Are Banks my only option for a Second Mortgage?

Posted on 2nd March 2020
Tags: home equity, second mortgages, mortgage stress test, stress test, gta mortgage lender, second mortgage, Big Banks, borrowers, credit unions, canadian credit unions, a-lenders, b-lenders,

Within Canada, for a variety of reasons, citizens are taking full advantage of second mortgages. Whether combining credit cards, paying for home repairs, or buying property, funds from a second mortgage improve a borrower`s situation.

The key question for many borrowers is, of course, who will lend me the money? A hundred, or even fifty, years ago the potential answers to that question were few. Banks had the majority of the loans with credit unions holding a small share of the lending business.

In 2020, there are three categorizations of lenders. The A-lenders are the traditional lending institutions, banks and credit unions. Next are the B-lenders, who despite their B status, often offer a service on a par with the A-class. B-lenders account for a smaller share of the market but can offer better rates and have a lower threshold for entry. They can work with borrowers rejected by the A-class.

Finally, there are private lenders who specialize in bespoke lending arrangements which may carry more risk. These loans can be highly specialized and are used when a different kind of thinking is needed.

Credit Unions

Credit Unions are formed by people pooling their money. They buy shares in the union and the money they use is put in a collective pool. This pool is then used to create loans with an emphasis on “people helping people.” The union is owned and operated by the people that buy shares. As such, credit unions enjoy tax-exempt status and operate on a not-for-profit model. Their loans can be structured in a way that a bank’s loan cannot.

One of the biggest changes to Canadian mortgaging in the last ten years has been stress testing. Stress tests are designed to make sure that people getting a mortgage can afford it. As a side effect, it also keeps people who could afford a mortgage, from getting one. Increasingly, credit unions have been filling that gap with loans that do not need stress testing.

B-Class Lenders

Often B-Class lenders are viewed as exactly that, B-Class. There are certainly some lenders that behave badly in both classes. Not being a bank doesn’t immediately mean a B-Class lender isn’t a good choice.

B-Class lenders are many different kinds of companies. Sometimes they can be businesses that are looking to loan money. They can be private groups operating in a similar way to a credit union. They might also be smaller financial companies specializing in loans and nothing else.

What these companies all have in common is a desire to lend money. As they are not financial institutions, they do not have to meet the same criteria as banks do. They can offer second mortgages without the need to stress test for example. B-Class lenders compete with the A-Class by offering a high standard of service to more borrowers than the A-Class can.

When you work with a B-Class lender you can expect a slightly higher interest rate on your loan as they do work with slightly riskier investments. Shopping around can help you find a good product with the right rates. It’s even possible to find rates that are equal to or lower than those offered by banks. Getting the best interest rate, fixed or variable, can save you tens of thousands of dollars on your loan.

Finding Solutions

Those who wish to borrow, face many choices. They could connect with one of the many Canadian credit unions. They may be best suited to working with one of the many B-Class lenders. Working out what’s going to be best, short and long term, can be tough.’s financial experts give you clear independent advice. This is because they are exactly that, independent. Unlike at a bank they’re not incentivized to sell you unsuitable financial products. Instead, they can find the lender and product that’s going to best serve your needs.

Get started by contacting today to discuss your needs so that we can find the right lender for you.

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