Menu Toggle
Search
  1. Home
  2. Mortgages
  3. Scotiabank Mortgage Review 2024
Published April 11, 2024
Reading Time
14 minutes

Scotiabank Mortgage Review 2024

Scotiabank primarily offers standard residential mortgages at rates that are in line with other Big Six banks. But it does provide a few unique products for Canadian home buyers to choose from.

Written By

Edited By

Scotiabank mortgage at a glance

Scotiabank is one of Canada’s largest mortgage lenders. As a federally-regulated financial institution, it abides by Canada’s strict mortgage qualification guidelines, but it also serves recent arrivals to Canada and the self-employed, groups who may struggle to find mortgages at A lenders.

    • Available in all Canadian provinces and territories.
    • Offers a modest selection of variable and fixed mortgage rates.
    • Provides residential mortgage and renewal services.
    • Offers a home equity line of credit product, the Scotia Total Equity Plan (STEP).
    • Provides a full-service online mortgage portal, Scotiabank eHome.
    • Fixed-rate mortgages.
    • Variable-rate mortgages.
    • Convertible mortgages.
    • Open and closed mortgages.
    • Mortgages for secondary properties.
    • Home equity lines of credit.
    • Mortgage renewals.

    Pros

    • Online mortgage applications and mortgage management through Scotiabank’s eHome portal.
    • A decent selection of prepayment options.
    • Offers competitively priced rates to customers who work with mortgage brokers.

    Cons

    • Doesn’t publish discounted rates and its annual percentage rates (APRs) aren’t prominently displayed.  
    • Many of its mortgage special offers require signing up for other Scotiabank banking products.
    • No options for borrowers with low credit scores.

    Scotiabank mortgage review

    Founded in 1832, the Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) is one of Canada’s oldest and most recognizable financial institutions. What started as Halifax’s first public bank has grown into an international banking heavyweight with locations across the Americas, the U.K. and Asia.  

    Scotiabank is among the largest of Canada’s Big Six banks and a major player in the country’s mortgage market. In the third quarter of 2023, Scotiabank’s Canadian mortgage portfolio was $294 billion. 

    Overall, Scotiabank offers a mix of mortgage products that’s similar to its Big Six competitors. Fixed, variable and convertible mortgages are all on the menu, as are open and closed options. Scotiabank also provides mortgages to some recent arrivals to Canada and self-employed borrowers.

    For homeowners who may need access to further capital while paying off their mortgages, Scotiabank offers the Scotia Total Equity Plan, a HELOC product that allows borrowers access to up to 80% of their home’s value.

    Who is a Scotiabank mortgage best for?

    A Scotiabank mortgage may be best suited for borrowers looking for a fully digital mortgage experience who also appreciate the option of getting personalized advice when needed. 

    Many lenders allow borrowers to apply for a mortgage pre-approval online, but Scotiabank’s eHome portal also allows for actual mortgage applications. The bank’s Home Financing Officers are available to assist with the process.

    Scotiabank mortgage feature overview

    Variety of mortgages

    Scotiabank’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; Scotiabank doesn’t typically provide mortgages for this type of borrower.

    Scotiabank offers::

    Ease of application

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

    Mortgage rate transparency

    Compared to some other Big Six banks, Scotiabank leaves a little to be desired when it comes to the thoroughness of the information it shares around its current mortgage rates. 

    Other Scotiabank mortgage details

    Customer satisfaction ratings

    It’s difficult to gauge how satisfied Canadians are with Scotiabank 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 Scotia customers; for example, unhappy customers may be overrepresented in these reviews. Nevertheless, these sites are one way to learn about possible downsides to consider.

    Scotiabank mortgage eligibility requirements

    Because it’s a federally regulated financial institution, Scotiabank’s lending criteria will generally be quite strict. The interest rate and loan amount you’re offered will be based on your finances, but before you get that far in the process, Scotiabank will need to evaluate your:

    How to apply for a mortgage with Scotiabank

    With its eHOME mortgage portal, Scotiabank offers fully online mortgage pre-approval and mortgage application processes — something the other Big Six banks have yet to roll out.

