Alternative Lenders

Overcome the challenges of being a self-employed homebuyer.

Alternative Lenders

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Alternative Lenders

In a dynamic and ever-evolving mortgage landscape, finding the right financial solutions can often seem like navigating a complex maze. That’s where Everything Mortgages steps in. With a commitment to simplifying the mortgage process and a track record of over 15 years of professional experience, we’ve been the beacon of hope for thousands looking to make their homeownership dreams a reality. Our team of professional and licensed mortgage agents in Toronto is dedicated to offering a wide range of mortgage services, tailored to the unique needs of our clients. In a world where one-size-fits-all solutions fall short, we stand out by providing personalized advice and leveraging technology for a seamless online application process.

As the Canadian mortgage market continues to adapt to changing economic conditions and regulatory landscapes, alternative lenders have emerged as a vital resource for many borrowers. These lenders offer a lifeline to those who may not fit the traditional lending criteria set by major banks, including self-employed individuals, investors, and those with bad credit. But what exactly are alternative lenders, and how can they help you achieve your financial goals? Let’s delve deeper into the world of alternative lending and uncover the benefits they bring to a diverse range of borrowers.

Who Can Benefit from Alternative Lenders?

Alternative lenders fill a crucial gap in the mortgage market, catering to those who might find themselves sidelined by traditional banks. This includes:

Self-Employed Individuals: Self-employed professionals, such as consultants and contractors, and tradespeople face unique challenges when it comes to securing a mortgage. Traditional banks often require consistent income verification, which can be difficult for those with irregular or fluctuating income streams. Alternative lenders understand the nature of self-employment and have more flexible lending criteria that take into account a broader range of income sources, including business revenue, contracts, and tax returns. They can offer tailored mortgage solutions that align with the financial realities of self-employed individuals.

Investors: Real estate investors have specific mortgage needs that don’t always fit the traditional lending mold. Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just starting out, alternative lenders can provide financing options that cater to the complexities of investment properties. From construction loans to bridge financing, these lenders understand the unique challenges faced by investors and offer more flexible terms and underwriting criteria. This allows investors to access the capital they need to grow their portfolios and maximize their returns.

Individuals with Bad Credit: Having bad or new credit can feel like a significant barrier to homeownership. Traditional banks often have strict credit score requirements, making it challenging for individuals with less-than-perfect credit histories to secure a mortgage. Alternative lenders specialize in working with borrowers who have had credit challenges in the past. They take a more holistic approach to underwriting, considering factors beyond just credit scores. By assessing the overall financial picture and understanding the circumstances that led to the credit issues, alternative lenders can provide options for individuals to rebuild their credit and achieve their homeownership goals.

Understanding Alternative Lenders

Alternative mortgage lenders encompass a broad spectrum of financial institutions, including credit unions, B-lenders, monoline lenders, and private lenders. These entities play a pivotal role in the Canadian mortgage market, offering solutions that are often more flexible and tailored than those available from the six major banks.

Over recent years, there’s been a noticeable shift towards alternative lenders, driven by a combination of higher home prices, stricter regulations, and an increasing number of borrowers with unique financial situations. In the first half of 2022 alone, non-bank lenders originated $110 billion in mortgages, capturing a significant share of the market and highlighting their growing importance.

Alternative lenders, also known as non-bank lenders, operate outside the traditional banking system and are not subject to the same regulatory requirements as federally regulated financial institutions. This allows them to have more flexibility in their lending practices, including assessing income and creditworthiness. While major banks focus on income verification and credit scores, alternative lenders take a more holistic approach, considering factors such as the value of the collateral and the borrower’s overall financial profile. This flexibility enables them to provide mortgage solutions to individuals who may not meet the stringent requirements of traditional banks.

Why Alternative Lenders Are a Good Fit for Self-Employed Individuals

For self-employed professionals and tradespeople, proving income can be a major hurdle when dealing with traditional banks. Alternative lenders, however, use different metrics to assess income and creditworthiness, often placing more emphasis on the value of collateral and less on conventional income verification methods. This flexibility can make all the difference, allowing self-employed individuals to access mortgage solutions that reflect their true financial standing.

