During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Canadians from coast to coast have found themselves in a difficult position financially. The Canadian government temporarily implemented several stimulus programs to alleviate the financial burden caused by COVID-19. The most notable being the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). However with CERB payments ceasing at the end of September, millions of Canadians will begin receiving Employment Insurance (EI) instead. EI is a government-run program that provides regular benefits to individuals who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.


What does this all mean for your mortgage? Whether you need to renew your existing mortgage, refinance, or purchase a new home, many Canadians are asking “how will I be able to meet the income qualifications while on reduced income?” In addition to this, the stresses and strains of income reduction has led to many Canadians seeing a drop in their credit score.


The Alternative Solution

Individuals without adequate documentation of income and/or with poor credit history may be turned away from the bank. However, don’t lose hope.

Did you know that alternative lenders may have fewer income restrictions compared to traditional mortgage lenders?

 Alternative lenders are often equity-based lenders and as such consider the equity available in your property as part of the underwriting process. The more equity, the more forgiving they often are on qualifiers like income and even credit score.


Many alternative lenders will consider income from self-employment or even stated income. With stated income, often a letter outlining your income, possibly with some minor documentation to back your claim, may be sufficient to qualify. The self-employed individual may be able to rely upon standard business documentation (bank statements, invoices, contracts, etc.) to meet the lenders income verification standards.


In addition, alternative lenders or private lenders are generally more flexible with the credit history requirements. While you can expect good credit to smooth the path with any lender, a low credit score is often less of a concern with alternative lenders than at the bank.


Choosing an Alternative Lender That Fits Your Needs

Finding the right lender involves more than looking at competitive interest rates; you’ll want to work with a company that has your best interests at heart and can help you to make informed decisions about your future.

An alternative mortgage lender offers a more personalized approach to borrowing as well as more flexible options for individuals with poor credit or less fortunate circumstances.

Finding a mortgage lender can be a daunting task. One common strategy to help is to seek the services of a qualified mortgage broker. They will help educate you on the process, ensure you are well informed and ultimately help you make the decision that’s right for you.


As an alternative lender, Alta West Capital provides solutions for people like you. With a quick and easy application, you can get your purchase, mortgage renewal or refinance underway today.


Click the link to begin your application and we will get back to you within 24 hours.


About Alta West Capital

Since 1991 we have helped Canadians in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario by providing them with mortgages and lending alternatives to meet their needs. We specialize in mortgages for first-time homebuyers, families that are new to Canada and self-employed business owners. We also offer debt consolidation services, mortgage refinancing, and mortgages for second homes or investment properties.


No matter what your situation, when you trust Alta West Capital for your borrowing needs, you will receive exceptional service and personalized solutions. Choose Alta West Capital and discover why more and more Canadians are embracing alternative mortgage lenders.

Alta West Capital's Nomination

We are proud to announce that Alta West Capital has been selected as a finalist for the Private Lender of the Year award. 


For over 29 years, Alta West Capital has been striving towards being a leader in the Alternative Lending space. This is a great recognition of our commitment to providing a comprehensive suite of products and services for our industry partners. We are truly thankful for your continued support.


Congratulations to all the 2020 nominees!

Alta West Capital Private Lender of the Year Finalist

Putting Canadians into Homes

Alta West Capital (AWC) is a dynamic Alternative Lender lending in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. We have a 29-year history in serving Canadians by providing mortgage financing for those that fall outside of conventional banking guidelines, providing investments for financial independence, and performing philanthropic work in Canada and abroad. We take pride in providing alternative financing that puts Canadians in their homes. We do this by providing our broker partners the products, resources, transparency, and underwriting consistency that they require to do what they do best.


Whether you’re a mortgage professional, an investor or a client looking to borrow, the Alta West team has the experience and knowledge to provide a solution that fits your needs. 


Helping the Everyday Entrepreneur

At Alta West Capital, half of our team of thirty are either first or second-generation Canadians. With staff born in countries as varied as Egypt, Cambodia, China and Argentina, amongst others, there are eleven languages spoken in our office. Naturally, we love lending to new Canadians, helping people like ourselves thrive and excel as they become part of the Canadian landscape.


