Can My Mortgage Renewal Be Denied? A Surprising Reality for Canadian Homeowners

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Can My Mortgage Renewal Be Denied

Imagine this: After years of diligently paying your mortgage, the time to renew your mortgage finally arrives. You submit your application, confident that the process is a mere formality. But then, the unthinkable happens – your mortgage renewal is denied. Shocking, isn't it? Yet, this reality is far more common than you might think. In fact, a staggering 1 in 5 Canadian homeowners face the risk of being denied a mortgage renewal, according to a recent study by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

As a homeowner, this statistic is both alarming and eye-opening. It begs the question: If you've been making your payments on time, why would your mortgage renewal be denied? The truth is, there are several factors at play, and being aware of them can mean the difference between a smooth renewal process with a current mortgage lender or facing the potential loss of your home.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the intricate world of mortgage renewals, exploring the reasons why your application may be rejected and providing practical solutions to navigate this challenging situation. So, let's dive in and examine the following:

Understanding the Mortgage Renewal Process

Before we explore the reasons for denial, it's essential to understand the mortgage renewal process itself. In Canada, most mortgages have a term of five years, after which the homeowner must renew their mortgage with the same lender or switch to a new one.

Typically, your lender will send you a mortgage renewal letter a few months before the end of your term, outlining the new interest rate and terms of the mortgage contract. At this point, you have three options:

  1. Renew with your current lender: If the offered terms and rates are favorable, you can simply sign the renewal agreement and continue with your existing lender.
  2. Negotiate with your current lender: If the terms are not satisfactory, you can attempt to negotiate better rates or conditions with your lender.
  3. Switch lenders: If negotiation fails or you find a better deal elsewhere, you can transfer your mortgage to a new lender.

While the mortgage renewal request process may seem straightforward, it's crucial to be proactive and vigilant, as even a slight misstep can lead to your application being denied.

Reasons for Mortgage Renewal Denial

There are several factors that can contribute to your mortgage renewal being denied, ranging from credit score issues to changes in your financial situation. So, what happens if your mortgage renewal is denied? Let's explore some of the most common reasons:

  1. Poor Credit Score: Your credit score is a crucial determinant in the mortgage renewal process. If your credit score has taken a significant hit since your last renewal or mortgage application, your chances of being denied increase substantially. Lenders view a low credit score as a sign of financial instability, making it harder for you to secure a favorable mortgage.
  2. Missed Mortgage Payments: Even if your credit score is in good standing, missed or late mortgage payments can raise red flags for lenders. They may perceive you as a higher risk and deny your renewal application, especially if you've missed multiple payments.
  3. Employment and Income Changes: If your employment or income status has changed since your last renewal, it can impact your ability to secure a new mortgage. Lenders want to ensure that you have a stable and consistent source of income to make your monthly mortgage payments.
  4. High Debt-to-Income Ratio: Lenders evaluate your debt-to-income ratio to determine your ability to manage additional debt. If your ratio is too high, indicating that your debt levels are disproportionate to your income, your renewal application may be denied.
  5. Property Value Fluctuations: If the value of your property has decreased significantly since your last renewal, it can affect the lender's decision. They may view the property as insufficient collateral to secure the mortgage, leading to a denial.
  6. Changes in Lending Guidelines: Lenders periodically update their lending guidelines and criteria, which can impact your eligibility for a mortgage renewal. Changes in regulations or economic conditions may result in stricter requirements, making it harder for some homeowners to qualify.

While these reasons may seem daunting, it's essential to remember that being denied a mortgage renewal is not the end of the road. There are strategies and solutions available to navigate this challenge successfully.

what happens if your mortgage renewal is denied

Strategies to Overcome Mortgage Renewal Denial

If you find yourself facing a mortgage renewal denial, don't panic. Instead, consider the following strategies to increase your chances of securing a new mortgage:

1. Work with a Mortgage Broker

One of the most effective strategies is to enlist the help of an experienced mortgage broker. Brokers have access to a vast network of lenders, including traditional banks, credit unions, private mortgage lenders, and other financial institutions. They can assess your unique situation and present you with a range of options tailored to your financial profile.