Self-employed individuals often face challenges when it comes to documenting their income. Their earnings may be variable, irregular, or derived from multiple sources. Traditional banks tend to rely heavily on income verification through pay stubs and tax returns, which may not accurately reflect the borrower’s financial capacity. Alternative lenders understand the complexities of self-employment and take a more nuanced approach to income assessment. They may consider business revenue, contracts, bank statements, and other documentation to evaluate the borrower’s ability to repay the mortgage. This allows self-employed individuals to access the financing they need, even if their income documentation may not meet the stringent requirements of traditional banks.

In addition to more flexible income verification, alternative lenders also understand the unique needs of self-employed individuals. They offer mortgage products specifically tailored to the self-employed, allowing for more favorable terms and conditions. These products may include stated income mortgages, where borrowers can state their income without extensive documentation, or business-for-self mortgages, which take into account the unique financial circumstances of self-employed individuals. By working with an alternative lender, self-employed individuals can find mortgage solutions that align with their financial realities and enable them to achieve their homeownership goals.

The Appeal of Alternative Lenders for Investors

Real estate investors often have unique needs that don’t fit neatly into the boxes provided by traditional lenders. Whether it’s the need for a construction loan, a bridge loan, or financing for a multi-unit investment property, alternative lenders offer products designed with investors in mind. By offering more lenient lending criteria and understanding the specific challenges investors face, these lenders can be instrumental in helping investors grow their portfolios.

One of the key advantages of alternative lenders for investors is their ability to offer more flexible terms and underwriting criteria. Traditional banks often have strict requirements when it comes to investment properties, including higher down payments, lower loan-to-value ratios, and more stringent income verification. Alternative lenders, on the other hand, understand the dynamics of real estate investment and can offer more tailored solutions.

For example, if you’re a real estate investor looking to finance a property renovation or construction project, alternative lenders can provide construction loans that cover the costs of the project. These loans are designed to provide the necessary funds at various stages of construction, ensuring that investors have the capital they need to complete their projects. Once the project is complete, investors can then refinance with a traditional lender or continue working with the alternative lender, depending on their specific goals and circumstances.

Another popular option for real estate investors is bridge financing. This is a short-term loan that helps bridge the gap between the purchase of a new property and the sale of an existing property. Traditional banks often have strict requirements when it comes to bridge financing, making it challenging for investors to access the necessary funds. Alternative lenders, however, specialize in these types of loans and can provide the financing needed to make the transition smooth and seamless.

By working with an alternative lender, real estate investors can access the capital they need to grow their portfolios, take advantage of investment opportunities, and maximize their returns. The more flexible lending criteria and specialized products offered by alternative lenders make them an appealing choice for investors looking to navigate the complexities of real estate financing.

Navigating Mortgage Solutions with Bad Credit

Having bad or new credit can feel like a significant barrier to homeownership. However, alternative lenders provide a ray of hope, offering mortgage solutions that are specifically designed for individuals looking to rebuild their credit. Through programs tailored for those with less-than-perfect credit histories, alternative lenders can help pave the way towards securing a mortgage and ultimately, owning a home.

Traditional banks often have strict credit score requirements, making it challenging for individuals with bad credit to qualify for a mortgage. Alternative lenders, on the other hand, take a more holistic approach to underwriting. While credit scores are still a factor, they also consider other aspects of the borrower’s financial profile, such as income, assets, and the overall financial picture. This allows them to assess the borrower’s creditworthiness beyond just the credit score, taking into account the circumstances that led to the credit issues.

Alternative lenders offer various mortgage solutions for individuals with bad credit. One such solution is a bad credit mortgage, which is specifically designed to help individuals with credit challenges secure a mortgage. These mortgages may come with slightly higher interest rates or require a larger down payment, but they provide a viable path to homeownership for those who have struggled with credit issues in the past.

Another option for individuals with bad credit is a second mortgage. A second mortgage is a loan taken out against the equity in the property, in addition to the primary mortgage. This type of mortgage can be used to consolidate debt, pay off high-interest loans, or improve credit scores over time. Alternative lenders are often more willing to consider second mortgages for individuals with bad credit, as they focus more on the equity in the property rather than solely relying on credit scores.

By working with an alternative lender, individuals with bad credit can access mortgage solutions that cater to their specific circumstances. These lenders understand that credit issues can arise due to various factors, such as job loss, illness, or other life events. They take a more compassionate and understanding approach, providing opportunities for individuals to rebuild their credit and achieve their homeownership goals.

