Some lenders like MERIX Financial (which also offers Lendwise mortgage and NPX mortgage) offer their mortgage products exclusively through mortgage brokers while other lenders like TD Canada Trust have a line of business offering mortgages directly to customers and another line of business offering mortgages through mortgage brokers.
While both mortgage agents and brokers deal with mortgages, the main difference is that a mortgage broker employs mortgage agents, which means that mortgage agents work under a mortgage broker.
Mortgage brokers and mortgage agents both have the same access to the same lenders. Mortgage brokers supervise their mortgage agents. There are different requirements and licenses between brokers and agents.
Terminology can vary depending on the province. In British Columbia, mortgage agents are called sub-mortgage brokers. In Ontario, mortgage brokers need to have at least two years of work experience.
Mortgage broker commissions range from 0.5% to 1%. This commission is paid by the mortgage lender to your mortgage broker or agent as a finder's fee. You usually will not be able to get a better rate by going directly to the lender or bypassing the broker.
Since the mortgage lender pays the commission, mortgage brokers generally do not charge their clients any fees. Mortgage Broker fees are usually only charged for mortgages that are hard to find lenders for, such as for private mortgages.
However, having these commissions built into the mortgage rate means that some mortgage brokers that offer “buy downs” can reduce your mortgage rate even further by offering you a portion of their commission. That’s one of the differences between going with a mortgage broker vs. banks.
To see how much a mortgage broker or agent would make on a mortgage, let's consider a major bank that is offering a commission of 1%. A borrower approaches the mortgage broker looking for a $500,000 mortgage. After the borrower is approved for a mortgage with that major bank, the bank will pay the broker 1% of the mortgage amount.
|Total Mortgage||1% Commission||Gross Commission|
This commission is paid to the mortgage brokerage. If you worked with a mortgage agent, they usually get 15% of the total commission, or $750.
Dominion Lending Centres is a mortgage brokerage franchisor with over 380 offices across Canada. There are over 3000 mortgage brokers/specialists franchised under the Dominion Lending Centres trademark, and together they have funded over 700K mortgages over 15 years. Dominion Lending Centres offers a New to Canada program for newcomers within the last five years with at least three months of full-time employment.
Dominion Lending Centres is an umbrella company of Dominion Lending Centres Group (DLCG). DLGC funded over $75 billion in mortgages during the 2020 fiscal year across 7,500 mortgage professionals. In 2021, Founders Advantage Capital acquired DLCG and listed it on the TSX Venture Exchange.
Mortgage Architects, also known as MA, is a mortgage brokerage operating in all Canadian provinces. Besides new home purchases, renewals and refinancing, Mortgage Architects also offers equipment leasing services to businesses. Mortgage Architects is a Dominion Lending Centres Group subsidiary and trades on the Toronto Venture Exchange under the ticker DLCG.V.
Super Brokers is a Calgary, Alberta based mortgage broker. Since its inception in 2001, the company has grown to provide residential and commercial mortgage lending services across the southern Canadian provinces.
Super Brokers provides many mortgages; including cash-back, debt consolidation, and reverse mortgages. Of course, they also offer standard mortgage products such as first-time homebuyers, self-employed, and mortgage refinances. Today, Super Brokers is a member of the Dominion Centres Lending Group which can be bought on the TSX Venture Exchange.
The Mortgage Centre is a mortgage brokerage franchisor with franchisees/mortgage brokers operating in 9 provinces in Canada, excluding Quebec. The Mortgage Centre also offers second and third mortgages. The Mortgage Centre is also an umbrella company of DLCG, which is publicly traded on the TSX Venture Exchange.
M3 Financial Group is one of Canada's largest non-bank originator of mortgages. The company is based out of Montreal and has more than 8,300 brokers across Canada. While the company does not offer mortgages themself, they operate as a holding company that owns a portfolio of mortgage brokerages.
The firm's brand portfolio includes Multi-Prêts Mortgages, Mortgage Alliance, Invis, Mortgage Intelligence, and Verico. Together, this creates a network of over 8,300 financial consultants across the country.
