OSFI confirms Minimum Qualifying Rate for uninsured mortgages

News Release

For Immediate Release

OTTAWA ─ December 17, 2021 ─ Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions

Today, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) confirmed that the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages will remain the greater of the mortgage contract rate plus 2 percent or 5.25 percent.

In an environment characterized by increased household indebtedness and low interest rates, it is essential that lenders test their borrowers to ensure that mortgages can continue to be paid during more adverse conditions. This environment supports today’s decision to maintain the current minimum qualifying rate.

Mortgages are typically one of the largest exposures that banks carry on their balance sheets. Ensuring that borrowers can continue to repay their mortgage loans strongly contributes to the safety and soundness of Canada’s financial system.

OSFI reviews and communicates the minimum qualifying rate at least every December. Throughout the year, we will continue to monitor the appropriateness of the minimum qualifying rate and will make further adjustments, if conditions warrant.  


“Sound mortgage underwriting is critical for maintaining the stability of the financial system. This is especially true now when changing conditions such as potentially rising interest rates could make repaying mortgages more difficult in the future.”

- Peter Routledge, Superintendent

Quick Facts

  • Uninsured mortgages are residential mortgages with a down payment of 20 percent or more.
  • OSFI makes decisions on the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages based on data from its ongoing monitoring of federally regulated financial institutions as well as its analytical work on system-wide and sectoral developments.
  • OSFI works with its federal financial regulatory partners, notably the Department of Finance Canada and the Bank of Canada, when setting the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages.
  • The Department of Finance is responsible for setting the minimum qualifying rate for insured mortgages.

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