Services Offered by Everything Mortgages for Alternative Lending

At Everything Mortgages, we understand the unique challenges faced by self-employed individuals, investors, and those with bad credit. That’s why we offer a range of services designed to meet the diverse needs of our clients.

Self-Employed Mortgage: Our self-employed mortgage solutions are tailored to the unique financial situations of self-employed professionals, such as consultants, contractors, and small business owners. We understand the complexities of self-employment and work with a wide range of lenders who specialize in providing mortgage options for self-employed individuals. Our team of licensed mortgage agents will guide you through the process, helping you navigate the requirements and secure a mortgage that aligns with your financial goals.
First-Time Homebuying: Buying your first home is an exciting milestone, but it can also be overwhelming. Our first-time homebuyer services are designed to simplify the process and provide you with the tools and advice you need to make informed decisions. From calculating affordability and exploring mortgage options to understanding the various government programs available for first-time buyers, we’ll be with you every step of the way. Our goal is to empower you to make confident choices and find a mortgage that suits your needs.
Mortgage Refinance: Refinancing your mortgage can offer significant benefits, such as securing a lower interest rate, accessing equity for renovations or debt consolidation, or changing your mortgage terms to better align with your financial goals. Our mortgage refinance services allow you to renegotiate your existing mortgage terms, potentially saving you money in the long run. Our team will assess your current mortgage and financial situation, explore the available options, and guide you through the refinancing process to ensure you make the right choice for your unique needs.
Bad Credit Mortgage: We understand that bad credit doesn’t define you or your ability to become a homeowner. Our bad credit mortgage services are specifically designed to help individuals with new or bruised credit secure a mortgage. We work with a network of lenders who specialize in providing mortgage solutions for those with credit challenges. Our team will assess your individual circumstances, explore the available options, and guide you towards a mortgage solution that aligns with your financial goals. Our goal is to help you rebuild your credit and achieve your homeownership dreams.

Why Choose Everything Mortgages for Alternative Lending Solutions

Choosing Everything Mortgages means opting for a simplified, stress-free mortgage process. Our online application allows you to get started in minutes, and our team works tirelessly to secure the best rate and loan option from over 35 lending institutions. With a proven track record of over 5,000 mortgages, we have the experience and expertise to navigate the complexities of alternative lending.

We understand that every client is unique, with specific financial goals and circumstances. That’s why we offer personalized advice and support from our team of licensed mortgage agents. We take the time to understand your needs, answer your questions, and provide guidance throughout the mortgage process. Our goal is to represent your interests and find the mortgage solution that best suits your needs.

By choosing Everything Mortgages, you gain access to our extensive network of lending institutions, ensuring that you have access to a wide range of mortgage products and competitive rates. We leverage our relationships with these lenders to negotiate on your behalf, saving you time and money.

Navigating the world of alternative lenders can be complex, but with Everything Mortgages by your side, you’re never alone. Whether you’re self-employed, an investor, or working to improve your credit, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Contact us today to discover how we can help you move forward on your path to homeownership.


Alternative lenders have become an essential part of the Canadian mortgage market, offering a lifeline to individuals who may not fit the traditional lending criteria set by major banks. For self-employed individuals, investors, and those with bad credit, alternative lenders provide flexible solutions that cater to their unique circumstances. Everything Mortgages is committed to helping you navigate the complexities of alternative lending, providing personalized advice and leveraging technology to simplify the mortgage process. With our extensive network of lending institutions and licensed mortgage agents, we’re confident in our ability to find the right mortgage solution for you. Contact us today and let us guide you towards your homeownership goals.

Scenario: The Self-Employed Entrepreneur in Toronto

Meet Alex, a self-employed digital marketing consultant based in Toronto. Alex has been running their own business for the past five years, catering to a diverse portfolio of clients across various industries. Despite the fluctuating nature of their income, Alex has managed to maintain a steady flow of projects, thanks to their expertise and strong reputation in the market.

Over the years, Alex has been diligent in saving for a down payment on a home. However, when it comes to securing a mortgage, they face unique challenges due to their self-employed status. Traditional banks require a consistent income stream and extensive documentation, which doesn’t align well with the ebb and flow of Alex’s consultancy income.

