Pre-Qualify for a Mortgage in Minutes

Know before you go. Get pre-approved, fast and simple.

Get out the door quickly, with a solid idea of the mortgage-size you can afford. Plus, you can hold your best rate for up to 120 days. It's FREE and no obligation.

House hunting? We approve (literally).

Get your easy pre-approval at your best rate. It's a no-brainer.

If you're thinking about looking for a home or property, connect with us to pre-qualify for your mortgage amount. You'll get a good idea of the numbers that will work for your budget and what neighbourhoods you can afford.

Already looking? How exciting. Apply with us, and we'll take you one step further, for a pre-approval and rate hold.

Getting pre-approved is important if you're serious about housing hunting (picture your real-estate agent nodding vigorously here). It's a conditional commitment from a lender for an even better picture of the mortgage size you can afford.

More importantly, your pre-approval gives you the confidence to make realistic (and exciting!) decisions as you look for a home or vacation property.

At True North Mortgage, your pre-approval is:

  • FREE, no obligation, and stress-free
  • Easy and convenient — apply online, over the phone, through our chat, or at a store location
  • Handled by a highly-trained broker (instead of a bank teller) for a better mortgage experience
  • Kept on secure servers for your privacy
  • Guaranteed to be your best interest rate for up to 120 days (depending on the lender)
  • Fast — our user-friendly short form takes only 9 minutes to complete (apply now!)

To start the process, you'll need to provide accurate information, and we'll walk you through the rest.

Related: Pre-qualified vs. pre-approved — what's the difference?

Why are we better for you than your bank?

  • We put you first.
  • We help you save money and stress.
  • We're fast.

We check with many lenders (including your bank) for the most flexible mortgage rate and product — in fact, we have access to the best rates and thousands of mortgage products.

Then, we hold your best rate (for which you qualify) for up to 120 days, protecting you from any sudden rate increases. Now, you can hunt around for the right place, knowing that your rate is secure.

When you find the home of your dreams, we'll get you fully approved, and pass along our volume discount to help you save a pile of cash.

Want an idea of how much money you'll save with our rates?

Try out our Compare & Save calculator. On average, we save our clients over $3,000, which can really add up over the life of your mortgage.

But more than our better rates, when you find the home or property that sings your song, we make sure you get the right mortgage for your unique situation, which can save you even more cash and stress later on.

Don't just take our word for it — check out our 5-star reviews from clients thrilled with our lower rates and money-saving advice. We've funded over $13 billion in mortgages, helping one client at a time, like you, find their best mortgage.

An expert mortgage broker in your corner, for now and later.

Why us? Because mortgages are all we do. Unlike the banks, we're obsessed with providing you with unbeatable service. It's all about helping you with one of the biggest financial decisions you'll make.

Our True North Mortgage Brokers are knowledgeable, friendly and easy to get a hold of — real people who care about getting your best mortgage fit. We're here for your lifetime of mortgage needs.

What's involved to get your full mortgage approval?

When you're ready to buy a house, we'll complete your full mortgage approval. We take all the numbers and complexity down to a simple, stress-free process, outlining all your details for clearer decisions along the way.

Here are the seven factors that lenders use to qualify you for a mortgage loan:

  • The size of your down payment
  • Your income
  • Your debts
  • Your employment history
  • Your credit history
  • The property's value
  • Your proof of identity

We'll help you assess and understand how a lender views your loan application, and what they look for in terms of a strong application.

A strong mortgage application will have these features:

  • A housing expense ratio (Gross Debt Service or GDS) no greater than 39% (for the most part, the lower the ratio, the better)
  • A debt-to-income ratio (Total Debt Service or TDS) no greater than 44% (the lower the ratio, the better)
  • Proof of steady income (ideally, the same job for two years or longer)
  • Good credit standing (bills have been paid on time)
  • A house that is worth the price the buyer is paying
  • A down payment amount required based on the home price
  • You'll also need to qualify according to the latest federal stress-test rules, which may lower the amount of mortgage loan for which you qualify

Your Down Payment

The size of your down payment could affect your full mortgage approval in a few ways:

  • Based on the home price, the amount of required down payment may be higher. For example, $1M or more will require at least 20% down.
  • If you have less than 20% down for a home purchase, you'll require a high-ratio mortgage product that is covered by a default insurance provider.
  • A conventional mortgage (20% or more down payment) may come with different qualification requirements, depending on your situation.

The higher your down payment, the less risk a lender takes on for your mortgage loan amount. Some lenders will reduce or waive certain qualifications if you have a higher down payment (for example, if you own a business or if your credit is less than stellar).

