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Published June 10, 2024

First National Mortgage Rates

Find the right First National mortgage by comparing mortgage rates on the company’s traditional and alternative loan products.

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Editor’s Note: The Bank of Canada will make its next overnight rate decision on Wednesday, July 24. Economic indicators like employment and inflation signal that the Bank might be gearing up for another overnight rate reduction. In June, the BoC’s first rate cut in four years brought the overnight rate down to 4.75%, providing minor relief to homeowners with variable rate mortgages. A second consecutive cut could make variable mortgage rates even more attractive. NerdWallet will make updates as more information becomes available. 

First National fixed mortgage rates

With a fixed-rate mortgage from First National, your mortgage rate will remain the same for the duration of your mortgage term. A five-year fixed-rate mortgage taken out in 2024, for example, would maintain the same rate until the term expires in 2029, no matter how much current interest rates might rise or fall during that period.

The following mortgage rates are only available for single-family residential mortgages.

1 year2 year3 year4 year5 year7 year10 year
Insured7.35%6.52%5.76%5.67%4.99%6.24%6.29%
Insurable up to 65% LTV7.35%6.52%5.76%5.67%4.99%N/AN/A
Insurable > 65% – 70% LTV7.35%6.52%5.76%5.67%5.09%N/AN/A
Insurable > 70% – 75% LTV7.35%6.52%5.76%5.67%5.14%N/AN/A
Insurable > 75% – 80% LTV7.35%6.52%5.76%5.67%5.19%N/AN/A
Conventional7.35%6.52%5.76%5.67%5.67%6.24%6.29%

This table is updated daily on weekdays using data available on the First National’s website.

Just in case you’re unfamiliar with some of the terms in the table above:

First National adjustable mortgage rates

First National’s adjustable mortgage rates operate similarly to other lenders’ variable mortgage rates. With a First National adjustable-rate mortgage, the size of your payment can increase or decrease based on the movement of First National’s prime rate over the course of your mortgage term.

The following mortgage rates only apply to single-family residential mortgages.

5-year rate
Insured6%
Insurable up to 65% LTV6%
Insurable > 65% – 70% LTV6.2%
Insurable > 70% – 75% LTV6.3%
Insurable > 75% – 80% LTV6.3%
Conventional6.8%

This table is updated daily on weekdays using data available on the First National’s website.

First National Excalibur mortgage rates

Excalibur is First National’s alternative lending arm, and is intended to serve self-employed borrowers and those with challenging credit profiles. Excalibur mortgages are only available to borrowers in Ontario, British Columbia, Atlantic Canada and the Prairies.

The following mortgage rates are only available for single-family residential mortgages.

Credit score: < 580Credit score: 580-599Credit score: 600-649Credit score: 650-679Credit score: 680+
1-year rate7.74%7.49%7.24%6.99%6.84%
2-year rate7.44%7.19%6.94%6.69%6.54%
3-year rate7.29%7.04%6.79%6.54%6.39%

This table is updated daily on weekdays using data available on the First National’s website.

Other lenders’ rates

Once you’ve taken a look at First National’s mortgage rates, it can be worthwhile to compare them to what’s on offer at mainstream lenders.

Finding the best mortgage rates will generally involve comparing rates from other alternative lenders, too. If you don’t feel confident making these comparisons on your own, consider working with a mortgage broker, who can take care of this step for you and possibly negotiate a lower interest rate.

Does First National have the best mortgage rates?

NerdWallet’s mortgage rate tables include rates from some of Canada’s biggest banks and alternative lenders. Browse them to find out how First National’s mortgage rates compare to the competition.

First National at a glance

First National Financial is a major player in Canada’s alternative mortgage lending industry, and is among the country’s largest non-bank providers of single-family residential mortgages. First National also offers a wide range of commercial mortgage solutions for real estate developers and investors. 

Because First National is not a traditional bank, it doesn’t employ in-house mortgage advisors. Instead, it works exclusively with mortgage brokers. If your broker doesn’t have a relationship with First National, the company can help you connect with one who does.

Nerdy Tip: First National offers mortgages to people with both strong and sub-optimal credit. If your credit score is low, you may still get approved for a mortgage at First National, but the rate you’re charged is likely to be quite high.

