Almost one in four millennial Canadians thinks it’s OK to inflate their income on mortgage applications, according to a Leger survey for Equifax Canada.
Twenty-three per cent of millennials surveyed said inflating their annual income when applying for a mortgage was acceptable, nearly double the percentage of the general population (12%) that was asked the same question.
“It’s concerning that so many younger adults we surveyed believe it’s OK to inflate their income to purchase the home they want,” said Julie Kuzmic, director of consumer advocacy at Equifax Canada. “Fudging income numbers when completing a mortgage application is fraud. It also becomes a slippery slope for these people who end up stretching themselves too thin.”
Mortgage fraud is when someone misrepresents, lies or exaggerates information to obtain a mortgage that would not have been granted if they had told the truth. Almost one-quarter of millennials (23%) said mortgage fraud is a victimless crime, compared to 16% of the entire population.
The results of the survey showed that 53% of consumers indicated mortgage fraud is a growing problem. Yet, 12% of those surveyed said they had not been entirely truthful on a credit or loan application; among millennials, that number was 19%.
The survey also revealed that consumers are not checking their credit scores before applying for a mortgage. Of those surveyed, 60% said they did not check their credit scores before approaching a lender to secure a mortgage.
Leger conducted the online survey of 1,545 Canadians from across the country. Online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.