Safely Apply for a Mortgage Online

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by CanEquity

What you Should Know Before Submitting Personal Information over the Net

There are many simple steps you can take to ensure your information stays safe while you take advantage of the ease of online mortgage application. By knowing how to properly screen the websites you visit, you can protect your personal information and guarantee the validity of the product you are aiming to attain.

If you are one of the many Canadians who view the Internet as ambiguous, try answering the following question to test if your knowledge on Internet security is truly online.

The Internet Safety Quiz

Which of the following can tell you if a website is secure, legitimate and Canadian?

A. The URL begins with https:

B. The web address ends in .ca

C. The padlock or locked key symbol appears in the bottom right corner of your browser

D. Familiar logos and Canadian content appear on the website

If you selected A through C, you have a good understanding of the first things to look at before business can be conducted online in a safe and secure manner. Don’t be persuaded by familiar logos. These can easily be copied and pasted to any website, but a combination of A to C cannot.

Gone is the day where the only way to enact a transaction is to stand in a lengthy bank line, book an appointment to see a financial representative, or wait on hold to be passed along to relevant parties.

Today, so long as you are cautious and look for the essentials, from the comfort of your home or office, and on your own time, you can securely submit information and requests online and be assured it will only be received by the party intended.CanEquity.com is a Canadian online mortgage brokerage that introduced the secure mortgage application to Canada in 2001. Here are some tips they recommend to ensure you have a good experience when you apply for your mortgage online.

Online Application Safety Tips

Confirm the Legitimacy of the Website
Unfortunately not all websites are what they appear to be. Using a smoke and mirrors tactic phishing sites can fain authenticity by posting logos, or mimicking legitimate sites. The personal information submitted on these websites can be used toward identity theft.

Don’t panic. This cannot happen to you if you remember that legitimate websites will never ask you to divulge passwords, credit card information or account balances via unsolicited e-mail. If a site asks you for these items, ensure that the web address is correct and that the site is secure.

There are several easy ways for you to confirm the website is legitimate. Always double check the website address, also called the URL. URLs that end with anything other than .com or .ca before the backslash, or have unexpected hyphens or multiple periods before the slash, should provoke your concern.

Try putting the company name into a Google search. The valid company website should come up before any mimic sites. A phishing site will usually not remain active long enough to attain top Google results.

Determine the company’s inception date. The longer they have been in business, the more reliance you can tend to place on their services.

You can also visit the Better Business Bureau Canada website and search the company name to ensure it is listed and in good standing, and confirm that the physical contact information provided matches the website address.

Another easy item to spot is the little padlock symbol that will appear at the bottom right hand corner of your browser when you are on a secure site. The padlock indicates that the website you are visiting encrypts your information so that to anyone attempting to view it, other than those holding the website’s access code, the information will appear scrambled.

Lastly, as stated in the above quiz, a secure website address ALWAYS begins with https.

Question the Information Provided

Reputable companies will never require nor ask for your personal financial information. Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) may be requested to obtain an accurate credit check, however, by law you are under no obligation to submit such. The majority of mortgage companies should be able to attain your credit score without the disclosure of your SIN.

Customary information requested in an online mortgage application will routinely include:

  • Type of mortgage being sought
  • Purchase and property details (purchase price, down payment amount, amortization desired, term length sought)
  • Personal statistics (name, address, marital status, number of dependents, current employer, current income)
  • Co-applicant information
  • Liability and asset information (vehicles, investment totals)

Look for the Privacy Policy

Under the PIPED Act, Canadian law mandates that any company which engages in the collection of customer data is required to post a privacy policy that clearly provides both a name and contact number for an appointed privacy officer. The federal government takes this measure to protect the privacy of personal information when collected and used toward commercial intent.

A privacy policy should provide company integrity information, the type of personal information needed to deliver the services you require, and information on how this information will be used.

Ensure you are Dealing with a Canadian Company

If the property for which you are attaining financing is on Canadian soil, the mortgage must come from a Canadian company. Verify the mortgage website you are applying to can legally provide you the services they are offering. An easy way to do this is to search the website domain at www.who.is. Your search should tell you when the domain was created, when it expires, where it is registered, how many visits the website receives and its current status. Be sure the company operates in Canada.

It is always better to err on the side of caution when submitting information over the Net. By taking the necessary precautions to keep your personal information protected, you can enjoy the convenience and ease offered by the safe online mortgage application.

Article provided by CanEquity.com.

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