    Here’s how eHOME works, and what to expect when applying for a mortgage with Scotiabank.

    1. Go to Scotiabank’s homepage and hover your mouse over the “Mortgages” tab.
    2. Click on “Scotiabank eHOME” to be taken to the bank’s online mortgage portal.

    eHOME is an entirely online process, so if you would feel more comfortable dealing with a Scotiabank mortgage advisor instead, you can simply scroll down the bank’s homepage until you see this graphic. You should be able to find a mortgage broker near you who can help you with your mortgage.

    You can scroll around the eHOME page to find more information about how it works, but most of the links will take you to the same place: a set of questions that determine whether you’re eligible to apply for a mortgage online with Scotiabank.

    After agreeing to Scotiabank’s privacy agreement, you’ll be asked six yes-or-no questions related to you and your co-borrower, if you have one.

    Once you’ve been deemed eligible for eHOME, you can sign in using your Scotiabank credentials.

    If you’re not a Scotiabank customer, you’ll have to provide some personal information and a cellphone number so you can initiate your eHOME account. You’ll then create a username and password.

    Once you’ve chosen the pre-approval option from the eHOME menu, you’ll begin an application process the bank estimates should take around 20 minutes.

    1. Provide details about the home you intend to buy, including:

    • Its location.
    • Whether it will be your primary residence or a secondary property.
    • If it’s a house or condo.
    • The estimated price.
    • How much you’ve saved for a down payment.
    • Your down payment sources.

    It’s alright if you don’t know all every detail at this stage.

    2. Choose a rate type and term length so Scotiabank can provide a few customized rate offers.

    Choose the offer that looks good to you and you’ll have the option to lock it in for 120 days.

    3. Review the details of your mortgage offer, including: prepayment privileges, porting possibilities and other features that can help you better manage your home loan.

    4. Provide your employment and income details, including:

    • Your employment type and industry.
    • Your employer’s name, phone number and address.
    • Your annual income.
    • How long you have worked there.

    5. List your assets and debts, including:

    • Your monthly rent or mortgage payments.
    • How much each asset you own is worth and whether it’s held jointly.
    • Whether you’re paying alimony, child support or private debt.

    6. Read Scotiabank’s terms and conditions and consent to a credit check. The pre-approval process is complete!

    Once you reach the eHOME hub, chose the “Mortgage Application” option.

    You’ll be asked to confirm your personal information and whether you’ll be applying with a co-applicant. Then you’ll begin the application process.

    1. Provide details about the home you made an offer on, including:

    • Its location.
    • Whether it will be your primary residence or a secondary property.
    • If it’s a house or condo, and whether it’s detached, semi-detached or a freehold townhouse.
    • The square footage.
    • The purchase price.
    • Your down payment sources.
    • The closing date.

    2. Choose a rate type and term length so Scotiabank can provide a few customized rate offers.

    Find an offer that looks good and you’ll have the option to lock it in for 90 days.

    3. View the details of your mortgage offer, including prepayment privileges, porting possibilities and other features that can help you better manage your home loan.

    At this stage, you’ll be shown details regarding the Scotia Total Equity Plan, an optional home equity line of credit. You don’t have to sign up for STEP to continue with your application.

    4. Provide your employment and income details, including:

    • Your employment type and industry.
    • Your employer’s name, phone number and address.
    • Your annual income.
    • How long you have worked there.
    • If you have any other sources of income.

    If you’ve previously completed a pre-approval application, these details should already be filled in.

    5. Declare your assets and debts, including:

    • Your monthly rent or mortgage payments.
    • How much each asset you own is worth and whether it’s held jointly.
    • If you’re paying alimony, child support or private debt.

    6. Upload the documents Scotiabank requires to verify your application details. At this point, you only need your purchase of sale agreement, but you’ll eventually need to provide:

    • The house listing.
    • Financial statements that confirm the ownership and value of the assets and investments you’ve declared.
    • Employment and tax documents.

    Providing all the documents requested will help speed along the approval process.

