Home Trust Blog

New to Canada? Learn how to overcome obstacles to buying a home

In 2017, Canada welcomed over 300,000 new residents through various settlement and immigration programs. From our high-quality education system to our safe and secure communities, there are many reasons why Canada is a destination of choice. However, even though there are numerous programs in place to assist newcomers, the road to building a new life here is not always an easy one.

New Canadians are often surprised to learn that though they may have had an extensive credit history in their home country, sometimes their financial information is lost in translation. The result? Established professionals who are bringing substantial assets to Canada can still experience some of the same challenges when buying a home as those who are just starting out.

A lack of local credit history is undoubtedly an obstacle, but it’s one that is relatively easy to overcome – when you’re working with a lender that takes the time to understand your story!

Anil’s story: Building a new life in Canada

Anil (not his real name) came to Canada in 2017 and needed a lender that would listen to his story to help refinance his home. 

Anil had been employed as an Engineer in his home country. By investing the proceeds of the sale of his house in South Asia in a property in Calgary, Alberta, Anil hoped to establish himself in his new life quickly. However, upon his arrival, getting a mortgage proved to be more difficult than Anil imagined.

Anil did not have the source of wealth documentation that a traditional financial institution typically requires for mortgage lending. He was also not immediately able to find an engineering position in Canada. While taking courses at night to help re-launch his engineering career, Anil accepted an interim role as a warehouse worker.

Given the change in his employment circumstances and the lack of documentation for the sale of the property in his home country, Anil initially selected a mortgage from a private lender that had a higher commitment fee and higher interest than a traditional mortgage lender. He knew that refinancing this loan was the only way he’d ever be able to pay it off; he just needed a lender who was willing to look at him as an individual with a unique financial story to tell.

A year later, his private mortgage was up for renewal. Anil spoke with his mortgage broker to evaluate his options now that he had developed additional credit history to improve his overall credit score and was able to provide complete documentation from the sale of the property overseas. Together with his broker, Home Trust identified solutions that would enable Anil to improve his financial situation and get his new life off to a better start.

Your story matters

Every year, thousands of new Canadians struggle to access financial products that can make their adjustment to life in Canada easier. The challenges of working with international financial institutions to secure documentation are one hurdle, and the difficulties newcomers face gaining comparable employment are another. Taken together, these can seem like overwhelming obstacles.

When you choose a mortgage broker who works with lenders that take time to evaluate each prospective client’s entire financial history, details emerge that can change the end of the story. In Anil’s case, this meant considering his financial and employment history overseas and his future employment prospects. Home Trust was able to do this because of its commitment to considering the unique stories of each mortgage applicant.

After discussing the available options, Anil refinanced his property with Home Trust and benefitted from lower monthly payments, which allowed his to allocate more of his budget towards the courses that would help improve his employment prospects.

By working with a qualified mortgage broker who partners with Home Trust, newcomers like Anil can access a wealth of lending options to make their dreams of buying a home in Canada a reality. Visit our website today to learn more about mortgage options available from Home Trust.

Looking for more information on how to get off to a great start in Canada? See the article “Financial tips for new Canadians” on the Oaken Blog.


The information, materials and opinions contained in this Blog are provided for your information only. This Blog does not constitute legal, financial or other professional advice and you should not rely on it as an alternative to specific advice based on your particular circumstance.

This Blog contains links to third party websites. These links are provided for information and convenience; Home Trust does not endorse the content of any third party website, and it makes no representation or warranty as to the information on such third party sites. By clicking on any link to a third party site, you leave Home Trust’s website and do so at your own risk. Home Trust disclaims all liability for any damage or loss that results from your access to or reliance on information contained in this Blog or any third party site.

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