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8 Tips to Increase Your Credit Score to Secure a Mortgage

Being a homeowner is highly beneficial because you have a physical asset with an appreciating value. For this reason, all prospective homeowners go to great lengths when looking for the perfect home, especially if they plan to settle there for life. However, only a few can pay for a house out of their own pockets, so a mortgage is secured first.

A mortgage is a loan that allows a borrower to purchase a house without paying the total purchase price upfront. The loan is secured by the home and is typically repaid over some time, usually 15 or 30 years, where the borrower pays both principal and interest payments. However, the determining factor if a borrower can secure a loan is the credit score, which is any number from 300 to 900 and evaluates the borrower’s creditworthiness. A credit score of 650 and above enables a borrower to get quick approval with low interest rates. On the other hand, anyone with a credit score below 650 can still get a loan, but they may be subject to higher interest rates and stricter terms.

Luckily, there are many ways to improve your credit score, such as:

#1 – Check Your Credit Report

The first step to improving your credit score is to check your credit report. Your credit report contains all the information used to calculate your credit score, so you must review it regularly. You can request a free copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) once a year.

When you receive your credit report, review it carefully for any errors or discrepancies. If you find any, contact the credit bureau to dispute them and get them corrected. This can help improve your credit score quickly. You should also look for any accounts that may be inaccurate, such as unpaid debt or accounts you don’t recognize. If you find any, contact the creditor to resolve the issue.

#2 – Pay Your Bills on Time

Paying your bills on time is one of the most critical steps to improving your credit score. Late payments will hurt your credit score and can stay on your credit report for up to seven years. To avoid late payments, set up automatic payments for your bills and use a reminder system to keep track of due dates.

If you miss a payment, contact the creditor as soon as possible to explain the situation. Many creditors are willing to work with you and will be willing to remove the late payment from your credit report if you can prove that the late payment was an oversight.

#3 – Never Close Old Credit Cards

Regarding your credit score, you must never close old credit cards. Keeping old credit cards open can help to improve your credit score because it increases the average age of your credit history. This is vital because one factor that goes into calculating your credit score is the length of your credit history.

The only exception to this rule is if you pay an annual fee for a credit card you do not use. In this case, closing the card to save money is better. Otherwise, it’s best to keep your old credit cards open.

#4 – Avoid Applying for New Credit Cards

Just as you should never close old credit cards, you must also refrain from applying for new ones during the mortgage application process. Applying for a new credit card can hurt your credit score. When you apply for a new credit card, the issuer will run a hard inquiry on your credit report. This inquiry can cause a temporary dip in your credit score, and if you have many credit inquiries on your report at once, it will spark red flags.

#5 – Lower Your Credit Utilization

Credit utilization refers to the amount of credit you use compared to your total available credit limit. For example, if you have a credit card with a $10,000 limit and have used $7,000 of it, your credit utilization is 70%.

When applying for a mortgage, you must keep your credit utilization as low as possible. A higher credit utilization ratio can indicate to lenders that you’re relying too heavily on credit, making them hesitant to approve your loan. Keeping it below 30% is generally recommended to maintain a good credit score.

#6 – Consider Using a Secured Credit Card

A secured credit card is a great way to build or rebuild your credit score. It is a type of credit card that requires a security deposit in exchange for a line of credit. The security deposit is collateral for the credit card issuer, assuring them that you will pay back any debt you incur.

The advantages of a secured credit card include lower interest rates and fees. Because the bank or lender has your security deposit, they will likely approve you for the card. Additionally, since your security deposit determines the credit limit, you can manage your spending more efficiently.


Your credit score can make or break your mortgage’s approval, so keep it in the acceptable range. It will be difficult, but the effort will be worth it because your mortgage will be approved with little to no issues. This way, you can be one step closer to your dream home.

Ottawa Mortgages Services provides top-quality mortgage services in Ottawa. We understand the complexities of the homebuying process, so we work to develop a solution that suits any borrower’s unique circumstances. Call us today at +1 (613) 697-8510 to apply!


Taking a Look at the Top Neighbourhoods in Ottawa This 2023

Ottawa is the capital city of Canada and is known for its vibrant culture and history. It is home to some of the country’s most beautiful and iconic neighbourhoods. These neighbourhoods are full of unique and interesting places to explore, making them great destinations for tourists and local residents alike.

This 2023, it is time to take a look at them all. From the trendy and upscale Westboro to the charming and quaint Billings Bridge, there are plenty of spots to explore in the city. Each neighbourhood offers something different and special, making them a great place to live, work, and visit.

Below are just a few of them for your future ‘home-moving’ reference.

1. Barrhaven

Superb accessibility and convenience that’s what most people are looking for. The “Haven” is a southern neighbourhood known for its abundance of great amenities like schools, clubs, stores, and parks. Prices in the Barrhaven housing market are skyrocketing, and there is a severe shortage of available properties, so if you are planning to make a move, there is no better timing than now.

