We all recognize the ‘Big 5’ banks in Canada, and while this may be a good option for some, it is a costly mistake for many. When choosing your mortgage, there are many options from our lenders.
The big 5 banks in Canada are well-known for their brick-and-mortar branches. However, this brand recognition comes at a price – their mortgages are some of the most restrictive in the market and they have been criticized for lack of transparency in the past. When shopping for a mortgage, borrowers should not only focus on interest rates but also on other factors such as prepayments and penalties. Banks typically have the harshest mortgage penalties, so borrowers should be aware of this when considering a loan from one of these institutions.
These are lenders who specialize in mortgages. They are not in the business of taking deposits, investments, credit cards etc. As a result, they have low overhead and pass those savings to you with lower mortgage rates and more favourable terms and conditions.
Other incentives that draw borrowers in are their flexible prepayment privileges, low penalties, and property tax inclusion, to name a few.
Credit unions are often local lenders who cater to the demands of their community. These are provincially regulated, and each operates independently. Lending outside the federal guidelines has its advantages, but they come with a premium.