful information about second mortgages!

4 Key Things You Need To Know About A Second Mortgage

Many homeowners are vaguely aware of the fact that you can take out a second loan on your home. You hear your friends mention it or perhaps a family member close to you has gone through the process—but do you truly know what it means to take out a second mortgage? We have taken all the questions we get asked about second mortgages and compiled it into four key points.

The total loan amount that the second mortgage lender will offer you will depend on the equity that has been built up in your home. Second mortgages allow you to access up to 95% of the equity you have in your property. For instance:

House Value $850,000
95% LTV (maximum mortgage amount) $807,500.00
First Mortgage $550,000.00
Amount Available Through Second $257,500.00

This is because when a lender agrees to a second mortgage, they are taking a higher risk as he gets second priority in case of default. With that being said, we have options and solutions such as working with private lenders that can help you obtain a reduced rate and the right product for your mortgage situation. Typically, you can expect an interest rate of 6.95%-19.95% with lender and broker fees included.

One of the advantages of selecting to use a second mortgage is the fact that the payments are attractive. You can pay interest only payments or you can also select to pay the interest plus the principle loan amount. You can work with your mortgage broker to discuss options and what would work best with your situation.

Since we want to have you understand ALL the fees associated, it is important to know that setting up a second mortgage will require you to pay: *note dollar amounts are approximations

An appraisal fee to assess the value of your home: $300
Legal fees to set it up: $2,000
Lenders & Broker fees: 1-5%

Second mortgages are a great option for many and may be a better solution than a refinance or a Home Equity Loan (HELOC). If you are interested in learning more or want to find out if a second mortgage is right for you, talk to your Dominion Lending Centres mortgage broker. We can guarantee they can guide you the process from start to finish!

Geoff Lee

Geoff Lee

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional

15 Aug

Dominion Lending Centres launches new app My Mortgage Toolbox


Posted by: Charlene Elliott

Dominion Lending Centres launches new app My Mortgage Toolbox

For Immediate release

August 8th, 2018

Vancouver, B.C. – The nation’s leading mortgage company is making it easier for consumers to navigate the Canadian mortgage landscape.

My Mortgage Toolbox is a new mobile app from Dominion Lending Centres designed to be a pocket-sized mortgage guide for everyday Canadians.

A first-of-its-kind for the industry, the app makes it easy for consumers to find a mortgage broker nearest them and get the best mortgage product at the lowest rate available.

“We’re really excited to launch what we see as a game-changing app for the mortgage industry,” said Gary Mauris, President and CEO of Dominion Lending Centres. “The idea behind My Mortgage Toolbox was to make it simple for Canadians to manage the mortgage process by putting all the information they need in the palm of their hand.

My Mortgage Toolbox guides the users while taking away all the stress of getting a mortgage.

Some of the feature of the app include:

• Affordability Calculator
• Minimum Down Payment Calculator
• Total Monthly Ownership Calculator
• Closing Cost Calculator
• A Stress Test Tool to calculate affordability
• Beautiful graphs and illustrations

“We’ve listened to our mortgage professionals who are always looking for better ways to serve their clients, and again we are delivering industry leading tools and technology,” said Dave Teixeira, DLC’s VP of Operations.

The app has also been translated into several languages including English, French, Spanish Chinese and Hindi.

The My Mortgage Toolbox app is available for Apple and Android devices starting today, or by clicking the “My Mortgage Tool” box link on the DLC website www.dominionlending.ca.

For more information about Dominion Lending Centres visit www.dominionlending.ca.

Jeremy Deutsch

Jeremy Deutsch

Communications Advisor

29 Nov

Mortgage Pre-approval is Not What You Expect


Posted by: Charlene Elliott

Mortgage Pre-approval is Not What You Expect

Although going through the pre-approval process is more important than ever, the actual term ‘pre-approval’ is often misleading. It really addresses just a few variables that may arise once in the middle of an actual offer.

The pressure in many markets has never been greater to write a condition-free offer, yet due to recent changes to lending guidelines by the federal government, the importance of a clause in the contract along the lines of ‘subject to receiving and approving satisfactory financing’ has also never been greater. (There are variations to be discussed with your Realtor around the specific wording of such clauses.)

Often clients are reluctant to write the initial offer on a property without feeling like they are 100 per cent pre-approved, an understandable desire. The risk being that many clients then falsely believe they have a 100 per cent guarantee of financing, and this is not at all what a pre-approval is.

A lender must review all related documents, not just the clients personal documents, but also those from the appraiser and the realtor as the propety itself must meet certain standards and guidelines.

The pre-approval process should be considered a pre-screening process. It does involve review and analysis of the clients current credit report, it should also include a list for the client of all documents that will be required in the event that an offer is written and accepted. Ideally your Mortgage Broker will review all required documents in advance, but few lenders will review documents until there is an accepted offer in place.

Clients should come away from the initial process with a clear understanding of the maximum mortgage amount they qualify for along with the various related costs involved in their specific real estate transaction. Equally as important; a completed application allows the Mortgage Broker to lock in rates for up to 120 days.

