AGF Trust’s New Simple Mortgage

AGF-Trust After years of serving the alternative lending market, AGF Trust has charged into the high-ratio insured mortgage business–with the launch of its “Simple Mortgage.” 

The Simple Mortgage rolled out on October 14. It’s designed to be a full-featured mortgage at no-frills rates (currently under 4% on a 5-year fixed).  This is a first for AGF as it's never offered fully-discounted insured mortgages before. 

All Simple Mortgages are CMHC insured.  Interestingly, unlike most new insured products, AGF’s Simple Mortgage is not securitized (resold to investors).  Instead, the company says “AGF Trust is currently well capitalized and will hold these mortgages on the balance sheet.”  The company says it views insured mortgages as “an attractive asset class.”

Besides solid rates, AGF cites its primary advantages as being: 

  • A longer rate hold than its no-frills competitors (60 days vs. 30 days)
  • More flexible payment and pre-payment options. 

AGF also has an opportunity to impress with service, given the subpar turnaround times at many lenders nowadays.  (Hopefully AGF has plenty of underwriters on staff to come through on this promise.)

The company says it chose the name “Simple Mortgage” because its mortgage underwriting criteria are “standard, traditional, and basic.”  AGF says there is nothing "grey" about this mortgage in terms of qualifying.  The goal is to make qualifying “simple black and white.”

Here are the main product details…

  • Rate hold:  60 days
  • Minimum Credit Score:  620 (600 for co-borrowers)
  • Income:  Verifiable only (no stated income)
  • GDS/TDS:  35%/42% (up to 44% with a 680+ Beacon)
  • Lending area:  Ontario (other provinces may come later)
  • Maximum Mortgage:  $750K in GTA; $500K elsewhere
  • Minimum Mortgage:  $100K
  • Maximum LTV:  95%
  • Switches:  No (Clients must refinance)
  • Pre-approvals:  No
  • Gifted / Borrowed Down Payments:  Yes / No
  • Lump sum pre-payment option:  20% annual (on any payment date)
  • Payment increase option:  20% annually
  • Early termination penalty:  Greater of 3-months interest or IRD
  • Amortization:  Up to 35 years

Other considerations:

  • Properties should be 1-2 units in “readily marketable in urban locations” (no well or septic)
  • Owner-occupied properties only
  • AGF’s IRD penalty is based on bond yields.  (We’ve requested the calculation method and will advise.)
  • A good established credit history is essential

The Simple Mortgage is a solid new entrant in a crowded field.  However, if AGF stays true to its rate promise, it may have a winner.

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For complete details, contact any AGF Trust-approved mortgage planner.

  1. (Hopefully AGF has plenty of underwriters on staff to come through on this promise.)
    LOL, after they fired all of the former underwriters and brought in Moe’s disciples, then sure they have enough people, they have been twiddling their thumbs for 6 months, it’s a teaser…send in the deal at 95% ltv and they will cut it back to 85% ltv.
    [Edited]

  2. To the mortgage professionals who are considering using the services of AGF Trust, I would say, ‘STAY AWAY’. Whatever has been promised to you, the service, the rate and all of the gold bullions, is simply… All of your files will be under 3 microscopes, as they have 3 layers of Quality Control before funding…. Do not be surprised if…you will receive no proper explanation of why the deal cannot be done. The Management of Trust…are left only with handful of good people. There will be no BDMs since they got rid of each and everyone of them… The underwrites will have limited capacity to make any kind of decisions, and this will have a drastic affect on the turn around time and adequate result. (Speculation) Also, do not forget that AGF Trust shot the door on everyone in the industry for over a year and decided to stick its head in a sand, and now they try to come out only because there are some signs of recovery. Mortgage professionals; stick with Lenders who were standing by you in good times and in Bad!
    [Edited]

  3. Folks,
    Let stay on topic please (the product, not the past). There will be a short leash for any further comments that are either accusatory or are statements of fact without substantiation. Instead of editing we will delete whole posts if necessary as we don’t have time to police the forums all day.
    Thank you for your understanding,
    Rob

  4. Contrary to the poster above, AGF does have BDMs and I have found them to be very responsive. I never used AGF previously because we’ve never done a lot of B business here. So far the turnaround times have been a pleasant suprise.
    It is also nice to have a lender that doesn’t force volume minimums down your throat to get their best rate.

  5. Paul, it’s a fair statement, however I have never worked for AGF nor Moe, By the way sounds like you are one of the disciples, AGF bailed on brokers for the past year and now say–let’s get back into this? I don’t think so.

  6. Sam I don’t think that is fair. There are a lot of lenders that went completely out of business because of the credit crisis. AGF did not cut back by choice.

  7. Great point Janet. What was any lender who used the short-term commercial paper market to fund loans supposed to do when it evaporated overnight? Most held on for a while in the hopes that a similar funding vehicle would emerge but we’re almost two years later and there has been no recovery. It’s the prime market or bust if you want to be in the Canadian mortgage business these days.

  8. It would be a great point if AGF used ABCP to fund mortgages. I was always lead to believe that they kept the loans (Mortgages, HELOCs and RRSP Loans) on the balance sheet. In any event, its good to see new product offerings and a return of some products previously on hiatus at other lenders in the market.

  9. Correct M.C. it would be a correct argument but they were not someone that sold off mortgages, leave the market and want to come back, there should be something said for not turning your back on the brokers and should be something said for those that did shut it down on the brokers.

  10. AGF has an INSANE IRD and now that i’m going through a divorce, they are (charging) me an IRD charge for nearly half my equity…SO FAIR – and their customer services (is bad)…i can’t imagine anyone WANTING to get into bed with AGF…too bad i can’t talk about Mortgages with AGF since it’s just a call centre.
    **SO FRUSTRATED**
    [Edited. This comment is the opinion of the poster and is unverified.]

  11. Robert,
    If they have an “Insane IRD”, why did you sign the papers, and get a mortgage with them ?
    Sorry that you are going through a divorce, but that is no reason to expect not to follow a signed contract.
    You sure should complain if AGF is trying enforce something that’s not on the contract. But, I doubt that is the case.

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