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CIBC mortgages in Canada: What you need to know.

So, you want to buy a home and are shopping for the best CIBC mortgage rates. Great! CIBC is Canada’s fifth largest bank and a leading provider of mortgage loans. Here’s why else you might consider CIBC to finance your purchase: 

  1. CIBC has expertise in personal lending. Of its lending portfolio, 62% is dedicated to personal lending, with 51% of that made up of secured mortgage loans (in the first quarter of 2024). 
  2. It has diverse mortgage offerings that include specialty mortgages for newcomers and self-employed people. 
  3. CIBC also has limited-time promotions, which have included: 
    • Cash back on select mortgages, 
    • Cash incentives for switching to a CIBC mortgage, 
    • Low introductory rates on lines of credit.  

CIBC stands out as a provider of mortgage loans, with its expertise, diverse offerings, and promotions. But to be truly sure it can offer you the lowest mortgage rate, you need to shop the Canadian mortgage market. 

LowestRates.ca has your back when it comes to mortgages. We’ll guide you through the essentials, from understanding mortgage terms to finding the lender with the perfect rate for your circumstances. Let’s get acquainted with some key facts about how mortgages work.  

 

Canadian mortgages 101.

Mortgage loans are legally binding contracts between lenders and borrowers. The borrower is obligated to repay the loan, plus interest, according to predetermined terms and conditions. 

There are a few basic mortgages types: 

The expected length of time needed to fully repay the debt, including interest, is known as the amortization period. For new mortgages, the maximum amortization period is 30 years (for down payments of less than 20%, it’s capped at 25 years). 

The interest rate on the loan is fixed for the duration of the mortgage term. Homebuyers can choose terms between six months to 10 years. The interest rate charged depends on the mortgage term:

During the term, borrowers make regular payments until the debt is cleared. Most borrowers renew their mortgage multiple times before they fully pay it off. The most common term length in Canada is five years. 

Through LowestRates.ca, you can access CIBC mortgage rates today. Our site makes it easy to compare quotes from 50+ Canadian banks and brokers. It only takes three minutes, it’s free, and there’s no obligation to proceed with the rate offered to you. Choose whether you're buying a home, renewing or refinancing and click “Get Started” above to see mortgage quotes, or keep reading to learn more about getting a mortgage with CIBC. 

 

 

CIBC's historical mortgage rates

Understanding historical mortgage rates helps borrowers make informed decisions when buying real estate or refinancing a mortgage. While mortgage rates fluctuate due to economic or policy changes and inflation, understanding their past trends helps you identify optimal moments to secure a mortgage. Over the last four years, rates have changed significantly due to Bank of Canada's policy rate hikes. When comparing rates, consider factors like home prices and inflation. Low rates create favorable opportunities for mortgage applications, while higher rates may require patience or exploring alternatives. Concisely, historical mortgage rate data empowers borrowers to navigate the housing market wisely.

PERIOD

Types of CIBC mortgage rates.

CIBC fixed-rate closed mortgage

A fixed-rate closed mortgage gives you the certainty of a set mortgage payment, unaffected by interest rate changes.  

Closed mortgages typically have stringent conditions around prepayments in return for competitive interest rates. The CIBC fixed-rate closed mortgage is unique because it offers much more flexibility than a typical closed mortgage.  

The CIBC fixed-rate closed mortgage offers the option to pay an extra 10% of your initial mortgage amount every year. You can also increase your monthly payment by up to 100% of the usual amount whenever you want, allowing you to pay down your debt faster.  

You can choose to make payments weekly, every two weeks, monthly, or twice a month.  

    

CIBC fixed-rate open mortgage

Term lengths for a CIBC fixed-rate open mortgage range from six months to one year and interest rates begin at 10%, making this mortgage most suitable for people who: 

  • Can afford to make payments or who can pay off the entire mortgage anytime, 
  • Are planning to sell their property soon, 
  • Don’t want to commit to a longer-term loan in case interest rates fall.  

As a fixed rate mortgage, the billing amount remains consistent throughout the term, with equal portions allocated to the principal and interest. As an open mortgage, you have more flexibility to make large lump sum payments.  

Payment frequency options include weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly. 

