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Published May 9, 2024
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9 minutes

Tangerine Mortgage Review 2024

Tangerine is an online-only bank that offers standard mortgage options and flexible portability terms.

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Tangerine mortgages at a glance

Tangerine is an online bank that offers purchase, refinance and renewal mortgages to Canadians across the country.

    • Online-only bank — no brick-and-mortar locations.
    • Port your mortgage without penalty if you move.
    • Has been in business for more than 20 years.
    • Fixed-rate mortgages (purchase and refinance).
    • Variable-rate mortgages (purchase and refinance).
    • Home equity line of credit.

    Pros

    • Penalty-free porting.
    • Lump sum pre-payment limit higher than some big banks
    • Programs for newcomers to Canada.

    Cons

    • Fewer specialty mortgage types than you can find elsewhere.
    • Limited rate information available online. 
    • You must create an account on Tangerine to preview the online application.
    • No in-person locations.

    Tangerine mortgages: feature overview

    Tangerine is an online bank that offers mortgages alongside other traditional banking products, like savings, chequing and credit cards. Unlike some traditional banks, Tangerine exists only online; it doesn’t serve clients in physical locations.  

    Tangerine is a standalone bank — it’s a CDIC member — but is owned by The Bank of Nova Scotia. It offers fixed-rate mortgages with terms ranging from one to ten years as well as a five-year variable mortgage. If you move before your mortgage is up, you can port your loan amount and current rate without penalty.

    Who is Tangerine best for?

    Tangerine may be a good choice for home buyers or refinancers who prefer an online-only experience, or who are seeking a portable mortgage.

    Because it’s an online-only bank, Tangerine may be best for those comfortable with an all-digital experience. If there’s a chance you may move before your term is over, you may value Tangerine’s flexible portability terms. Tangerine offers a number of common mortgage options, but if you’re looking for something more niche, such as a convertible mortgage or an open mortgage, you may need to look elsewhere. 

    Tangerine mortgage feature overview

    Variety of mortgages available

    Tangerine offers many common types of mortgages, like three- and five-year fixed mortgages. If your needs are more complex — if you’re buying a second home or building a new home, for example — you may need to look elsewhere, like a big six bank or a mortgage broker. 

    Tangerine advertises the following kinds of mortgages:

    Ease of application

    You can’t begin the application process without first signing up to be a Tangerine client — an extra step compared to other lenders. While mortgage lenders with online applications typically require you to include your contact information before submitting pre-qualification or pre-approval forms, most let you preview the application without that upfront obligation. Tangerine also doesn’t have an in-person application option: They conduct business online or over the phone.

    Mortgage rate transparency

    Tangerine’s website is less transparent than most mortgage lenders we’ve reviewed. It doesn’t publish special rates online, and its website only has one APR listed. You may be able to get this information by contacting Tangerine, but it’ll take more work on your part.

    Other details

    Increase your payments: You can increase your standard payment by up to 25% without penalty. This is a lower limit than you’ll find at many other lenders. For example, RBC and TD each have a payment-increase limit of 100%.  

    Make lump-sum payments: You may be able to pay down up to 25% of your original loan amount on some fixed-rate closed mortgages up to once per year. This is a higher limit than you’ll find at many other lenders. For example, RBC and TD let you pay an additional 10% and 15%, respectively.

    Range of terms: Tangerine lists rate terms of one year through 10 years.

    Rate hold: If you’re pre-approved, Tangerine will hold your rate for up to 120 days, which is standard in the mortgage industry.

    Penalty-free porting. If you move before your mortgage is up, you can transfer your current rate, term and amount to your new home without paying a penalty.

    Programs for newcomers: Newcomers to Canada (less than five years) with limited or no credit history may be able to get a mortgage with Tangerine. 

    Customer satisfaction ratings

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

    Tangerine mortgage eligibility requirements

    To be eligible for a mortgage with Tangerine, you must:

    Your down payment minimum is determined by the purchase price:

    Purchase priceDown payment minimum
    $500,000 or less.5%
    Between $500,000 and $999,999.5% of the first $500,000 plus 10% of the remaining amount.
    $1 million and over.20%

    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 Tangerine 

    1. Begin the application process on Tangerine website by clicking one of the “Apply now” buttons, which can be found throughout the mortgage pages on the site. 
    2. Next, you’ll need to sign in if you already have an account with Tangerine or create one if you don’t.
    3. You can download Tangerine’s mobile app to create an account, or you can do so online.
    4. After you’ve applied, a Tangerine mortgage representative will be assigned to you and should be able to address your home financing questions. 

    Alternatives to Tangerine’s mortgage products

    If you decide Tangering is not for you, other Canadian lenders and brokers will likely offer competitive mortgage rate options for your needs. 

    True North MortgageRBC MortgageRocket Mortgage
    Lender typeMortgage brokerageBig Bank lenderMortgage broker
    Service areaNationalNationalNational
    In-person service?YesYesNo
    Ease of applicationEasy (online, phone, in-person)Easy (online, phone, in-person)Easy (online)
    Mortgage varietyAbove averageAverageAbove average

    Tangerine mortgages FAQs

    Is Tangerine a bank?

    Yes, Tangerine is a CDIC member and offers banking services like savings and chequing accounts.

    How do you choose the right mortgage lender?

    Choosing a mortgage lender is a big decision. A mortgage is a large debt, and you want to make sure that you’re getting the best deal possible. If you’re a first-time home buyer, you’ll also need to learn the basics about the home buying process. Start by making a list of what’s important to you, and spend time comparing offers from the different types of providers.

    You can start by following these steps:

    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.

    Understand the different types of lenders: Mortgage providers include banks, credit unions, brokers, alternative lenders, and private lenders. Each has its pros and cons.

    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.

    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.

    How does Tangerine calculate your mortgage payment?

    Like most mortgage brokers and lenders, Tangerine will consider the following when estimating what the regular payment might be for your future mortgage:

    • Home price: the total amount you agree to pay for a home.
    • Down payment: the total amount you’ll pay upfront toward a home purchase.
    • Amortization period: the number of years over which you’ll repay your mortgage.
    • Mortgage term: the length of the contract you’ll have with your mortgage lender.
    • Payment frequency: how often you’ll make a mortgage payment.
    • Mortgage interest rate: the fee you’ll pay to borrow money from the lender; expressed as a percentage of the loan amount.
    • Property taxes or title transfer fee: an annual fee based on your property value.
    • 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

    TOTAL MORTGAGE: $615,150
    MONTHLY MORTGAGE PAYMENT: $3,778

    » MORE: Use our mortgage payment calculator to compare different loan scenarios

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