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Best Bank in Canada to get a Mortgage

Written by Jessica Steer
Whether you are a first time home buyer or not, getting a mortgage is a huge financial decision. When getting a mortgage it is advised to speak with more than one lender or get a mortgage broker in order to ensure you are getting the best rate you are able to. The rate will make a difference in the limit you are approved for as well as the amortization of the loan. All banks offer different rates when it comes to mortgages depending on your credit score as well as your financial situation. Already having an account with a certain financial institution or moving your accounts over can also affect the rate you get approved for. No matter who you choose though, you want to ensure you are getting the best rate possible.
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    The Easiest Bank to get a Mortgage

    There is a common misconception that mortgages can be one of the most difficult types of loans to get. In actuality, it is easier to get a mortgage than you may think. This is mostly because a mortgage is a secured loan. The lender can use the home as collateral making their risk much less than that of a large unsecured loan.

    That being said, usually the easiest bank to get a mortgage with is the financial institution you already bank with. This is because they already have a lot of your accounts with them and want to do whatever possible in order to keep your business with them. That being said, it doesn’t guarantee that you will get approved. You still have to meet the requirements to get a mortgage and fall within the proper debt to income ratio. This is usually 40% or under, but can be up to 50% depending on the lender. Even if you are approved by your current financial institution, that does not guarantee that you will get the best mortgage rate.

    Otherwise, another option is to go with a smaller or alternative lender. Sometimes the big banks can be stricter when it comes to mortgage approvals. Smaller institutions like credit unions and online lenders can be easier to get mortgage approvals from, even if the interest rate is slightly higher.

    Best Bank for a Home Mortgage

    Picking the best mortgage lender is going to be different for everyone. That said, a really popular bank for mortgages that always has great rates is Tangerine. You can apply online or over the phone, but their rates start as low as 3.99%.

    Big 5 Banks for Mortgages

    When it comes to getting a mortgage there are a few reasons why the top 5 banks are the first that a buyer will check with. This is because they can provide more competitive loan terms and significant discounts. Depending on the type of mortgage you are looking for will also make a difference in the bank that you choose.


    In terms of a fixed rate mortgage, RBC offers quite competitive rates. They are one of the world’s largest banks and serve over $16 million customers. Offering some of the best fixed rate mortgage rates helps keep them there. Fixed-rate mortgages are one of the most popular types of mortgages. Especially in a higher inflation economy.

    With a fixed-rate mortgage with RBC, your rate can be guaranteed up to 120 days before the closing of a sale, or 30 days before your renewal date. This guarantees your payments are locked in for the duration of the agreement, even before you finalize your mortgage.

    The main reason buyers tend to prefer a fixed-rate mortgage is because nothing changes. Unlike a variable rate mortgage, a fixed rate mortgage keeps everything locked in for the duration of the term. There are no changes to your:

    • Interest rate
    • Amortization
    • Principle amount
    • Monthly payments


    While CIBC is also competitive when it comes to getting a mortgage, they are the recommended bank to contact if you need to refinance your mortgage. There are many reasons that you may choose to refinance, but the most common reason is to renew when your term ends. This is normally every 5 years, but it can be sooner depending on the term you signed for.

    Refinancing can be confusing but when you first get a mortgage, you are amortized for a certain amount of time. This is usually 25 years but the length can be different depending on your individual situation. With that amortization rate, you sign for a term at a certain interest rate. Once that rate ends then you have to renew for a new term based on the remaining amortization.


    The Bank of Montreal (BMO), is considered to be the fourth largest bank with over 8 million customers in Canada. While RBC is known for their fixed rate mortgages, BMO is recommended for Variable rate mortgages. This is because BMO variable mortgage payments don’t change. You still make the same monthly mortgage payments even if the interest rates rise, your principal to interest rate ratio just changes. The only time your monthly payment changes is if the interest payment exceeds that locked in monthly payment.


    TD’s mortgage specialty is collateral mortgages. These are sort of like readvanceable mortgages. This entitles you to take out the value or a portion of the value of your home if it is paid off, or if a portion of it is. This is based on approval of course. They use the equity in your homes as collateral against your line of credit.

    Some perks to a normal mortgage from TD are that you can pick your payments as well as the length of the mortgage. This gives you a little more freedom and flexibility when it comes to your mortgage payments.

    Scotia Bank

    The Bank of Nova Scotia, also known as Scotiabank, is the second largest bank and has over 11 million Canadian customers. Being such a large bank, this allows them to offer something called STEP (Scotia Total Equity Plan).

    STEP allows you to use your home's equity as a way to borrow money. You can use a variety of lending options such as:

    • Mortgages
    • Lines of credit
    • Credit cards
    • Personal loans

    There are also a variety of other lending options available as well. The lending option chosen is based on your specific needs and it’s just one application.

    Closed and Open Mortgages

    We know there are different types of mortgages available based on the interest rates that you choose, but did you know that there are also open and closed mortgages. This affects how much money you are able to put on the principle.

