Real Estate and Mortgage Institute of Canada Inc.
2175 Sheppard Ave E, Suite 307
Mississauga: 1065 Canadian Pl, Suite 203
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What is a high ratio mortgage?

A high ratio mortgage is a mortgage that exceeds 80% loan to value.  This refers to either a purchase where the purchaser has less than 20% for a down payment or, in a refinancing scenario, where there is less than 20% equity in the property.  

what is a high ratio mortgageIf a mortgage is provided by a federally regulated bank, that bank must obtain mortgage default insurance on the loan if the loan exceeds 80% loan to value (referred to as a high ratio mortgage).  This is important to know because the premium for this default insurance is typically added to the mortgage amount and will increase the mortgage payment.

If the high ratio mortgage is not provided by a federally regulated bank, then mortgage default insurance is not required.  Many lenders that do not use mortgage default insurers refer to their mortgages as “self-insured”.  This simply means that the lender will charge a lender’s fee (referred to as the self-insured fee), typically similar in amount to a default insurer’s fee.  The lender will often use these fees to create a reserve fund that can be accessed to help offset losses suffered by a borrower’s default. 

Mortgage brokering in Ontario is regulated by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) and requires a license.  To obtain a license you must first pass an accredited course.  The Real Estate and Mortgage Institute of Canada Inc. (REMIC) is accredited by FSCO to provide the course.  For more information please visit us at or call us at 877-447-3642.

Pause for clarification – self-insured lender

A “Self-Insured” lender is simply a lender that does not use default insurance, but that charges a lender’s fee and pools this money in a reserve fund to help offset the risks associated with lending high ratio mortgages without the protection of default insurance.  The amount of this fee is typically similar to what a borrower would pay for default insurance.


Joe White
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Joe White

President at REMIC
Joseph J. White has been involved in the mortgage industry since 1988. He began his career as a mortgage agent, and in the mortgage lending sector of the industry he has held positions as National Sales Manager and VP of Sales with two national mortgage lenders.

In the industry’s mortgage brokering sector he is a licensed mortgage broker and has been a partner at a successful mortgage brokerage, manager at two national brokerages, principal broker at a commercial brokerage, founder of a mortgage investment corporation, and is owner and principal broker of his own boutique brokerage.

As an educator, Mr. White has been educating the mortgage industry since 1996.During his 14 years at Seneca College he was a professor and program coordinator and is currently President of the Real Estate and Mortgage Institute of Canada Inc. (REMIC).Mr. White has developed several courses for Seneca College, including the first mortgage broker education program in Ontario,as well as the mortgage agent course.He has written two textbooks used in the mortgage industry and by over 20 Ontario colleges with over twenty thousand copies in print, in addition to several business focused books and e-books. He has instructed over fifteen thousand students and in 2003 won the Excellence Award for teaching and leadership excellence at Seneca College.He can be contacted at
Joe White
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One Comment

  • Caroline Kuchinsky April 9, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    Great article! To add more, I think that dealing with private money lenders is more convenient than with bank institutions. First, they use a tailored approach; I, for example, consulted with Northcreek Financial specialists when I decided to apply for a second mortgage. The company’s underwriting is based on your equity – not your credit. The application process was very simple and hassle-free. There was no income verification and no credit score requirements.

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