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What is a mortgage pre-approval?
When you’re looking for a new home, it’s helpful to know how much you can afford. When you get pre-approved for a mortgage, the provider will look at financial details like your income, down payment, credit score, and debts. It’ll give you a written estimate that includes what mortgage rate you qualify for and how much you can afford to spend on a home. Having this information means you don’t have to worry about whether or not your mortgage application will be approved. A mortgage pre-approval can also help you lock in the best mortgage rate and protects you in case rates go up before you buy a home.
Should I compare rates before getting pre-approved for a mortgage?
Yes! Because the mortgage rate has a big impact on how much you can afford to spend on a house, it’s important to look for the best mortgage rate when getting a pre-approval. In certain situations (like if you want to get a variable-rate mortgage), you might need to qualify at a higher interest rate than you can actually get. The pre-approval stage is a good time to sort out all these details and find the mortgage provider that can offer you the lowest rate.
How to get pre-approved for a mortgage
To get a mortgage pre-approval, start by comparing banks and mortgage brokers to find the best rates in your area. When you apply for a pre-approval, the provider will ask you for general information about yourself, as well as specific financial details like how much money you make, what loans you’re making payments on (including credit card debt, car loans, etc.), and how much money you’ve saved for a down payment and closing costs. It may also ask you about what kind of property you want to buy and how you plan to use it.
When you’re applying for a mortgage pre-approval, you might need to show a number of documents including:
- Photo ID
- Recent paystubs or other proof of income
- Bank statements verifying proof of your down payment
- Proof of any other assets like a car
- Information about any regular payments you make on things like credit card debt, student loans, car loans, or child support.