Early this year, Frank had a difficult choice. COVID-19 was devastating the taxi industry, and the Toronto cab owner was suddenly short on funds. Should he pay his house mortgage and risk losing his business? Or pay his business expenses and risk losing his home?
Overshadowed by the health tragedies of the past year are the financial hardships faced by Canadian small businesses, and homeowners like Frank.
Mohammad owns a Middle Eastern style restaurant in Milton. Like Frank, his business revenue plummeted during the lockdowns. Although he wanted to expand his restaurant once the recovery began, his recent low income meant he didn’t qualify for traditional bank loans.
The surprising denominator between Frank and Mohammad is Mr. Jermaine Hinds, who delivered their financial salvation in the form of creative mortgage products that banks couldn’t provide.
Jermaine Hinds is a Toronto mortgage broker at Matrix Mortgage Global and an expert in alternative mortgage and lending solutions for GTA homeowners and small businesses. Listening to his calm and understated tone as he shares recent success stories, it’s clear that he cares about each person who seeks his advice.
We interviewed Mr. Hinds to learn more about his approach, and to get practical tips for Toronto residents seeking mortgage advice.
EM: What mortgage services are you seeing a surge in demand for, or anticipate a surge for over the next year?
Jermaine Hinds: The big surge right now is debt consolidation. Incomes have been affected by COVID so people are incurring credit card debt, and other forms of bad debt. Another surge that’s developing is in the alternative financing space, because banks right now aren’t able to give what people need, and some people aren’t qualifying anymore for the bank products.
I believe people in Ontario need to be educated more on the alternative and private financing space because it can be a powerful tool to keep your home, or to invest in new business opportunities.
EM: What’s the biggest misconception related to mortgages that you come across frequently?
Jermaine Hinds: The biggest misconception is that anyone can just call and get a rate quote right away. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. The online tools to calculate your rate or get estimates aren’t really valid and are mostly marketing gimmicks to get you through the door. But only after you submit all your documentation can you get an accurate rate quote.
EM: Mortgage rates are at historic lows, but for the average person with an existing mortgage, why should they care? How does that benefit them?
Jermaine Hinds: The average homeowner can benefit from these low rates by renegotiating their mortgage for lower payments. That would free up their cash flow for other things, and save money.
For someone considering buying a property, yes property values are high right now, but low mortgage rates more than make up for that over time, so I don’t recommend waiting. Overall they should make more on the property value appreciation. Look for ways to get any kind of property.
EM: If you could only give two tips regarding mortgages, what would they be?
Jermaine Hinds: If you’re a homeowner, you should source out all your mortgage options. Window shop from each bank, check out a few mortgage brokers, and check for consistency and new ideas. There are more options available than most people realize.
This is a great time to buy real estate. The low mortgage rates and high property appreciation means people should get in the market. And if they’re already in, they should consider buying more.
This article is opinion and not a substitute for professional advice. Disclaimer