Recently, M3 announced that they lent a record amount of $67 billion in 2020. The company aims to surpass $100 billion in annual loans within the next two years.
Founded in 2005, Verico works with over 230 mortgage business owners to provide residential financing to homebuyers. Today, Verico lends over $18 billion in mortgages to over 45,000 families each year. Additionally, the company has partnered with reputable lenders such as Scotiabank, TD, and Home Trust to provide mortgages.
Verico offers mortgage and insurance products to its customers. In 2017, Verico was acquired by M3 Financial Group. This acquisition followed the Invis and Mortgage Intelligence acquisition by M3 in 2016.
Established in 1982, Multi-Prets is now a member of M3 Financial Group. This mortgage brokerage is a significant player in Quebec but operates across Canada. Multi-Prets has over 2,000 mortgage professionals across Canada. Each year they provide over $13 billion in mortgages to over 50,000 Canadians.
Multi-Prets Hypotheques offers residential mortgage products such as first-time, debt consolidation, and home renovation loans.
Mortgage Alliance is an independent team of mortgage professionals that helps over 40,000 Canadians each year. The company has five offices across Canada; Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Halifax, and Montreal. They are licenced to operate in every province.
Mortgage Alliance was founded in 1998 and offers many mortgage products today. Some examples include first-time buyers, investment property, and refinancing mortgages. However, the company also provides commercial mortgages. Mortgage Alliance is also a subsidiary of M3 financial group, a privately held company.
As a subsidiary of M3, Mortgage Intelligence operates as a mortgage broker in Canada. They operate across multiple business lines, including residential and commercial mortgages and insurance. Over 20 years, Mortgage Intelligence has funded over $190 billion in mortgages to over 750,000 clients.
Mortgage Intelligence offers standard residential mortgage products such as first-time, refinance, and self-employed mortgages. However, additional products and services are available, such as reverse mortgages, vacation property mortgages, and credit repair.
As a member of M3 Financial Group, Invis has been helping Canadians meet their home ownership goals for over 20 years.
The company offers many financial services, including mortgages for residential and commercial property and home and life insurance. However, Invis also has various specialties, including credit improvement services, reverse mortgages, and loans for property investment. M3 Financial Group acquired Invis in 2016.
As Canada's first digital mortgage platform, nesto provides a simple, empowering, and transparent property financing experience. The company is based out of the old port of Montreal, Quebec and offers low-cost mortgages to Canadians.
Nesto operates with the help of advanced technology that screens the market to find the lowest rates. Additionally, they employ commission-free experts to provide you with unbiased support and advice along your homebuying process.
NEO Financial is another digital mortgage firm in Canada. You can apply for a mortgage within five minutes online and don’t need to visit a branch. While the company is well known for their cashback credit card, they also offer competitive mortgage renewal and refinancing rates.
NEO’s founders formerly built SkipTheDishes - A popular food delivery service in Canada. Today, NEO has over 650 employees and has raised $299 million in funding.
In 2022, Edison Financial rebranded as Rocket Mortgage Canada. While Edison Financial is owned by the Rocket Family of Companies, they are the primary Canadian-focused subsidiary. The Rocket Family of Companies owns Rocket Mortgage, which is a popular mortgage lender in the United States. Rocket Mortgage Canada offers mortgages for purchases, refinances, renewals and even HELOCs. You can apply online to receive a quote within three minutes. In 2022, Edison Financial was renamed to Rocket Mortgage Canada.
Centum Financial Group is a mortgage brokerage franchisor with just under 200 offices across Canada. Over 2100 mortgage professionals franchised under Centum have helped over 500,000 customers since 2002.
Centum offers residential and commercial mortgages to buy, refinance, and invest in real estate. Today, the company is owned by the Charlwood Pacific Group (CPG). CPG is a privately held company that owns master franchise rights to various travel, real estate, property management and mortgage brokerage businesses worldwide.
Axiom is a mortgage brokerage that is based out of Calgary, Alberta. However, the company also recently merged with TCG Lending Centres to open an office in Hamilton, Ontario. In total, Axiom has five offices throughout Canada and funded over $2.5 billion worth of mortgages in 2020.
