Transcript of Video Blog:
Hey everybody. Rowan Smith from The Mortgage Centre. I want to talk today about lines of credit. It’s been a while since I’ve done a post on it. I get a lot of questions on it, people not understanding when a line of credit is possible and what kind of rate they can expect. So first off, when is a line of credit possible? Well, you have to have 20% equity in the property. CMHC does not allow to have people have an interest only portion of their mortgage, so lines of credit are interest only. Typically, prime plus one is the going rate, although your institution may offer you something better if you have a very large investment portfolio or a longstanding connection with them. Prime plus one is the baseline rate by which you should be judging any particularly offers you are receiving for a line of credit. If you’ve got a $500, 000 home and you have a $350, 000 mortgage, you can only have 80% financing, that’s conventional financing, if you’re going to want a line of credit. Now, in that case, that’s $400, 000. If you’ve got 350 and the max is 400, the maximum line of credit you’re going to be able to get is 500. Now, that’s a secured line of credit and secured line of credit rates. Your institution or any other institution can offer you unsecured lines of credit all they want. How big they’ll go is generally an indication of how aggressive their policy is or how much debt they think you can service with your taxable income.
To give you an example of how this plays into it, I had somebody who was looking to qualify for a $50, 000 line of credit but they needed $80, 000 so they went to two different banks and applied for a $30, 000 line of credit and were declined at both of them because unsecured $30, 000 is very large. For secured you can have three million dollar lines of credit if you have the equity in the property, but when it comes to an unsecured line of credit the banks generally have a cap. Anything over $10, 000 and they start wanting to see a lot more net worth, a lot more fall back position, meaning vehicles, meaning cash assets, stocks, RSPs, savings, and what not.
You say, “well, if I had the savings I wouldn’t need the line of credit”, but in most cases people need a line of credit as a contingency, not as the primary source of their funding. There are secured lines of credit with your mortgage, can’t exceed 80% of the value of your home based on the appraisal, not based on list prices of other properties in your area. There are unsecured lines of credit which banks can do whatever they heck they want as long as they believe you and believe your credit rating is strong enough and that your income can service it. If you want any clarification on this, please contact me.
I’m Rowan Smith from The Mortgage Centre.