Fresh Start Mortgage

Get a mortgage even with a lower credit score. It’s a perfect option if you’re self-employed, new to Canada, or were rejected by a bank. 

  • Get your approval in one business day!

Fresh Start Mortgage

Smiling dad, mom, and daughter

Discover the benefits!

  • Save money
  • Discover lower credit score requirements
  • Enjoy flexible options
  • Pay lower rates
  • Earn cash dividends

Compare and see

Save thousands through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) First Time Home Buyer Incentive! Here’s an example using a $350,000 mortgage. See the potential savings from the Shared Equity Mortgage (SEM) Incentive.

ItemMortgage with SEMMortgage without SEM
CMHC Insurance$9,675$13,300
Mortgage Amount
(minus down payment & insurance)
Monthly Payment$1,540$1,639

Total savings in 1 year: $1,188
Total savings in 5 years: $5,940

Get your first home faster by seeing what we’ll need to help you. Here’s our mortgage application checklist

Join the 65,000+ Canadians who bank with us

Get your dream home

What are the eligibility requirements to apply for a mortgage?

Proof of Residence

You must be a Canadian resident.

Proof of Age

You must be 18 years of age or older to apply.

It's perfect for entrepreneurs

Are you an entrepreneur or self-employed? We understand that small business owners often get overlooked by big banks when applying for a home mortgage.

Fluctuating incomes or slightly bruised credit histories shouldn't get in the way of you getting your dream home.

Thankfully, you can invest in your future with Innovation Federal Credit Union's Fresh Start Mortgage.

We recognize that your business is your source of income and that's why we've made getting you a mortgage very easy.

Innovation considers your credit score and all sources of income when assessing your eligibility. Even with inconsistent income flows, our experts can find the right mortgage solutions customized for your needs.

With personalized low-interest rate offers we will help you save thousands on your first home purchase.

You can also build your credit history as you make your monthly payments.

The Fresh Start Program is built specifically to help you with a simplified loan process.

Don't choose between starting a business and buying a home. You can have both with our Fresh Start Mortgage. Call us today! 

Save thousands

You can save approximately $6,000 in five years with CMHC’s Shared Equity Mortgage (SEM) Incentive. Make your mortgage more affordable!

Get the chance you deserve

We understand that your low to no credit rating might have been beyond your control, especially if you’re new to Canada or are a self-employed business owner.

Enjoy flexible options

  • Open mortgages let you make large payments without penalty.
  • Closed mortgages make budgeting easier since you’ll always know your mortgage payment amount.
  • A fixed rate protects against rate increases.
  • A variable rate floats with prime to take advantage of rate decreases.

Discover great rates

You’ll find competitive mortgage rates for any term length of your choosing. You’ll also enjoy fantastic pay down options.

Earn cash dividends

You earn cash dividends on a mortgage with us. The more you bank with us, the more you benefit.

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Need help?

Ask an Advisor

No jargon, no hidden fees, and no pressure - only smart advice!


Checklist - When applying for a mortgage, we'll need some documents and information. Here’s our mortgage application checklist.

Residential Mortgage Security - When you borrow money to buy a house, we require security in the form of real property.

Mortgage Default Insurance - As per Legislation, we can only lend up to 80% of the purchase price or value of your new home. If you have less than 20% for a down payment, you'll need mortgage default insurance (pdf).

A protection plan provides peace of mind for you and your loved ones. During a tough time, you can focus on your family. We'll focus on protecting you from financial loss.

With an insured mortgage, if you are unable to make your mortgage payments, CUMIS, our reputable insurance company, will make the payments for you. You can apply for a variety of insurance types for your mortgage: disability, life, loss of employment, or critical illness. So, for example, if you lost your job and had loss of employment insurance on your mortgage, CUMIS would make your mortgage payments until you found a job again (up to maximum time noted in your policy). You wouldn’t have to worry about losing your home during such a difficult time.


Pay down your mortgage faster with our 20/20 pay-down option. You can choose one or both options:

  • Pay up to 20% of your original mortgage principal each year without penalty.
  • Increase your monthly payments by 20% without penalty.

