Public awareness campaign aimed at first-time homebuyers

Public awareness campaign aimed at first-time homebuyers

To encourage first-time homebuyers to consider all options before choosing a mortgage, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is launching a public awareness campaign that offers free “unbiased mortgage information.”
“There are so many options for consumers, including the type of lender, mortgage, length of term and amortization period, and the size and frequency of payments that it can be overwhelming, particularly for first-time home buyers,” said Ursula Menke, FCAC commissioner. “First-time homebuyers need to weigh those options, as they would if they were interviewing someone for a job.”
The campaign launched October 25 and will run for four weeks. Ads will be placed inside subways, sky trains and buses in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. Online and banner ads are also running on selected websites.
Interior transit ads contain customized codes that can be scanned with a smart phone. It will direct the phone to FCAC’s website,, which includes publications, tip sheets, a video testimonial and two online interactive tools, the Mortgage Qualifier Tool and a Mortgage Calculator.
  • Brad Currie Verico Versa Mortgages 2010-10-27 3:47:33 AM
    I have check out the site and it contains a lot of good information, but an assumption is made consumers are going to see out each lender independently. There is no mention of the role brokers play in the process

    I have contacted them and encourage all brokers to do the same. Below is the response to I submitted to the FCAC

    Thank you providing the information for consumers on advice shopping for mortgages. I almost entirely agree with your claim of “independent” information and advice. The portion of the site I differ on is the suggestion of asking each lender certain questions about the terms of the mortgage. This assumes the consumer will not be using a mortgage broker who has access to many lenders.

    As you may be aware, mortgage brokers constitute over 30% of all mortgage arranged in Canada each year. This share has been slowly increasing year after year. Brokers also have access to many lenders which do not advertise to the public who often have better terms than the typical financial institutions.

    Therefore, if you purpose is to provide independent and unbiased information to the Canadian mortgage consumer, it would be only proper to include the mortgage broker as a source of mortgage options. After all, 30% of Canadians already do.

    Thank you.
    Post a reply
  • DanP 2010-10-27 6:39:26 AM
    In support of Brad's position, second email sent to FCAC;

    Ms. Menke.

    Kudos to FCAC for this new public information initiative.

    I do however need to point out an important piece of information that appears to have been omitted but considered indispensable for any 1st time home buyer; the highly recommended use of an accredited Mortgage Broker professional.

    By their nature, financial institutions are self serving and could be considered predatory. What I mean by this is, it is unlikely a financial institution would allow a fledgling home buyer escape the office (in order to continued comparative shopping) without, at the very least, taking a pre-approval application and requesting the accompanying credit bureau report before letting the would-be home buyer escape. Expected? Of course! Best thing for potential client? Maybe not!

    And there-in lies the first big pitfall for or 1st time home buyer; pursuing the old fashioned “do my due diligent comparative shopping” routine, handed down from our parents who taught us all to “stop at as many places as possible in order to get the best deal in town”. All the while, our would be 1st time home buyer is oblivious to the multiple credit bureau inquiries being generated from multiple pre-approval applications.

    The second pitfall you ask? The incredible amount of time, and accompanying inconvenience and confusion experienced by new home buyer who pursue antiquated and time consuming comparative shopping methods described in #1. Mortgage Brokers cut to the chase and bring efficiency, effectiveness and professional resourcefulness to the client’s benefit (and have been so for many years now).

    The services offered by Mortgage Brokers addresses both the issues; 1- by eliminating the need for multiple credit bureau inquires (and preserving the client ‘s Beacon Score) and, 2- ability to more effectively search multiple options for 1st time home buyer with considerably greater efficiency.

    This of course is all possible because of one overriding rule; Mortgage Brokers represent the home buyer, not a shareholder.

    For the sake of your target audience, a reference to the advantages of using services provided by Mortgage Brokers would be a wise addition to FCAC’s Awareness initiative.

    Kindest regards.
    Post a reply
  • Tania 2010-10-27 12:09:30 PM
    Very well written email and so true. The general public just really don't understand what we do and how we can benefit them. If they really new, our market share would be much higher than 30% and the banks again would be begging for our business rather than trying to shut us down. Education is KEY.
    Post a reply