Mortgage brokers make around $79,669 a year.
If you are interested in starting a career in real estate, there are a few steps you need to meet, one of which is obtaining a mortgage broker licence.
How and where to get one in Canada? Is the procedure the same or does it differ depending on where you live?
Read below to get the answers and more.
What Does a Canadian Mortgage Broker Do?
Mortgage brokers are licensed professionals who serve as an intermediary between lenders and interested homebuyers seeking a home loan.
Brokers do not lend any money, but rather assess your financial situation and your needs, comparing them to various mortgage products and interest rates. They will then present you with options so you can choose the best deal.
In addition to helping you find the most suitable financing option, a good mortgage broker will also help you calculate how much mortgage you can afford and advise you on the best course of action based on your financial circumstances.
What is the Difference Between a Mortgage Agent and a Broker?
The main difference is that to work as a mortgage broker you must have two years of work experience (or more) as a mortgage agent and a completed Mortgage Broker Course.
A mortgage agent, on the other hand, has not attained a higher degree of accreditation and works for a mortgage brokerage under the supervision of a licensed mortgage broker.
What is a Mortgage Broker Licence?
A mortgage broker licence ensures that brokers adhere to federal laws in order to conduct business in the mortgage industry. It also enables them to act as a Principal Broker for a Mortgage Brokerage.
All mortgage brokers in Canada are required to have a licence in the provinces where they are securing mortgages for their clients. Without one, you are not allowed to engage in negotiations about real estate or conduct transactions on behalf of someone else.
Regulations and requirements vary from one province to another, but in general, you are required to pass a series of courses or exams and/or have previous work experience as a mortgage agent.
A mortgage broker licence is usually valid for one year after which it should be renewed, but this again varies among provinces. In Ontario for instance, the renewal fee is $841 and the certification is valid for one year. In British Columbia, your registration as a mortgage broker (the term used is a submortgage broker) is good for two years, while the renewal fee is $1,500.
Do you Need a Mortgage Broker?
Although it will make procuring a home loan much easier, you can always compare rates from Canada’s best mortgage providers on your own.
How to Become a Mortgage Broker in Canada?
The steps to become a home loan broker in Canada are not the same in every province, but typically are required to work as a licensed mortgage agent first and then apply for a mortgage broker licence.
How to Get a Mortgage Broker Licence in Ontario?
Here is how the procedure goes.
1. Take an FSRA-approved mortgage agent course
The FSRA offers several approved courses that you can choose from, including
- Mortgage Agent Course for Licensing by REMIC
- Ontario Mortgage Agent Course by Mortgage Professionals Canada
- Canadian Mortgage Broker Association’s Mortgage Agent Course
Tuition fees, programs and methods are set by the provider, although all of them use the same curriculum and require you to pass a final exam.
Make sure that you complete the FSRA-approved mortgage agent education program at least two years before applying for a licence.
Note: Bear in mind that most provinces will also require you to hold a high school diploma or an equivalent, such as a GED before you can apply for a mortgage agent licence.
2. Get a job at a mortgage brokerage
Many mortgage brokerages employ mortgage agents both part and full-time, offering them complete training and ongoing support.
You need to choose the right brokerage to join as the Principal Broker is the one who reviews your application both for a mortgage agent and broker licence. The brokerage will also pay the licence fee on your behalf. Most importantly, you are only allowed to work for one firm, further highlighting the importance of choosing the right one.
3. Apply for a mortgage agent licence
To become a licensed mortgage agent, you need to
- Be at least 18 years old;
- Be a Canadian resident;
- Have a mailing address in Ontario (but not an office post box);
- Have a working email address;
- Work for only one Mortgage Brokerage and be permitted to deal with mortgages on their behalf.
You also need to show that you are suitable to hold a licence by confirming that you are informed of Ontario’s regulations related to mortgage licensing and that you can represent yourself openly and conduct business in good faith.
4. Upgrade to a mortgage broker licence
After you have been working as a mortgage agent for at least two years you can apply to upgrade your licence to a mortgage broker. By default, this means that you have already satisfied the criteria for getting licensed as a mortgage agent.
You also must complete an FSRA-approved mortgage broker education program and pass the mortgage broker exam within 3 years before applying, both of which are offered through Mortgage Professionals Canada.
In Ontario, this is the Ontario Mortgage Broker Education Program (OMBEP), a two-phase mortgage broker training that makes sure you comply with the Mortgage Brokerages, Lenders and Administrators Act, 2006.
To apply for a licence as a mortgage broker, the Principal Broker of your brokerage will initiate the licence application here. You will then need to click on the Licensing Link and complete the application form.
There are no fees involved, provided you have a valid mortgage agent licence.
Note: You need to be working as a mortgage agent for two years within three years before applying for a mortgage broker licence.
How to Become a Licensed Mortgage Broker in Canada?
The mortgage broker education program and requirements to meet are not the same in every province, though.
That said, typically you will need to pass an entry-level provincial licensing mortgage broker course, which covers legislation and business practices, and then complete an educational program, which focuses on the skills and know-how needed to make sure the brokerage adheres to all relevant laws and regulations.
For example in Alberta, you must first complete the Fundamentals of Mortgage Brokerage course (provided by RECA) and then the Practice of Mortgage Brokerage (delivered by AMBA).
In Quebec, you have to first complete specialist training (along with compulsory exams) and then do an internship of at least 28 hours per week for a period of 12 weeks before getting a representative’s certificate and starting to work as a mortgage broker.
In BC, you need to pass the Mortgage Brokerage in British Columbia course, demonstrating that you are able to understand mortgage financing basics and techniques as well as be proficient in English.
|Click here for more information on the courses required in your province.|
The cost of training depends on the province as well. For example, in Quebec, the price of the exam is $150, while in Alberta mortgage pre-licensing education comes out to $2,800.
Also, some provinces allow you to take mortgage courses online to get your licence while others require you to attend classes in person.
A mortgage broker is a great career choice—it is well-paid, challenging, and it gives you the chance to make a difference in people’s lives. Getting there may not be easy, but the process of getting licensed as a mortgage broker is designed to help you gradually gain the knowledge and skills required to make it Canada’s trillion-dollar mortgage industry.
To get approved for a mortgage in Ontario you need to show that you can afford to pay back the loan. That means settling old debts on time, having a stable source of income and having a good credit score. Also, contributing a bigger down payment boosts your chances of getting approved for a mortgage.
To become a mortgage broker in British Columbia you must complete either the Mortgage Brokerage in British Columbia course, provided by the Sauder School of Business, have a diploma in Urban Land Economics or a Bachelor of Commerce Degree with a specialization in Real Estate.
Mortgage brokers earn about $79,669 a year, while mortgage agents make $74,068 annually. The difference in salary between the two is not high, although only a mortgage broker with a licence can set up a mortgage brokerage and thus earn more than the average salary.