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Published January 12, 2024
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Equitable Bank Mortgage Review 2024

Equitable Bank offers residential and commercial mortgages via mortgage brokers; it's known for being one of two banks to offer reverse mortgages in Canada.

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Equitable Bank at a glance

Equitable Bank offers residential and commercial mortgages via mortgage brokers; it’s known for being one of two banks to offer reverse mortgages in Canada.

    • Offers residential and commercial mortgage products via mortgage brokers.
    • Is one of only two financial institutions in Canada that offer reverse mortgages.
    • Should not be confused with EQ Bank, which is an arm of Equitable Bank that offers different services.
    • Fixed- and adjustable-rate residential mortgages.
    • Mortgages for investment properties and second homes. 
    • Reverse mortgages.
    • Commercial mortgages.
    • Home equity lines of credit (HELOCs).


    • Has a solid variety of mortgage products, including loans for people with poor credit.
    • One of only two financial institutions that offer reverse mortgages in Canada.
    • Mortgage rates may be lower than big banks.


    • Can’t apply online for a mortgage or pre-approval; must contact a mortgage broker.
    • Does not offer online pre-approval.
    • Website has limited info about its residential purchase mortgages.

    Equitable Bank mortgage full review

    Launched in 1970 as The Equitable Trust Company, Equitable Bank is a subsidiary of EQB Inc. Calling itself “Canada’s Challenger Bank,” Equitable Bank is a publicly traded company that manages over $65 billion in assets and has grown to become the seventh largest Schedule I bank in Canada.

    Equitable Bank provides a variety of services, including residential and commercial loans, savings accounts and guaranteed investment certificates (GICs).

    Equitable Bank’s numerous residential mortgage products include fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages, reverse mortgages and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). Equitable Bank also offers commercial mortgages for businesses planning to finance a property purchase.

    Reverse mortgages are a particular area of focus for Equitable Bank, and is one of only two institutions in Canada that offer them. Equitable offers three reverse mortgage options, that vary based on a homeowner’s age and how much home equity they want to borrow against.

    Equitable Bank’s website,, notes that it also has mortgages geared to those with a poor or limited credit history. Among them is the EQB Evolution Suite of mortgage solutions, designed to “appeal to a wide range of borrowers,” including the self-employed. However, few details are provided about what exactly makes these products so appealing; to learn more, you’ll need to contact a mortgage broker.

    Who is an Equitable Bank mortgage best for?

    Equitable Bank may be a good choice for any homeowner considering a reverse mortgage, as it’s one of only two financial institutions in Canada to do so. Additionally, Equitable Bank may be a fit for home buyers or refinancers who have non-traditional incomes or financial profiles, and don’t mind working with a mortgage broker.

    Equitable Bank’s mortgages are only available via its network of mortgage brokers, so if you want a direct lending experience, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. However, if you’re self-employed, a newcomer to Canada, have a bad credit score or are interested in investing in real estate, Equitable Bank may be worth considering, as it advertises purchase, renewal and refinance solutions tailored to these types of borrowers.

    How to 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 that process 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 like True North Mortgage, 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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    Equitable Bank mortgage feature overview

    Variety of mortgages

    Equitable Bank offers three types of reverse mortgages: fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs), as well as HELOCs. ARMs are a type of variable-rate mortgage.

    It also has a suite of prime mortgage products called the EQB Evolution Suite, though it doesn’t publish much information about the requirements or qualifications.

    Equitable Bank also has commercial mortgages for non-residential property purchases. 

    Ease of application

    Though you can reach out to an Equitable Bank customer service agent with questions, you can’t apply for a mortgage directly through the bank’s website. Instead, you must reach out to a mortgage broker. You can do this via email, phone or a form on its website. There is also a special dedicated phone number for those who want to inquire about reverse mortgages.

    Interestingly, customers of EQ Bank (an online-only subsidiary of Equitable Bank) can’t apply for a mortgage with Equitable Bank through the EQ Bank website either.

    Loan amounts and terms

    Equitable Bank doesn’t publicly disclose any maximum or minimum loan amounts. The bank generally offers mortgage terms of one to five years.

