How to look good to a lender

So you’re buying a property and you need a mortgage. In a market where mortgage lenders have been tightening their rules, check out these five ways to polish up your credit score and show you’re ready and able to meet your mortgage obligations.

See your own credit report.

Find out what you look like to a lender. View your credit report for a fee online or for free via or, and if you see mistakes, have them corrected.

Pay your bills promptly.

Lenders see prompt bill payment as proof of your ability to meet your obligations. Don’t get pegged as a late payer just because you’re disorganized.

File your tax return on time.

Some lenders may ask for your latest returns to verify your income. Be sure to keep up to date with your returns to avoid scrambling at the last minute to complete your mortgage application.

Borrow within your means.

Even the best credit score won’t land you a mortgage you can’t afford. Lenders use several measures to determine a borrower’s ability to repay a mortgage, including your gross and total debt service ratios. To qualify for a government-insured mortgage using less than a 20% down payment, for instance, the above ratios can be no more than 39% and 44%, respectively.

Get your paperwork ready.

When it’s time, you’ll need to gather documents to confirm a down payment, verify your employment income and describe the property you’re buying. Or you may need to submit mortgage documents for refinancing.

It’s our job to make the application process as easy as possible. If your credit history isn’t perfect, don’t worry. We can find ways to help you with your situation, whether you’re self-employed or have overcome financial hurdles.

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