With interest rates at historic lows, you may be interested in wanting to refinance your mortgage in order to save hundreds and thousands off of the amortization of your mortgage. Or if you’re in the market for an investment property or a new condo or new home (if you have the mood to buy right now and have good cash flow) but you can’t fathom how you can get pre-approved for a mortgage without meeting 12 different people in 12 different banks and catching COVID-19 at the same time. Here is a Breezeful review, a digital mortgage broker in Canada that aims to help you get the best rate from your own home.
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. See genymoney.ca’s disclaimer for more information.
First though…. what is a mortgage broker?
Mortgage Broker vs Big Bank?
A mortgage broker is what is sounds like. A mortgage broker is a broker (or go-between) between you and your lender to get you a mortgage.
Should you choose a mortgage broker or a big bank for your mortgage needs? Well, there are pros and cons to each.
Mortgage brokers can get you cheaper rates than what is posted on the big banks websites. This is mainly because mortgage brokers have access to multiple lenders (big banks, credit unions, smaller banks etc.) at one time, so they can offer you their best rate. One downside I noticed with mortgage broker quotes is that I find that the lenders that mortgage brokers TEND to use are smaller banks though.
One positive is that mortgage brokers are the ‘middle person’ between YOU (the borrower) and the LENDER. Therefore, they tend to be unbiased. They do earn a ‘finders fee’ or commission for opening an application though.
Did I end up using a mortgage broker or a big bank? Personally I ended up with a big bank when I got a mortgage, mainly because I wanted to try to negotiate with a mortgage specialist myself. I did meet a few mortgage brokers and reviewed the rates they were able to obtain, however, I ended up with the bank mortgage specialist my dad recommended.
Here was my mortgage renewal process in 2018 if you’re interested.
Here’s my review of Breezeful, Canada’s digital mortgage broker.
What is Breezeful?
Breezeful is a digital mortgage broker that strives to get you the best mortgage, fast. It was cofounded by Ade Labinjo and Anthony De Guzman, and is based out of Toronto, Ontario. Breezeful works with top mortgage lenders in Canada such as TD Bank and Scotiabank.
Breezeful is backed by investors in the Silicon Valley (Breezeful is a successful Y Combinator applicant). Y Combinator has provided investment and seed funding to start up companies that are now huge, such as DoorDash, Airbnb, Instacart).
Which Lenders Does Breezeful Work With?
Breezeful negotiates and works with over 30 different mortgage lenders. Some of the more notable ones are TD Bank, Manulife Bank, and Scotiabank.
Breezeful doesn’t just work with smaller lenders, they work with some big banks too.
What Provinces and Territories Does Breezeful Work In?
Breezeful can provide mortgage broker service in all provinces in Canada.
Breezeful can co-broker with a partner broker licensed in the province that you live in. They do this by using general lender and insurer guidelines to stress test qualify the mortgage, but Breezeful leaves the final consultation to the partner broker in the specific province.
How Does Breezeful Work?
Breezeful is 100% online. You don’t have to meet anyone in person. How does Breezeful work?
Breezeful works by asking you a ton (this is not an understatement) of detailed questions through their application page. These are the same questions that a mortgage broker that you meet in person would ask you.
Some examples of questions that Breezeful asks is where is the property you are interested in is located, what the property value is, what your expenses are, what you monthly income is after taxes and deductions, how much of a down payment do you have, and what your estimated credit score is.
The credit score is used to get you the best possible mortgage rate (obviously the higher your credit score, the better).
After you submit your answers, the answers that you provide get run through Breezeful’s algorithm and rules-based engine, which automatically scans the policies of 30+ lenders Breezeful partners with to find you the best mortgage. The policies of these lenders then match with your answers provided in order to get you the best rate.
Finally, you provide consent for a credit check (it’s not done right away). An underwriter from Breezeful reviews your application and confirms your eligibility and offers you the best rate available based on your criteria and circumstances. Instead of pulling your credit multiple times if you went to 12 different banks for a pre-approval, you get pulled once with Breezeful and access over 30 different lenders.
Then, you upload your documents, so that verification of your income and identity can be assessed. If you already have a purchase and sale agreement (e.g. if you put in a subject to financing clause on your offer) you can upload your document there too. The accepted files are images and PDFs only.
After you submit and upload your documents on Breezeful, you can schedule a phone appointment to talk to one of their mortgage advisors. Then if you decide to proceed, you can get a formal pre-approval or approval of your financing with one of Breezeful’s lender partners.
Genymoney.ca’s Breezeful Review
What’s my Breezeful review? After submitting all the questions (it did take longer than 5 minutes to fill out the questions, but I appreciated how detailed the questions were), I got an email from Breezeful’s mortgage agent confirming my application. He provided a variable rate and a fixed rate of 5 years based on my assumptions (some of which were total income per year, estimated property taxes, and a 25 year amortization).
The variable rate and fixed rate provided to me via email was less than the posted rates on a rate aggregator website (e.g. Ratehub) by 0.4% for the fixed rate quote for TD Bank.
The rates you are offered shows up after the first 7-10 questions. Here’s what it looks like.
Breezeful has lower rates than traditional banks and brokers, because they are online only versus brick and mortar, and they pass the savings along to you.
There are websites that show and compare mortgage rates available but the problem is many people may not qualify for these rates that are posted. You might see this great rate but when you inquire about it you don’t end up qualifying.
This is because factors such as credit score, downpayment, property use (for example, primary residence versus an investment property), employment status (employed or self-employed), and location (for example, if you live in Vancouver the rates will be different than if you lived in Calgary, for example) influence the actual rate provided.
In summary, this Breezeful review is positive. Breezeful seems to be a disrupter in the mortgage broker space and provides another alternative or option for you to comparison shop for a mortgage. It provides a more personalized approach and gives you a definitive rate specific to your financial situation.
A mortgage is probably going to be the largest purchase you will make in your lifetime so it makes sense to do as much research as you can. I think that adding an online mortgage broker quote to your research is prudent when buying a new home.
Just make sure you say no to the mortgage insurance when you get your mortgage.
You can click here to apply now if you’re interested.
Have you used Breezeful before?
Did you use a big bank or did you use a mortgage broker for your mortgage?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.