What happens if I change jobs? Can I still get a mortgage?

This may not be as big of a deal as you think. In the modern world, people change jobs frequently, and (mostly) gone are the days that employees stick with the same employer for decades. Even pension and benefit plans have shifted to reflect this new transient trend.

The bigger question you need to ask is – how is my employment changing, and how might that affect my eligibility?

Let’s say you’ve been working as a Marketing Manager with Company X for 5 years and you’re ready to buy a place. However, Company Y found you on LinkedIn and has offered you the same (or a similar) role with an increase in pay and an extra week’s vacay – you’d be crazy not to take it, right? This is what is usually considered a ‘continuation of employment’ as you are continuing within the same industry, with the same job functions, and your total years of service are considered. In short, only the name on your paycheque has changed – your career hasn’t. In most cases, a lender would like to see you past your probationary period (often 90 days), but even this may be flexible.

Things become a bit more muddy if you’re fundamentally switching careers. If you decide to scrap that Marketing Manager position for a career in professional skydiving, a lender may want to see some successful history with the transition before committing to lend, but each and every situation is different.

When switching to business for self, lenders usually want to see a 2-year history of income, but again depending on your experience and the nature of the business, there may be some flexibility there. For example, if you’re an experienced computer programmer who worked for a big corporation who is now going solo with confirmed contracts in place that could potentially fall under the ‘continuation of employment’ designation.

Lastly, if your employment changed because you’re transitioning into a career (i.e., you’re quitting Cactus Club because you’ve just finished nursing school or a red seal trade certificate), then the duration of your employment may not matter at all because your professional designation offsets it.

In short, don’t let applying for a mortgage dictate what you do with your career – if an opportunity presents itself, then do what’s best for you because there’s likely to be a solution out there that fits your unique needs.

Submitted by Jennifer Watts, Mortgage Broker, Valley Mortgage Broker