What can't we buy online nowadays? You can add mortgages to that list of online can-do's. Doing your entire mortgage approval online, whether your first one, next one or a renewal or refinance, can be a thing of beauty (i.e. sheer convenience).
But is every online mortgage service equal to the task? In the last couple of years, a few mortgage startups have blasted onto the scene, promising slicker mortgage-ease and ultra-low rates at the click of a button.
That convenience doesn't necessarily mean your mortgage will blossom into real savings and financial certainty — using a full-service brokerage instead may be a more trusted way to go.
Digital-only service: who's handling your mortgage?
If you look up the website of an online-only mortgage service, can you find or contact the agents who may be working on your mortgage? Digital-only services may rely on perfecting the algorithms that match a lender, product and rate to your mortgage needs, offering the promise of a 'team' of human help if you need it rather than a dedicated broker for your process.
Every mortgage is different, and your details may be complicated — how easy will it be to get a hold of a 'team member' if something doesn't seem right?
A full-service brokerage that includes a convenient online process may be a more trusted way to go
A top, trusted brokerage like True North Mortgage puts a lot of effort into training its professional brokers and lists all of them (and their contact info) on its website, including many who can help in your preferred language.
We recently spoke with Shawn Arshad, a long-time True North Mortgage broker based in Toronto, about the complete service they offer clients (including easy online approvals anywhere in Canada):
"I've had clients come to us, frustrated with a digital-only mortgage company, where some of their details fell through the cracks and interfered with their approval process," explains Shawn. "I was able to help them quickly and thoroughly — sometimes entirely online — with an even better rate and more flexible product, while securing their mortgage funding in time to get their home. They saved money and were very grateful for our seamless service. I hope to help them again in the future if needed."
True North offers many ways to do a mortgage that suits its clients: online, over the phone, at one of their stores (yes, they have physical stores for face-to-face mortgage help), or a mobile broker can come to you.
Digital startups may lean on deeper rate discounts that can cost more later
Digital-only mortgage companies are newer on the scene. They may offer ultra-low rates to attract business, but to do so, often cut features (like pre-payment flexibility or portability) or include restrictions, hidden fees or higher penalties that make up the difference later, costing you more in the long run.
Homeowners who choose the standard 5-year mortgage term might only make it to about 3.89 years (on average) before making a change (like a refinance or selling their house). So startups are making a good bet that more money's likely coming later and may try anything to capture your mortgage dollars (learn how cash-back offers can work against you).
A highly trained broker can quickly match clients with their best rate and product, online or not
If you fill out True North's easy online application, you are matched instantly with a salaried, unbiased broker who's at your beck-and-call for your mortgage process. They quickly compare accredited lenders (including their in-house lender, THINK Financial) and thousands of products, passing along a volume discount for the best rate, lender and product fit for your situation.
Their expert brokers are real people who care about savings clients' money, which means you're more likely to get that personalized fit (and long-term relationship) to avoid costly surprises and stay on track to reach your financial goals.
For your valued mortgage dollars, go with the best-reviewed mortgage brokerage in Canada
With the most 5-star reviews in the business (by far), True North was founded over 16 years ago as the answer to better rates and mortgages for Canadian homeowners — and they continue to push the industry for the better on behalf of clients.
Their innovative, client-first approach goes above and beyond to provide a convenient mortgage experience. Contact them today and decide for yourself — their service is free with no obligation.
Fast online pre-approvals are right here at Canada's No. 1 Mortgage Broker.