"Alt-A" stands for alternative 'A.'

Alt-A mortgages are a classification of loans with more risk than prime ('A') mortgages but less risk than subprime ('B') mortgages.

Canada's top alt-A lenders include the likes of Home Trust, Equitable Bank and First National Excalibur, to name a few.

Alt-A borrowers include those with a shorter or undocumented track record of self-employed income, those rehabilitating their credit, those with temporarily high debt-service ratios and new Canadians with no domestic credit history.

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