Personal Finance

Firstline Mortgages - Anyone have one?

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  • Oct 18th, 2011 5:40 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 8, 2002
129 posts

Firstline Mortgages - Anyone have one?

My mortgage broker is recommending a First Line mortgage. It's a variable 5 yr closed mortgage at P-.85 compounded semi-annually. It looks pretty good - but I've only had mortgages through regular bricks and mortar banks before.

I remember hearing about them around 10 years ago, and people recommended I stay away because they had lousy customer service. CIBC has bought them out since then... so perhaps things are different now that they're under new ownership.

Anyone know about this company ?
24 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 23, 2002
4014 posts
31 upvotes
I am using them, although my mortgage terms are a bit different. No problems, but I do recommend you sign up for their online management. They make money nickle and diming you for administration fees. For example, to increase your monthly payments or change payment frequency you have to pay and admin fee ($50-$80). Online it is free to make the chnages and they have an amortization calculator to try your own payment senarios. They don't seem to charge anything extra to adjust a payment date (ie align with payday, end of month, etc.).

No idea how renegotiation will work, but if you're into self-serve, it's not bad. If you want a person to speak with face to face then this is not for you.

They're the discount mortgage wing of CIBC.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Dec 8, 2002
129 posts
synaptech wrote:to increase your monthly payments or change payment frequency you have to pay and admin fee ($50-$80).
Good to know. My broker was telling me that firstline was better than bMO, because BMO compounds interest monthly, while firstline does it semi-annually. It was implied that BMO was pulling one over on its customers.

But I used a couple of amortization schedules and found that over 5 years, monthly compounding would only cost $128 more. but a couple of these admin fees would equalize that in a hurry (especially if they begin to apply them to online changes soon too). I'm pissed off that my broker didn't mention this. I already have a mtge with BMO and I don't get dinged with these kinds of fees.

Anyway - thanks for the info! Very helpful.
Deal Guru
Aug 2, 2001
12817 posts
3680 upvotes
I use Firstline and I'm on the fence them.

I have a secured line of credit for my mortgage (So I don't face the fees you guys are referring to with your traditional mortgages).

It took me ~2.5 months and three phone calls to get the forms for online access sent out to me.

I've never had a problem withdrawing money or deposited money. My only problem was with the online access form - and how long it took to get mailed to me (As they mail you a waiver you then fax to them). The people on the phone have always been nice....


If I could do it again, I'd sign up with my bank. I (contrary to what my broker promised me) can get the same rate for my secured LOC anywhere, and it would have been ten times easier if I went with my own bank.
Newbie
Jun 10, 2005
2 posts
Mississauga
First Line, is "OK" but check to see if you can get the same, or better rate with your bank. I had my mortgage with First Line, but have since moved it back to CIBC.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 31, 2001
7569 posts
298 upvotes
Toronto
You can get a 5 year open with .85 below prime with CIBC for sure and maybe BMO and RBC too.

gorgonz wrote:First Line, is "OK" but check to see if you can get the same, or better rate with your bank. I had my mortgage with First Line, but have since moved it back to CIBC.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 9, 2004
2479 posts
123 upvotes
consumerPI wrote:You can get a 5 year open with .85 below prime with CIBC for sure and maybe BMO and RBC too.
And TD too...
Here is a schedule of their fees...I have put in bold those that TD would be different on...as you can see you get a rate that most other bank will offer you and you get non personal service that you truly get shafted for! Reminds me of the 'good old days' when I would charge a client $85 to renew their mortgage!!! Ask your broker to place you with a bank or just go right to the bank (better in my opinion)...your broker is likely getting a bigger fee for placing with FirstLine than a normal bank because FirstLine will make it up in ridiculous fees...

FirstLine Mortgages
Schedule of Non-Interest Fees

Discharge Fee (I only know Ontario)

Alberta and Quebec
No Charge

New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Nunavut and
$225.00
Prince Edward Island

All Other Provinces
$300.00 TD is $200

Fee for Discharge where mortgage is Refinanced with FirstLine Mortgages

I only know Ontario TD fee = 0

Alberta and Quebec
No Charge

All other Provinces
$100.00

Assignment Fee
Quebec
No Charge

P.E.I and Nova Scotia
$25.00

Newfoundland and Labrador
$50.00

All other Provinces
$300.00

Fee for Preparation of Assumption Statement
$150.00 (TD $0)


Fee for Payment Frequency Change
$75.00 TD =$0

Fee for Payment Date Change
$25.00 TD = $0

Dishonoured cheque/PAC debit fee
$25.00 TD = $30


Bridge Loan Administration Fee
$250.00 TD = Generally $0...this one is negotiable


Fees will be charged for providing other administrative or clerical services at borrower's request,
including but not limited to:

Providing copies of documents from the borrower's file per item (e.g. copy of registered charge
$30.00 TD =$0
document (Deed of Loan in Quebec); survey/survey certificate/real property report; electronic
registration letter; annual statement, etc.