And if your down payment is lower, there may be further risk factors a lender will consider for your full approval.

More about your down payment

Your Income

A lender will consider how much of your total income will be spent on housing, to decide what you can comfortably afford. If your house payment represents a larger portion of your income, you're more likely to have trouble making these payments in light of other potential expenses (such as cars, furniture, and home maintenance or upgrades). On the other hand, if the house payment is a smaller portion of your income, chances are better that you can truly afford the house over the long term.

When you're applying for a mortgage, a lender also looks at your 'gross income' — the money you earn before taxes, including overtime, commissions, dividends and any other sources. And they'll want to see a steady history for these income sources. For example, many lenders will count income from a part-time or seasonal job, as long as you can show that you've had that job for at least two years.

The lender will also compare your current housing expenses to your potential new home expenses. The smaller the increase, the stronger your application.

More on why your income matters

Your Debts

In addition to your income, a lender will look at your debts owing, and will use Gross Debt Service (GDS) and Total Debt Service (TDS) ratios to determine whether you're able to afford your mortgage payments (try out our affordability calculator to get an idea). Your debts include your house payment and other loans (such as cars, credit lines, charge cards, and child support) that you may make each month.

Here's how to calculate your debt ratios in qualifying for a mortgage in Canada:

  • Gross Debt Service (GDS) should be about 39% of your monthly household income. Add up your mortgage payments (principal plus interest), taxes and heating expenses (and half of monthly condominium fees, if applicable), then divide by your gross monthly household income.
  • Total Debt Service (TDS) shouldn't exceed 44% of your monthly household income. Take the housing costs from the above point and add any other debts, such as car payments, personal loans, and credit card payments, then divide by your gross monthly household income.

If you’re overloaded with debt, we can help you consider whether taking equity from your home to consolidate your debts would be a viable, cost-saving option.

More about your refinancing options

Your Employment History

You don't need to be wealthy to qualify for a mortgage, but a history of steady employment in any occupation helps. Lenders are more likely to lend money to those who have worked for several years at the same job, or at the same type of job. However, if you've only been in your current job a short while, this won't necessarily stop you from getting the loan, as long as you've had regular income over the last year.

The lender will check your employment, usually by asking you for a signed letter from your employer that states how long you've been on the job and how much money you earn. If you're self-employed, or if you've been at your job less than two years, the lender may ask you for additional information (such as federal income tax assessments) that show your income and work history.

A lender considers these questions when reviewing your loan application:

  • Have you been at the same job for at least two years?
  • Have you been in the same occupation for at least two years?
  • Have you had gaps in your income over the last two years?
  • How long do you expect to stay in your current job?
  • Is the co-borrower (if any) employed?
  • If either you or a co-borrower suddenly becomes unemployed, how long would you be able to make your mortgage payments?

More about getting a mortgage if you're a business owner or self-employed

Your Credit History

Good credit is important in qualifying for a mortgage. Banks look not only look at your ability to pay (as indicated by your income versus debts), but also your willingness to pay, which is judged by your credit score — a number that indicates how well you've paid your loans and other debts.

It's a good idea for you to order a copy of your credit report (before applying for a mortgage, if possible), so that you're already aware of its contents, and can request changes if there's an error on your file.

When you apply for a mortgage loan, the lender will automatically order your credit report. If you've never had a loan or a charge card, they'll instead look at your record of payment for utility bills and rent.

More about your credit score

The Property's Value

When you choose a home, a lender will want to ensure that the house is worth the price you plan to pay, as the loan amount approved is based on the value of the property. The home's value is the lender's best assurance that they can recover the money, even if you stop making mortgage payments. If you do stop, the lender has the right to sell your home to pay off the loan — a process called 'foreclosure.'

It's very important to have a professional appraisal of the value of the home you plan to purchase, for your protection as well. If you decide to sell your home before you finish paying off your mortgage loan, you'll want a price that allows you to pay back the loan balance, and perhaps make a profit as well.

Your Proof of Identity

Identity theft is a growing problem in Canada for both individuals and for lenders. To help ensure that no one is falsely using your identity to commit title fraud or borrow money elsewhere for a home, our expert True North Mortgage broker will ask to see your photo identification. We may also ask you questions about your credit history to confirm the information on record.

Get peace-of-mind (aka pre-approved) at your best mortgage rate. No matter where you are in Canada, you'll get the mortgage answers you need.

Your easy pre-approval is right here.