    Mortgage rate transparency

    Equitable Bank posts sample rates for one- to five-year fixed-rate loans and five-year adjustable-rate loans for its standard and EQB Evolution Suite mortgages.

    According to the website, the standard rates are based on the most favourable rates in Ontario and are subject to change without notice. The website also notes that listed annual percentage rates (APRs) are based on a mortgage amount of $150,000, as well as commitment and closing fees. Prospective borrowers will need to contact a mortgage broker for up-to-date information based on their financial situation, potential purchase price and other criteria.

    Nerdy Tip: A lender’s posted rates are rarely its lowest possible rates. Always be sure to inquire about discounted or special rates that may be available, and negotiate for a lower rate based on your financial profile.

    Rate types 

    Equitable Bank has both fixed and variable rates, though adjustable-rate mortgages are only available for five-year terms.

    Mortgage fees 

    The does not provide much information about mortgage fees. The site does note that there may be an early payment fee, as well as a fee if you want to change your payment dates (unless the payment schedule change is within your first month, in which case the fee is waived). 

    Equitable Bank’s website provides much more detail for its reverse mortgages, noting that there is a set-up fee of $995, as well as additional fees for appraisals and legal advice.

    Prepayments on an Equitable Bank reverse mortgage will come with fees unless you stick to specific prepayment criteria, such as prepaying up to 10% of your principal each 12-month period. After five years, you can prepay your entire balance within 30 days of an interest rate reset date without paying additional fees. After 10 years, you can pay off your entire balance at any time without penalty.

    Outside of the above allowances, you’ll be charged a prepayment penalty based on how long you’ve had your Equitable Bank reverse mortgage:

    Security and safety

    Although you can’t apply for a mortgage with Equitable Bank online, the lender’s website offers a Code of Privacy Principles, an Online Privacy statement and Privacy agreement, and tips for maintaining your online banking security.

    Also, Equitable Bank is a Schedule 1 Bank, which means it’s regulated by Canada’s Bank Act and is a member of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC).

    Customer satisfaction

    Based on NerdWallet analysis of satisfaction scores on several customer review websites, its difficult to gauge how satisfied Canadians are with Equitable Bank 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 Equitable Bank customers; for example, happy or unhappy customers may be overrepresented. Nevertheless, these sites are one way to learn about possible downsides to consider.

    Equitable Bank mortgage eligibility requirements

    There is no information online about eligibility requirements for conventional mortgages with Equitable Bank. To understand whether you might qualify, its best to reach out to a mortgage broker that works with the bank.

    However, the lender does share detailed eligibility criteria for its reverse mortgages. To qualify, you must be at least 55 years of age and have a minimum appraised home value of $250,000. You must also live in a major city in Alberta, B.C., Ontario or Quebec.

    Mortgage Affordability Calculator

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    How to apply for a mortgage with Equitable Bank

    To apply for a mortgage with Equitable Bank, you must contact a mortgage broker.

    You can reach out to Equitable Bank about its mortgage offerings via email, phone or a form on its website. There is also a special dedicated phone number for those who want to inquire about reverse mortgages.

    Alternatives to an Equitable Bank mortgage

    CHIP Reverse Mortgage by HomeEquity Bank.True North MortgageQuestMortgage
    Lender typeReverse mortgage specialistMortgage BrokerageDirect lender
    Service areaAvailable for homes everywhere but the Northwest Territories, the Yukon and Nunavut.NationalNot available in Quebec or any of the Canadian Territories.
    In-person service?NoYesNo
    Ease of applicationModerately easy (online or phone)Easy (online, phone, in-person)Moderately easy (start online with phone support)
    Mortgage varietyLower than average.Above averageAverage

    Frequently asked questions about Equitable Bank mortgages

    Is Equitable Bank a Canadian Bank?

    Yes, Equitable Bank is headquartered in Toronto and is currently Canada’s seventh-largest Schedule I bank.

    Is Equitable Bank a good lender?

    Deciding which lender is right for you depends on your mortgage needs, your financial profile, and the mortgage types and rates each lender can offer. Equitable Bank may be a good choice for any homeowner considering a reverse mortgage, as it’s one of only two financial institutions in Canada to do so.


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