The Challenge:
Excited to take the next step towards homeownership, Alex approaches a major bank in Toronto, only to be met with stringent lending criteria. The bank requests two years’ worth of tax returns, business financial statements, and a consistent income proof that Alex finds challenging to provide due to the nature of their work. Despite having a healthy down payment and a good credit score, Alex is left feeling discouraged by the traditional bank’s inflexible approach.

The Alternative Lender Solution:
Determined not to give up on their dream of owning a home in Toronto, Alex decides to explore alternative lending options. That’s when they come across Everything Mortgages, a team of professional and licensed mortgage agents specializing in alternative lending solutions.

Upon consulting with Everything Mortgages, Alex learns about the flexibility and understanding that alternative lenders offer to self-employed individuals like them. Unlike traditional banks, these lenders evaluate the borrower’s financial health more holistically, considering factors beyond just consistent income proof. They are willing to look at Alex’s overall income patterns, savings, credit score, and the potential of their business to generate future revenue.

Impressed by the personalized advice and solutions offered by Everything Mortgages, Alex decides to proceed with an application through an alternative lender. The process is straightforward and stress-free, with Alex being able to apply online and provide documentation that realistically reflects their financial situation as a self-employed individual.

The Outcome:
Thanks to the flexible lending criteria of the alternative lender, Alex is approved for a mortgage that suits their unique financial circumstances. They are ecstatic to finally purchase a home in Toronto, a dream that once seemed out of reach due to the rigid requirements of traditional banks.

Alex’s journey to homeownership underscores the pivotal role that alternative lenders play in the Canadian mortgage landscape, especially for self-employed individuals. By offering more adaptable and personalized lending solutions, alternative lenders like those partnered with Everything Mortgages provide a beacon of hope for those who may not fit into the conventional lending framework. For self-employed entrepreneurs in Toronto and beyond, exploring alternative lending options can unlock the door to achieving their homeownership aspirations.

Scenario: Overcoming Bad Credit Challenges in Toronto

Meet Jordan, a dedicated healthcare worker living in Toronto. Over the past few years, Jordan faced a series of unexpected financial setbacks, including costly medical expenses for a family member and a brief period of unemployment. These challenges led to delayed bill payments and ultimately, a significant hit to Jordan’s credit score. Now back on stable financial ground with a steady job, Jordan dreams of purchasing a home in Toronto but is haunted by their past credit issues.

The Challenge:
Eager to turn over a new leaf and enter the housing market, Jordan approaches a traditional bank to discuss mortgage options. However, they quickly encounter obstacles due to their less-than-perfect credit history. The bank’s loan officer explains that Jordan’s current credit score falls below their lending criteria, making it difficult to secure a mortgage through conventional means. The rejection is a disheartening blow to Jordan’s aspirations of homeownership.

The Alternative Lender Solution:
Refusing to let their dream slip away, Jordan begins researching alternative paths to homeownership and discovers Everything Mortgages. Intrigued by the promise of tailored mortgage solutions for individuals with bad credit, Jordan reaches out for a consultation.

The team at Everything Mortgages listens empathetically to Jordan’s story, reassuring them that bad credit doesn’t have to be a permanent barrier to owning a home. They explain that alternative lenders specialize in working with borrowers who have faced financial difficulties, offering more lenient credit requirements and focusing on the borrower’s ability to make future payments rather than past credit missteps.

Encouraged by this supportive approach, Jordan proceeds with an application through an alternative lender recommended by Everything Mortgages. The process involves a thorough review of Jordan’s financial situation, including current income, employment stability, and recent efforts to improve their credit score. Jordan is also advised on strategies to strengthen their application, such as offering a larger down payment and providing letters of explanation for their previous credit challenges.

The Outcome:
To Jordan’s delight, the alternative lender approves their mortgage application, recognizing the strides Jordan has made towards financial stability and their commitment to repairing their credit. With the mortgage secured, Jordan is able to purchase a cozy home in Toronto, marking the beginning of an exciting new chapter in their life.

Jordan’s journey highlights the transformative impact that alternative lenders can have for individuals with bad credit looking to achieve homeownership. By offering flexible and understanding lending solutions, alternative lenders, in partnership with mortgage experts like Everything Mortgages, create opportunities for people to overcome their financial past and step confidently into their future as homeowners. This scenario is a testament to the power of resilience and the importance of exploring all available options in the pursuit of homeownership dreams.