Hand in hand with new Canadians, are those who make a living for themselves. The self-employed are an underserved segment of the Canadian housing market and another population we love helping in their dream of home-ownership. We really do appreciate helping the everyday entrepreneur.

New Canadians and the self-employed, these are two of our largest market segments and in our experience, very rewarding people to work with.

Our investor base are predominantly Mom and Pop family investors, saving for their retirement dreams. Investors are often an overlooked demographic of Private Lending and one that we are proud to serve. Mortgage Investment Corporations (MIC’s) were created back in 1973 as a vehicle to allow everyday Canadians to participate in mortgage investments, and to profit, just like the big banks. We’re proud to do our little part to provide this important option to Canadian investors. 


Our People-first Approach

Taking feedback from our broker partners, we continue to update and expand our suite of products as well as improve our service to provide the best overall solution we can. Our experienced team operates on the philosophy of “making it happen, not letting it happen”. Find as many ways as you can to remove the obstacles to success for the client, the broker and the investor. 


The broker community has long known us for our fast and efficient underwriting and our “do what we say we’ll do” service. We are continually seeking to innovate and grow by adopting technology to further improve our processes, evolving to equip our team with the tools they need to improve efficiency in our application submission, underwriting and funding process.


But it can’t just be technology for technology sake. 

The key to successfully integrating software, software that actually makes a difference, is to have a “people-first” approach. 

When evaluating a new piece of software, we ask some simple questions. How will this help us provide better service to our brokers and their clients? What efficiencies will this bring? How will this make life easier for our staff, our brokers, our clients and our investors? The benefits of this approach were recently highlighted with the outbreak of Covid-19. 


Thrive, Not Survive

When Covid-19 broke, our mantra was “thrive, not survive”. We didn’t want our staff living with a “survival mentality”, we wanted them to thrive and to come out the other side of the pandemic along with the company, it’s brokers and clients, in a better place than before. 


Our strategy and success caught the eye of our technology provider, Salesforce, who were impressed enough to outline our success in this blog, now available on the Salesforce website. We are very proud of being recognized for this achievement.


Alta West Capital has made a considerable investment in technology, but not all new technology is to simply to create efficiencies, it must also protect customer information. In the mortgage industry we handle a lot of sensitive data and it’s our responsibility to ensure that the technology we implement is as safe as it is efficient. Every software implementation is made with security in mind to ensure that our client’s data is handled properly and is well protected. 

We take a people-first approach with cybersecurity and managing data, if it's important to them, it's important to us.

The Path to Homeownership

Our company, full of immigrants, has found pride in providing new Canadians with homes. We have extended our vision to help even more people in to homes outside of Canada. We realize the importance of giving back, not only to our community but to those less fortunate in some of the poorest parts of the world.


For the past couple of years, Alta West has partnered up with Shelter Canada and recruited a team of volunteers to travel to El Salvador to change the lives of people far less fortunate than us. We wanted to extend our ability to provide safe housing beyond our borders, in some of the poorest communities, in Central America. In addition to raising tens of thousands of dollars in donations, we have sent teams of staff to El Salvador, who with the aid of other volunteers, working in tandem with local leaders, have helped build over 500 homes for some of the world’s poorest people.


However, this year with Covid-19, and with the inability to travel south to build homes, we changed our focus and have given back to our local community by donating to the Calgary Food Bank. We hope to be back in El Salvador in 2021.


We love what we do. For some Canadians, we are the path to homeownership, for others the path to financial independence. Alta West Capital has a great, dedicated team, who enjoy what they do. We are very thankful for the opportunity to be considered for this award and would like to thank those who nominated Alta West Capital as well as the Mortgage Award of Excellence committee for considering our nomination.

You’ve finally decided to take the plunge and start looking for a new home. As a first time home buyer, you may be nervous about taking on the financial obligation of a mortgage, especially if you have concerns about low credit or accumulated debt. Buying a home doesn’t have to be as scary as you think, and luckily, there are ways to improve your credit score and still apply for a mortgage and get approved with an alternative mortgage lender, even if your credit isn’t where exactly where you want it.

