April 24, 2024

How to Get a Mortgage with a Private Lender in Toronto (2024 Update)

How to Get a Mortgage with a Private Lender in Toronto (2024 Update)

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Navigating the Toronto real estate market can be a daunting task, especially for those who might not meet the strict criteria set by traditional banks for mortgage approval. This is where private lenders come into play, offering an alternative path to homeownership. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of private mortgages in Toronto, providing you with the knowledge to make an informed decision.

Comparison Of Private Lenders Vs Banks Vs B Lenders

CriteriaBanks (A Lenders)B LendersPrivate Mortgages
Interest RatesLowest rates due to lower risk. Typically offer the most competitive market rates.Higher than banks due to increased risk. Rates are generally competitive but not the lowest.Highest rates to compensate for the highest risk. Rates can vary widely, generally ranging from 10-18%.
Approval CriteriaStrictest criteria. Focus on credit scores, income verification, and debt ratios.More flexible than banks but still require proof of income and decent credit.Most flexible. Focuses on property value and equity rather than borrower’s credit history or income.
Loan TermsLonger terms available (up to 25-30 years).Terms can vary but are generally shorter than banks (1-10 years).Typically short-term (1-3 years), focusing on providing temporary financing solutions.
FeesLower fees. Some products may offer no upfront costs.May have higher fees than banks but lower than private mortgages.Highest fees, including setup fees and broker fees, ranging from 1-3% of the loan amount.
Processing TimeLonger processing times due to thorough evaluation and underwriting processes.Quicker than banks but can vary.Fastest processing times, appealing for urgent financing needs.
SuitabilityBest for borrowers with strong credit, stable income, and low debt-to-income ratios.Suitable for those with less-than-perfect credit or non-traditional income sources.Ideal for borrowers unable to qualify with banks or B lenders, need quick financing, or investing in unconventional properties.
Property RequirementsOften have strict property requirements. Must be in good condition and location.Somewhat flexible but properties must still meet certain standards.Most flexible. Will consider unconventional properties and those in need of repair.
Down PaymentTypically requires a minimum of 5-20% down payment, depending on the loan.Higher down payment required than banks, usually around 20-25%.Highest down payment requirements, often 25% or more, due to the higher risk involved.
Credit Score RequirementsHigh credit score requirements, generally 650+.Lower credit score accepted than banks, often around 600-650.Credit score is less of a factor; focus is more on property value and equity.

Understanding Private Mortgages in Toronto

What is a Private Mortgage?

A private mortgage is essentially a home loan provided by an individual or a group of investors rather than a bank or traditional financial institution. These loans are often short-term and interest-only, meaning you pay just the interest without reducing the principal amount over the loan term. Private mortgages can be a viable option for borrowers who may not qualify for a traditional mortgage due to factors such as self-employment, a low credit score, or unconventional property types.

Why Choose a Private Mortgage in Toronto?

Toronto’s competitive real estate market sometimes makes it challenging to secure financing through conventional means. Private mortgages offer flexibility for those with unique financial situations, such as self-employed individuals or those with less-than-perfect credit scores. Private lenders are often more willing to consider the overall value and marketability of a property rather than solely relying on credit history or income. This can open doors for borrowers who may not meet the strict criteria set by traditional lenders.

The Benefits of Private Lenders for Toronto Home Buyers

Flexibility in Approval Criteria

Unlike banks that focus heavily on credit scores and income, private lenders are more interested in the property’s value and potential. This flexibility can be crucial for buyers in Toronto’s diverse real estate landscape. Private lenders understand that borrowers with extenuating circumstances, such as self-employment or a recent financial setback, may still be able to afford mortgage payments and present a lower risk than their credit history suggests.

Private lenders often take a common-sense approach to evaluating mortgage applications. They consider factors such as the property’s location, condition, and market demand. This means that even if you have a lower credit score or non-confirmable income, you may still be able to secure a private mortgage if the property itself is deemed valuable.

Faster Processing Times

In a market as hot as Toronto’s, speed can be of the essence. Private lenders can often process loans much faster than traditional banks, allowing buyers to close deals quickly. This is particularly advantageous in situations where time is of the essence, such as competing with other buyers in a bidding war or securing a property before it hits the open market. Private lenders typically have more streamlined processes and fewer bureaucratic hurdles, allowing for a quicker turnaround time.

Short-Term Financing Opportunities

Private mortgages are typically short-term, ranging from one to three years. This can be ideal for buyers looking to improve their financial situation or invest in property flipping. Short-term financing provides flexibility and allows borrowers to reassess their financial position and potentially transition to a traditional mortgage with more favorable terms once they meet the criteria set by banks or other prime lenders.

Short-term financing can also be advantageous for those who are planning to sell or refinance their property within a few years. If you anticipate a significant increase in property value or expect changes in your financial situation, a short-term private mortgage can give you the flexibility to adapt to those changes.

How to Find the Right Private Mortgage Lender in Toronto

Researching Private Lenders

Start by gathering a list of potential lenders. Look for lenders with experience in the Toronto market and positive reviews from past clients. Consider seeking recommendations from real estate professionals, mortgage brokers, or other trusted sources. Research each lender’s reputation, track record, and lending criteria to ensure they align with your specific needs and circumstances.

It’s important to find a private lender who specializes in the type of property you’re interested in. Some private lenders focus on residential properties, while others specialize in commercial or investment properties. By choosing a lender with expertise in your desired property type, you can increase your chances of a successful mortgage application.

Understanding the Terms and Conditions

Be clear about the interest rates, fees, and repayment terms associated with private mortgages. Private mortgages typically come with higher interest rates compared to traditional mortgages due to the increased risk involved. It’s important to understand these costs upfront and factor them into your budget. Additionally, private mortgages often come with additional fees, including setup fees and broker fees. These fees can range from 1-3% of the loan amount, so it’s essential to consider them when evaluating the overall cost of the mortgage.

