5 Reasons To Add Onto Your Home

General Kristina Crosbie 26 Mar

Storey addition, rear extension, basement underpinning…there are so many types of home additions, it’s easy to get overwhelmed! The first question you should ask yourself is this: why do you need more space? We have narrowed it down to the 5 most common reasons clients have chosen to take on a home extension project, and have suggested the best type of addition to fit that need.

1 – Another bedroom for a new bundle of joy
A big change that often brings the need for more room is the arrival of a new baby. This is popular reason for a home addition. Luckily, a newborn doesn’t have to mean a new house! If your home already has a second floor and a garage, you can simply opt for a room addition above the garage.

If your home is only one storey, consider a second storey addition. Though it is quite a large and expensive renovation, the square footage of your home would double, with will add value to it and allow you to stay in your neighbourhood long-term.

2 – The kids are growing up and you’re stepping on each other’s toes

As they grow, teens need space and privacy, and so do we! The simplest solution is to finish the basement. This allows for additional living space or even an additional bedroom, away from the rest of the house. A storey addition is also a viable option, for the same reasons listed above. To help get you some more privacy from your growing kids, a lateral or back extension can be a great way to create your dream master suite. Say goodbye to sharing the bathroom with your teenagers and guests!

3 – Aging parents move in
If the time comes for you to lend a hand to your aging parents, you may need more room to do so. In this case, a basement apartment conversion is a great option. With a separate entrance, it allows for privacy and separation, while also adding an income suite to your home, which can be a great selling feature if you sell your home in the future. A storey addition, with or without a separate entrance, is also a possibility. However, this type of income suite is rarely seen in suburban homes.

4 – Add on to stay in the city
In urban centres, duplexes and triplexes were often built narrow and long, with small, closed rooms. Instead of renovating each unit, it is possible to convert the building into a single family home. This type of conversion is a massive undertaking, with the space likely uninhabitable during the length of the renovation. During the renovation, the house will be striped to the studs, with floors reconfigured to connect to one another, making it impractical and unsafe to live in.

5 – Lack of space in common areas
Architects of older construction often did not prioritize open concept floor plans, meaning that many old homes are segmented into many small rooms. If your older kitchen is small and you don’t have a formal dining room a lateral or rear extension can be a viable solution. Lateral and rear extensions can be done on foundation, piles or slab. If you chose an addition on foundation, you can maximize your addition by also extending your basement. It’s normal to feel you are lacking in space if your home has a closed floor plan. It’s an easy fix, however, if you hire an interior designer, whose expertise can help you reconfigure it to your needs.

Steps to follow for a successful home addition project
Now that you’ve gotten a better idea of what type of home addition may fit your needs, you can start planning. The first step is to check with your municipality to ensure what types of extensions allowed, and what permits are required. Even if you think a storey addition suits you best, you may not be able to add one if your neighbourhood is uniquely single-storey homes! Secondly, you will need plans drawn up by an accredited professional, like an architect, a technologist, or a structural engineer. Once that’s done, you’ll need to find a contractor, check their license, insurance, etc. Don’t forget to think about the finances! How much will it cost? Refinancing is an option to get the much needed funds.

Read the full article by Julie Calce here.

Mortgage Help for Canadians – Ottawa Set to Announce $25B in COVID-19 Relief

Latest News Kristina Crosbie 19 Mar

As COVID-19 spreads across the country, many people have already lost their jobs, or have been laid off as small businesses close or limit their hours. Often the next question for those affected is, ‘How am I going to pay my mortgage or rent?’

Well, it looks like help is on the way, as the federal government is set to announce Wednesday a massive aid package worth more than $25 billion to help Canadians and small businesses get through the COVID-19 crisis, CBC News-Radio Canada has learned.

But private banks and lenders have already announced they’re taking action.

In a new release late Tuesday, TD Bank announced that the country’s six largest financial institutions will “provide financial relief to Canadians impacted by the economic consequences of COVID-19.

“Effective immediately, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, National Bank of Canada, RBC Royal Bank, Scotiabank and TD Bank have made a commitment to work with personal and small business banking customers on a case-by-case basis to provide flexible solutions to help them manage through challenges such as pay disruption due to COVID-19; childcare disruption due to school closures; or those facing illness from COVID-19,” the statement reads.

“This support will include up to a six-month payment deferral for mortgages, and the opportunity for relief on other credit products.”

