The housing market is moving fast, meaning you need a mortgage lender who will provide quick, quality service to get your mortgage approved ASAP. With CIBC’s long history of dedicated customer service and quick turnaround time on inquiries, they might be the right fit for your mortgage needs.

This review will help you learn more about CIBC mortgages so you can compare them to other Canadian lenders and make an informed decision about your mortgage. If you’d rather skip the reading, our mortgage comparison tool will help you compare how CIBC’s mortgages stack up to other lenders right away.

Who is CIBC?

Opening just six weeks before the Confederation of Canada, CIBC has a strong customer service and innovation history. In 1984, they even became the first bank in Canada to let clients choose their own mortgage payment options: monthly, semi-weekly, weekly, etc. CIBC is a part of the Big Six Canadian banks, coming in as the fifth-largest bank in Canada. They have over 45,000 full-time employees and serve more than 11 million clients across the globe. You shouldn’t have trouble finding a branch, as there are over 1,100 branches spread across all Canadian provinces and territories. CIBC’s long history and many customers make it a bank you can trust.

Applying for a mortgage with CIBC

Applying for a mortgage with CIBC is easy. For convenience, applying online is the way to go, but you can also apply over the phone or by making an in-person appointment at your local CIBC branch. Once you complete an online application, your CIBC mortgage advisor will call you within one business day. 

Some requirements you must meet, and information you must provide during your mortgage application process include:

  • Must be at least the age of majority, 18 or 19 years, depending on your province
  • Must be a Canadian resident.
  • Must provide personal information like address, and identification
  • Must provide employment details like your current job, income, and employment history, and you must be employed for at least two years
  • Must provide financial information including assets, liabilities, and gross annual income
  • Must provide a copy of the sale agreement for the house you buy
  • Must have a down payment of at least 5% of the purchase price
  • Must provide well and septic certificates if you are buying a rural property.

Those are basic requirements. However, you need to make sure to state whether or not you are applying for a joint mortgage loan on your application.

You will also need to include how much of a down payment you plan to put towards your mortgage. Using a mortgage calculator could help you further understand your budget so you are prepared to answer financial questions on the application or when consulting with your mortgage advisor. Our mortgage calculator gives you a detailed breakdown of what your monthly payments might look like based on down payments, house value, etc.

CIBC Mortgage pre-approval

There is nothing worse than finding your dream home only to realize you won’t be approved for a mortgage. Getting pre-approved takes the stress out of your home search so you can make a confident and informed financial decision.

After filling out the pre-approval form, a CIBC mortgage advisor will call you within one business day. That is pretty fast! Your mortgage advisor will let you know if you qualify for a CIBC mortgage and, if so, your approved lending amount. From there, your quoted interest rate is locked in for up to 120 days, as long as your financial situation remains the same. The best part is that you are under no obligation to take out a mortgage with CIBC after getting pre-approved, and it is free of charge. 

In this competitive housing market, getting pre-approved is a considerable advantage. Realtors and sellers will know you are serious about buying, and you can negotiate comfortably and confidently. Plus you can close the deal much faster than someone who hasn’t yet been approved. Try using our mortgage qualifier calculator to see examples of your possible mortgage rates and monthly payments.

When applying for pre-approval, you typically need the following:

  • Employment history
  • Credit history including debt, credit cards, loans, etc.)
  • Banking information including account numbers/locations and assets like investments, vehicles, boats, and other real estate
  • Financial statements if you are self-employed

It is easiest to apply for pre-approval with CIBC online, but you can also go to a CIBC location or call to speak with a representative.

What sets CIBC apart from other banks?

CIBC’s mortgages are very comparable to the other Big Six banks. The cashback offer on some CIBC mortgages is the bank’s most exciting offer. Their customer service ratings and long history of customer satisfaction are another bonus of signing with CIBC. They promise quick turnarounds compared to the mortgage process at some other banks, which can get quite lengthy.

CIBC also has lots of resources on its website to help you learn about the mortgage process. CIBC mortgage advisors are also an asset as you will get personalized support and recommendations throughout the mortgage process. If you prefer to meet at home, their advisors will even come to you. CIBC doesn’t work with mortgage brokers, so the mortgage advisor fills this role.

If you are new to Canada, CIBC might be the right lender for you. They offer multiple programs for newcomers to Canada who may have a limited Canadian credit history.

Getting the best mortgage rates from CIBC

Remember that banks’ advertised interest rates (posted rates) are usually not their best offers. To get a lower interest rate, you will typically have to negotiate. Negotiating can seem intimidating, but doing your research and being prepared can help you feel confident when asking for a lower rate. Once you have an offer from CIBC, compare it to other mortgages with the exact details from other banks. If you find a mortgage with terms and details that match your offer but is a better deal, tell your advisor and see what they can do for you. Our mortgage comparison tool can help you compare mortgage options and prepare you for the negotiation table.