Fee for providing duplicate documents (e.g. discharge, assignment, etc.)
$100.00 TD =$0

Fees for offsite file retrieval Rush or Regular
$60.00 TD = $0

Hourly fee for detailed breakdown of payment history or tax account
$50.00 TD = $0


Assumption Fee on Transfer of Title
$150.00 TD =$0


Fees for other special requests by the borrower for similar services of an administrative or clerical
nature will be charged at FirstLine's current fee then in effect for such service.


This Fee Schedule is effective as of time of printing on May 1, 2004. Fee amounts are subject to
change at any time without notice.
Newbie
Apr 15, 2010
52 posts
2 upvotes
0
I was recommended a FirstLine Mortgage by the mortgage broker we visited. I think it was a good recommendation and one I hadn't considered prior to the visit.

We went in looking for a flexible mortgage with a variable rate, we came out with a recommendation and pre-approval for a Firstline Variable Rate, 5 Year, Closed Mortgage.
  • The fee to buy out early is three months interest on the total amount you are prepaying. I assume this means the difference between what your mortgage would have been on a standard payment schedule and the zero balance you have when you pay it out.
  • Prepayments up to 20% of the original mortgage amount can be paid on any regular payment cycle as often as you would like. We plan to go biweekly, and adding lump sums to pay it down faster.
  • Regular payments can be increased once per year to any amount so long as your amortization doesn't fall below your term.
  • Regular payments can be reduced once per year to any amount so long as your amortization doesn't increase beyond the terms of the original mortgage.
I understand there is still some lag time between setting up the mortgage and obtaining the online access, and have heard you can increase standard payments online, but need to call to have them reduced.

Right now I think this is a solid recommendation. Our plan is to try and pay off in 5 years utilizing the prepayment options in the first 4 years and then the regular payment adjustment in the 5th to ensure we don't pay out early.


Any horror stories or negative experiences recently and RFD members would like to share?
Sr. Member
Dec 22, 2003
871 posts
22 upvotes
I have two with Firstline (matrix and regular) and I really have no complaints. I got online access right away and have been using it since. I had a bit of a problem changing accounts as the reps didn't know the processes. But they've been good about getting it cleared up. The prepayment options seem decent enough (20/20), lump sum payments anytime, everything is tracked nicely online. I get monthly interest statements in the mail for the HELOC portion. I'm pretty low maintenance when it comes to banks/mortgage though.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 6, 2008
1599 posts
114 upvotes
This is a 5 year old thread dug up today.

This rate is not available today but we may get them again soon.
Pramod Chopra
Mortgage Alliance Co. of Canada
Broker License # 10530
Newbie
Apr 15, 2010
52 posts
2 upvotes
0
Wonderdollar wrote:
Jun 10th, 2010 2:49 pm
This is a 5 year old thread dug up today.

This rate is not available today but we may get them again soon.
Sorry, I searched the threads and the title seemed appropriate for my post.
Newbie
Apr 15, 2010
52 posts
2 upvotes
0
lint wrote:
Jun 10th, 2010 2:14 pm
I have two with Firstline (matrix and regular) and I really have no complaints. I got online access right away and have been using it since. I had a bit of a problem changing accounts as the reps didn't know the processes. But they've been good about getting it cleared up. The prepayment options seem decent enough (20/20), lump sum payments anytime, everything is tracked nicely online. I get monthly interest statements in the mail for the HELOC portion. I'm pretty low maintenance when it comes to banks/mortgage though.
Thanks for the feedback, a guy I work with in the office has one too with no complaints. It did take him some time to get online access set up, but he never specified how long it took. He gave me a sneek peek at the online mortgage management site and it appeared adiquate. I am low maintanance from a CSR standpoint but like lots of options accessable online.
Sr. Member
Dec 9, 2007
537 posts
12 upvotes
I have 2 FirstLine mortgages (one on the house and one on the cottage) and I have been very happy. I got great rates last summer through a broker that no banks or other lenders could touch. The online system is pretty basic but you can do everything you need to. I would definitely use them again. I am pretty sure my broker said they are the largest broker based mortgage company in Canada by far plus they are backed CIBC so definitely not a fly by night shop!
Deal Addict
Oct 30, 2008
2120 posts
53 upvotes
Toronto
We do a lot of business with Firstline. They're alright in terms of product offerings, good line of cash-back mortgages, and the fact they're part of a major bank is definitely a selling point but in my view not a major issue as we work routinely with lenders like MCAP, Laurentian, ING, etc. and these are all very well capitalized institutions with solid balance sheets. Rate wise there are periods when we get the absolute best rates from Firstline but you have to send them quite a bit of business to qualify. I never heard any complaints from clients about them.
Lior Hershkovitz
Broker at Mortgage Edge, specializes in construction financing and private lending
Construction rates start p+2.5%, 2nd mortgage start 5.99%, private financing start 7% max. 95% LTV
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