2. Billings Bridge

This is a great location in Ottawa, close to daycares, schools, and Carleton University. It is especially appealing to those who value tranquilly over nightlife and are interested in purchasing a detached home built before 1960 situated on a sizable, wooded lot.

3. Carlsbad Springs

If you don’t mind a little bit of a commute, this up-and-coming neighbourhood that is a mix of suburban and rural areas offers an excellent selection of single-family homes at prices that are still within your price range. The neighbourhood was formerly a spa and resort.

4. Hintonburg

Ten minutes on foot will take you to the hip homes of Westboro. Real estate and home prices in Hintonburg are on the rise, but you could still locate a great fixer-upper for a fair price if you act quickly.

5. Hunt Club-Windsor Park

This neighbourhood is ideal for new families because of the low prices and high quality of the available single-family houses. Excellent facilities for learning and recreation, but a lengthy drive to work in the city.

6. Kanata

Suburb with excellent educational opportunities and rapid population growth. While many locals are employed in the tech industry, getting to Ottawa for work is a breeze because of the abundance of Park and Ride options. Kanata real estate is hot right now.

7. Orléans

Plenty of housing options, welcoming neighbours, top-notch entertainment, and bilingual (English and French) education are just some of the perks of living in this rapidly expanding eastern suburb. In case you’re looking to start a family, Orléans real estate is a fantastic choice.

8. Stittsville

To the west of Ottawa, close to Kanata, is a vibrant small town with large, attractive homes, schools, campgrounds, parks, local commerce, and not one but two good community hockey teams. The use of a private vehicle is strongly recommended. Stittsville is a fantastic neighbourhood, and many real estate professionals would agree.

9. Tunney’s Pasture

According to Tunney’s Pasture Master Plan, the area that was once dedicated solely to federal government buildings in central west Ottawa will soon become a thriving mixed-use neighbourhood. The Tunney’s Pasture neighbourhood is ripe for real estate investment now, thanks to ongoing development and the forthcoming completion of LRT Phase 2.

10. Westboro

This beachfront community offers a desirable absence of both crime and boredom. There’s always something for sale that can fit your needs, from condos to townhouses to some single-family detached homes.


If you’re looking for a great place to live in Ottawa, these are some of the top neighbourhoods to consider! They offer great amenities and safety and are conveniently located near many of the city’s best attractions. So, whether you’re looking for a family-friendly neighbourhood or a more urban environment, there’s sure to be a neighbourhood on this list that’s perfect for you.

If you are looking for a reliable company that provides mortgage services in Ottawa, look no further than our expertise here at Ottawa Mortgage Services. We offer mortgage agent services for first-time home buyers, self-employed individuals, and commercial clients. We also help with refinancing, pre-approvals, and debt consolidation. Call us today, and let us discuss all your viable mortgage options.


Commercial Mortgage Guide for 2023

A commercial mortgage is a loan that is used specifically to purchase commercial property. This can include anything from office buildings to hotels and typically requires a more extensive and complex appraisal process than residential mortgages. The interest rates on these mortgages are generally higher, and the loan terms are often longer. The lender will take into account the expected income from the property as well as the borrower’s financial history when making their decision.

If you’re planning to invest in commercial properties, you definitely want to be more in tune with the rates these days and other relevant information. You’re in the right place as we share this commercial mortgage guide for 2023:

CMHC-Insured Rates for Commercial Mortgage

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation  (CMHC) offers insurance to mortgage lenders in case their commercial borrowers fail to make mortgage payments. If this happens, the CMHC will step in and reimburse the lender for the amount of the loan that was not paid. By providing this insurance, lenders are given an extra layer of protection and security against potential losses.

CMHC-backed commercial mortgage customers are given access to competitive rates as the lenders are assuming less risk. Instead of using the BBB corporate yield rate like with a traditional commercial mortgage, the CMHC mortgage rate is determined by the Canadian Mortgage Bond Yield.

The CMB yield is, on average, a little more than 1% greater than the 5-Year GOC Bond Yield. This is taken into account when a mortgage lender adds their own premium to the CMB yield based on the borrower’s risk factor. This premium can range from 0.4% to 2%. This brings the total to an expected CMHC mortgage rate that is usually between 1.4% and 3.5% higher than the 5-year GOC bond yield.

Commercial Mortgage Terms

Commercial mortgages can be complex and vary depending on the kind of property, its use, and the buyer. Nonetheless, most mortgages for developed properties such as multi-family dwellings, retail stores, offices, and hospitality locations tend to have similar terms. The specifics of a commercial loan may differ depending on the individual situation, but in general, most provide similar stipulations:

  • Amortization of up to 25 years
  • Loan-to-Value of up to 85 percent
  • Rate Types are either fixed, variable, or combined
  • Term length is anywhere between one and 25 years

Term Length

The loan’s term, or length, can vary between 1 and 25 years, with most commercial mortgages having terms of 5 to 20 years. If a borrower needs a loan for a shorter period of time, such as less than five years, they may opt for bridge financing.

