Introducing Enriched Academy

General Angela Calla 8 Aug

Dominion Lending Centres is proud to announce the launch of EnRICHed Academy’s “Smart Start for Financial Genius”! This program has been designed to educate young adults (13-23) and their families on the fundamentals that build wealth in an entertaining, funny and entirely interactive way.

No program like this currently exists, and the need and demand across North America is at an all-time high. This is our way of giving back to communities across Canada, ensuring our youth embrace financial literacy.

Click here to view the EnRICHed Academy trailer on YouTube.

Why we created EnRICHed

  • Statistically, 6 out of 10 Canadians live paycheque to paycheque, which means if their income stopped for only one pay period they’d have to rely on a Line of Credit or Credit Card to make ends meet 
  • From 1989 to 2006, total credit card charges rose from $69 Billion to $1.8 Trillion; a 2,600% increase 
  • Today the average household credit card debt is $16,007
  • The yearly savings rate of an average Canadian has gone from over 12% of income in the early 90s to under 2% today
  • Household debt in Canada has more than doubled over the past 10 years
  • 84% percent of college graduates in North America indicated they needed more education on financial management topics. Parents expect the schools to teach financial literacy and schools expect parents to. The fact is, most parents and teachers are ill equipped to teach students and kids on this subject and, therefore, don’t
  • The average college graduate is $23,186 in debt

What EnRICHed looks like

The program comes in a box and contains 5 DVDs of entertaining but highly educational video on creating a foundation for building wealth. There is a 100-page workbook that the family will work through that includes activities and exercises as well as other materials that correspond with the topics covered in the program.

15 key topics covered by EnRICHed

  1. Understanding money 101
  2. Why some people don’t save money… no matter how much they make
  3. How much we actually spend at an early age
  4. Saving money vs Making money
  5. Why starting to save at an early age is critical
  6. The magic behind compound interest and how it works
  7. How to buy your first investment property by the age of 23
  8. How to get into the stock market
  9. How credit cards work
  10. Good debt vs Bad debt
  11. How taxes work on a paycheque
  12. Why goals are critical to building wealth
  13. The difference between a dream and a goal
  14. How to write down goals and take action
  15. The importance of building your personal brand

Feel free to give me a call or send me an email if you’d like to learn more about EnRICHed Academy.

Angela Calla 604-802-3983

Importance of Credit

General Angela Calla 7 Aug

A good credit report and credit score are important factors in determining whether you will be approved for a mortgage. Following are some simple steps you can take to maintain a good credit history and improve your chances of being approved.

What is a credit score?
Your credit score is a number that illustrates your financial health at a specific point in time. It also serves as an indicator of your financial past, and how consistently you pay off your bills and debts. This is one of the factors mortgage professionals consider in qualifying you for a mortgage.

Checking your credit score
To find out your credit score, contact Canada’s two credit-reporting agencies: Equifax Canada at and TransUnion Canada at

For a fee, these agencies will provide you with an online copy of your credit score as well as a credit report – a detailed summary of your credit history, employment history and personal financial information on file. You can also obtain a free copy of your credit report by mail every year. If you find any errors in your report, notify the credit-reporting agency and the organization responsible for the inaccuracy immediately.

Credit history
It’s important to begin building a credit history as early as possible. You can start by applying for –


and responsibly using – a credit card. Your financial institution or mortgage professional can help.

Boosting your credit
Demonstrating your ability to manage credit is key to maintaining a good credit score. There are a number of things you can do to improve your credit score, including:

  • Always pay your bills in full and on time. If you can’t pay the full amount, try to pay at least the required minimum shown on your monthly statement
  • Pay off your debts (such as loans, credit cards, lines of credit, etc) as quickly as possible
  • Never go over the limit on your credit cards, and try to keep your balances well below the limits
  • Reduce the number of credit card or loan applications you make

Once your credit score has improved, work with your mortgage professional to obtain a mortgage that works for you.

To find out more about credit scores and reports, visit the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada website at and download or request a free copy of their guide, Understanding Your Credit Report and Credit Score. This guide provides practical, straightforward information on how to obtain and understand your credit report and score, as well as how to build and maintain a good credit history.

Questions on your credit and mortgage options?

Contact Angela Calla Mortgage Team 604-802-3983

Maximizing Mortgage Payments

General Angela Calla 7 Aug

Canadians seeking a sure-fire investment return should look no further than their mortgage. Paying it down as quickly as you can will, in most cases, result in a stellar return on your investment.
Prepayment options are worth exploring because paying down even a small amount of principal (the true cost of the mortgage loan minus the interest) has huge benefits over the life of a mortgage.

Mortgages are front-loaded when it comes to interest meaning, in the early years, most of the money you pay goes toward paying the interest on the amount you borrow as opposed to the principal.

For instance, if you borrow 95% of your home’s value, you’re paying $3 of interest for every $1 of principal you pay. So, by paying an extra $1 of principal, that’s $3 less you’ll have to pay in interest, at least in the early stages of a mortgage.

Range of prepayment options
There are a variety of ways to make prepayments work to pay down your mortgage faster. We can discuss your specific needs, but following are some general rules.

