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Published April 1, 2024
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10 minutes

Home Trust Review 2024

Before you apply for a Home Trust mortgage, make sure you understand all the details, from rates to prepayment rules.

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.

Home Trust at a glance

Founded in 1977, Home Trust is a federally regulated lender and caters to Canadians with non-conventional credit backgrounds.

    • Home Trust mortgages go up to $2 million.
    • It offers purchase or refinance loans for single-family homes, condominiums, apartments and rental properties.
    • The Classic Mortgage is designed for those who may not be able to get a loan with a traditional mortgage provider due to shaky credit history or non-traditional income, such as from commissions or self-employment. 
    • The Equityline Visa credit card acts like a HELOC by letting you borrow against your home’s equity.
    • Classic: An alternative mortgage for people who are self-employed or have little credit history or bad credit. 
    • Accelerator: A prime mortgage for people with good credit.

    Pros

    • It offers a Classic Mortgage intended for those who may struggle to get a mortgage with a conventional lender or bank because they are self-employed or have poor or limited credit.
    • It offers the Home Trust Equityline Visa card, which is essentially a home equity line of credit (HELOC) with the convenience of a credit card.
    • Home Trust mortgages include the option of prepaying a lump sum of as much as 20% of the principal each year without penalty.

    Cons

    • Limited mortgage products may not meet the needs of all prospective borrowers
    • Does not offer online pre-approvals.
    • Limited information on the website about rates and terms.

    Home Trust mortgage review

    Home Trust is a Canadian trust company founded in 1977. It’s a federally regulated lender and caters to Canadians with non-conventional credit backgrounds, such as self-employed individuals or newcomers who have limited credit histories. Home Trust also offers additional services like retail lending and credit cards. The company is headquartered in Toronto and has over 700 employees.

    Home Trust offers two main types of mortgages. Its Classic Mortgage is designed for people who might have trouble getting approved by traditional lenders because they are self-employed or earn commissions, or have a history of bad credit due to personal or financial hardship. The company’s Accelerator Mortgage is intended for applicants who have a regular income (whether from traditional or self-employment) and good credit history. 

    The company works with clients looking for a new home, rental property, condo or apartment, as well as those looking to refinance or renew a loan. 

    Mortgage terms can be from one to five years, with amortizations up to 30 years. Depending on your financial background and down payment, you could be eligible for a closed or open mortgage with a fixed or variable rate.

    Who is Home Trust best for?

    Home Trust’s Accelerator Mortgage is best for home buyers with good credit, while the company’s Classic Mortgage is best for home buyers with a history of bad credit.

    Home Trust works directly with clients, and you can apply online, by phone or through a mortgage broker. Home Trust mortgages are available in all provinces and territories. 

    In lieu of a traditional HELOC, Home Trust offers a Home Trust Equityline Visa credit card that you can use to access your home’s equity. However, it’s not available to homeowners in Quebec.

    Home Trust feature overview

    Mortgage types

    Home Trust has a limited number of mortgage options: an alternative Classic mortgage and a prime Accelerator mortgage. These mortgages may be fixed or variable and open or closed, depending on your situation and preferences. The company also offers a Home Trust Equityline Visa credit card that is tied to home equity and acts like a HELOC.

    Ease of application 

    You can apply for a mortgage with Home Trust by going online, by contacting customer service via phone or by speaking to a mortgage broker. 

    Amounts and terms

    Under the Classic Mortgage program, the maximum mortgage offered is $2,000,000. Home Trust offers up to $750,000 for the purchase of a high-rise condo. The lender notes that properties must be in urban or suburban centres, which means rural or vacation homes may not qualify.

    Accelerator Mortgages are available for properties selling for up to $1,000,000 and for borrowers with credit scores above 640. Generally, these mortgage terms range from one to five years.

    Mortgage rate transparency 

    On its website, Home Trust only offers sparse information about its rates, showing fixed rates from one to five years. The company recommends that potential applicants reach out to a mortgage broker to get updated rates.

    Rate types

    Home Trust provides mainly fixed-rate mortgages, though it does offer a variable- rate for some eligible applicants.

    Mortgage fees 

    For a Classic Mortgage, Home Trust charges lender fees starting at 1% for a closed mortgage and 2% for an open mortgage. Home Trust also notes that a prepayment charge could apply if you pay off your mortgage early. Typically, the prepayment penalty on a fixed mortgage would be the greater of the interest rate differential (the difference between the borrower’s rate and the lowest advertised rate) or three months’ interest. For a variable-rate mortgage, the fee would be three months’ worth of interest.

    Security and safety 

    The lender does not mention any details about how it keeps your information private or safe. In fact, at the time of this writing, both the “Privacy Policy” and the “Terms of Use” links on Home Trust’s mortgage application page go to 404 pages.

    Estimate your monthly mortgage payment.

    Use our mortgage payment calculator to compare different borrowing scenarios.

    Customer satisfaction ratings

    Based on NerdWallet analysis of satisfaction scores on several customer review websites, it’s unlikely that Home Trust typically provides a satisfactory experience for most mortgage customers. Keep in mind that reviews on these sites aren’t verified and may not accurately reflect the average opinion of Home Trust customers; for example, unhappy customers may be overrepresented. Nevertheless, these sites are one way to learn about possible downsides to consider.

    You can reach out to Home Trust customer service via phone or email.

    Home Trust eligibility requirements

    Qualifications for a Home Trust mortgage differ based on whether you’re applying for a Classic or Accelerator Mortgage. In general, you’ll need to meet these eligibility requirements:

    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 Home Trust

    Unlike many alternative lenders, Home Trust allows you to apply directly for a mortgage online. Here’s how to do it.

    Navigate to the Home Trust website and click on “Financing A Home.” On the next page, you’ll be able to start the application process by clicking the “Apply now” button.

    Once you’ve set up a Home Trust client account, you’ll be asked a series of questions about the home hope to buy, including the:

    • Purchase price.
    • Address.
    • Closing date.

    Provide details about the property you’re purchasing. These questions get very specific, so prepare to provide information regarding the home’s:

    • Square footage.
    • Garage size.
    • Heating and sewage type.
    • Annual property taxes. monthly maintenance fees and heating and electricity costs.
    • Insurance and management fees. 
    • Occupancy type and whether the property will generate any rental income.

    Update the personal information for anyone who will be taking part in the application, including:

    • First-time home buyer status.
    • Marital status and whether you have any dependents. 
    • Address, Social Insurance Number and language preference.
    • Your current residence (and other places you’ve lived if you haven’t been in your home very long).

    Enter financial information about yourself and anyone else applying for the mortgage with you, including:

    • Employment and income.
    • Assets.
    • Liabilities.
    • Other properties you own.

    Confirm the details of your application, consent to a credit check and you’re all done.

    Alternatives to Home Trust

    Home Trust is just one of many Canadian mortgage lenders. If the product you need isn’t available at Home Trust, you can check 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 Home Trust

    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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