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Insured Mortgages Going To Get Tougher To Get

Genworth Financial Tightens Guidelines

 Genworth Financial, Canada’s 2nd biggest mortgage default insurer, is reportedly making several key changes to its insurance offerings, effective April 18. 

The changes will affect new borrowers with less than 20% equity/down-payment, who use a lender that insures with Genworth.

Among other things, Genworth is reportedly:

  • Shelving its high-ratio rental and Credit Assist programs.
  • Lowering its maximum TDS guideline from 44% to 42% for all products
  • Increasing credit score requirements for its Cash-Out Refinance program, from:
    • 650 to 700  (for 90.01-95% applications)
    • 600 to 660  (for 85.01-90% LTV applications)
  • Imposing new credit score minimums for high-rise (4+ floors) condominiums of:
    • 700  (for 90.01-95% applications)
    • 660  (for 85.01-90% LTV applications)

Genworth did not previously have credit score minimums specific to high-rise condos.

  • Increasing credit score requirements for its Business For Self (Alt. A) product, from:
    • 650 to 700  (for 85.01%-90% applications)
    • 650 to 680  (for 80.01%-85% LTV applications)
    • Genworth is eliminating LTV’s over 90% (previously it allowed applicants to borrow up to 95% LTV)

Genworth said it will accept applications for the above programs (under the old guidelines) until April 17. 

Collectively, these are significant changes for Genworth. So far, the only explanation we’ve seen from them is that the moves were due to “changes in the Canadian economy and housing markets.”  We’re hoping to get a bit more clarity next week on the “why” factor.

One thing seems clear:  If CMHC keeps it’s own guidelines as-is, Genworth will likely lose additional market share to the country’s number one insurer.





Here are a few of my favorite past articles from my Lethbridge real estate and mortgage blog you might have missed or wish to recommend them to a friend.

WANTED: Single Women: - Single women are a hot mortgage market
Common Financial Problems - Avoid these financial mistakes
Get Your Credit Score UP - Invaluable insight into your credit score
Mortgage Guidelines Get Tighter - Harder and harder to borrow money
Is Your Mortgage Company Out of Business in 2009? - What to do when your bank goes broke
What is wrong with MLS - Is your info being abused?
Survivor - Real Estate Edition - Let's vote a few more off the island

lethbridge mortgage broker

Robert May is a Realtor, as well as the broker and owner of Rainbow Realty of Lethbridge Alberta. He is also a licensed mortgage broker and mortgage financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta. He has been in the lethbridge real estate industry since 1993 and offers full MLS services to the Lethbridge real estate market and surrounding area.. He can be found online at

Let me share my 15 years experience in the local Lethbridge real estate and financing market with you! It is the first step towards making a profitable real estate decision





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Robert W May is a Real Estate Broker in Lethbridge Alberta, having now been in the industry for over 23 years. . He was also a licensed Lethbridge mortgage broker and financing expert with Canada First Mortgage of Calgary Alberta for the past 10 years.  He is an industry leader always willing to help train and educate others in how to improve their business models for financial and personal benefit.



Comment balloon 2 commentsRobert May • April 12 2009 02:08PM


Hi Rob

Hope you and your family had a great Easter Weekend.  Just great news eh.  What's next eh?????

Talk to you soon

Lynn Meldrum

Posted by Lynn Meldrum (Lynn Meldrum with Verico Canada First Mortgage) almost 10 years ago

Thankyou so much Lynn.  I havent been up to the last couple meetings and wont make tomorrows, but will make sure to try to get to the one the following week.  Hope to see you then.

Posted by Robert May, Real estate consulting (Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

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