Mortgage brokers can also help you:

  • Understand the reasons behind your denial and provide guidance on improving your creditworthiness.
  • Negotiate with lenders on your behalf to secure the best possible rate and mortgage term.
  • Explore alternative lending options, such as private or "B" lenders, which may have more flexible qualification criteria.

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2. Improve Your Credit Score

If your mortgage renewal was denied due to a poor credit score, taking proactive steps to improve your credit can significantly increase your chances of success. Here are some tips to boost your credit score:

  • Obtain a copy of your credit report and dispute any errors or inaccuracies.
  • Pay down outstanding debts and maintain a low credit utilization ratio.
  • Ensure timely payments for all bills, including utilities, credit cards, and loans.
  • Consider consolidating high-interest debts into a single, more manageable payment.

Remember, improving your credit score takes time, but even small improvements can make a big difference in your mortgage renewal application. Learn more about how to improve your credit score.

3. Increase Your Income or Reduce Expenses

If your denial was due to a high debt-to-income ratio or insufficient income, consider ways to increase your income or reduce your expenses. This could involve taking on a second job, starting a side business, or cutting back on non-essential expenses.

Additionally, you may want to explore debt consolidation options or negotiate with creditors to lower your monthly payments, improving your debt-to-income ratio.

4. Explore Alternative Lending Options

If traditional lenders continue to deny your mortgage renewal, it may be time to explore alternative lending options. Private lenders, also known as "B" lenders, often have more flexible qualification criteria and may be willing to work with homeowners who have been denied by traditional lenders.

However, it's important to note that private lenders typically charge higher interest rates and may have stricter terms and conditions. Working with a reputable mortgage broker can help you navigate these options and ensure you find a mortgage solution that fits your needs and budget.

5. Consider Selling Your Home

In some cases, selling your home and downsizing to a more affordable property may be the best solution. While not an ideal scenario, it can alleviate financial stress and provide you with a fresh start. Consult with a real estate agent to understand the current market value of your home and explore your options.

Real-Life Examples and Statistics

To better illustrate the potential impact of a mortgage renewal denial, let's examine some real-life examples and statistics:

Scenario Outcome Impact
A couple with a good credit score and stable employment history is denied a mortgage renewal due to a missed mortgage payment during a temporary job loss. They work with a mortgage broker to explore alternative lending options and secure a mortgage from a private lender with slightly higher interest rates. While they pay more in interest, they avoid losing their home and can continue building equity until their financial situation improves.
A self-employed individual with a fluctuating income is denied a mortgage renewal due to a high debt-to-income ratio. They focus on reducing their expenses, consolidating debts, and increasing their income through additional contracts. After improving their debt-to-income ratio, they successfully renew their mortgage with a traditional lender. By addressing their financial situation, they avoid the higher interest rates and fees associated with alternative lenders.
A homeowner with a poor credit score is denied a mortgage renewal by their current lender. They work diligently to improve their credit score over the course of a year, including resolving outstanding debts and correcting errors on their credit report. With an improved credit score, they successfully renew their mortgage with a new lender. By taking proactive steps to improve their creditworthiness, they secure a favorable mortgage and avoid potential financial hardship.

According to a study by the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP), approximately 18% of mortgage renewals in Canada are denied or require alternative lending solutions. Additionally, a survey by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada revealed that nearly 25% of Canadian homeowners have experienced difficulties with their mortgage renewal process.

These statistics highlight the importance of being prepared and proactive when it comes to mortgage renewals. By understanding the potential challenges and having a solid strategy in place, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome for current mortgage front.


The possibility of having your mortgage renewal denied is a harsh reality that many Canadian homeowners face. However, by being aware of the reasons behind a potential denial and exploring the various strategies available, you can navigate this challenge with confidence.