    7. Read the terms and conditions related to your mortgage and consent to a credit check. Your mortgage application is complete!

    Alternatives to a Scotiabank mortgage 

    Scotiabank is just one of many Canadian mortgage lenders. If the product you need isn’t available at Scotiabank, there are other Big Six banks, credit unions and B lenders you can turn to.

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

    TangerineRBC MortgageRocket Mortgage
    Lender typeOnline-only bankBig Bank lenderMortgage broker
    Service areaNationalNationalNational
    In-person service?NoYesNo
    Ease of applicationEasy (online)Easy (online, phone, in-person)Easy (online)
    Mortgage varietyAverageAverageAbove average


    Frequently asked questions about Scotiabank mortgages

    What are the current mortgage rates at Scotiabank?

    Scotiabank’s current mortgage rates are generally in line with those offered by other Big Six banks. You could score a lower mortgage rate at Scotiabank by working with a mortgage broker. A broker may be able to negotiate a lower rate at Scotiabank by taking a smaller commission.

    How long does Scotiabank take to approve a mortgage?

    Mortgage approval times will vary depending on how busy Scotiabank’s Home Financing Advisors are and how you apply. Using Scotiabank’s eHome online hub may speed up the process. But borrowers impact approval times, too. Not providing the documentation Scotiabank requires to properly assess your finances will delay the process.

    How do you choose the right mortgage lender?

    Selecting the right mortgage lender is an important decision. Not only do you want to get the best mortgage rate, you’ll also want to align with a lender whose products, terms and conditions align with your financial needs.  

    To do all that, it’s helpful to do each of the following:

    • Understand the different types of lenders: Mortgage providers include banks, credit unions, alternative lenders, and private lenders. Each has its own pros and cons.
    • Compare offers from multiple lenders: Don’t commit to a mortgage from Scotiabank or any other lender until you have a solid idea of what constitutes a good current mortgage rate.
    • Don’t focus solely on rates. The interest rate is important, but it’s just one part of the mortgage equation. It’s also important to consider a lender’s reputation, the types of loans they offer, any fees they charge, and how much prepayment flexibility you’ll have.
    How does Scotiabank calculate your mortgage payment?

    Like most lenders, Scotiabank will consider the following when calculating your monthly mortgage payment:

    • Home price: the amount you agree to pay for a home.
    • Down payment: how much you can afford to pay upfront on your home purchase.
    • Amortization period: the total time it takes you to pay off your mortgage.
    • Mortgage term: how long your mortgage contract will be in effect.
    • Payment frequency: how often you’ll make mortgage payments.
    • Mortgage interest rate: the amount a lender charges you to borrow its money; expressed as a percentage of the loan amount.
    • Property taxes or title transfer fee: an annual fee based on your property value; not all mortgages are set up to include these fees.
    • Mortgage default insurance: an extra cost you’ll pay if your down payment is less than 20%.

    Example:

    • Home price: $650,000
    • Down payment: $58,500 (9%)
    • Amortization period: 25 years
    • Mortgage term: 5 years
    • Payment frequency: Monthly
    • Mortgage interest rate: 5.5%
    • Mortgage insurance: $23,660

    DIVE EVEN DEEPER

    Image Placeholder

    NerdWallet Canada’s Mortgage Reviews

    Shopping for a mortgage? We’ve reviewed Big Banks, brokers, B Lenders and online-only lenders — along with some of their most popular products — to help you finance your home purchase, refinance or renewal with confidence.

    Current Mortgage Rates in Canada: Compare Today’s Top Offers

    Current Mortgage Rates in Canada: Compare Today’s Top Offers

    Compare current mortgage rates to find the lowest mortgage rate for your home buying needs.

    Mortgage Payment Calculator

    Mortgage Payment Calculator

    Use this mortgage calculator to estimate your monthly mortgage payments and establish a home buying budget.

    Today’s Best Variable Mortgage Rates in Canada

    Today’s Best Variable Mortgage Rates in Canada

    Compare three- and five-year variable mortgage rates in Canada to find the right mortgage for your needs.

    Back To Top