Securing a mortgage is a significant step on the path to homeownership, and understanding what mortgage lenders in Canada consider when evaluating your application is essential. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or looking to be a real estate investor, the qualifying for a mortgage can be rigorous. In this article, we’ll explore the key factors that mortgage lenders in Canada look for when assessing your eligibility for a home loan.

1. Credit Score and History:

One of the first things mortgage lenders examine is your credit score and credit history. Your credit score provides insight into your creditworthiness and financial responsibility. A strong credit score demonstrates your ability to manage debt and make on-time payments, increasing your chances of qualifying for a mortgage and better interest rates.

2. Income and Employment:

Lenders need assurance that you have a stable source of income to meet your mortgage obligations. They will evaluate your employment history, income stability, and job security. If you’re self-employed, expect more scrutiny in proving your income.

3. Debt Servicing Ratio’s:

Your debt-to-income ratio is a critical factor. Lenders calculate your debt servicing ratios by comparing your monthly debt payments to your gross monthly income. Lower ratios indicates that you have more disposable income to cover mortgage payments, making you a less risky borrower.

4. Down Payment:

The size of your down payment is another crucial consideration. In Canada, a larger down payment can improve your chances of qualifying for a mortgage and give you more options. A down payment of 20% or more can also help you avoid the cost of default mortgage insurance.

5. Employment Status:

Your employment status is a key determinant. Lenders typically prefer borrowers with stable, full-time employment. Contract workers, part-time employees, and those who are self-employed may encounter more stringent requirements.

6. Property Appraisal:

The property you intend to purchase plays a role in the lender’s decision. An appraisal is conducted to assess the property’s value and condition. Lenders want to ensure the property is worth the amount you’re borrowing.

7. Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV):

The loan-to-value ratio compares the amount of the mortgage to the property’s appraised value. Lenders usually prefer a lower LTV, which reduces their risk. As such, a larger down payment will lead to a more favourable LTV ratio.

8. Mortgage Type and Terms:

The type of mortgage and its terms also affect the qualification process. Fixed-rate mortgages may have different qualifying requirements than variable-rate mortgages.

9. Credit History and Debt Behavior:

Beyond your credit score, lenders examine your credit history and recent financial behavior. They may look for signs of responsible financial management or any red flags like recent delinquencies or collections.

10. Additional Documentation:

Lenders may request additional documents, such as bank statements, tax returns, and proof of assets. Be prepared to provide this information to support your application.


Mortgage lenders in Canada have specific criteria to evaluate your eligibility for a home loan. Being well-prepared and proactive in managing your financial health can significantly increase your chances of qualifying for a mortgage and secure favourable terms. Before applying for a mortgage, it’s wise to consult with a mortgage professional who can guide you through the process and help you prepare a strong application. Ultimately, understanding what lenders look for is the first step toward achieving your homeownership goals.