Remember, working with a reputable mortgage broker, improving your creditworthiness, exploring alternative lending options, and being proactive in addressing financial challenges can significantly increase your chances of securing a favorable mortgage renewal.

Don't let a mortgage renewal denial derail your dreams of homeownership. Embrace the knowledge and resources available to you, and take control of your financial future. With the right approach, you can overcome this obstacle and continue building a secure and stable foundation for yourself and your family.

Mortgage Renewal FAQ

Can I access my home equity during the mortgage renewal process?

Yes, the mortgage renewal process presents an excellent opportunity to access your home equity through a home equity loan or a refinance. By leveraging your home's equity, you can secure funds for various purposes, such as home renovations, debt consolidation, or investment opportunities. Read more about the mortgage renewal process.

How does my home equity affect my mortgage renewal options?

Lenders consider your home equity as collateral when evaluating your mortgage renewal application. A higher equity stake in your property can increase your chances of securing a favorable renewal, as it reduces the lender's risk.

How does my employment status impact my mortgage renewal?

Your employment and income status play a crucial role in the mortgage renewal process. Lenders want to ensure that you have a stable and consistent source of income to make your monthly mortgage payments. Any significant changes in your employment or income situation, such as job loss or a decrease in earnings, can negatively impact your renewal chances.

What can I do if my income has decreased since my last renewal?

If your income has decreased, you may need to provide additional documentation or explanations to your lender. Consider exploring options to supplement your income, such as taking on a second job or starting a side business. Additionally, working with a mortgage broker can help you navigate alternative lending options that may be more suitable for your current financial situation.

What are the common reasons for a mortgage renewal to be declined?

There are several reasons why your mortgage renewal may be declined, including:

What should I do if my mortgage renewal is declined?

If your mortgage renewal is declined, don't panic. Consider the following steps:

  1. Understand the reasons behind the denial and work on addressing them (e.g., improving credit score, reducing debt).
  2. Seek assistance from a mortgage broker to explore alternative lending options.
  3. Negotiate with your current lender or shop around for better rates and terms.
  4. Explore options to increase your income or reduce expenses.

How do lower credit scores affect my mortgage renewal?

A lower credit score can significantly impact your chances of securing a favorable mortgage renewal. Lenders view a low credit score as an indicator of financial instability, making it harder for you to qualify for the best rates and terms.

Will missed monthly payments affect my mortgage renewal?

Yes, missed or late mortgage payments can raise red flags for lenders during the renewal process. Even a single missed payment can be viewed as a financial warning sign, potentially leading to a denial or less favorable terms.

What is an amortization period, and how does it relate to my mortgage renewal?

The amortization period is the total length of time it takes to pay off your mortgage in full. During the mortgage renewal process, you may have the opportunity to adjust your amortization period, potentially lowering or increasing your monthly payments.

Can I switch lenders when renewing my existing mortgage?

Absolutely! The mortgage renewal period presents an excellent opportunity to shop around and switch lenders if you find a better deal elsewhere. Working with a mortgage broker can help you compare rates and terms from various lenders, ensuring you secure the most favorable mortgage for your current financial situation.

What are the financial warning signs that could impact my mortgage renewal?

Several financial warning signs can raise concerns during the mortgage renewal process, including:

  • High debt-to-income ratio
  • Recent job loss or income instability
  • Missed payments on other financial obligations (e.g., credit cards, loans)
  • Significant decrease in property value
  • Recent bankruptcy or consumer proposal

How can I address financial warning signs before my mortgage renewal?

If you identify any potential financial warning signs, it's essential to take proactive steps to address them. This may involve:

  • Paying down outstanding debts
  • Increasing your income through additional employment or a side business
  • Resolving any delinquent payments or credit issues
  • Consulting with a financial advisor or mortgage broker for guidance
Rushi Parikh
Written By Rushi Parikh
"Empowering your dreams with personalized mortgage solutions tailored to your unique financial needs."