Some other lenders, like RMG Mortgages, have also sent their clients emails about “Hold-a-Payment or Skip-a-Payment options.”

The federal package to be announced Wednesday could also include help for people to keep a roof over their heads. Last Friday, the government said it will help people financially to ensure they can pay their rent or mortgages.

“We are looking at ways to help Canadians directly, yes,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

Early the next day, CMHC tweeted that it “will support lenders in allowing deferral of mortgage payments for up to six months for those impacted [by the coronavirus].”

 
Nobody should have to worry about their mortgage because of financial impacts of COVID-19. We’re working with lenders to help, increasing our flexibilites to allow payment deferral of up to 6 months starting now

 
That help will come if your mortgage is already insured by CMHC, which usually happens if you put down less than 20 per cent of the purchase price when you bought your property.

Genworth Canada and Canada Guaranty will also be allowing mortgage payment deferrals on insured mortgages.

If your down payment was 20 per cent or more, you likely don’t have an insured mortgage. But in a statement Tuesday, the CMHC said it’s examining options to help you, too.

“We are also exploring, with others, potential relief measures for those who cannot make payments on uninsured mortgages and renters,” said Evan Siddall, president and CEO of CMHC.

What this means for renters and those with uninsured mortgages is still unclear.

In a series of tweets, Sidall said he understands that renters are often in more precarious situations and even though “we do not have direct relations with renters, income support measures (announced and forthcoming) will help renters.

“We have written our landlord clients to insist on no evictions,” said Sidall.

For homeowners, the important thing to figure out now, said mortgage broker Tom Miocevich, is what kind of mortgage you have and what the best options are for you.

For instance, “if you’re on a biweekly frequency and you’re ahead of schedule for a few months,”some banks already offer a payment-pause program that’s relatively easy, Miocevich said.

CMHC had a deferral program in place long before COVID-19, but the length of time granted was on a case-by-case basis, often shorter than six months.

Read the full article by Natalie Nanowski at CBC news here. 

How to Start Making Syrup on Your Own Land

General Kristina Crosbie 17 Mar

The Basics of Sugaring Syrup

If you live around Lanark County, Ontario you know the Sap will be running soon. We are the Maple Syrup capital of Ontario after all!

Anyone can start sugaring. You don’t need a forest full of mature sugar maple trees. A sugar bush can be as simple as a few trees around your house or scattered throughout a small patch of woods. 

The Sap Run
Sugaring time usually runs from early March to early April, or when the nighttime temperatures are below freezing and the daytime temperatures are above freezing.

This freeze and thaw creates pressure, which allows sap to flow.

Although the sugar maple has the highest sugar content, any maple tree will produce sap for syrup. There are also four alternative trees that you can tap: birch, walnut, sycamore and sweet gum.

It’s worth tapping a tree even if all you’re going to do is drink the sap. Sap is delicious and loaded with polyphenols, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

You might not have enough sap to make syrup, but during the season you’ll have really good water to drink with a tint of maple flavor.


Tap Tips

Trees facing the warm afternoon sun tend to produce sooner than trees living deeper into the forest, although it’s difficult to predict which tree will do best, no matter its location. Some trees will give one year and then not at all the next.

There’s also a debate as to whether you should tap on the south or north side of the tree. No one has come to any conclusion, so feel free to try either or both ways.

To tap your tree, use a 5⁄16-inch bit, and drill a hole 1 1⁄2 to 2 inches deep, 36 inches above the ground (4 inches away and a few inches above any previous holes). Use one smooth, slightly upward motion to make a perfectly round taphole. (Less-than-round holes can leak.)

Use a stiff wire to fish out any sawdust lingering in the taphole. To seat the spile (also called taps or spouts) correctly,  gently tap it in with a light hammer until you hear a change in pitch.

You can place multiple spiles on trees depending on the diameter of the trunk. Do not tap trees less than 10 inches in diameter. Doing so can rob the tree of its essential carbohydrates. The ratio is as follows:

one tap for trees 10 to 17 inches in diameter
two taps for trees 18 to 24 inches in diameter
three taps for trees 25 inches and up
At the end of the season, remove the tap. Do not plug the taphole. Leave it open and let the tree heal itself.

A Sap Gathering
How you collect sap depends upon your sugar bush size. A smaller operation, with smaller volumes, piles with lids hanging below the spile would suffice.

