There’s one tool just about anyone looking to buy, renew or refinance their mortgage will need: An online mortgage calculator. A quick search will give you more than 3.6 million results. That’s a lot of mortgage calculations and, yet, not all Canadian mortgage calculators are created equal.
While the most basic calculators will let you plug in the loan you’d like to get and the rate you hope to get, the more sophisticated online calculators that will let you manipulate a variety of factors, including extra payments and rising mortgage rates. So, how do you choose the best mortgage calculator as a Canadian homebuyer? We can help.
Regardless of the bells and whistles, every mortgage calculator will require two basic inputs: A spot to input the amount of the mortgage loan and a spot to input the mortgage rate. For the most basic calculators, these are the only two factors required to make the calculator work. For more complex or comprehensive calculators, these two factors are necessary to make everything else work.
To help you pick among the best mortgage calculators in Canada we’ve compiled a list. Scroll through our list to determine which calculator is right for you, based on your needs.
Best overall mortgage calculator: Ratehub
It’s not surprising that the best overall online mortgage calculator in Canada is from one of the top mortgage broker companies. Ratehub offers a comprehensive calculator that even includes closing costs like Land Transfer Tax, but it’s simple to use and easy to understand.
After entering the asking price of the home you want to buy, the calculator automatically breaks down the mortgage loan you would need based on the size of your down payment (by default it shows 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20%, but you can opt for your own rate). Once you’ve selected the amortization period, Ratehub asks you to enter in your mortgage rate. For those unfamiliar with current rates, this calculator automatically recommends a rate based on the type and term of your mortgage, as well as your location. You can opt to go with these suggestions or override using your preferred rate.
The final result not only shows you the total monthly mortgage payment, but also the amount of mortgage loan (otherwise known as CMHC) fees are required as well as the cost of your Land Transfer Tax (which is based on your location and whether or not you get a rebate as a first-time home buyer).
It doesn’t stop there. Just below the calculator, Ratehub shows exactly how much money you’ll need to buy your home, including down payment, taxes, land transfer tax, lawyer fees, and title insurance.
For all these reasons, and because the calculator is so easy to navigate, we consider it the best overall mortgage calculator in Canada.
Best mortgage qualifier calculator: Calum Ross
What can you actually afford to buy? In hot real estate markets like the Greater Toronto Area, Victoria, B.C., and in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, this question is top of mind for anyone interested in getting into the property market. To determine what you can afford independent mortgage broker, Calum Ross, created a calculator that lets you input either your annual income or the house price. The result is an affordability snapshot that lets you see what an increased or decreased down payment can mean to your loan eligibility. Keep in mind, this calculator does not include land transfer taxes, which can add quite a bit to overall closing costs.
Best mortgage calculator with loan insurance fees: CMHC
It’s not surprising that the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) would have a calculator that tells you how much you will have to pay in mortgage default fees (also referred to as CMHC fees). Known as a premium calculator, this simple calculator asks for your mortgage amount, your down payment and the length of amortization.
Keep in mind, you cannot get an insured mortgage that’s amortized for more than 25 years.
Best mortgage calculator to do comparisons: Tax Tips
Taxtips.ca is a site dedicated to Canadian tax and financial information, but that doesn’t mean it neglects other aspects of your personal finance decisions. In this calculator, you get an amazing side-by-side comparison of up to three different mortgages. Not only can you adjust amortization lengths, mortgage rates but also the frequency of your payments. Better still, this mortgage calculator gives you a snapshot of how each tweak and change will impact your monthly payments and overall interest costs.
Best comprehensive mortgage calculator: Dr. Calculator
Are you someone who doesn’t mind running every possible scenario, tweaking every possible factor, to determine the best possible mortgage? Then this is the best mortgage calculator for you. Karl’s Mortgage Calculator lets you change just about any variable or factor that impacts your mortgage and your payments. Want to add in prepayments? You can do that. Have a lump sum you want to include? That’s possible? Want to see what a periodically increasing variable rate will do over the length of your mortgage? Yep, this calculator will do that as well. Better still, this calculator provides a series of views, letting you see the monthly principal and interest payments or annual breakdowns. Keep in mind, that because it’s so robust, it’s easy to forget what parameters you’ve used and that can lead to errors. The key is to be disciplined about checking each factor before viewing the final result.
Keep in mind, that because it’s so robust, it’s easy to forget what parameters you’ve used and that can lead to errors. The key is to be disciplined about checking each factor before viewing the final result.
For those Americans that want something just as powerful, but built based on U.S.A. mortgage regulations, check out Dr Karl’s American mortgage calculator.
Best mortgage calculator from a bank: Scotiabank
All banks have a mortgage calculator on their website but many of them are difficult to navigate. Whether it’s the pop-ups, the questions about when you’re buying or the additional offers, some bank mortgage calculators can become quite cumbersome. Scotiabank has gone with a simple winning formula that is easy to navigate.
One of the best features of the Scotiabank mortgage calculator is the graph that shows year by year how much principal is remaining on the loan.
Updated: July 17, 2020