Ask us how you can take advantage of the option without penalty.


Our No-Fee Bank Account has no monthly fees and no minimum balance requirements. Save ~$11/month in fees!


Earn cash dividends simply by doing your everyday banking with us. The more you bank with us, the more you benefit.


Your business helps us support your community. We allocate 2% to 4% of pre-tax profits/year to our communities.

Get the home of your dreams

We have a different definition of “creditworthy” than other mainstream lenders. Contact us to get your fresh start today! And remember to reference our mortgage application checklist to get your new home faster.

What non-traditional mortgage loans and options can do for you

Home ownership is a dream for plenty of Canadians. But traditional mortgages also come with strict rules and plenty of red tape.

If you’re:

  • self-employed,
  • have a lower credit score or previous rejection for a home loan, or
  • are a newcomer to Canada,

it can be hard to successfully apply for a mortgage.

A non-traditional mortgage loan, like our Fresh Start Mortgage, can make buying your first home a much more realistic goal. This first-time home buyer loan takes your needs into account.

Buy a house with loan programs designed for your needs

A traditional mortgage doesn’t always work for everyone. That’s why you can choose from a range of mortgage offers.

Fresh Start Mortgage

With a Fresh Start Mortgage, it’s easier to account for all types of income. That includes the earnings of self-employed business owners and entrepreneurs, who all too often run into issues with traditional lenders. You need your credit union to take a broader perspective when it comes to your earnings.

Our Fresh Start home loan can also serve as a newcomer mortgage. Some lenders hesitate to offer loans to new Canadian residents. But we’re willing to work with you and support your dream of owning a home. Our first-time home-buyer programs support a wide range of needs.

Home Loan Cashback Offers

Check back regularly with us to see our cash-back mortgage offers for first-time buyers! When a deal is active, you can find opportunities to save real money when you start a home loan with us or transfer one to us.

Find the best mortgage for your needs

Our Best Mortgage tool compares your situation with all our home loan options. Borrow money from the comfort of your smartphone or computer!

A home loan for first-time buyers

If you meet the qualifications to be considered a first-time home buyer, a First Mortgage can mean significant savings. Thanks to incentives offered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, you can cut thousands of dollars off of the total cost of your loan.

Find better rates and repayment flexibility

Have an existing mortgage, but feel like you could do better? Transfer your mortgage to Innovation to make a positive change.

You can lower your interest rate and choose whether you want an open or closed home loan. Select between a variable and fixed interest rate, too.

Get your new build off the ground

Building a new home? Get personalized advice and guidance from our team along with competitive rates and much more. Check out our New Build Mortgage.

Achieve your home ownership dreams. Apply online in minutes!


Need more help choosing your mortgage?

Try our mortgage selection tool!
Learn more about your mortgage options on the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada's (FCAC) website.

AIR = Annual Interest Rate

APR = Annual Percentage Rate

Annual Interest Rate = The total cost of credit expressed as an annual percentage, not including various non-interest charges.

Annual Percentage Rate = The total cost of credit expressed as an annual percentage, taking into account, both interest and various non-interest charges.

If there are no non-interest finance charges, the AIR and APR will be the same.

APR Assumptions:
a. $300,000 Mortgage
b. 25 Year Amortization
c. Applicable Term for Each
d. $400 Appraisal Fee

Applicable to residential mortgages only and subject to Innovation Federal Credit Union lending criteria for residential properties. Some conditions apply.

Interest rate compounded semi-annually not in advance. Interest rates are subject to change without notice.Applicable to residential mortgages only and subject to Credit Union lending criteria for residential properties. Some conditions apply.

Rates subject to change without notice.

Innovation Federal Credit Union will lend for properties located in Canada only.

Additional information for building mortgages could be required depending on the type of construction project you are undertaking.

Loans and mortgages can be approved in one business day if you have submitted all required paperwork  OR, you will be able to book an appointment in one business day and be approved in two businesses days if you have submitted all required paperwork.