Mortgage Stress Test


The mortgage stress test is planning for a worst-case scenario. It is a way of determining how much you can afford if you lost your job, income was reduced, interest rates go up or any other number of reasons that may affect your mortgage payments.  Everyone applying for a mortgage is subject to the stress test. 


How Does It Work


When you apply for a mortgage you will hopefully be getting the best contract rate available. Please contact us if you need help in finding the best contract rate. 


The new Benchmark Rate used to determine the minimum qualifying rate for insured mortgages came into force on April 6, 2020.


The minimum qualifying rate for insured mortgages will now be the greater of:

  • The borrower’s contract rate, which is the mortgage interest rate agreed to by the lending institution and the borrower; or
  • The new Benchmark Rate.

The new Benchmark Rate will be more responsive to market conditions by tracking the actual mortgage rates offered by lenders at the application stage. These rates have been shown to be consistent with final mortgage contract rates. Using the application data allows for more timely data to be published.


The Minister of Finance will have the authority to adjust the buffer. The new Benchmark Rate for insured mortgages will be published weekly on the Bank of Canada’s website, and will be based on submitted mortgage insurance application contract rates. Click here to see the interest rates


The new Benchmark Rate for insured mortgages will be published at two decimal places. If, on any given week, there are any delays in updating the new Benchmark Rate, the previous week’s published Rate will stand until a new Rate is published.






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