What if I don't have a 20% down payment?

Couple applying for a personal loan

To purchase a home in Canada, you are required to have a minimum of 5% of the purchase price as a down payment. If your down payment is below 20% of the purchase price, your mortgage is defined as high ratio and requires mortgage default insurance. The premium for this insurance can either be paid up front or added to your mortgage.

Here in Canada, your mortgage will be insured by one of three companies: the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Genworth Financial and Canada Guaranty.

An insured mortgage allows all buyers who do not have a 20% down payment to enjoy the benefits of home ownership and begin building equity in a home. For mortgages that are insured, the maximum amortization is 25 years, compared to 30 years for a non-insured mortgage.


The mortgage default insurance premium depends on the percentage of the down payment, as follows:

Down Payment

5.00% - 9.99%
10.00% - 14.99%
15.00% - 19.99%

Insurance Premium

4.00% of mortgage balance
3.10% of mortgage balance
2.80% of mortgage balance