Best Mortgage Brokers in Canada 2022
Buying a house is a complicated process. So complicated, in fact, that it’s best to not go at it alone.
That’s why many Canadians choose to work with a mortgage broker when they’re looking for mortgage approval or pre-approval. Mortgage brokers are licensed professionals who serve as a meditator between lenders and borrowers. They don’t usually offer you the mortgage directly but instead show you a wide range of mortgage options from a variety of lenders.
The whole point of using a mortgage broker is to save time that you’d otherwise use shopping for rates, so why spend a lot of time looking for which mortgage broker you should choose? We did the research for you. Here are our choices for the best mortgage brokers in Canada.
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Montreal-based startup Nesto has only been around for a few years, making it one of the newest mortgage brokers in Canada. However, it’s already rounded up positive reviews and newspaper profiles. Nesto works with lenders from across the country to offer extremely low rates to Canadians looking for a new mortgage, or who are looking to re-mortgage their property. They also offer mortgage renewals.
Nesto offers its users a commission-free process which allows them to offer rates lower than what you’d see with other broker companies. They don’t offer in-person advising, but they do have a direct line that connects customers with agents. Nesto is also known for their short approval window, with some customers even hearing back in a matter of hours.
Homewise is another online-only broker that works with over 30 banks and lenders to deliver low mortgage rates. Their main appeal is their ease of use. In only five minutes, shoppers can complete a questionnaire that will result in a profile unique to them. Their profile can then be matched with the multiple options for mortgages on the market.
Homewise prides itself on transparency, so users are faced with all of the nitty-gritty details of their mortgage rates while they’re shopping on the platform. Realizing that many shoppers would like to have a human connection while making a big purchase, Homewise also offers quick human support to all of its customers. This means that customers can easily and quickly get support on any questions or concerns that they have, and don’t have to deal with any of the bothersome paperwork.
Chances are that you’re already familiar with the company behind Questmortgage, Questrade. They’re well known for being one of the best ways to manage their investments online. They’ve been around since 1999.
Questmortgage is a newer offering from the company, but don’t let that dissuade you. Questmortgage offers its customers substantial savings through their trademarked BetterRate mortgages. BetterRate mortgages are available as either fixed-rate or variable-rate. Questmortgage’s customer service team can help you decide which format would be better for you.
Shopping for a mortgage through Questmortgage is easy. It can be done completely online through their easy-to-use tool. Questmortgage also offers a comprehensive website that includes a handy mortgage affordability calculator and a wealth of how-to guides to assist Canadian homebuyers.
4. True North
The True North mortgage brokerage has its roots in Calgary, where it was founded in 2003. Today, True North offers mortgages to Canadians across the country as well as an online store experience in 11 different locations. If you’re somebody who values the trust that is built in face-to-face interactions, these physical locations give this brokerage a major advantage over the other online options.
True North relies on the volume discounts that it gets from its lenders that it’s then able to pass on to the consumer. Like all other online mortgage brokers, True North’s services are free to use. Because they’ve been around longer than the other options on this list, they also have more proof to show for themselves, too. Impressively, the company has helped match Canadians with more than $15 billion dollars worth of mortgages. They also have more online reviews than any other mortgage brokerage in the country.
5. Big Banks
It’s possible that you’ve looked over this list of mortgage brokers in Canada and felt like there isn’t one that pulls to you. It’s okay—trusting something as important as your mortgage to an online company isn’t for everyone.
There’s always the option of going with one of the big banks. Going directly to the source isn’t always the easiest option—it usually involves some degree of manually shopping around to make sure you’re finding the right rate—but it’s the option that some people feel most comfortable with.
Plus, even if you don’t get the cheapest mortgage rate with your local Big Five Bank, there are other things in it for you. Some homebuyers find security in the fact that they can reach out to a direct contact to get answers to their questions related to their mortgage—with brokers, sometimes there’s a bit of a runaround.
If you have a relationship with your bank you may also be able to access a discount.
Why use a mortgage broker?
The main advantage of using a mortgage broker is that they save you the time and effort of shopping around between banks. While banks are only ever going to offer you one option—their product—mortgage lenders are able to offer you options from a wide variety of lenders. These options won’t be all-inclusive because some lenders won’t work with brokers. But you’ll have more choices than you would with a traditional bank.
Some mortgage brokers may also be able to offer discounted rates. Depending on your credit rating, you might not even have to pay a fee to use a mortgage broker’s services.
What to Look for in a Mortgage Broker
You work with a mortgage broker to save time on research, but that doesn’t mean that research can be avoided completely. You should still do some research to make sure that you’re choosing the right brokerage for you. Here are some things to look for:
- What happens if you need to get out of your mortgage? Mortgage brokerages should have a policy that covers what happens if you can’t pay. Sometimes these can include steep penalties, so make sure you look into it first.
- Do you know anyone in your personal life who has used a mortgage broker before? Can they offer a recommendation?
- How important is it to you to be able to get real-time advice from a mortgage broker? Not every online brokerage company offers online chat support, so make sure to look into this if it’s important to you.
- Is your mortgage brokerage offering you a fixed rate or variable mortgage? Remember, a fixed-rate mortgage will always stay the same regardless of the economy. Variable mortgages, on the contrary, can ebb and flow.
- Do the brokers get paid on a commission? Many online banks don’t run on commissions (just salaries), but it’s worth double-checking. Some mortgage shoppers don’t feel comfortable in an environment where agents are earning a commission.
Frequently Asked Questions
If it’s your first time buying a house, you may feel apprehensive about shopping for mortgages, so it’s good to know what to expect. Your exact rate will depend on your unique profile as well as the terms of your mortgage, but you can get a sense of the average rates from Stats Canada. In February 2022, the average mortgage rate was 3.58%.
When you get a mortgage from a bank, you are getting it directly from the source. However, when you go through a broker, you are using a third party to search for rates. It might seem like an extra step, but there are advantages. Unlike the bank, which will only offer you one rate (their rate), a mortgage broker can offer you a number of rates from different sources, which helps you ensure that you’re getting the best deal available.
Once you’re all set with your mortgage, your work isn’t quite over yet. You’ll need to start shopping for insurance—mortgage life insurance is not mandatory but many homeowners do still opt for it. You could buy life insurance for the same purpose. If your downpayment is less than 20% of your house’s price, then you are required by law to have mortgage default insurance (or CMHC insurance).