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Published April 10, 2024
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BMO Mortgage Review 2024

The Bank of Montreal is Canada’s oldest bank — and mortgage lender. Here’s what you need to know about getting a BMO mortgage, including rates and special offers.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

BMO mortgage at a glance

BMO is one of Canada’s Big 6 banks. It is a direct lender that offers a variety of mortgages, as well as other financial products like credit cards, bank accounts, investment services and wealth management.

    • BMO offers a 130-day mortgage rate guarantee, which is the longest pre-approval rate guarantee of any major bank in Canada.
    • It offers a Homeowner ReadiLine, which combines a mortgage with a secured line of credit. It’s similar to a HELOC.
    • BMO has a wide variety of mortgage options to help you purchase or refinance a first or second home.

    • Fixed- and variable-rate mortgages
    • New home mortgages
    • Second home and investment property mortgages
    • Refinanced mortgages
    • Mortgage renewals
    • Open and closed mortgages
    • Convertible mortgages
    • Mortgages for newcomers to Canada
    • BMO Homeowner ReadiLine (a mortgage that comes with a secured line of credit)


    • Allows borrowers to miss up to four monthly payments under certain circumstances. 
    • Credit history flexibility for newcomers to Canada. 
    • BMO’s 130-day rate-hold is the longest offered by any Big Six bank.


    • No online mortgage application.
    • No online portal for managing your mortgage.
    • No options for borrowers with low credit scores.

    BMO mortgage review

    The Bank of Montreal (more commonly known as BMO) was founded in 1817, and it is Canada’s oldest bank. BMO is now the eighth largest bank in North America and reported total assets of more than $1 trillion in 2022. BMO is one of Canada’s Big Six banks and offers a large variety of financial services, including credit cards, bank accounts, investment services, insurance and wealth management. 

    BMO is a direct lender that offers numerous kinds of mortgages, including fixed- and variable-rate options, as well as open and closed mortgages. Mortgages are available for new homeowners and those looking to refinance or renew their mortgages. In addition to offering mortgages for primary residences, BMO also has options for investment properties and second homes. BMO has a mortgage transfer service to help smooth the process of transferring a mortgage over from a different provider. 

    Two features of BMO’s mortgage offerings worth highlighting are the Homeowner ReadiLine and the 130-day mortgage rate guarantee. The Homeowner ReadiLine has both a secured line of credit and a mortgage, and allows you to allocate your borrowing between the two. As you pay down what you owe on your mortgage, your available line credit increases. BMO’s 130-day mortgage rate guarantee locks in your rate for a fixed-rate mortgage for a residential property for just over four months, 10 days longer than any other big bank in Canada.

    Who is a BMO mortgage best for?

    A BMO mortgage may be a good choice for prospective home buyers who also need to increase their line of credit. BMO’s Homeowner ReadiLine mortgage combines your BMO mortgage with a revolving line of credit.

    BMO provides a selection of residential mortgage products, such as fixed-rate, variable-rate, open and closed mortgages, plus a convertible mortgage.

    BMO mortgage feature overview

    Mortgage variety

    BMO’s selection of mortgage products is comparable to those of other major Canadian banks. If you have a low credit score, however, you may need to seek an alternative lender; BMO doesn’t typically provide mortgages for this type of borrower.

    BMO offers:

    Ease of application 

    Overall, BMO makes it fairly easy to start the mortgage process. Here’s what it does and doesn’t offer:

    Mortgage rate transparency 

    BMO posts a full range of mortgage rates, including: 

    Nerdy Tip: On the BMO website, be sure to scroll far enough down the mortgage rates page so that you see both its special and posted rates. Knowing both can help prepare you in case you’re not able to take advantage of a discounted rate.

    Other BMO mortgage details

    Estimate your monthly mortgage payment.

    Use our mortgage payment calculator to compare different borrowing scenarios.

    Customer satisfaction ratings

    It’s difficult to gauge how satisfied Canadians are with BMO as a mortgage provider. Customer review websites can be helpful, but keep in mind that the reviews aren’t verified and may not accurately reflect the average opinion of BMO customers; for example, unhappy customers may be overrepresented or their experience may not be mortgage-related. Nevertheless, these sites are one way to learn about possible downsides to consider.

    You can contact BMO about a mortgage via email or phone, or by visiting a branch in person.

    BMO mortgage eligibility requirements

    To apply for pre-approval for a BMO mortgage, you need to:

    For most mortgage types, BMO Mortgage does not publish specific eligibility criteria. However, for the BMO Smart Fixed Mortgage, requirements include: 

    Nerdy Tip: Use a mortgage affordability calculator to determine how much you can afford to pay for a home. If you have a unique situation or need additional information about the eligibility requirements, it’s best to speak directly with a mortgage specialist.

    How to apply for a mortgage with BMO 

    Once on CIBC’s website, tap or hover over the tab titled “Mortgages.”

    On the menu that appears, look for “Apply for a Mortgage” under the “Tools and Resources” section; navigate there to find the online pre-approval form as well as the online mortgage application form.

    Directly above that link you’ll find the link to the online pre-qualification form.

    Find BMO’s online pre-qualification form via the Mortgages tab at the top of the page.

    You won’t need to gather any documentation before you get started. Like most lenders, BMO requires a soft credit check before processing your pre-qualification. This check won’t affect your credit score.

    You must meet a few basic requirements to submit the online form. If you don’t meet these, you’ll need to contact someone at BMO.

    BMO lists a few conditions you’ll need to meet and information you should gather before beginning.

    Expect to provide information about your employment and income when filling out the online pre-approval.

    Alternatives to a BMO mortgage

    BMO is just one of many Canadian mortgage lenders. If the product you need isn’t available at Home Trust, you can check other Big Six banks, credit unions and B lenders.

    You can also consider reaching out to a mortgage broker and asking for help in finding a better deal on your home loan.

    True North MortgageRBC MortgageFirst National Financial
    Lender typeMortgage brokerageBig Bank lenderNon-bank lender
    Service areaNationalNationalNational
    In-person service?YesYesYes
    Ease of applicationEasy (online, phone, in-person)Easy (online, phone, in-person)Difficult (online, phone, in-person)
    Mortgage varietyAbove averageAverageAbove average

    Frequently asked questions about BMO Mortgage

    How do you choose the right mortgage lender?

    Selecting the right mortgage provider is a big decision. A mortgage is a large debt, and you want to make sure that you’re getting the best deal possible. You’ll need to do some research, make a list of what’s important to you, and spend some comparing offers from the different types of providers. You can start by following these steps:

    1. Decide your budget: It’s important to have an idea of how much mortgage you can comfortably afford before talking with lenders. They may offer you more than you want to spend; it’s important to be ready for that conversation.
    2. Understand the different types of lenders: Mortgage providers include banks, credit unions, brokers, alternative lenders, and private lenders. Each has its pros and cons.
    3. Compare offers from three different lenders: To ensure you have a good idea of what’s out there, consider seeking mortgage pre-approval from a big bank, a broker and one other type of alternative lender.
    4. Don’t focus too much on rates: The interest rate is just one part of the mortgage equation. Yes, you want the most competitive rate possible, but it’s also important to weigh the reputation of the lender, the quality of customer service they provide, the types of loans they offer, the fees they charge, and the flexibility of terms they may offer.

    » LEARN MORE: Read our guide to choosing a mortgage lender


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