Mortgage Brokers & Professional Advisors in Alberta
Want to know more about mortgage brokers in Alberta? We’ve got you covered. In this post, we’ll take you through what mortgage brokers in Alberta do, how much they cost, and why you should consider hiring one for your mortgage.
- Alberta mortgage brokers are licensed professionals who help consumers find the best mortgage solutions and rates available, through their network and lender connections.
- Mortgage brokers in Alberta are paid for by the lender, so you don’t have to pay them any fees to use their services.
- In Alberta, mortgage brokers are licensed and governed by the the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA).
- We have over 40 mortgage brokers in Canada and within Alberta to help you find the best mortgage solution to suit your goals.
Finding a Mortgage Broker in Alberta
Need a mortgage broker in Alberta? A mortgage broker can help you find the best mortgage available based on your goals. Albertans use mortgage brokers to get better rates on their mortgage, since brokers usually have connections with several lenders, and a range of mortgage options not usually offered to the general public.
In Alberta, mortgage brokers are licensed by the Real Estate Council of Alberta, provided they pass the education requirements and meet all other eligibility requirements. At nesto, we have 40+ brokers waiting to help you find the best rate for your mortgage in Alberta. If you’d like to connect with a mortgage broker in the province, just send us an enquiry and one of our team will be in touch right away.
How Mortgage Brokers Help Canadians Find Mortgages
All mortgage brokers in Alberta must be licensed according to the requirements set out by the Real Estate Council of Alberta, and have to follow strict licensing and governance guidelines to ensure the integrity of their services.
In Alberta, mortgage brokers can help you find mortgages in the following ways:
- Mortgage brokers in Alberta have to undergo the same educational training to get their license, as well as successfully completing a criminal record check, obtaining employment through a brokerage, and other eligibility requirements. Among these eligibility requirements, Alberta brokers must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be able to lawfully study and work in Canada
- Be able to provide specific government-issued identification (ID)
- Have a minimum of Canadian high school education or equivalent
- Be proficient in the English language
- In Alberta, potential licensees must first complete two pre-licensing courses offered by the Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association (AMBA). These include:
- The Fundamentals of Mortgage Brokerage
- The Practice of Mortgage Brokerage.
Following the completion of each course, candidates have to complete a licensing exam administered by the Real Estate Council of Alberta.
Ultimately, Alberta mortgage brokers are there to help use their network and knowledge of mortgage products and lenders to help guide Canadians towards the best mortgage rate possible for their situation (hence the need for consistent approval and educational requirements).
Benefits of Using a Mortgage Broker
Not sure whether to use a mortgage broker in Alberta? Here are some of the pros of going with a broker instead of finding a mortgage on your own.
- No fee for services: Mortgage brokers in Canada are paid by the lender once a borrower signs their mortgage contract. As a prospective home buyer, you don’t pay a mortgage broker a fee.
- Save time: Mortgage brokers are already connected to several lenders, and will know what options are likely available to you based on your finances. Brokers can help save you time on research, and can provide expert advice to keep you from signing unfavorable mortgage contracts.
- Get a better rate: Lenders work with some brokers exclusively to help them pre-select their clients. As a result, many brokers have access to solutions and mortgage rates not usually available to retail customers.
- Peace of mind: A good mortgage broker will act in your best interests and try to get the best possible rate available for you. They’ll also understand the mortgage world better than most people, and can help guide you in the right direction.
- You could save money: Besides saving you money on your mortgage rate, mortgages also come with a range of up-front fees, from appraisals to application fees. In some instances, your mortgage broker may be able to work with a lender to waive some of these fees, potentially saving you thousands in up-front costs.
Home Loan Options in Alberta
There are a number of ways to buy a home in Alberta, and it will depend on your situation. Here’s a breakdown of ways to fund your nest home purchase in the province.
Buying a Home
Alberta has seen its primary housing markets enjoy considerable attention for new homebuyers in recent years. Edmonton’s property market saw significant gains during the pandemic, particularly with first-time buyers drawn to the city’s balance of size, public amenities and affordable living costs. Housing in Calgary also experienced high growth levels, with the city becoming one of the largest and most attractive cities in the country over the last couple of years. If you’re planning to move to Alberta, nesto can help you find the best rate available, and we also lend directly. If you need for more information about the home buying process in general, check out our guide to buying a home in 2022.