    Open mortgages allow you to put money down on the principle whenever you choose without a penalty. Using this feature allows you to reduce the amount of money you put towards your overall interest as well as pay your mortgage off early.

    Closed mortgages are different. With a closed mortgage you are limited to when you can put extra money down on the principle. There is usually a certain amount allowed per year and anything over that is subject to a penalty. That being said, a closed mortgage often has a lower interest rate than an open mortgage. Keep in mind that this type of mortgage is based on the finance term and not the amortization period. This means if you get a closed mortgage but you don’t like it, when you refinance you can try for an open mortgage.

    Rates of the Top 5 Banks

    With high inflation rates right now and the Bank of Canada currently increasing the Prime Rate in order to cool off the housing market, current Canadian mortgage rates are high. This makes it more crucial than ever to make an informed decision on the rates you choose for your mortgage. Here are the current mortgage rates in Canada at the top 5 banks.

    Bank 5 Year Variable 5 Year Fixed 3 Year Fixed
    RBC 5.5% (prime-0.45%) 5.39% 5.70%
    TD 5.65% (prime-0.30%) 5.44% 5.59%
    CIBC 5.69% (prime-0.26%) 5.49% 6.14%
    BMO 5.69% (prime -0.26%) 5.44% 5.67%
    Scotiabank 5.70% (prime-0.25%) 5.64% 5.79%

    No matter where you live in Canada, these mortgage rates stay the same. Currently, RBC has the best rates for a 5 year fixed mortgage, TD for a 3 year fixed, and RBC for a 5 year variable. That being said, these rates are based on approval. It depends on the type of mortgage you are needing, your overall income to debt ratio, credit score as well as your financial history with the bank.

    Before you make any decisions regarding your mortgage, you should see which bank suits your needs along with the rates. A good way to do this without having to go to multiple banks is to get a mortgage broker. Mortgage brokers can find a mortgage that suits your needs, while finding you the best rate, whether it is with a top 5 bank, regular bank or a non bank lender.

    Mortgage Rates Based on Province

    While mortgage rates in Canada are generally similar, the rate per province does depend on the competition in that province. That said, prime is the same throughout the country, so the rates won’t vary too much.

    • British Columbia - 5.39% for a 5 year fixed mortgage
    • Alberta - 5.04% for a 5 year fixed mortgage
    • Saskatchewan - 4.94% for a 5 year fixed mortgage
    • Manitoba - 4.99% for a 5 year fixed mortgage
    • Quebec - 5.04% for a 5 year fixed mortgage
    • Ontario - 4.89% for a 5 year fixed mortgage
    • Newfoundland and Labrador - 4.94% for a 5 year fixed mortgage
    • Nova Scotia - 5.14% for a 5 year fixed mortgage
    • PEI - 5.04% for a 5 year fixed mortgage

    Non Bank Mortgage Lenders

    If, for some reason, the banks aren’t approving you for a mortgage or you are looking for a non-bank alternative, don’t worry, you actually have a lot of options. There are plenty of non-bank lenders that give mortgages. Many of these non bank mortgages are also online mortgage lenders.

    • First National
    • Home Trust
    • MCAP
    • Street Capital
    • Credit Unions
    • Merix Financial
    • Spring Financial
    • Equity Financial Trust Company

    These are just to name a few. There are actually so many more. No matter what kind of mortgage you are looking for, just because the large banks didn’t work out, don’t forget there are plenty of other financial institutions that might be willing to lend you what you need.

    A and B Lenders in Canada

    There are a few differences when it comes to A and B mortgage lenders. For starters, A lenders tend to fund those with higher credit scores and stable incomes. These lenders are federally regulated chartered banks or provincially regulated credit unions. B Lenders, on the other hand, are quasi-regulated. Meaning, they aren’t directly federally regulated but they do have to follow regulations because of the business they are involved in.

    Most mortgages are funded by A lenders in Canada, such as the top 5 banks as well as National Bank. Over 27% of bank mortgages are funded by RBC alone. That being said, many home buyers are choosing to turn to B Lenders. There are a few reasons for this such as having lower credit scores, getting denied by larger banks or just choosing to use an alternative lender.

    In some cases, using a B lender can actually save you some money. It all really depends on your individual circumstances and what the lender is willing to lend you. It also makes a difference on whether the B lender gives you an open or a closed mortgage.

    How Spring Financial Can Help

    If you are in the market for a mortgage, Spring Financial can help. We are a non bank lender in Canada that can help with whatever type of mortgage you are looking for. We offer mortgages, home equity loans, as well as line of credit and mortgage combos. We help thousands of Canadians improve their credit score with our different financial products, mortgages being one of them. You can apply online in just a few minutes and one of our licensed agents will be there to help you through the process from start to finish. Feel free to give us a call at 1-888-781-8439 or chat with us directly.

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