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Margin centre

A margin account allows you to buy securities on credit and to borrow on securities already in the account. Buying on credit and borrowing are subject to standards established by Questrade, the regulators, and by the firm carrying the account. Interest is charged on any borrowed funds only for the period of time the loan is outstanding. You should be aware that trading on margin presents additional risks. Please review our risk disclosure statement.

Top FAQs

What is a margin call?
A margin call is issued when the account has surpassed the amount it can borrow. This will occur if the equity falls below the total margin requirement for the positions in the account. This is often the result of stock holdings dropping below the level required to maintain the loan extended.
How much time do I have to cover a margin call?
A margin call is due immediately when called, though we may offer an extension at our own discretion. The Questrade risk department will close part or all of the positions within 3 days or sooner to enforce the margin call if no action is taken to cover the margin call or the margin call is high relative to equity.

TIP: please ensure we always have your current email address on record so that we can reach you if your account does enter a margin call.
How can I cover margin call?
Cover your margin call by depositing funds or reducing your existing positions.


  • When you fund your account, notify our risk & credit department. Send proof of payment (i.e. screen shot from your online banking statement) to or fax 1.888.767.1819.

  • Third party deposits are not allowed. This means the name of the person (or persons) on the account from the depositing institution does not match the name on the Questrade account.
What are Questrade's margin requirements for stock?
Many well known stocks trading over $2 have a 30% margin requirement, which means that to buy $100 worth of stock you can put $30 towards the purchase and borrow the $70. For more details, please refer to the stocks and options section of our website.
How are the balances calculated?
Balances calculation
Market value of all positions
+ Cash balance
= Equity
- Market value of long options
+ Market value of short options
- Margin requirement on all positions
= Maintenance excess
= Buying power
What is a concentrated position?
A concentrated position is when the market value of security is greater than equity in the account. Although theoretically one can buy stock to the maximum of 3.3 times of equity (if the stock is eligible for 30% reduced margin), Questrade advises against creating concentrated positions and may from time to time request you to reduce concentrated positions.

Account balances definitions

Cash balance in the account. A negative value indicates borrowed funds.
Market value
Current total value of owned shares.
Cash plus total market value of all positions.
Maintenance excess
The difference between your equity and margin requirement is the maintenance excess, and represents the equity available to support new trades. Please note that any open orders reduce maintenance excess.
Buying power (BP)
Buying power is three times your maintenance excess. Buying power represents the maximum amount of stock you could buy based on leverage. For example, if you deposit $1,000 and are buying a stock with a 30% margin requirement, you could buy a maximum of $3,333.33 of this stock ($1,000/.3). Please note that buying power is less if you purchase stocks with higher margin requirement.
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