Why won’t a lender fully review and underwrite a pre-approval?

Lenders do not have the staff resources to review ‘maybe’ applications – they have a hard enough time keeping up with ‘live’ transactions.
The job you have today may well not be the job you have by the time you write your offer. (ideally you do not want to change jobs while house-shopping)
If more than four weeks pass then most of the documents are out of date by lender standards, and a fresh batch needs to be ordered and reviewed with the accepted offer.
The conversion rate of pre-approvals to ‘live transactions’ is less than 10 per cent, and this alone prevents lenders from allocating resources to reviewing pre-approvals.

It is this last point in particular that makes it so difficult to get an underwriter to completely review a pre-approval application as a special exception. Nine out of ten times that underwriter is spending their time on something that will never actually happen.

The bottom line is that a clients best bet for confidence before writing an offer is the educated and experienced opinion of the front-line individual with whom they are directly speaking, Dominion Lending Centres Mortgage Broker. Although this individual will not be the same person that underwrites and formally approves the live transaction when the time comes, they likely have hundreds of files worth of experience behind them. That experience is valuable.

It is due to the disconnect between intake of application and actual lender underwriting a live file that having a ‘subject to receiving and approving satisfactory financing’ clause in the purchase sale agreement is so very important.

Without a doubt the most significant factor in recent years which has undermined clients preapprovals is the relentless pace of government changes in lending guidelines and policies. Change implemented not only by the Government also by the lenders themselves. It is very easy to have a pre-approval for a certain mortgage amount rendered meaningless just a few days later through changes to internal underwriting guidelines. Often these changes arrive with no warning and existing pre-approvals are not grandfathered.

So, while it is absolutely worthwhile going through the pre-approval process before writing offers, and in particular before listing your current property for sale it is most important to stay in constant contact with your Mortgage Broker during the shopping process.

Be aware that aside from the key advantage of catching small issues early and securing rates a pre-approval is NOT a 100 per cent guarantee of financing.

If more than four weeks pass then most of the documents are out of date by lender standards, and a fresh batch needs to be ordered and reviewed with the accepted offer. The conversion rate of pre-approvals to ‘live transactions’ is less than 10 per cent, and this alone prevents lenders from allocating resources to reviewing pre-approvals.
Tracy Valko
Tracy Valko

Dominion Lending Centres – Accredited Mortgage Professional
Tracy is part of DLC Forest City Funding based in London, ON.

3 Jun

Thoughts for a happy life


Posted by: Charlene Elliott

THIS IS A KEEPER: (shared by Jim Washington)

1. Your shoes are the first thing people subconsciously notice about you. Wear nice shoes.

2. If you sit for more than 11 hours a day, there’s a 50% chance you’ll die within the next 3 years

3. There are at least 6 people in the world who look exactly like you. There’s a 9% chance that you’ll meet one of them in your lifetime.

4. Sleeping without a pillow reduces back pain and keeps your spine stronger.

5. A person’s height is determined by their father, and their weight is determined by their mother.

6. If a part of your body “falls asleep”,
you can almost always “wake it up” by shaking your head.

7. There are three things the human brain cannot resist noticing -food, attractive people and danger

8. Right-handed people tend to chew food on their right side

9. Putting dry tea bags in gym bags or smelly shoes will absorb the unpleasant odor.

10. According to Albert Einstein, if honey bees were to disappear from earth, humans would be dead within 4 years.

11. There are so many kinds of apples, that if you ate a new one everyday, it would take over 20 years to try them all.

12. You can survive without eating for weeks, but you will only live 11 days without sleeping.

13. People who laugh a lot are healthier than those who don’t.

14. Laziness and inactivity kills just as many people as smoking.

15. A human brain has a capacity to store 5 times as much information as Wikipedia

16. Our brain uses the same amount of power as a 10-watt light bulb!!

17. Our body gives enough heat in 30 mins to boil 1.5 liters of water!!

18. The Ovum egg is the largest cell and the sperm is the smallest cell !!

19. Stomach acid (conc. HCl) is strong enough to dissolve razor blades!!

20. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day & while you walk, SMILE. It is the ultimate antidepressant.

21. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.

22. When you wake up in the morning, pray to ask God’s guidance for your purpose, today.

23. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.

24. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, broccoli, and almonds.

25. Try to make at least three people smile each day.

26. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.

27. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.

28. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

29. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Forgive them for everything!

30. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

31. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

32. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.

33. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

34. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

35. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: ‘In five years, will this matter?’

36. Help the needy, Be generous! Be a ‘Giver’ not a ‘Taker’

37. What other people think of you is none of your business.

38. Time heals everything.

39. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

40. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. Each night before you go to bed, pray to God and be thankful for what you’ll accomplish, today !

43. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.

26 May

reasons to not check work email at home


Posted by: Charlene Elliott

From the Globe and Mail:

About to check your work e-mail at home? Read this first

Health Advisor is a regular column where contributors share their knowledge in fields ranging from fitness to psychology, pediatrics to aging. Follow us @Globe_Health.

