Personal Finance

7 Proven Strategies for Mortgage Approval Success in 2024

In the quest for homeownership, the pivotal moment arrives when you apply for a mortgage. This process, though seemingly daunting, can be streamlined with meticulous preparation. We, at Rate, understand the significance of this step and have curated seven strategies to not just secure mortgage approval but to optimize your financial standing.

Proven Strategies for Mortgage Approval

1. Check Your Credit Score

Your credit score is the bedrock of your financial trustworthiness. In Canada, scores range from 300 to 900. Aim for at least 660, though higher is preferred. Regularly monitor your score through reputable online services. Besides the numerical aspect, delve into your credit report, analyzing late payments, open accounts, overall debt, and credit history length.

2. Save a Larger Down Payment

The down payment isn’t just a formality; it’s a gateway to favorable mortgage terms. In Canada, the minimum down payment varies based on the home’s price. Save diligently, as a larger down payment not only reduces borrowing but also enhances approval chances. Use our mortgage payment calculator to explore different scenarios.

If the purchase price is less than $500,000, a fee of 5% of the purchase price is applied. For purchase prices ranging from $500,000 to $999,999, the fee is a combination of 5% of $500,000 plus an additional 10% of the amount exceeding $500,000. If the purchase price is equal to or exceeds $1 million, a fee of 20% of the total purchase price is applicable.

3. Keep Your Income Stable

Maintain a stable income during the mortgage application. Full-time employment strengthens your application, and longevity with an employer is a bonus. In times of economic uncertainty, income stability gains paramount importance. If self-employed, consult a licensed mortgage broker for expert guidance.

4. Pay Down Existing Debt

Your existing debts influence your mortgage approval. While not mandatory to have zero balances, keeping debts low enhances borrowing capacity and aids approval. A healthy debt-to-income ratio is pivotal for lenders.

5. Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval

A mortgage pre-approval sets the groundwork for a seamless home-buying journey. Lenders assess your financial situation, offering a predefined mortgage amount, interest rate, and term. This not only streamlines house-hunting but also positions you for swift action in securing your dream home.

6. Get a Great Rate

Securing a great mortgage rate is a two-way street. By comparing rates from different lenders or engaging a mortgage broker, you can often find lower rates. A lower rate not only eases monthly payments but also increases your borrowing capacity.

7. Know What You Can Afford

Realistic financial assessment is key. Consider mortgage payments, living costs, and other financial obligations. Factor in future changes, such as job shifts or family expansion. Resist the allure of the approved amount; spend within your means for long-term financial security.


In the pursuit of mortgage approval, meticulous preparation is non-negotiable. Elevate your financial standing by nurturing a high credit score, saving for a substantial down payment, maintaining income stability, managing existing debts, obtaining a pre-approval, securing a great rate, and practicing financial honesty. Your journey towards homeownership begins with strategic financial empowerment.