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The Best Canadian Home Loans

The 6 Best Canadian Home Loans

Where Can You Get the Best Rates and Terms on Mortgages in Canada?

You might think that the smartest route is going to your local bank and applying there - and that's what most of us do. But, will it get you the lowest possible interest rates and the terms you need? Increasingly, the answer is "no" .

Would it surprise you to know that Canadian homeowners are behind their peers around the world when it comes to applying for mortgages online - or even just using the internet to do some initial research to see what current rates might be? According to a survey conducted by HSBC, just under 40% of Canadians had ever switched lenders - compare that with 53% of American homeowners and 44% of mortgage holders worldwide - and only 50% of the Canadians surveyed had even looked at rates on bank or brokerage websites.

Monday, October 18th

2021 Canadian Home Loan Reviews

Homewise Review Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award 5 Star Rating

Homewise

5 Star Rating Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Homewise has only been brokering mortgages online in Canada for a few years, but the company has quickly risen to the top. Their platform makes it almost error-proof to learn about, pre-qualify for, and get approved for a home mortgage, even for home buyers that are new to the experience. Using Homewise gives you one-stop access to more than 30 different lenders throughout the country, plus a team of home advisors who will work to get you the type of mortgage you prefer. This service earns our highest ranking among providers of mortgages in Canada.

RatesDotCA Review 4.5 Star Rating

RatesDotCA

4.5 Star Rating

RatesDotCa gives you just about everything you could want in a mortgage referral service: upfront quotes with no personal information required, helpful information for understanding mortgages in general, and the ability to connect with vetted lenders in their network. The company has a proven track record for getting homebuyers the best rates and terms available in real time - but be aware that you'll have to take the extra step of applying with any lender you select through RatesDotCa. This is an all-around good choice for finding a home loan with competitive rates in Canada.

Breezeful Review 4 Star Rating

Breezeful

4 Star Rating

Since 2019, Canadian fintech company Breezeful has been working to simplify the mortgage process with their online-only process that takes you from preapproval to closing as smoothly and quickly as possible. You can get competing offers from over two dozen lenders, even with mortgages of $2 million or more. There's not a lot of client feedback for Breezeful yet, and a few glitchy spots during the application process left us feeling like this brokerage is still a bit of a work in progress - but one that shows strong potential to be a contender in the Canadian home loans marketplace.

Loans Canada Review 3.5 Star Rating

Loans Canada

3.5 Star Rating

Since 2012, Loans Canada has been helping people comparison shop for home mortgages and other products. They've earned accreditation and an "A+" rating from the BBB, and their website is particularly informative for first-time homebuyers. Their lender network consists mostly of smaller banks and financial institutions, and you can't get any rate quotes without submitting all of your personal information first. Loans Canada gets a "good enough" rating from us, but there are better options available.

Mogo Review 3 Star Rating

Mogo

3 Star Rating

Mogo is a solid option for getting your credit score for free, but are they worth looking at for your home mortgage? Maybe not quite yet. Their brokerage services are only available in select provinces, and you're only eligible if your credit score is at least 640 and your down payment will be less than 20%. While the BBB gives Mogo an "A+" rating, customers with other types of loans don't rate the company nearly as high. MogoMortgage has potential, but better options are out there.

Scotiabank Review 2.5 Star Rating

Scotiabank

2.5 Star Rating

Scotiabank has millions of customers throughout Canada and the rest of the Americas, so it's no surprise if they're one of the first lenders that come to mind for your mortgage. But, are they the best option? Probably not. An "F" rating from the Better Business Bureau should give you pause, and remember that big banks like Scotia have little incentive to negotiate with you on rates and terms.

Compare the Best Reviews

Continued from above...

Be a trendsetter: start your mortgage-hunting process online. Why? The big banks have zero reason to compete for your business, because millions of customers walk through their doors every year to get the money they need to buy their new homes. On the other hand, smaller banks, credit unions and other financial institutions are highly motivated to get your attention with lower rates, more favorable terms, and greater emphasis on customer service after the mortgage is put in place. Plus, if you're still interested in being a mortgage client of one of the bigger banks, you can easily get rate quotes online for those institutions as well - without having to go in person.