The brokerage is independently owned, meaning another corporation does not own them. Amongst its mortgage products, Axiom offers renewals, pre-approvals, refinances, HELOCs and more.
Butler Mortgage Inc. is a mortgage brokerage operating in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta. They are known for offering some of the lowest mortgage rates in the industry.
How does Butler Mortgage offer such low rates? Butler Mortgage tracks over 350 mortgage lenders and passes volume discounts on to you. What's more, is that they "buy down" mortgage interest rates by cutting from their own commission. They will also beat any mortgage rate or pay you $500.
CanWise Financial is a mortgage broker that operates in most provinces and territories in Canada. They are owned and operated by RateHub.ca and have funded over $7.5 billion in mortgages. Ratehub also owns and operates a mortgage lender called CanWise. CanWise offers a New To Canada mortgage, for permanent residents with a down payment greater than 5%, or non-permanent residents with a down payment greater than 10%, even with a weak credit score.
Citadel Mortgages is a full-service mortgage broker based out of Toronto, Ontario. The company has seven offices across the southern Canadian provinces, excluding Quebec. Citadel partners with reputable lenders such as TD, Scotiabank, Manulife, and many more to find the best and cheapest mortgage for your specific needs.
Citadel offers standard mortgage products such as purchase, refinance, and transfer mortgages. However, the brokerage also provides HELOCs, home renovation loans and reverse mortgages.
Established in 2015, RMA is a Hamilton, Ontario based mortgage broker. The company has become the fastest-growing broker in Canada and now has over 20 offices for a total of 400 active agents. RMA works with various reputable lenders, including Scotiabank and Home Trust.
Real Mortgage Associates provides many mortgages, including purchases, debt consolidations, refinances, equity takeouts, renewals and mortgages for self-employed.
The Mortgage Group is a mortgage brokerage that is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia. However, The company also has an office in Toronto, Ontario. Since 1990, TMG has helped hundreds of thousands of Canadians to find the right mortgage solution.
In particular, TMG offers first-time buyer, refinance, reverse mortgages, and others. The Mortgage Group is also an independently owned company.
CMI is a mortgage broker based out of Mississauga, Ontario. The company has a network of over 250 lenders with over 2000 products available. Areas of operation include Ontario, BC, Alberta, and Manitoba.
Some of their most popular mortgages are; purchasing, new-build construction, and refinancing mortgages.
Northwood Mortgage is a mortgage brokerage based out of Markham, Ontario. The company services the Greater Toronto Area with over 135 mortgage professionals in the region. Northwood Mortgage offers many solutions, such as first and second mortgages. The company also provides mortgage renewal services. Northwood Mortgage is independently owned, unlike many other companies on this list which are umbrella companies.
TNM is a mortgage broker based out of Calgary, Alberta. Since 2003, they have provided low-rate mortgages to Canadians with good credit scores. True North Mortgage has 11 offices across Canada and was recently featured on Dragon's Den.
True North Mortgage is independently owned and operated by its founder. They function differently from a standard mortgage brokerage because employees receive a salary instead of a sales commission. TNM offers many mortgage products such as first-time, renewal, and investment property mortgages. They also provide niche mortgages for new residents of Canada and even reverse mortgages.
This is an online mortgage broker, so you do not need to visit an office to receive financing. Intellimortgage was founded in 2011 and has provided over $1.2 billion in mortgage financing. They provide basic mortgages such as purchase and refinances.
In 2022, True North Mortgage acquired intelliMortgage.
Mortgage brokers give you access to private lenders who look more heavily at the level of equity that you have in your home, and less so on your credit score. A Lenders on the other hand, such as banks, have a minimum credit score to qualify for a mortgage. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) also requires a minimum credit score of 680 for insured mortgages.
Some mortgage brokers may only work with a small number of lenders, provide limited services, or they may charge additional fees. When choosing a mortgage broker, be sure to ask if they charge a fee, if they are getting compensated by lenders for their referrals, how many lenders they work with, and what services they will provide. This will ensure that you select a mortgage broker that fits your needs and will look after your best interests.