Scenario: The Savvy Real Estate Investor in Toronto

Meet Sam, a burgeoning real estate investor in Toronto with an eye for potential. Having already successfully flipped a couple of properties in the Greater Toronto Area, Sam is keen to expand their portfolio and capitalize on the thriving real estate market. With a strategic approach and a deep understanding of market trends, Sam identifies a promising multi-unit property that requires renovation before it can turn a profit.

The Challenge:
To make this investment opportunity viable, Sam needs access to flexible financing options that can cover both the purchase of the property and the cost of renovations. Traditional banks, with their conservative lending criteria and lengthy approval processes, are not equipped to meet the unique needs of real estate investors like Sam. They require extensive documentation and assurances that Sam finds restrictive, given the fast-paced nature of real estate investing.

The Alternative Lender Solution:
Understanding the limitations of traditional financing, Sam turns to Everything Mortgages for guidance on alternative lending solutions tailored to real estate investors. The team at Everything Mortgages introduces Sam to a range of options, including construction loans and bridge financing, offered by their network of alternative lenders who specialize in investment properties.

These alternative lenders are more adaptable and willing to consider the potential value of the property post-renovation, rather than just its current market value. They assess the project’s feasibility, Sam’s track record as an investor, and the projected returns on investment. Encouraged by the flexibility and understanding shown by the alternative lender, Sam decides to move forward with the application process.

The Outcome:
Thanks to the streamlined and investor-friendly approach of the alternative lender, Sam secures the necessary financing for both the acquisition and renovation of the multi-unit property. The loan terms are favorable, with interest rates and repayment schedules that align with the projected timeline for renovating and leasing the units.

With the financial backing in place, Sam embarks on the renovation project, transforming the property into a profitable investment. The success of this venture not only boosts Sam’s portfolio but also solidifies their reputation as a savvy real estate investor in Toronto’s competitive market.

Sam’s experience underscores the invaluable role that alternative lenders play in supporting real estate investors. Traditional banks often fall short in addressing the unique needs and timelines of investment projects, whereas alternative lenders offer the flexibility, speed, and tailored solutions that can make all the difference. For investors looking to navigate the complexities of the real estate market, partnering with mortgage experts like Everything Mortgages can open the door to innovative financing options and pave the way for investment success.

Frequently asked questions

Who is a self-employed borrower?
You! If you’re a contractor, consultant, freelancer or entrepreneur who collects invoices rather than employment pay stubs, you are self-employed. Technically, “self-employed mortgages” don’t exist. You will get approved for the same mortgage as everyone else but, you may have to jump through a few more hoops compared to a payroll employee.
How can I qualify as a self-employed borrower?
The primary difference between self-employed (or commission-based) and salaried employees is that lenders will treat your gross earnings differently. As a rule of thumb, lenders will only use 80% of your gross earnings and the average of last tax year’s income for commissioned sales people, and net income, instead of gross income, for self-employed individuals. `A lender is restricted by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) rules to use only the last three years of self-employment income.
What is considered qualifying income?
Self-employed workers typically obtain their mortgage through stated income applications, which require a signed income declaration and proof of self-employment. Stated income is how much you claim to earn. If you keep most of your income inside your company, we can qualify you for a mortgage using the gross deposit of business income over the last 12 months or allowing for retained earnings within your corporation. We can even qualify you with some lenders with as little as six months as business for self.
What income documents will I need?
Lenders will require: Your last two years of full T1 Generals and the associated notices of assessment
  • If incorporated: your whole articles of incorporation
  • If sole proprietor: your business or HST registration
  • Last six months of bank account statements
How long do I need to be in business to qualify for a mortgage?
Most lenders require at least a two-year track record for businesses. Lenders have been known to make exceptions for professionals like doctors and engineers, as well as people starting a new business in an industry where they’ve already had a long career.
If my business produces a seasonal or irregular income, can I still qualify?
Yes, the same income requirements apply as if you earned a full-year income.
Where should I start?
If you are a self-employed individual looking for a mortgage, it would be in your best interest to gather the required income documents and begin a mortgage pre-approval process with us. Contact us to speak with one of our self-employed mortgage specialists to help you organize and obtain the relevant documentation for you. Our digital document collection process simplifies the process, making getting pre-approved as hassle and stress free as possible. Click the "Get Started" button to start your online application.

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