7 Tips For A Smooth Mortgage Approval

Mortgage Approval

Securing a mortgage approval is a pivotal step in buying a home, especially in a competitive market like North Vancouver. Understanding the process and what lenders look for can significantly enhance your chances of approval. Here are seven essential tips to guide you through securing a mortgage for your dream home.

1. Check Your Credit Score

Your credit score is a critical factor in determining your mortgage eligibility. A higher score can not only increase your chances of approval but also help you secure a lower interest rate. Obtain a copy of your credit report, check for errors, and take steps to improve your score, such as paying down debts and making bill payments on time.

If you like a free resource to check your credit score, visit www.clearscore.com

2. Understand Your Budget

Getting a mortgage approval requires your assess your finances to understand how much you can afford. Use the rule of thumb that your monthly home expenses should not exceed 39% of your gross household income. This includes your mortgage payment, property taxes, strata fees (if applicable), and heating costs.

If you get pre-approved with me, I will create a customized budget tailored to your specific needs all free of charge!

3. Save Your Down Payment

Min. Down payment for mortgage approval

The size of your down payment can significantly affect your mortgage approval. In Canada, the minimum down payment is 5% of the home’s purchase price, but a down payment of 20% or more will save you from needing mortgage loan insurance, reducing your borrowing costs.

4. Stabilize Your Employment

Lenders prefer borrowers with stable, predictable income. Being employed in the same job for at least two years is typically seen as a sign of financial stability, making you a more attractive loan candidate.

If you’re considering a new mortage or want to refinance your existing mortgage, make sure you don’t change employment until after the mortgag has funded.

5. Limit Your Debts

Your debt-to-income ratio, which compares your monthly debt payments to your income, should ideally be below 44%. Lower debt levels make you more appealing to lenders, as it suggests you can manage additional mortgage payments.

Make sure you make payments on time for any existing debts. It’s important not to take on any new debts such as auto loans, credit cards, and lines of credit. Too much debt can reduce your maximum mortgage qualifications.

6. Get Mortgage Approval via Pre-Approval

Mortgage pre-approval gives you a clear idea of what you can afford and shows sellers you’re a serious buyer. It involves a credit check and an assessment of your financial situation to determine how much the lender is willing to loan you.

Be aware that any online pre-approval hasn’t been fully reviewed and is essentially worthless. When you work with me, I will fully underwrite (credit check, verify documents) your pre-approval to avoid any potential issues in your approval.

7. Prepare Your Documents

Organize all necessary documentation beforehand to streamline the approval process. This typically includes proof of income, tax returns, employment verification, and information on debts and assets.

Employment documents may include a current pay stub, a letter of employment, T1 Tax returns, T4’s, Notice of Assessments, and business financials, if any.

Down payment is confirmed via a full 90-day history of your bank accounts where your funds are held.

Property docs typically include accepted offers (when buying), MLS listing, Strata docs, (if any) property tax statements, lease agreements if rented.


Navigating the mortgage approval process in North Vancouver and all over Canada doesn’t have to be daunting. By preparing your finances, understanding what lenders are looking for, and following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to securing a mortgage for your new home.

For personalized advice and assistance with your mortgage application, visit Brent Shepheard – Mortgage Broker, North Vancouver. Our expertise and local market knowledge can help make your home buying journey as smooth and successful as possible.