How often do you send or receive work-related e-mail or texts when you’re not at work?

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. The 2013 Canadian Work, Stress and Health study found that 28 per cent of Canadians who work full-time for an employer frequently check work-related e-mail or text messages after-hours. By comparison, a new Gallup poll finds that 36 per cent of Americans frequently check work e-mail outside of normal working hours.

More Related to this Story

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  • Don’t click on this: Nine ways to curb your social media cravings

  • The argument for the six-hour workday

Video: How to reverse the harmful effects of stress

Video: What are the real health risks of sitting still?

The proliferation of communication technologies has facilitated the greedy impulses of work – and, apparently, many think this “remote work” is beneficial.

The Gallup poll asked: “As far as you are concerned, is the ability for you to use your computer tablet, or smartphone to work remotely outside of normal business hours and stay in touch with work remotely a positive development or a negative development?” A majority characterized it as favourable. Only 21 per cent explicitly recognized the negatives.

What are the downsides?

In my ongoing study of working Canadians across the country, I’ve identified three “pressure points” that highlight the pitfalls: role blurring, expectations and control. And there is sound evidence that these have consequences for our health and well-being.

Role blurring

This is the main culprit. Work contact creates permeability in the boundaries between work and other domains – especially family. In qualitative interviews during the past year, we heard Canadians lament how “work creep” has become normative. One male engineering consultant told us how it snatches up what should be leisure time with family (and generates vacation angst):

“I think if you talk to people about it they would say, ‘oh no go and enjoy your vacation’– but at the same time you get communication from people asking for things, so there’s not a real sort of sincerity to someone saying ‘well go away and forget about this place for a while.’ ”


This underscores the problematic nature of expectations. Many workers described unspoken norms about being “available” or “responsive” – and struggled to navigate unclear expectations.

For some, being responsive after-hours has become part of a job’s skill set – an assumed feature of the job description. A female executive assistant reflected on how her clients perceive her: “We’ll just e-mail her. She’ll e-mail you back right away. She’s pretty good about that.” What if one isn’t “good” with after-hours e-mails? It could be bad for business.

The mixed messages from clients, supervisors or co-workers blends a ‘no worries…it can wait’ sentiment with the mentality of ‘if I’m being contacted after-hours, I need to deal with it now.’ This expectations game intensifies work.

A sense of control

Many workers engage in after-hours work contact as a way to ‘keep up’ with excessive e-mails and overload – to maintain a sense of control. A female secretary told us:

“With smartphones we’re all kind of tied to work, right? So I’m always checking my e-mails anyway. I feel that at least I’m prepared if there’s something that comes up, I can deal with it and I’m prepared. Like when I wake up in the morning, I pick up my iPad and I open it up and I check e-mails…if you don’t keep ahead of it, it gets overwhelming.”

This is house cleaning, but not in the traditional sense.

Many see this as an efficient way to deal with excessive work – things that can’t be completed during regular hours. A female supply chain manager deals with e-mails after hours to “get a head start on the next day” because the work piles up to such a great degree. She adds: “I do it for my own sanity.”

I wonder: If you’re filtering work-related e-mails at breakfast or forwarding your supervisor’s e-mail to co-workers while in bed, are you missing out on life?

As the male software product manager sees it: “As long as your mind can quickly get back to the basketball game after you’ve written a five-minute e-mail and it doesn’t totally distract you from enjoying it, then I guess that’s a good thing.” But in those five minutes, you might have missed some amazing shots, or parts of your kids’ stories about school, or some quality snuggle time with your partner (or dog).

This is how work gets to us.

From these stories of Canadians’ experiences, work contact certainly sounds harmful. But is there any evidence that it affects our health?

One way to evaluate this is to ask people how they perceive work contact as affecting them. From this view, Gallup found that most people see it as beneficial. However, another way to assess the harm is to compare people who experience a lot of work contact with those who experience little.

Our research reveals that those who frequently engage in work contact report more work-family conflict, more distress, and more sleep problems – and these are amplified in the context of long work hours and excessive job pressures.

Does anything help? We found that if you can maintain some degree of autonomy and schedule control, or if your work is engaging and interesting, the problems associated with work contact are minimized. But when the greedy institution tries to get to you, these might be rather big ifs, especially in high-pressured workplaces or precarious economic times.

Dr. Scott Schieman is a Canada Research Chair (Social Contexts of Health) and professor of sociology at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on the causes and health consequences of social stress. You can follow him on Twitter @ScottSchiemanUT

14 Feb

Thickwood safeway sold :(


Posted by: Charlene Elliott

Thickwood safeway is my favourite place to buy groceries.  I stil can’t believe they are selling it and changing to Save on Foods.  Our family will miss the excellence at that store..  “http://www.mymcmurray.com/thickwood-safeway-being-bought-by-save-on-foods-parent/

30 Jan

DLC sponsors home and Garden Show


Posted by: Charlene Elliott

DLC sponsors home and garden show.  I love working for such a great company..  Here’s the video; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L72uiPZJx6w