Generally, commercial mortgage borrowers will choose a long-term loan when interest rates are low, but if interest rates are anticipated to decrease, they may opt for a shorter-term loan.


Commercial mortgage loans have a lower loan-to-value (LTV) ratio than residential mortgages. This means that the amount of the loan is limited to a certain percentage of the value of the property. For example, the LTV of a commercial mortgage loan may be up to 85% for certain types of property, such as farmland or vacant lots, but it could be as low as 50% for other types of property. On the other hand, residential mortgages may have an LTV of up to 95%. The lower LTV for commercial mortgages is due to three factors: the risk associated with the loan, the size of the loan, and the income generated from the property.

Why You Need the Help of a Mortgage Agent to Help with Your Commercial Property Mortgage Loan

A commercial mortgage agent in Canada is someone who can help you find the perfect mortgage for your needs and help guide you through the complicated process of obtaining it. They can help with all of the paperwork, such as long environmental reports and building condition reports, to make sure everything is in order when you apply for a mortgage.


Commercial mortgage rates in Ottawa are determined by a variety of factors, such as the type of property, location, loan amount, loan-to-value ratio, credit score, and business type. Despite the fact that the market is currently shifting and interest rates are generally on the rise, Ottawa still offers competitive commercial mortgage rates. It is important to shop around and compare different lenders in order to find the best rate and terms for your business. With proper research and the help of a trusted mortgage agent in Ottawa, you should be able to find a commercial mortgage rate in Ottawa that suits your needs.

Ottawa Mortgage Services provides financial advice and assistance to people looking to buy a home or commercial property, refinance their current mortgage, or consolidate their debt. We specialize in helping first-time home buyers, self-employed individuals, and others. Schedule a meeting with our Ottawa mortgage agent today!

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Here’s How to Calculate Your Debt-to-Income (DTI) Ratio

Evaluating your finances is crucial to your financial success and stability. It is important to keep track of your spending, savings, income, and debts, so you can plan a reasonable budget and make wise financial decisions. An overview of your finances also helps you identify problems before they become too big and recognize opportunities.

One of the most reliable tols to evaluate your financial health is your Debt-to-Income (DTI) ratio. Your DTI ratio measures your total monthly debt payments concerning your monthly gross income.

What Does Your DTI Ratio Mean?

Knowing your DTI ratio can help you make better decisions regarding taking on additional debt and understanding your overall financial situation. 

A high DTI ratio can make it challenging to qualify for loans or credit cards, while a low DTI ratio can make it easier to obtain financial assistance.

A high DTI ratio indicates that most of your income is dedicated to paying off debt, so lenders consider you a higher risk. A high DTI ratio suggests that your debt payments could quickly overtake your income, leaving you unable to pay back the loan or credit card. 

The higher the DTI ratio, the more difficult it is to qualify for loans and credit cards.

Meanwhile, having a low DTI ratio means you have effectively managed your finances and will have no problem paying back loans or credit cards. Lenders look at a low DTI ratio to indicate that you have been paying your debts properly and will be a reliable borrower.

How to Calculate Your DTI Ratio?

Calculating your DTI ratio is relatively easy and can be done in three simple steps:

  1. You’ll need to calculate your total monthly debt payments. Include recurring expenses such as car loans, student loans, credit cards, and other debts.
  1. Add up your total monthly gross income. Take note of all income before taxes, including wages, bonuses, investments, and other sources of income.
  1. Divide your total monthly debt payments by your total monthly gross income.

The resulting number is your DTI ratio.

For example, if your total monthly debt payments are $2,000 and your total monthly gross income is $4,000, your DTI ratio is 50%. A DTI of 50% means that half of your monthly gross income pays off debts.

It’s important to note that lenders may use a slightly different calculation for your DTI ratio. Most lenders will include other expenses such as housing, alimony, and child support in the analysis. 

Additionally, lenders may use an average of your income from the past two years instead of your current income when calculating your DTI ratio.

How to Improve Your DTI Ratio?

The best way to improve your DTI ratio is to pay down your debt consistently and on time. Even making small payments of 10-15% of your total debt every month can positively impact your DTI. 

Focus on reducing your expenses as much as possible. Cut out unnecessary luxuries, save on groceries, and consider consolidating your debt. Consistently doing these things can help you make major improvements to your DTI ratio.


Calculating your Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI) is essential for understanding your debt relative to your income. Knowing your financial standing can help you make better decisions about taking on more debt and provide a measure of your economic situation.

Are you a first-time home buyer in Ottawa, and need reliable assistance? Get in touch with Ottawa Mortgage Services today! You can trust us with your refinancing and debt consolidation needs.