Most lenders allow you to make a lump-sum payment of anywhere between 10% and 25% of the value of your mortgage per year. The lump-sum payment is based on either the original amount you borrowed or the amount currently outstanding. Since mortgages decrease with each payment, it’s best to negotiate a lump-sum payment option based on the original amount you borrow. That way, if you come into an inheritance, a big bonus or save a large sum of money, you can pay down the largest amount possible.


Another factor to consider is when you can make a lump-sum payment. Some mortgages allow prepayments during the year, while others permit it only on the anniversary date. Still others allow you to make prepayments on the day you make your regular payment.

If you can’t pay the maximum prepayment amount, it’s still worth your while to at least make some extra payment, even if it’s a few thousand dollars each year. That will still save you thousands of dollars in interest payments.

Another prepayment option involves taking advantage of flexible payments. Most lenders allow you to increase your regular payment up to a set maximum, such as 15%, while others allow you to double up your payments.

If, for instance, you have a $1,000 per month mortgage payment and increase it by 15% to $1,150, you could shave off as much as five-and-a-half years on a $200,000 mortgage.

You can also pay off your mortgage faster by moving to a different payment schedule. Instead of making monthly payments, make them biweekly or even weekly. Using an accelerated mortgage – where you make payments every two weeks as opposed to twice a month – you actually make one extra payment in the calendar year. By paying more and paying faster, you reduce your principal earlier, which lowers the amount of interest you pay.

Another option is to round up your mortgage payment from, say, $766 to an even figure such as $800, because any extra little bit goes toward the principal.

As always, if you have any questions about paying off your mortgage faster or about your mortgage in general, I’m here to help!

Angela Calla Mortgage Team 604-802-3983

Don’t fear the small mortgage lender

General Angela Calla 7 Aug


Don’t fear the small mortgage lender

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Aug. 03 2012, 7:00 PM EDT

Last updated Tuesday, Aug. 07 2012, 6:43 AM EDT

Mortgage lenders come in all sizes, ranging from RBC – the biggest in the country – to tiny wholesale lenders and credit unions.

When it comes to entrusting a company with your biggest debt, odds are, name recognition matters to you. Consciously or subconsciously, people gravitate to well-known lenders partly because there’s a feeling of safety in “big.”

Even when a smaller lender has tantalizing rates and the best terms, homeowners sometimes tend to avoid it if they don’t know the name. An oft-cited reason for that is fear that the lender will go out of business. And that is certainly not unprecedented.

If we’re talking about “prime” lenders – i.e., those catering to more creditworthy customers – the list of extinct lenders includes companies like Abode Mortgage, Citizens Bank, Dundee Bank, Maple Trust and ResMor Trust. Mind you, most of these lenders were purchased by others.

Just recently, we buried another lender. FirstLine, once one of the biggest mortgage companies in the country, closed its doors Tuesday after 25 years in business.

People worry about lenders closing down for one main reason: they’re scared the lender will force them to repay their mortgage early. In reality, however, that rarely happens with prime lenders.

The bigger risk has been with subprime lenders. In fact, some subprime borrowers have even lost their homes in cases where they couldn’t refinance elsewhere after their lender shut down.

But if you’re a qualified borrower with provable income, do you really need to be worried if your lender goes out of business?

“Not at all,” says Boris Bozic, president and chief executive officer at Merix Financial.

“I always find it fascinating that people are concerned about smaller lenders,” he adds. “We’re not deposit takers. We’re giving money, not taking money. The risk is all ours.”

Many second- and third-tier lenders get their funding from large financial institutions and that funding is fairly stable, Mr. Bozic says.

“Even if a company were to run into financial difficulties, the vast majority of the time there are backup servicers in place.” This sort of contingency planning is almost always required by the parties funding a lender’s mortgages.

If a lender were to close, Mr. Bozic says another financial institution would simply take over the mortgage.

When a lender sells your mortgage to another party, you just keep making the same payments like nothing happened – albeit to a different company, in some cases. The new lender is generally required to honour the terms of your old mortgage contract, Mr. Bozic says.

The one thing that will change is the renewal offer you receive at maturity. Generally, the new owner of your mortgage will be the one making your renewal offer. That could be good or bad depending on how competitive the new lender is. But smart consumers always shop their lender’s renewal offer anyway, so this isn’t a major issue.

Overall, the probability of a lender disappearing is low. On its own, it’s not enough reason to avoid a less prominent company.

That’s especially true when the lender has the best deal in the market – which is the case with many smaller lenders today. If you can find a 0.10 percentage point lower rate, you’ll save roughly $1,200 over 60 months on a standard $250,000 mortgage.

If you’re interested in getting the best rate possible, you need to be open to saving money with a smaller mortgage company. Just be sure to get independent advice so you can sidestep the ones with onerous contract restrictions. Examples of those include fully closed terms, costly penalty calculations, porting restrictions, refinance limitations, and so on. Some lenders have rather unpleasant fine print, but that’s true for micro and mega lenders alike.

There are certainly reasons to choose a major bank or large credit union for your mortgage, including branch accessibility, integrating your mortgage with your banking or credit line, and access to other financial products. But it’s rarely necessary to shun lesser-known lenders for fear they’ll close and leave you stranded.

Questions? Contact Angela Calla Mortgage Team 604-802-3983 or