IntelliMortgage is an online Canadian mortgage broker that allows prospective mortgage borrowers and home buyers to compare rates across multiple lenders on the same portal.
As a first-time home buyer, finding the best rate that works for your situation can be tricky, particularly when the major mortgage lenders rarely post their most competitive rate. And, that is where mortgage brokers come into play.
Mortgage brokers work with multiple lenders including big banks, credit unions, wholesale lenders, etc. to source the best rates for their clients. This service normally comes at no-cost to you the borrower, because the lender pays fees to the mortgage broker for processing your mortgage on their behalf.
How To Find The Best Mortgage Rates in Canada
Finding the lowest mortgage rate for a home you are looking to buy is now much easier.
In the past, you would generally approach your bank or credit union and speak to a mortgage advisor who will offer you a rate. More often than not, the mortgage rate they offer you is not the most competitive rate you qualify for. Depending on your negotiation skills and client history with the bank, you may eventually be able to negotiate a better deal.
The challenge with this approach is that you really don’t know what the best mortgage rate is. Mr. A may be able to negotiate a 3.49% 5-year fixed mortgage rate, while Mr. B gets the same mortgage (and terms) for 3.70% at the same bank. So, if you are the type of person who does not have the confidence, know-how, or connections to hustle for the best rates, you are stuck with the posted rate which is usually as high as the bank can profitably place it.
The good news is that nowadays, mortgage borrowers have more choices and flexibility when it comes to getting the best mortgage rates. The key to this are “online mortgage brokers.” Without having to leave your home, you can go to their website and compare rates across hundreds of lenders, including banks, credit unions, and other non-traditional lenders who do not deal directly with clients on a one-on-one basis.
When you have found the lowest and most suitable rate for your mortgage needs, you can apply for it at the click of a button – all from the comfort of your home!
For example, on the IntelliMortgage website, you can enter your preferred mortgage term (e.g. 5 years), home value, mortgage amount, closing date, prepayment options, province, etc. After inputting the required information, the mortgage builder will show you the various “lowest rates” available from their lenders.
Click on the “Get Rate” button to create an account (or Log-in if you already have an account). You will be asked to answer basic questions relating to the type of mortgage you want; your personal details including address, job, income, assets, etc. Submit necessary documents and your application is done.
If there are no other issues, your application is usually approved between 24-48 business hours.
In general, documents required when you are purchasing a home include:
- Income verification: recent pay stub, job letter, Notice of Assessment, etc.
- Proof of down payment: bank statement, gift letter, deposit receipt, etc.
- MLS listing of home you want to buy
- Purchase Agreement: final signed purchase agreement
- Void Cheque
- ID: Government-issued photo ID
1. Best Rate Guarantee
They guarantee that their mortgage rates are “commonly the lowest in Canada and always in the best 1%.” Even better, if you get a lower rate elsewhere, they promise to beat it or pay you $500 in cash when your mortgage is finalized.
Let’s take a quick look at rates on offer on January 14, 2018. If you are in the market for a new home in Edmonton and decided to scan for the lowest rate available on IntelliMortgage. For a 5-year fixed mortgage rate on a $475,000 mortgage, you will find a rate as low as 2.70% or $2,197.05 per month.
For the same area and similar mortgage, the big banks have the following special offers:
- TD: 3.49%
- BMO: 3.34%
- RBC: 3.54%
- CIBC: 4.89%
And their posted rates are much higher and average about 4.99%!
2. Significant Savings
When you get the lowest mortgage rates possible for your home purchase, you are invariably saving money – potentially lots of money! On a $300,000 mortgage and 5-year fixed rate, IntelliMortgage estimate that you can save up to $5,485 when you obtain your mortgage through them.
They also have a mortgage calculator that you can use to compare savings across different rates. In addition, there are no fees to close a typical mortgage.
3. After-Approval Rate Guarantee
If after your mortgage rate is approved and another lender offers a rate that is lower by 10 basis point or more (0.1% or more) and similar terms, you are allowed to switch lenders at no cost before closing.
4. Closing Date Guarantee
IntelliMortgage guarantees that they will close your mortgage financing on time so that you can meet your closing date obligations. If not, they will pay you $500 following closing. Of course, you also have to ensure that you get all required documentation in on time.
5. Bank-Level Security
They use bank-level security and encryption to secure your personal information.
IntelliMortgage is not alone in the online mortgage comparison business. Other companies that offer fairly similar services include: Ratehub, RateSpy, Lowest Rates, and RateSupermarket.
Compared to the competition, I found the lowest rate on January 14, 2018 to be on IntelliMortgage at 2.70%, followed by RateSpy at 2.71%, and Ratehub at 2.78%.
Note: Always read the fine print for more details. Posted rates may have different terms such as: pre-payment terms, preapproval options, portability, lock-in-periods, etc.
Their websites, widgets, and offerings are comparable in a lot of ways to their competitors, however, I did not like that names of individual lenders was not as apparent on IntelliMortgage as they are on Ratehub. Not that this is a big deal, as you will definitely get all the details you want as your application proceeds along.
You can use the widget below to see what offers are available in your area today:
Mortgage payments easily form a significant part of monthly expenses for the average Canadian homeowner. Obtaining the best rate possible can help to significantly lower your monthly payments as well as enable you to pay off your mortgage faster in the long run.
As with anything else that has to do with your finances and life, always read the fine-print and do your due diligence to ensure you are getting the best deal possible.