However, larger operations typically use food-safe tubing eventually leading to a bucket. Tubing allows the sap to be collected without doing so manually.

Both systems are effective, and are typically chosen based on the size of your sugar bush. 

Making the Syrup

How you boil the sap also depends upon how much you’re collecting.

You may uses a large pot and an outdoor stove, finishing the syrup inside. Or if you have a very small amount you can do the entire process in your kitchen using a three-pan method.

Turning sap to syrup can take 12 hours to two days (depending on the amount of sap you’re boiling and your setup). You’re ready to take the pan off the heat when the syrup gets to 219 degrees.

Too many minerals in the sap, called niter or sugar sand, can cause sediment and a gritty-textured syrup. All is not lost, however. The niter will settle on the bottom and you can syphon the syrup out.

To cut down on niter, filter your sap halfway through cooking (or when the sap starts to turn amber) and then again when your syrup is finished using food-approved filters. These can be purchased through any maple syrup equipment vendor.

Keeping syrup hot as you’re filtering is a challenge because cooling syrup will clog up a filter. Keeping the syrup warm inside an insulated coffee urn will keep it at the proper temperature for filtering.

The spot is helpful for accurate pouring, as well.

Storing Your Syrup
Maple syrup keeps well. You can store it in the fridge and use it throughout the year. If any mold develops, skim it off and bring the syrup up to 190 degrees. Then pour it into a fresh bottle.

You can also bottle your syrup to make it shelf stable. Here’s how:

1. Syrup should be between 190 to 200 degrees for successful bottling.
2. Prepare your lids by soaking them in a pan of boiling water for 10 minutes.
3. Fill sanitized jars all the way to the top (no head space needed) with hot syrup.
4. Carefully remove the lids and place them on top of the jars. Secure with rings if using canning jars.
5. Lay the bottles on their sides and jars upside down in order to further sanitize the lids.
Sugaring is possibly the easiest gardening you’ll ever do. There’s no weeding, no planting if you already have trees, and the season only lasts a few weeks.

A few inexpensive supplies are all you need to get started with sugaring. But most of all, there’s something so wonderful about looking at a maple tree from your kitchen window in the deepest winter, and knowing that soon you’ll have your first taste of spring.

Read the full article by Sharon Biggs Waller here. 

12 Things Canadians Don’t Know About Second Mortgages

Mortgage Tips Kristina Crosbie 12 Mar

If you’re a Canadian homeowner, you’ve probably heard about second mortgages. But what is a second mortgage? It’s a type of loan that is secured by your home, similar to a first mortgage provided by a traditional bank. Over time you build up equity in your house, and a second mortgage allows you to use the equity you’ve built up.

It is your money after all!

According to Business Insider, there are over “1.91 million Canadians with HELOCs, and even more with a second mortgage.” A HELOC, or home equity line of credit, is a type of second mortgage, as you’re basically adding a second loan on top of your existing loan in order to access equity.

Yet despite their prominence, second mortgages and loans are not well understood or properly leveraged by Canadians. Here are 12 things that you likely didn’t know about second mortgages, which can help you get the most out of an asset that you’ve built equity in.

1. There are different types of second mortgages

What exactly is a second mortgage? These loan products come in a couple of different forms. For instance, a revolving HELOC offers the borrower continuous access to equity as they pay off what they previously owe (the principle), much like how a credit card works.

This type of loan can also be a closed second mortgage, which means that you get one lump sum of cash from your equity, and gradually pay it down, much like an auto loan.

HELOC’s are typically only offered to those in urban areas who have a strong credit profile. If you are experiencing credit challenges or limited income, private mortgages are likely your only option.

2. There are two common uses of second mortgages
The most common usage of a second mortgage is to pay off high-interest consumer debt or to use the funds for home renovations or upgrades. With the average credit card interest rate being 15%, you could save a lot of money by leveraging a second mortgage.

If you have a credit card balance of $30,000, for instance, your minimum monthly payment will be around $600 a month (assuming a 3% minimum payment requirement). If your credit card interest rate is 15% APR, this will cost you about $4,500 in interest in just your first year, before you even touch the principal amount you owe.

So many people are adding a second mortgage, paying off the credit card with that, and then enjoying a much reduced interest rate because a second mortgage is secured by an asset: your home.