First National mortgage products

In terms of residential lending, First National only offers mortgages on single-family homes. There are fixed-rate and adjustable-rate options, both of which come in the following varieties:

First National also offers a single, six-month fixed-term open mortgage option, as well as its Excalibur line of mortgage products, which are intended for self-employed Canadians and those with sub-optimal credit. 

First National mortgages: things to consider

Loan-to-value

As an alternative lender, First National doesn’t put the same emphasis on your credit score or credit history as a Big Six bank might when determining what mortgage rate to offer you. Instead, First National’s rates, particularly their adjustable mortgage rates, are tied to the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio involved in a particular loan.

For example, First National offers an adjustable rate of prime minus 0.9% on an insurable mortgage with an LTV of less than 65%. (An LTV of 65% would involve a 35% down payment and First National providing 65% of the home’s value.) When the LTV rises to between 75% and 80%, which means the company is funding a larger portion of purchase, the rate also increases, to prime minus 0.4%. 

Bad credit options

A Big Six bank might decline your mortgage application because of a bad credit score or an income source that’s harder to qualify. Alternative lenders like First National have a little more leeway in the borrowers they choose to work with. 

First National’s Excalibur mortgage program provides lending options to borrowers who may have difficulty qualifying at the big banks. The rates on Excalibur loans, however, can be quite high, particularly for borrowers with credit scores below 600.

With a maximum term length of three years, Excalibur loans are meant to be short-term funding solutions. Borrowers are expected to improve their credit during their term so they can renew their mortgage with a mainstream lender, where rates should be lower.

Prime rate

First National’s prime rate is the basis for its adjustable-rate lending products. When the Bank of Canada adjusts its overnight rate, First National’s prime rate will increase or decrease by the same amount, affecting the cost of borrowing for these products.

As of October 25, 2023, First National’s current prime rate was 7.2%, similar to that of the Big Six banks.

Open vs. closed mortgages

Another consideration when getting a mortgage at First National is whether to choose an open or closed mortgage

With an open mortgage, you can increase your mortgage payments or even pay your mortgage in full at any time without penalty. A closed mortgage will impose annual limits on how much you can prepay your mortgage. 

Choosing between open and closed mortgages is often a matter of cost. The interest rate First National charges on its open mortgage product is considerably higher than any of its closed mortgage rates.

How to get the best mortgage rate at First National

As one of Canada’s largest B lenders, First National has a little more flexibility when it comes to qualifying borrowers. But being offered the lowest mortgage rate at First National will still require a little effort on your part, including:

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage at First National

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is a crucial step in the home buying process. A pre-approval tells you how much a lender is willing to loan you at a particular interest rate. This establishes your homebuying budget and lets homeowners know that your offer — so long as it falls within the limits of your pre-approval — is legit.  

Because you’ll have to work with a mortgage broker in order to apply for a mortgage with First National, your broker will guide you through the pre-approval process. Expect to provide all the documents your broker will requires for evaluating your finances. These might include:

The mortgage pre-approval process will also include a hard credit inquiry, which permits access to your credit score and credit history. Hard inquiries may lead to a temporary dip in your credit score.

What else should you know about pre-approvals at First National?

When discussing your mortgage options with a broker, make sure you understand the fees, terms and conditions involved with each mortgage offer, including any prepayment privileges (and prepayment penalties). Getting clarity around these factors during pre-approval can make the next step — officially applying for a mortgage once you’ve made a successful bid on a home — go more smoothly. 

Mortgage pre-approvals are free and non-binding. Just because you get pre-approved based on a First National mortgage rate doesn’t mean you can’t get your mortgage elsewhere — so long as the other lenders you’re considering work with borrowers with credit profiles similar to your own.

Frequently asked questions about First National mortgage rates

What is First National’s current mortgage rate?

First National doesn’t have a single mortgage rate. It offers fixed rates, adjustable rates and rates intended specifically for borrowers with challenging credit profiles. As of October 23, 2023, First National’s lowest posted mortgage rate was 6.04% for a five-year fixed rate mortgage.

Can you negotiate mortgage rates at First National?

You can — and should — negotiate your mortgage rate with First National, even if you’re applying for a First National mortgage intended for borrowers with low credit scores. It never hurts to ask.

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