But, how can you determine which services are reputable and reliable? A mortgage is no small commitment, and you want to ensure that your financial information is protected and that your home loan is 100% above-board.

As you consider various canadian mortgage lending sites, here are several criteria that can guide your decision:

  • Ease of Use. How hard is it to navigate the website for the mortgage service? Can you quickly find the information you need, fill out the initial application with no hassles, or even see basic rate quotes without having to jump through too many hoops?
  • Number of Lenders. If you go to a bank's mortgage site, the number of available lenders is just that one. On the other hand, if you use a brokerage service, you could access mortgage offers from 10 to 30+ different financial institutions with a single inquiry. The more partner lenders a mortgage service has, the better your chances of getting a home loan with terms you'll love.
  • Reputation. How long has the mortgage lender or brokerage been in operation? Has it been ranked by the Better Business Bureau? What do other clients have to say about their experiences, both during the mortgage process and afterwards?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best online providers of home mortgages in Canada. We're confident that this information will help you get the loan you need to buy your "home sweet home" .

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Canadian Home Loan FAQ

You may feel unsure about applying for a mortgage online. The majority of Canadians still go the traditional route: going to their local bank for a home loan. But, there are many reasons you should consider being part of the newest trend and getting your home loan through an online lender. Your local bank will rarely give you multiple options for your mortgage, and they have little motivation to compete for your business. On the other hand, online mortgage providers in Canada can match you with multiple lenders who are very eager to work with you - and who will offer better rates and terms to earn your commitment. While it may seem unfamiliar or even a little scary, you can rest assured that there are many reputable, established Canadian lenders who can help you get the right mortgage for your home purchase - online!
It's not a requirement, but it gives you a big advantage when you're ready to make an offer. Getting pre-approval means that a lender has said that they'd be willing to give you a home loan, based on the information you gave them about your income and other particulars. Pre-approval helps you know how much house you can afford, and it communicates to the sellers that you're serious and qualified when you make an offer.
Most Canadians -80% to 84% - go with fixed-rate mortgages. Why are they so popular? They're stable, predictable, and you never get surprised with a higher interest rate (and higher payments). With variable-rate home loans, your rates could go up (or down) at any time. If you know you're not going to stay in your home for a long time, a variable-rate mortgage may save you money - if you're willing to take the risk that it could cost you more, too.
Closed mortgages can't be repaid in full before the end of the loan term without incurring a penalty. Open mortgages can. Why would anyone choose a closed home loan, then? Simple: they have much lower interest rates. You would probably choose an open mortgage only if you're planning on flipping a house or if you know you're going to be able to pay it off in full in the near future (e.g. you're getting an inheritance or other influx of cash).
Canadian law says that you have to put down at least 5% when taking out a mortgage. Also, if your down payment is below 20%, you'll have to pay for mortgage insurance: a monthly fee added to your mortgage payment. Those payments can be removed in the future once you've built up enough equity in your home.
If you have a portable home loan, it allows you to transfer it to a different home in the future with no penalties. Unless you plan on staying in your home for the entire length of your loan (10, 15, 20 years), it's a good idea to look for a lender offering portable mortgages. Just be aware that some lenders don't allow you to move your mortgage across provinces.
Your pre-approval can usually be completed in 24-72 hours, but that's just the first step. Once you've made an offer on a home and been accepted by the seller, most of the timing depends on a variety of factors. How quickly is the seller trying to close? Are you selling another home and making your purchase contingent on that sale? How fast can the required inspections and appraisals be completed? Work closely with your realtor and your lender to keep things progressing, and don't hesitate to ask for updates if you're feeling anxious about how fast (or slow) your process seems to be moving.
That's a smart question to ask. Buying a home costs more than just your down payment and the mortgage itself. Your purchase could also include an appraisal fee, home inspection, land transfer taxes, property insurance (paid monthly or annually), title insurance, and fees for real estate lawyers. Ask your realtor about typical closing costs for homes in the price range you're considering, and make sure to factor that estimate in when you're calculating how much you can afford.
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