Advice From a Mortgage Investment Corporation

A mortgage is a significant financial responsibility, and it’s recommended that you feel confident in your current financial situation before attempting to buy a house. A mortgage lender can help you to establish goals and make wise choices around your mortgage application. These 4 helpful hints for improving your credit are important to consider as you prepare to proceed with a mortgage investment corporation.

Stay on Top of Payments

Every consumer knows that the best way to improve your credit score is to stay on top of monthly payments. One late payment on your credit card may not have a drastic impact on your overall rating, but an accumulation of late and missed payments could have far-reaching consequences. Remember: making the minimum payments every month might be better than trying to tackle more than you can afford, resulting in a skipped payment the following month.

Monitor Your Credit Utilization

In the calculation of your credit score, one thing that plays a significant role is the amount of available debt that you utilize. If your credit card has a high limit, you should try to stay well below it, within approximately 10% of the maximum amount. You should follow this same practice for other debts, including lines of credit. If you struggle with running a high balance, you may want to consider asking your bank about a balance transfer.

Show Off Your Good Habits

Being eager to pay off outstanding debts is a good thing, but you shouldn’t be so rash in trying to eliminate all trace that they ever existed. Old car or student loans will disappear automatically, but it might be a good idea to hang on to credit cards or lines of credit that have been paid off as a way to show off your good habits. Rather than cancelling a credit card, keeping your balance at zero could help to improve your credit score.

Be Patient

Understand that your debt will not go away overnight; neither will your credit score improve immediately. Taking the necessary steps will take some time, but improving your score is possible and, more importantly, it’s worth it. A solid credit score can open up several options when it comes to applying for a mortgage.


How a Mortgage Affects Your Credit

You’ve taken steps to improve your credit, but you might be asking yourself, won’t a mortgage drop it right back down again? Initially, a mortgage may lower your overall score because of the significance of the loan. Due to this initial, though temporary, damage to your score, you should wait for some time before applying for other loans and services that may require a credit check. Typically, six months is an appropriate waiting period.

As you consistently make on-time payments to your mortgage and other debt obligations, your credit will gradually improve. If you are committed to a disciplined payment schedule, creditors will view your ability to handle such a significant loan with favour, and your mortgage could end up being a good thing for your credit.

Ultimately, your mortgage affects your debt-to-income ratio — keeping your amount of debt in proportion to your income is essential. When preparing to apply for a mortgage with an alternative mortgage lender, try to abstain from taking on additional debt obligations to keep your debt-to-income ratio as low as possible. While it may be tempting to rush out to buy new furnishings or appliances for your home, these purchases could impact your credit and debt-to-income ratio. Some mortgage lenders, including banks, will revoke mortgage approval if these values change significantly between the approval period and the time of funding.


Poor Credit? Talk to a Mortgage Investment Corporation

There are some circumstances outside of outstanding debts that may impede your credit score and thus make applying for a mortgage more difficult. If you are self-employed, new to Canada, or buying your first home, some mortgage lenders may reject your mortgage application for reasons beyond your control. Fortunately, there is an alternative option. Private mortgage lenders and mortgage investment corporations cater to individuals that struggle with poor credit due to certain external circumstances. If you have poor credit, you should take the necessary steps to improve it, but you should also know that you have other options.

The Bottom Line

Whether you have poor credit, or you’ve taken the necessary steps to improve your score before applying for a mortgage, a mortgage investment corporation can help you get approved. Alta West Capital is an alternative mortgage lender committed to assisting borrowers that may otherwise struggle to get approved. We offer a number of lending solutions for first time buyers, individuals and families that are new to Canada, self-employed business owners, real estate investors and more. Alta West loans are fast and flexible to fit your needs. Visit our website to apply online or contact us directly — call (403) 254-9075 or email info@awcapital.ca.

Advice From a Mortgage Investment Corporation

When it comes to buying a house, shopping for a mortgage lender can be just as important as shopping for your future home. Because most mortgages have a duration of upwards of 20-25 years, choosing a lender that will offer the best advice, foster a positive relationship, and maintain policies to complement your financial situation is essential. 

Finding the Right Mortgage Lender

Finding the right lender involves more than looking at competitive rates; you’ll want to work with a company that has your best interests at heart and can help you to make informed decisions about your future. A mortgage investment corporation, or an alternative mortgage lender, offers a more personalized approach to borrowing as well as more flexible options for individuals with poor credit or less fortunate circumstances. 

