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[LENDER UPDATE] Additional Support for Homeowners Impacted by COVID-19

Additional Support for Homeowners Impacted by COVID-19 | Updated March 19, 2020
(Download Update)

Through Canada Guaranty’s Homeownership Solutions Program, Lenders have always had the ability to  implement a number of approved workout solutions directly with their borrowers and without prior approval. Given the evolving situation, we are pleased to highlight our continued support and commitment to those directly affected by the current pandemic.

> Please review the attached Lender Update for complete details.

As always, our Loss Management Team is available to provide ongoing support and consultation to facilitate the implementation of a suitable workout. Should you have any questions or wish to discuss your client’s unique circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team.

Thank you,


Mary Putnam
Vice President, Sales and Marketing
Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance Company

Telephone: 416.640.8936
Toll Free: 866.414.9109 ext. 8936

announced a new benchmark rate that will apply to all insured mortgages effective April 6, 2020.



§  The weekly median 5-year fixed insured mortgage rate will be calculated by the Bank of Canada (“BOC”) from federally-backed mortgage insurance applications adjudicated by mortgage insurers; plus a buffer of 200 basis points, to be set by the Minister of Finance.


§  The weekly BOC benchmark rate will be published on a Wednesday ( and will come into effect at 12:01 a.m. the following Monday.


For mortgage insurance qualification purposes, all insured homebuyers must qualify for mortgage financing using an interest rate that is the greater of the contract mortgage rate or the Bank of Canada benchmark rate (i.e., the Bank of Canada’s median 5-year fixed insured mortgage rate plus 2% buffer). Below, please find additional clarity regarding the application of the benchmark rate:


§  All new mortgage applications submitted for insurance are subject to the qualifying interest rate in effect as of the date of submission.


§  Applications for mortgage insurance approved prior to the rate increase are still valid and do not require resubmission to reflect the rate change.


§  If the mortgage insurance application is received after the effective date of the new benchmark rate, the previous lower benchmark rate can be used, provided the lender made a legally binding commitment to make the loan to the borrower prior to the effective date of the benchmark rate change.


As a reminder, Canada Guaranty’s Vantage underwriting system will be updated to reflect the new BOC benchmark rate for qualification purposes. As a result, Lenders must continue to submit the contract rate for the loan upon submission of the mortgage insurance application.

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