Date: September 4, 2022

If you are looking for a mortgage, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the mortgage stress test and how it will impact your qualifying for a mortgage today.

The stress test has evolved since OSFI (Canada’s financial regulator) implemented the stress test in 2016. At first, it was just high ratio mortgages, and now all mortgages must qualify under the stress test.

The stress test states that borrowers must qualify to carry a mortgage based on the Bank of Canada’s benchmark rate of 5.25% or the borrower’s contract rate plus 2%, whichever is higher.

Present day (as of Sept 4, 2022), the lowest rate you will find for a high ratio mortgage (purchase with less than 20% down payment) is about 4.59%, and so that means that a borrower would qualify at 6.59% as it’s higher than the benchmark rate of 5.25%

OFSI reviews the stress test annually and makes changes accordingly. We are anxiously waiting to see if they will lower the stress test, given that most rates qualify over the current stress test rate.

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