How to Get Started

Here are 5 steps to take as you search for the mortgage lender that’s right for you. 

1. Know Your Credit Score

When was the last time you checked your credit score? If you make regular and timely payments towards your credit cards, car loans, phone bills, and other financial obligations, the chances are your credit will be in excellent shape to move forward with applying for a mortgage. If, on the other hand, you’re prone to miss payments or you’ve allowed your debt to get out of hand, your credit score will have taken a significant hit. 

In Canada, a credit score above 700 is good while the minimum score typically needed for mortgage approval is approximately 640. If your credit score is quite low, you may want to wait to buy a house as you take steps to improve it (pay off credit cards and other recurring loans) or consider the option of borrowing from a private mortgage lender.

2. Get Pre-Approved 

Some people wonder if pre-approval is worth the hassle. The truth is, getting pre-approved before you’re ready to close the deal can actually give you a leading edge as you shop for homes, and will help you save time later. Above all, a mortgage pre-approval gives you an idea of the maximum mortgage you can qualify for and can help you estimate and calculate future mortgage payments. With your maximum mortgage amount in mind, you can start shopping for houses within a certain limit, budgeting accordingly for closing costs, moving costs, ongoing maintenance, lawyer fees, and all other expenses associated with buying a new home. 

3. Compare Loan Features

Depending on your situation, you may find it beneficial to shop around and acquire rates from multiple mortgage lenders. You may even submit requests for several pre-approvals to help you determine the right solution for your situation. It’s important to understand that not all mortgages are created equally and that rate is not the only important feature to consider. Some banks and other mortgage lenders will offer fixed or variable rate mortgages, pre-payment privileges, skip-a-payment options, and other benefits. These various features may be important to you. Because different institutions may have slightly different priorities, you’ll need to decide which offers best align with your goals.

When shopping for lenders and comparing rates, know that there is a chance these inquiries can negatively impact your credit score, so be selective, but not too picky. 

4. Know Your Options

Did you know there are several avenues to consider when applying for a mortgage? There are three main types of lending options in Canada: traditional banks, mortgage brokers, and private mortgage lenders

Traditional banks are the most popular choice, but that doesn’t mean they are the best. Banks are under certain stipulations put in place by the federal government, which may hinder your ability to qualify. Mortgage brokers are not lenders themselves but they work with lenders to help you find the best rates. In some ways, brokers have more flexibility with the solutions they can help you find. Finally, alternative and private mortgage lenders represent a smaller number of lending institutions in Canada, but due to recent changes to mortgage qualifications and difficult stress tests, they are becoming an increasingly popular option for Canadians. 

5. Do Your Homework

Buying a house could well be the most significant financial decision you make in your lifetime. For that reason, it’s not something you should take lightly. Choosing the right mortgage lender involves asking the right questions, reading the fine print, and researching the company or institution. You may consider taking recommendations from your friends or even your realtor, however, you should still perform your own research; consider looking at reviews and testimonials online and making a list of important questions to ask. Be sure to inquire about turnaround times for approval — you don’t want a delay in your mortgage to prevent you from closing on the house of your dreams. You should also discuss loam terms and estimated monthly payments for your mortgage so that you can budget accordingly. 

The Right Mortgage Lender Can Make All the Difference

Finding a mortgage lender can be a daunting task, but as long as you remain educated and informed, you’ll be able to make the decision that’s right for you. You can ask for advice from a qualified and experienced mortgage broker and learn about how to account for future home renovations and mortgage renewals in the process of applying for a mortgage. 

Whether you’re looking to borrow or invest, Alta West Capital can help. We offer a number of lending solutions for first time buyers, individuals and families that are new to Canada, self-employed business owners, real estate investors and more. Alta West loans are fast and flexible to fit your needs. Visit our website to apply online or contact us directly. Call (403) 254-9075 or email info@awcapital.ca.

Construction loans can be used to renovate or modify an existing home or build a new one. There are a number of benefits to taking out a construction loan, but you can always talk to a mortgage broker about your best options.