3. Your home is collateral
When you take out a second mortgage, you are using your home as collateral to the lender. This means that if you do not pay, the bank has the option to foreclose just as it does with a first mortgage. That said, because you have a physical asset backing your loan, your interest rate will be substantially lower.

4. The power of interest-only payments
For many second mortgage products, you can elect to only make payments on the interest. This creates lower monthly payments, and allows you to have affordable access to the equity in your home before you are ready to sell.

Consider someone who wants to remodel before selling their home or renegotiating their primary mortgage. They can take second mortgage, use those funds to renovate, making interest-only payments. When it comes time to sell or renew, the home is valued at a higher price thanks to the renovations, and then the homeowner pays off the second mortgage.

5. Can be used to avoid PMI
When you apply for a conventional mortgage, if you do not have 20% to use as a down payment you will be required to obtain private mortgage insurance (PMI). In Canada, this is what we typically refer to as your Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) fees. And they can be quite high!

On a $500,000 mortgage loan with 5% down, you will be paying 4% CMHC fees. That’s a total of $19,000!

Taking out a second mortgage along with the first mortgage is one way borrowers can avoid PMI. A second mortgage can add a monthly payment to your budget, but can be a cheaper option than PMI.

6. You can use your equity for… Anything!
One of the most attractive benefits of buying a home is the potential to use the equity you have built up over time. Why let it sit there? Let that money you’ve earned start working for you!

You can use the funds however you’d like, but many people choose to use a second mortgage for home improvements, other investments, a child’s college education, an emergency fund, and more.

One popular usage of a second mortgage is to make an investment, like buying a rental property. Instead of saving up 20% for a down payment, you can tap into the equity of your existing home. The bonus of using a second mortgage for investment purposes is that the entire interest on that loan now becomes a tax deduction.

7. How much can I borrow?
That depends on how much equity you have built up in your property. Generally speaking, you will only be able to take out a portion of the of equity you’ve built up. Lenders have restrictions on the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio and take second mortgages into consideration.

For instance, most second mortgages allow you to access up to 80% of the equity you have accumulated in your property (85% in major cities). If you own a property valued at $500,000, and your first mortgage is for $325,000, you’d possibly be able to get access up to $75,000 upon obtaining a second mortgage if you’ve been approved to borrow 80% of the market value of your home.  If however, you owed $400,000 on your first mortgage, you wouldn’t be able to access any new funds with a second mortgage approved to 80% LTV, as you’re already at 80% LTV ($400,000 / $500,000)

On the other hand, a closed second mortgage may provide you with access to a greater amount of your equity. Specific questions like this should be addressed with a mortgage broker who specializes in second mortgages.

8. There are some fees
Second mortgages are a great option to keep in mind, but they do come at a price. You’ll need to pay some fees, so be sure to speak with a professional about getting a second mortgage.

9. You and your team MUST compare interest rates
Much like you would with a first mortgage, you should always consider the rates for second mortgages offered by different lenders. This is why working with a professional broker who has access to multiple lenders is your best option.

10. You can consolidate debt
Buried in credit card debt? If you have hefty balances on your credit cards or an enormous pile of student loans to pay back, a second mortgage offers you a way to turn all those high monthly payments into one affordable payment and which can be easier to manage vs. multiple payments with disparate due dates.

You can get a much lower rate on a second mortgage than your credit cards, so this can save you money in the long run and simplify your monthly debt payments, but even when the rate is the same or higher, you can save on cash flow by reducing your monthly payments  Most credit cards require up to 3% of the outstanding balance. So if you are only making your minimums, or even worse, missing them! But you have at least 20%+ equity in your home (or more in a rural location) then this is a key sign you should be looking at utilizing that equity.

11. Second mortgages help with bad credit
If you have bad credit, then borrowing money to consolidate or pay off debt can be challenging. Those with poor credit scores often think obtain a second mortgage is impossible, but ironically, this is likely one of the best tools to help them repair that credit.

Gaining access to your equity can allow you to pay off all of those overdue bills, immediately, and give you piece of mind to get your finances back in order.

A simpler, single payment setup, can also make it easier to have a single target to hit monthly.

Most traditional banks, and even many brokers and alternative lenders, do not offer second mortgages for bad credit borrowers. It’s important to speak with a mortgage professional not tied down by these burdensome restrictions, because second mortgages are possible even with a poor credit score. Canada is filled with lenders to work with, and you need someone who will help you find them.

