Will DIY Mortgages Take Off in Canada? Many Say ‘Yes’

Picture this: You get up, grab a coffee and your laptop, and… apply for a mortgage. Online.

Maybe in the U.S., you say. But in Canada?

It’s looking more likely. And the game changer may well be Quicken, whose Rocket Mortgage product was advertised during this year’s Super Bowl. According to one Rocket client, you get actual approval in minutes online, including verification of credit, income and assets. It shaves off an estimated seven days from the process.

Rocket Mortgage and its competition have been around for a while, but the publicity gleaned by Quicken has given a huge boost to the U.S. DIY mortgage industry.

Will it come to Canada? Robert McLister, whose intelliMortgage company offers some degree of automation to Canadian rate seekers, notes in a recent article for Canadian Mortgage Trends, “The short answer is yes, in some shape or form, but likely not for a few years, minimum.”

Already several Canadian lenders have online portals for mortgage seekers. Some are more advanced than others, but what’s lacking here is what dramatically changed the U.S. mortgage application process – e-signing.

There are federal regulations around e-signatures that may be slowing down the adoption of e-signing here. As McLister says, “Certain Canadian lenders have been painfully slow in allowing brokers to submit e-signatures.” Without this “revolution,” it may take a while for Canadians to be able to complete the whole process of acquiring a mortgage online. But given Rocket’s successful takeoff, we may not have to wait too long.