When reviewing the terms and conditions of a private mortgage, pay close attention to any prepayment penalties or exit fees. Some private lenders may charge a fee if you decide to pay off the mortgage early or refinance with a different lender. Understanding these potential costs can help you make an informed decision and avoid surprises down the line.

Evaluating Property Eligibility

Not all properties are equal in the eyes of private lenders. Those in desirable locations and in good condition are more likely to be approved. Private lenders will assess the property’s value and marketability to determine their level of risk. Conduct a thorough evaluation of the property you intend to purchase or refinance to ensure it meets the criteria set by private lenders. Factors such as location, condition, and potential for appreciation will play a significant role in the lender’s decision-making process.

Private lenders typically have more flexibility when it comes to property types. They may consider properties that banks would deem unconventional or high-risk, such as multi-unit residential buildings or properties in need of significant renovations. If you’re considering a property that may not meet traditional lending criteria, a private lender may be more willing to work with you.

Applying for a Private Mortgage in Toronto

Preparing Your Application

Gather all necessary documents, including proof of income, property details, and any other financial information the lender might require. Common documents include bank statements, tax returns, employment contracts, and property appraisals. Be prepared to provide a comprehensive picture of your financial situation to demonstrate your ability to repay the loan.

In addition to the standard financial documents, private lenders may require additional information about the property itself. This can include recent appraisals, property inspection reports, and details about any planned renovations or improvements. Providing as much information as possible upfront can help streamline the application process and increase your chances of approval.

Navigating the Application Process

  1. Submit your application: Provide all the required documentation and information to the lender. Ensure that your application is complete and accurate to avoid delays and potential rejections.
  2. Property appraisal: The lender will likely require an appraisal to determine the property’s value. An appraiser will assess the property and provide an unbiased estimate of its worth. The appraisal is crucial in determining the loan-to-value ratio and the maximum amount the lender is willing to lend.
  3. Loan offer: If approved, the lender will make an offer detailing the loan terms. Carefully review the offer, paying close attention to the interest rate, repayment schedule, and any additional fees or conditions.
  4. Legal review: It’s wise to have a lawyer review the terms before acceptance. A lawyer specializing in real estate can ensure that the mortgage agreement is fair and legally binding. They will also ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the process.

Working with a mortgage broker can be beneficial when applying for a private mortgage. A broker can help you navigate the application process, connect you with suitable lenders, and negotiate on your behalf. They have access to a network of private lenders and can help you find the best terms and rates for your specific situation.

Closing the Deal

Ensure all paperwork is in order and any conditions of the loan are met. Be prepared for closing costs and other fees associated with finalizing the mortgage. Closing costs typically include legal fees, title insurance, land transfer taxes, and appraisal fees. It’s important to budget for these costs to avoid any last-minute financial surprises.

Private mortgages are legally binding contracts, and it’s crucial to understand all the terms and conditions before signing. Consult with a real estate lawyer to ensure you fully comprehend your rights and obligations. They can review the mortgage agreement, explain any potential risks, and address any questions or concerns you may have.

A lawyer can also ensure that the mortgage agreement complies with all applicable laws and regulations. They will conduct a thorough review of the terms, including any clauses related to default, foreclosure, or dispute resolution. By seeking legal advice, you can protect your interests and ensure a smooth and legally sound transaction.

Managing Financial Risks

The higher costs associated with private lending mean it’s important to have a plan for managing these expenses. Consider how you’ll handle the higher interest rates and fees associated with private mortgages. It’s essential to budget accordingly and ensure that the mortgage payments remain affordable throughout the loan term. Additionally, have a plan in place to transition to a traditional mortgage with more favorable terms once you meet the criteria set by banks or other prime lenders.

Private mortgages can be a stepping stone to improving your financial situation and qualifying for more favorable financing options in the future. By making timely payments and demonstrating financial responsibility, you can build a stronger credit history and increase your chances of securing a traditional mortgage down the line.


Q: How high are the interest rates on private mortgages? A: Rates can vary widely but generally range from 10-18%. The rate will depend on the lender, the property, and your financial situation. It’s important to carefully review the interest rate offered by the lender and consider the impact on your overall mortgage payments.

Q: Are there any specific fees I should be aware of? A: Yes, private lenders often charge setup fees and broker fees, which can range from 1-3% of the loan amount. It’s essential to factor these fees into your budget when evaluating the overall cost of the mortgage.

Q: Can I get a private mortgage if I have bad credit? A: Yes, private lenders are more concerned with the property’s value than your credit score, making them a viable option for those with bad credit. However, keep in mind that having a lower credit score may result in higher interest rates and fees.

Q: How long does the application process take? A: Approval can sometimes be secured in a matter of days, with the entire process taking two to three weeks. However, the timeline can vary depending on the complexity of the application, the responsiveness of all parties involved, and any potential challenges that may arise.


Securing a mortgage with a private lender in Toronto can be a viable option for those unable to go through traditional banks. By understanding the process, evaluating the costs, and choosing the right lender, you can navigate this path successfully. Always consider seeking advice from a mortgage broker or financial advisor specializing in private lending to ensure you’re making the best decision for your situation. With careful planning and research, a private mortgage can help you achieve your homeownership goals in the vibrant city of Toronto.

At Everything Mortgages, we strive to help first-time homebuyers, small business owners, and hardworking professionals navigate their mortgage journeys. Whether it’s securing a loan or seeking better solutions, our team is here to guide you toward becoming mortgage-free sooner and building wealth faster. Reach out to us today to explore these strategies and more.

Note: This article is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Please consult a financial advisor or mortgage professional before making decisions about your mortgage.

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