12. Private lenders may have looser qualifying guidelines
If you and your mortgage professional decide to go the route of a private lender for your second mortgage, then you may be subject to less stringent conditions than at a traditional bank. Private lenders are exactly that, private, so they are not bogged down by regulations and internal bank policies, and are therefore much more flexible. This is great for the consumer!

That being said, most private lenders are looking at a mix of items, and so the more you can help make your case why you are a good risk, the better the pricing and overall the more you will be able to borrow in the alternative mortgage market.

A second mortgage is a tool, use it as such
Second mortgages offer you the opportunity to use the equity in your home for a number of different situations. If you have bad credit and need to consolidate debt, pay off other loans, renovate your home, invest, a down payment on your next property, funds to support yourself while selling, paying off property or tax arrears, or need emergency funds, a second mortgage is a great tool for Canadians to improve their financial well-being.

Read the full article here. 

Why Plant a Tree on Your Property?

General Kristina Crosbie 10 Mar

Snow may still be on the ground, but spring will soon be in the air. We are already in March, with April and May just around the corner!

When you purchase a new property or decide to get back into gardening, one of the first things you should consider doing is to plant a tree.

No matter the size of the farm or yard, a tree always has its place.

Trees provide numerous invaluable services to society, including:

Regulating our environment’s air, water and soil
– Provisioning resources such as fruits, nuts and wood
– Providing aesthetic and cultural benefits through colors, scents and sound
– Trees can provide a shady spot on a sunny day or privacy from a busy highway. Before you know it you’ll see the advantages too.

But first? You need to know the right way to plant a tree. The following infographic outlines some basic tree-planting skills.

Read the original article by Hobby Farms here.

Breaking News! Bank of Canada Follows U.S. with Half-Point Rate Drop

Latest News Kristina Crosbie 4 Mar

The Bank of Canada is cutting its key interest rate target by half a percentage point, dropping it to 1.25 per cent in response to the economic shock from the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The central bank says its target for the overnight rate is being trimmed because COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, “is a material negative shock” to the country’s economic outlook.

In a written statement about the announcement, the bank said that prior to the outbreak, Canada’s economy had been operating “close to potential with inflation on target.”

“However, COVID-19 represents a significant health threat to people in a growing number of countries. In consequence, business activity in some regions has fallen sharply and supply chains have been disrupted. This has pulled down commodity prices and the Canadian dollar has depreciated.”

In January, governor Stephen Poloz opened the door to a possible interest rate cut if weakness in the economy was more persistent than expected.

“In light of all these developments, the outlook is clearly weaker now than it was in January,” the statement said.

“As the situation evolves, governing council stands ready to adjust monetary policy further if required to support economic growth and keep inflation on target.”

First key rate cut since 2015
The cut in the bank’s key rate is the first since the summer of 2015 and brings the rate to a level it hasn’t been at since early 2018.

Economists had widely forecasted the bank would cut its rate following an unexpected half-point cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve on Tuesday to its rate as an emergency economic buttress against COVID-19 concerns.

That decision came after a call among central bankers and finance ministers from G7 countries, including Canada, about how to deal with the economic shocks the outbreak might have.

“The Bank of Canada didn’t wait to see the patient ailing before delivering a dose of preventative medicine,” said CIBC economist Avery Shenfeld in a written statement, “but where it goes from here is a matter of epidemiology rather than economics.”

The Bank of Canada generally finalizes its decision on rates by late Tuesday, meaning the call for its decision came after the U.S. Federal Reserve made its move.

Financial markets had expected at least one rate cut this year, but forecasts have pegged the decision Wednesday as the first of what could be multiple reductions to the central bank’s key interest rate target.

Shenfeld said the central bank will be watching for news on both the virus and the economy, “but it’s reasonable to assume a further 25 basis point [quarter percentage point] cut in April, with the rest of this year’s story being dependent on which virus scenario plays out.”

Read the original article by CBC News here.

Five Tips To Increase Your Credit Score Quickly

Mortgage Tips Kristina Crosbie 3 Mar

In order to qualify for certain mortgage and loan products, a minimum credit score is essential. Even if your score is sufficient to qualify, you might find the rates being offered will be lower than if you had a higher score.

Having worked with thousands of personal credit histories over the years, we have developed some strategies that sometimes give you that much needed quick score boost—sort of like jumper cables for credit!

