Category

Mortgage Pre-Approvals
I am a big fan of the mortgage pre-approval — in any interest rate climate. Even when mortgage interest rates are steady or falling. And doubly so when rates are creeping upwards, as we have seen in the past several months. Why? Because the pre-approval will hold an interest rate for you while you continue...
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All realtors want their clients to be pre-approved prior to house hunting, and all buyers should want the same thing. This is true even though there is never, ever a sure thing with pre-approvals – since buyer circumstances can change or maybe the property being purchased will not be up to snuff. In Canada, a...
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Regular people want to borrow money Earlier this year, I advertised my credit counseling services in Toronto’s major newspapers. The phone rang off the hook. Interestingly, very few people call hoping to enter into a consumer proposal or even bankruptcy. Most want to borrow MORE MONEY, as a way to solve their financial problems. No...
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Income Tax Time There are a few things in life we all covet dearly – like a trusted auto mechanic, a great family doctor, or a dry cleaner who actually removes stains, etc. For me, you can add my tax accountant to this list. In one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes, there were always lineups...
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Dear Ross, two years ago my parents ran into debt problems and went to see an insolvency “expert.” He reviewed their information and informed them the equity in their home was at risk. He advised I register a mortgage for $140,000 on their property using my company as the ‘lender’. We didn’t actually lend my...
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You never know what’s around the corner when family finances are concerned. Met a couple last week who retired early at 53, with guaranteed pension income of $74,000 between the two of them. And when they hit 65 (earlier for CPP if they so choose) their OAS and CPP will also kick in. They had...
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Dear Ross, we are looking around for our first home, and we want to know how much mortgage we will qualify for. If we ask for a pre-approval, will you have to check our credit history? Is that a ‘hard inquiry’, and will it reduce our score? Yes, if we do a formal request for...
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A couple of days ago a friend sent me an email asking me to support his efforts in Relay for Life on behalf of the Canadian Cancer Society. No problem, I clicked the link and quickly sized things up. His campaign goal was a modest $200, and I decided $20 from me was about right,...
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Today I screwed up and arrived at Pearson International with only fifty minutes to spare before our flight was due to depart for Las Vegas. It’s a celebration trip – my mum just turned 80, and Svetlana and I were looking forward to a few days of fun with her. When we got to the...
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You know those annoying unsolicited faxes you receive in your business fax machine each day? I usually save up a few, then sit down and call the “don’t send to me ever again” number they have in the fine print at the bottom. So it surprises even me to admit here that I became one...
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