Renewing Your Mortgage
All mortgage contracts have what’s known as a term. Usually, a term is 5 years long. When your mortgage’s term matures, it’s time to renew your mortgage. The renewal process gives you an opportunity to reflect on your finances, your mortgage needs, and current interest rates. To learn more, explore our detailed guide on How to Renew Your Mortgage.
Refinancing Your Mortgage
Refinancing is different from mortgage renewal. Renewal is an ongoing process that occurs when a mortgage’s term expires. Many people typically renew their mortgage with the same lender after 5 years on similar terms, and without too much hassle. Refinancing, on the other hand, involves paying off your current mortgage by breaking it early and using another mortgage loan to cover it. People can refinance to take advantage of a lower interest rate, or access equity for things like debt consolidation and renovations. Depending on your current mortgage, refinancing your mortgage will probably incur a prepayment penalty for breaking your term early.
First-Time Home Buyer Plans
Alberta has a few provincial and municipal programs available to help first-time home buyers get their foot on the property ladder. However, it’s worth looking into your city or town specifically to find out more about what programs are available for first-time homebuyers, as they vary from place to place.
The government of Alberta used to offer the Public Essential and Key Workforce (PEAK) initiative, which gave low-income households a second mortgage to fund their downpayment on their first home, however inventory for this program sold out and it is no longer accepting new applicants. Both Edmonton and Calgary have their own housing assistance programs, through municipal governments and other organizations. Edmonton’s First Place Program, for example, is offered through the City of Edmonton, and provides a five-year deferral on land costs for first-time home buyers on certain properties. In Calgary, organizations like Attainable Homes Calgary (AHC) provide interest-free down payment assistance for low-income households in the city. There are also a number of federal programs available for first-time buyers, like the First-Time Home Buyer’s Tax Credit, or the Home Buyer’s Plan.
Mortgage Brokers Association of Alberta
Mortgage brokers in Alberta can be members of the Alberta Mortgage Association (AMBA), who provide education, events, and a community for mortgage brokers in the province. The Alberta Mortgage Brokers Association has been representing the interests of Alberta mortgage brokers since 1975. Technically, all mortgage brokers within the province fall under the purview of the Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA). Whereas RECA ensures mortgage brokers in Alberta are properly licensed and following all appropriate guidelines, AMBA provides training, guidance, and support for its members.
Canadian Mortgage broker licensing in Alberta
In Alberta, mortgage brokers are licensed by the Real Estate Council of Alberta, provided they pass the education requirements and meet all other eligibility requirements. To get a mortgage broker license in Alberta, candidates must first complete the MAP (Mortgage Associates Program), which consists of two courses offered by RECA (The Fundamentals of Mortgage Brokerage) and AMBA (The Practice of Mortgage Brokerage), before passing a final exam. Applicants must also meet all the other eligibility requirements for an Alberta mortgage broker license.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions on mortgage brokers and professional mortgage advisors in Toronto.
Is it worth going through a mortgage broker in Alberta?
Using a mortgage broker in Alberta can help you save money on your repayments by getting a lower rate, and you won’t have to pay a fee to use their services. You can also trust that mortgage brokers in Alberta are trained and educated to similar standards as laid out by the Real Estate Council of Alberta. You can search for current licensed mortgage brokers using RECA’s licensee search tool.
Is it better to use a bank or mortgage broker?
Using a mortgage broker can help prospective homebuyers in Alberta to cast a wider net, and explore many different options for their mortgage needs. With mortgage brokers incentivised to find their clients the lowest rate possible, plus the extensive networks to lenders many brokers have, people are increasingly using their services as well as just going straight to a bank for their mortgage.
How much do most mortgage brokers charge?
Mortgage broker commissions vary, and are always paid by the lender. A reasonable range for a broker’s commission is between 0.5% to 1.25% of your full mortgage amount. The exact percentage will also depend on the term and type of your mortgage.
Do you have to pay mortgage brokers?
No. Mortgage brokers in Alberta are paid on the back-end by the lender. Lenders are incentivised to find borrowers who will pay back their loan on time and in full, so it makes sense for them to work with a broker to find good candidates. As such, as a borrower you won’t pay for a mortgage broker’s services.
If you’re looking to buy a home in Alberta and want to find the best rate out there, a mortgage broker may be able to help you. With Calgary and Edmonton’s housing market experiencing sustained growth from new buyers, now’s a good time to enlist the help of a licensed mortgage broker. At nesto, we have 40+ brokers across the country ready to help, including several in Alberta. Just get in touch, and we’ll connect you to one of our brokers today.
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