CIBC high-ratio mortgage

A mortgage whose principal exceeds 80% of the property value is considered a high-ratio loan. In Canada, mortgages where the down payment is less than 20% of the home’s sale price require mortgage default insurance. The amortization period on these loans is also capped at 25 years. You can also only take out a high-ratio loan on properties that are $1 million or less. 

Since these loans are insured, CIBC high-ratio mortgage rates tend to be competitive compared to some of their other mortgage loan products. 

CIBC convertible mortgage

The convertible mortgage from CIBC starts off as a short-term mortgage that can then be converted to a longer-term closed mortgage. It provides a fixed rate for the initial six-month period and gives borrowers the opportunity to reflect on which mortgage type is best while waiting for more favorable interest rates. The convertible mortgage also allows you to:  

  • Make additional payments and prepay up to 10% of the original mortgage during the term, with the extra payment going directly towards the principal.  
  • Increase a payment amount of up to 100% during the term. 
  • Convert to any closed-term CIBC mortgage (with terms ranging from 1 to 10 years) without being charged any prepayment fees. 

Interest rates on convertible mortgages tend to be higher than the bank’s prime rate by a few percentage points.  

Payment frequency options include weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly. 

CIBC variable flex mortgage 

The CIBC variable flex mortgage is a variable rate mortgage that has prepayment benefits as well as the ability to lock in a fixed-rate if interest rates fall.  

Available in three or five-year terms, the CIBC variable flex mortgage allows you to: 

  • Prepay up to 20% of the original mortgage amount annually. 
  • Double up on payments, with the extra payment going directly to the principal.  
  • Convert to a fixed-rate closed mortgage with a term of 3 years or more at any time. 
  • The interest rates can fluctuate over the term of the mortgage. 

Payment frequency options include weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly. 

CIBC variable rate open mortgage

The CIBC variable rate open mortgage allows you to take advantage of low interest rates and provides the ability to pay down the debt faster with extra payments (up to 100% of your original mortgage payment).  

This mortgage has a variable rate, which means more of your payment goes towards principal in times when interest rates are low; when rates are high, more of your payments goes towards your loan’s interest. This can save you money or cost you more depending on the interest rate environment.  

Due to the prepayment benefits, interest rates on the variable open mortgage tend to be higher than on closed mortgages.  

If interest rates begin to rise, the CIBC variable rate open mortgage allows you to convert to a fixed-rate mortgage at any time.  

Payment frequency options include weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly. 

CIBC mortgages for newcomers.

CIBC Newcomer to Canada Program Mortgage 

The program is designed for individuals with limited credit history in Canada but who have the means to pay for a mortgage. It’s limited to people who have been permanent residents for five years or less. 

CIBC Newcomer to Canada PLUS Program Mortgage

The program is intended for newcomers to Canada or Canadian citizens who previously lived abroad.  

The program aims to support individuals who are establishing themselves or rebuilding their careers and have no, or limited, credit history in Canada. 

CIBC Foreign Worker Program Mortgage

The program is open to individuals with a valid work permit of 12 months or longer, who have the means to support a mortgage. You don’t need a Canadian credit history to qualify.  

Credit requirements

CIBC offers programs for newcomers with little to no credit history to get on the property ladder in Canada. However, you will likely need to show documentation of your credit history from the country you emigrated from and some proof that you’ve started building a history here in Canada.  

For permanent residents, your mortgage advisor may look to alternative credit history sources, like rent and utility payments.  

For non-permanent residents, international credit reports may be required. If an international credit report can't be confirmed, a reference letter might be requested. 

Lastly, you’ll need to show proof of income. This is a mandatory requirement for all mortgage applicants. 

Mortgage default insurance requirements

Mortgage default insurance is required for loans that have a down payment of less than 20% on homes that cost less than $1 million. So, while you might have enough income to make a down payment on a home in Canada, mortgage insurance restricts what and how much you can buy due to mortgage insurance requirements.  

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), a government-owned entity, offers mortgage loan insurance through the CMHC Newcomers program. Here’s what that entails. 

Credit history: 

Permanent residents need to have a credit score of at least 600. Alternative credit history sources, like rent and utility payments, are considered for permanent residents without Canadian credit history. 

Non-permanent residents' (e.g. work permit holders) international credit reports are used by the CMHC. If an international credit report can't be confirmed, a reference letter might be requested by the CMHC. 

