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Mortgage Broker Experiences: Alec

In Canada, most homeowners choose a five-year term for their mortgage. Even if you have a 25-year amortization, you still need to renew your mortgage when the term is up. You have the option of renewing with your current lender, or switching to a new one. We talked to Alec about his experience using a mortgage broker to negotiate his recent mortgage renewal.

Alec (who didn’t want his last name used), a 35-year-old food safety specialist in Toronto, lives in a house he’s owned with his wife for five years. He told us he used to check in on mortgage rates from time to time, and that habit helped him identify a mortgage broker he wanted to work with.

“I would often check to see how the Bank of Canada’s rate decisions affected the interest rates offered by the lenders,” he says. “CanWise Financial consistently came up as one of the best interest rate options on the market.” (CanWise Financial is a mortgage brokerage owned by

It wasn’t an easy road to finding the right fit, however. Alec checked in with some other contacts before connecting with the mortgage broker he’d eventually use for his renewal. He told us about his first experience.

“I did contact a mortgage broker in the [greater Toronto] area,” he says. “I saw a sign that offered crazy low rate, but upon contact their rate offer was only for new purchases and their renewal rates were not as comparable.”

Alec checked in with a mortgage specialist at his bank to see if he could get a better deal on his renewal. “Despite having provided excellent rates in 2011, they were not willing to offer anything even remotely close to what I got through CanWise,” he explains.

In addition to getting a better mortgage rate, Alec says having a mortgage broker on his side helped make problems easier to solve. He says his mortgage agent, Robert, helped him make sure a payroll issue with his employer didn’t get in the way of his mortgage approval.

“I struggled with providing documentation related to my annual salary rate. This was due to the well-documented Phoenix pay system issues being faced by the federal government,” Alec recalls. “Robert worked with the lender to ensure that what I could provide was sufficient.”

His mortgage agent also helped him sort out an issue with his real estate lawyer.

“The most stressful part was dealing with my lawyer,” Alec explained. “He was unresponsive in our communications, and was very delayed in paying off loans from the refinance. Robert was able to re-assure me that this type of transaction should be able to be completed in a short amount of time, and that I should find a way of following up with my lawyer, which I did, and was ultimately able to get everything sorted out.”

Alec is happy with his decision to use a mortgage broker. Now that his renewal is complete, we asked him what he would do next: “Celebrate,” he says.