1. Use The Optimal Utilization Strategy
When maximizing your personal credit score, you should look at your utilization of available credit for each individual credit facility. By this I mean what percentage of your available credit is the balance being reported?

Percentage utilization can have a significant impact on your personal credit score. Equifax Canada states utilization has a 30% weighting on your personal credit score.

One scenario: maybe a furniture store or a home improvement store offered you “don’t pay for one year.” The balance you are carrying on this card might be relatively small, but if it’s at or over the actual card limit, this is dragging down your personal credit score. Consider paying it off now!

Another scenario: suppose you have three credit cards, each with a limit of $10,000.

And let’s say one card has a balance owing of $9,900 and the other two have zero balances. This might happen because you are trying to earn rewards on one particular card, or maybe you said yes to a balance transfer promotional offer.

Chances are your credit score is lower than if the usage was spread across the three cards equally—i.e., each with a balance owing of $3,300, or 33% of the limit.

Overall, your usage remains unchanged, but now you no longer have an individual card reporting at 99% utilization.

If you can afford to cover or reduce the balance owing on the one with a balance of $9,900, you should see a nice little score boost.

2. Use the Statement Date Strategy
It may be that the best thing for you to do is simply reduce balances owing on your credit facilities. If time is of the essence, you should plan this carefully and do it in the correct order.

Gather up your most recent available statements for all relevant credit facilities. And note the day of the month when the statement was printed. Most of the time it’s the balance on that statement date that is being reported to the credit bureau.

And give or take a day, it is safe to assume that same day of the following month is when the next statement will be issued.

So, plan your payments accordingly. And allow several business days for online payments to process in time. If you are paying a credit card issued by your own bank, you should see transfer payments being processed either instantly or overnight.

3. Pay It Down and Keep It Down
This is especially important when your limits are not very large. Suppose you are a model citizen who uses her credit card frequently, and pays the balance in full every month after receiving the monthly statement, and before the due date.

That is the “correct way” to manage your credit—taking advantage of the grace period you are given by all card issuers.

But these days, there is little benefit to trying to use up the entire grace period because current account interest rates are so low they are pretty much negligible. It’s far better to pay your balance in full before your statements come out. You are even more of a model citizen, and now the balance being reported to the credit bureau will always be extremely small, if anything.

4. Exercise All Dormant Credit Cards and Lines of Credit
Some people have credit facilities they never use. People tend to favour one particular credit card (maybe we like their rewards program) and we might neglect our other cards. And most of the time we don’t even need our personal line of credit.

If you are trying to maximize your credit score, it is good to use all available credit fairly regularly, even if it’s just for a nanosecond.

It will rarely be correct to close these older credit facilities since they are contributing ‘score juice.’ Equifax Canada states your history can have a 15% weighting on your personal credit score.

These credit facilities can become stale and may not be not pulling their weight on your personal credit history. Update the DLA (date of last activity) with a modest transaction and then pay it online immediately. If it’s a personal line of credit, just transfer $10 to yourself and the next day transfer back $10.50.

If you notice you have credit cards that have not seen daylight for months or years, take them to the supermarket or gas station, use them just once, and pay online right away. After the next statement these cards will report the date of last activity as the current month and year, and that may give you some much-needed points.

5. Scour & Clean All Reporting Errors
There might be some incorrect information in your personal credit history that’s needlessly dragging down your score.

A few examples include:

You have two or more personal profiles with the credit bureau and your information is scattered and diffused. Combining it all into one credit report could well increase your score and strengthen your look. (This often happens to people whose name is hard to spell, or who have legally changed their name).
Late payments being reported when it’s not you. Maybe you have a relative with the exact same name.
That router you returned to the cable company is showing as a collection; but in fact you returned it to the local store.
You completed a consumer proposal and all the debts included in the proposal should be reporting zero balances and should not carry an “R9” rating. This generally means an account has been placed for collection or is considered un-collectible.
There may be incorrect late payments. Equifax Canada states payment history has a 35% weighting on your personal credit score.
Mortgage brokers can fast track an investigation with Equifax Canada for you. What might take you two months, we can get done in a few days. Keep that in mind if time is of the essence.

The Takeaway
This overview is a fairly simplistic way of looking at your personal credit report and highlights initiatives specifically intended to give your credit score a quick boost. These tips are not necessarily the same as when you are managing for optimal credit health or interest-expense minimization.

Read this article by Ross Taylor here.