Down payment: 

A minimum of 10% down payment is required from non-permanent residents. 

If you have permanent resident status, your minimum down payment can be 5% and you can access all CMHC homeowner mortgage loan insurance products. 

Eligible property types: 

Non-permanent residents can get mortgage insurance for a rental property; however, it must be a multi-unit property and one of the units must be occupied by the owner. It also must not be subject to the Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act

Permanent residents can buy a one or two unit home, if they can make a 5% down payment; homes with three or four units require a down payment of 10% or more, and two to four unit rental properties require a minimum down payment of 20%.  

Mortgage stress test

Since 2018, to qualify for a mortgage from a federally regulated lender in Canada, you must pass the mortgage stress test.  

The test was introduced to ensure borrowers can afford their mortgage payments when interest rates rise and to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults caused by excessive debt.  

The stress test requires borrowers to qualify at a higher qualifying rate of 5.25% or the rate being offered by the lender plus 2% -- whichever is higher.  

If your ratio of income to debt is within an acceptable range, you have passed the stress test. The two metrics your lender looks at are your Gross Debt Service (GDS) ratio (must be 35% or less) and your Total Debt Service (TDS) ratio (must be 42% or less). 

Your lender will have to run a stress test any time you apply for a mortgage, or refinance or renegotiate an existing one.  

Your questions about CIBC mortgages, answered.

How do I contact CIBC about my mortgage payment?

You can contact CIBC about your mortgage payment through the following channels: 

  • Phone. Call the mortgage contact centre at 1-866-525-8622. One of their specialists will be able to assist you with your inquiry 
  • Online. You can also start your mortgage application online or apply for a pre-approval through their website. Additionally, if you have questions about a new or existing mortgage, you can get information from a CIBC mortgage representative over the phone. 
  • In person. Schedule time with CIBC to discuss your mortgage at a time and place convenient for you. 

How do I check my CIBC mortgage balance?

Online, through mobile banking, or you can speak directly with a representative.  

CIBC sends annual mortgage statements by mail between January and March. These statements provide important information about your mortgage, including: 

  • The total sum of all payments made to your mortgage. 
  • The amounts from your payments applied toward your principal and toward interest. 
  • The principal balance at the end of the statement period. 
  • Your current regular payment as of the statement date. 
  • The current interest rate at the end of the statement period. 
  • The remaining amortization at the end of the statement period. 
  • Different options available to pay down your mortgage loan faster. 

Can I defer a mortgage payment with CIBC?

If you can’t make your mortgage payments, requesting a deferral can help you prevent foreclosure, allowing you stay in your home. 

Eligibility for a payment deferral depends on various factors, including your financial circumstances and the terms of your mortgage. 

CIBC will assess your situation and determine if you qualify for a deferral. You may be able to defer a payment entirely or make a partial payment.  

Deferring a payment has drawbacks, though. The deferred payments are added to the end of your loan term, at which point you’re expected to pay it off in full. This means the unpaid amount is added to your principal and starts building interest. Your payments will go up a lot more if interest rates increase.  

As you prepare for this conversation, be ready to provide relevant documentation, such as proof of financial hardship or loss of income. 

How much is the penalty to break a mortgage with CIBC?

Breaking a mortgage means terminating your existing mortgage contract before the term expires. If you have a fixed-rate mortgage, you may face prepayment penalties.  

Some people break their mortgage when interest rates drop, allowing you to switch to a lower rate and pay down your mortgage faster.  

The penalty amount depends on whether you have a fixed-rate or variable-rate mortgage. 

Fixed-rate mortgage: 

Three months’ interest, which is based on CIBC’s prime rate. Plus, you will be charged a fee for discharging your mortgage. 

However, if the interest rate differential (IRD) is greater than three months’ interest, you’ll pay the IRD instead. This calculation determines the difference between your current mortgage rate and the current market rate. 

Variable rate mortgage: 

CIBC charges only three months’ interest as the penalty. The calculation is similar to the fixed-rate scenario, using CIBC’s prime rate. 

Alexandra Bosanac

Alexandra Bosanac

About the Author

Alexandra is a content manager in the personal finance space, specializing in auto insurance.

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