Construction Loans are Short Term

One of the main benefits of construction loans is that they are short term. Construction loans ensure that you get the funds when you need them and while the term is flexible, it’s usually short enough that significant interest does not accrue.

Construction Loans are Advanced in Multiple Draws

Construction loans are advanced in multiple draws at measured completion markers. The benefit of this added structure is that you make payments only on the money that has been provided rather than the entire amount. As a result, you can expect a more clear and detailed timeline as the mortgage lender will need to review your plans for construction beforehand.

Low Initial Payments with a Construction Loan

Construction loans are often paid interest only during construction. In addition, the payments made on advancements help to keep costs as low as possible during the construction process.

Construction Loans Give You Control

With the added financial padding of a construction loan, you can decide exactly what you want out of your home renovation. The loan can help you bring your ideas to life; whether you’re building or renovating, you can play a part in designing the home you’ve always wanted.

Construction Loans are Set Rate Loans

The interest rates for a construction loan or a home renovation loan are generally a fixed rate. The ability to budget for loan payments based on set-interest rates can be helpful during the loan-repayment process.

If you are looking to build a new home or renovate the one you already have, it will be helpful to consider a construction loan. If you have trouble getting approved for a bank loan, an alternative mortgage lender can get you the loan you need and in the right timeline.

Whether you’re looking to borrow or invest, Alta West Capital can help. We offer a number of lending solutions for first time buyers, individuals and families that are new to Canada, self-employed business owners, real estate investors and more. Alta West loans are fast and flexible to fit your needs. Visit our website to apply online or contact us directly. Call (403) 254-9075 or email info@awcapital.ca.

The experience of buying a home is exciting, terrifying, thrilling, stressful, daunting, special, exhilarating and all of the above! If you’re looking to buy your first-home, follow this guide to make the process as smooth as possible.

Get Pre-Approved For A First-Time Buyer Mortgage

It’s important to apply for a mortgage pre-approval early on in the process. Shopping for houses can be difficult when don’t know if your loan will be approved or not. If you are having difficulties getting approved by the bank, you might have better luck with a private mortgage lender.

Determine What You Can Afford For Mortgage Payments

Shopping for houses without a set budget in mind is like eating dinner at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Make sure your eyes aren’t bigger than your wallet; determine what you can afford in monthly payments and consider what you have saved for a down-payment and start from there.

Find the Best First-Time Buyer Mortgage

Finding the mortgage that’s right for you can be a process in and of itself. With a budget in mind, talk to a mortgage broker about your options. If the bank has denied your loan or you’re having trouble getting approved elsewhere, you may want to consider buying your mortgage through an alternative mortgage lender. You might find the process to be more flexible.

What to Do Post First-Time Buyer Mortgage Approval

With the finances taken care of, it’s time to start shopping! Consider the benefits of hiring a real estate agent to help you find your first home. Start house-hunting and remember to keep your emotions neutral. It’s never a good idea to make an emotional decision when buying a house.

Part of the house hunting process is looking for features that you’ll want in your future home. While keeping an out for certain features can help narrow down the options, keep in mind that a home renovation loan can help make any house the house of your dreams.

When it comes to purchasing a new house and considering a first-time buyer mortgage, trust certified mortgage brokers from a mortgage investment corporation for a simplified application process and keep these tips in mind as you continue through the process.

Whether you’re looking to borrow or invest, Alta West Capital can help. We offer a number of lending solutions for first time buyers, individuals and families that are new to Canada, self-employed business owners, real estate investors and more. Alta West loans are fast and flexible to fit your needs. Visit our website to apply online or contact us directly. Call (403) 254-9075 or email info@awcapital.ca.

George Botros
Chief Executive Officer

George Botros was appointed as CEO of Alta West Capital in April 2021. Prior to his role as CEO, George served as Alta West Capital’s CFO and CCO from 2014 to 2021. He has over 20 years in the lending business, participating in residential, commercial, mezzanine, and interim financing related activities.


George is also a Director of the funds Alta West administers. Prior to joining Alta West Capital, he managed Toro Financial Corporation which amalgamated with AWM Diversified MIC, an entity managed by AWC, in 2014. George was also a University Professor teaching Finance and Economics for University of Lethbridge.


George holds a Bachelor of Economics and an MBA.