An excellent credit score usually makes you eligible for even better interest rates. If you bank with CIBC, you may also qualify for slightly better rates depending on CIBC’s promotions.

CIBC mortgage options

CIBC’s mortgage offerings are pretty standard for the Big Six banks. All mortgages must be a minimum of $10,000, and payments can be made weekly, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly. 

CIBC’s mortgage options include the following:

Fixed-rate closed mortgages

  • Available in term lengths ranging from 1 to 10 years
  • Fixed interest rate provides security, so you always know how much your payments will be
  • No ability to pay off mortgage early or make larger payments 

Fixed-rate open mortgages

  • Available in 6-month or 1-year terms
  • Fixed interest rate provides security, so you always know how much your payments will be
  • Flexibility to pay off your mortgage early or make larger payments at any time
  • Interest rate is typically higher than closed mortgages
  • Great if you know you will be selling your home soon

Convertible mortgages: fixed, closed

  • 6-month term
  • Can convert to a long-term closed mortgage at any point

CIBC variable flex mortgage

  • Available in 3 or 5-year terms
  • Low rate that may fluctuate between being higher or lower
  • Option to convert to a fixed-rate closed mortgage at any time
  • Ability to increase payment amount up to 100% of your original regular payment at any time
  • Annual prepayments of up to 20% with no charge help you pay off your mortgage faster

Variable rate open mortgage

  • Available in 5-year terms
  • Rate may fluctuate
  • Flexibility to pay off your mortgage early or make larger payments at any time
  • Ability to convert to a closed, fixed-rate mortgage

CIBC Home Power® mortgage

  • Combines benefits of a mortgage and a home equity line of credit (HELOC)
  • Competitive interest rates with an assured pay-off date
  • Access funds of up to 80% of your home’s value

CIBC Wealth Builder® mortgage

  • Available in terms ranging from 3 to 10 years
  • Stability of fixed rate 
  • Receive rebates from CIBC that go into an investment account
  • Must open a CIBC bank account
  • Great if you are looking to combine no-hassle investing with your mortgage

Check out our mortgage comparison tool to compare CIBC’s rates and offers to other banks.

Incentives and special offers

Like many banks, CIBC may offer incentives from time to time. Their primary special offering is typically cashback offers when you get a variable flex, fixed high ratio, or fixed mortgage with CIBC on a 5-year term. CIBC offers up to $3,000 cash back, depending on your borrowing amount. For a $200,000 mortgage, you will get $1,000 cashback. To get the $3,000, you need to take out a mortgage of $750,000 or more.

The Wealth Builder mortgage will also give you cash back, but these rebates must go into a CIBC investment account. You will receive money upon signing and over the course of your term, but it won’t be accessible the way the funds from cash back offers or HELOCs are. Be mindful that the Wealth Builder mortgage may also have a higher interest rate; they’ve got to pay for those rebates somehow.

CIBC prime rate

As a member of the Big Six banks, CIBC’s prime rate is very average. They will typically follow the ups and downs of other big banks in Canada. The prime rate for the Big Six usually changes when the Bank of Canada’s overnight rate is raised or lowered.

Switching from an existing mortgage

CIBC makes it easy to switch your mortgage from another banking institution. They’ll even do all the heavy lifting of contacting your existing lender. All you have to do is decide which mortgage you would like, fill out an application, complete the official transfer form, and they’ll take care of the rest of the paperwork. CIBC also promises a fast turnaround on your transfer. Their website says they will contact you within one day of your initial request.

While CIBC makes it easy to switch, you must read your existing mortgage guidelines carefully before transferring your mortgage. Many banks have extra fees associated with cancelling your mortgage early, and you don’t want to have to pay extra. Start planning about six months in advance, so you are ready to make your move when your current term is over.

Mortgages for new Canadian residents

If you are new to Canada, CIBC has some impressive offerings. Just as there are bank accounts offers for newcomers, CIBC have several offers for newcomers who want to get a mortgage: 

CIBC Newcomer to Canada Program mortgage

  • Designed for people with a limited credit history in Canada.
  • Must have Canadian income to afford mortgage payments.

CIBC Newcomer to Canada PLUS Program mortgage

  • Aimed at those new to Canada or Canadian citizens formerly living abroad who now live in Canada permanently.
  • If you are working to re-establish your career in Canada, you may even qualify with limited to no credit history.

CIBC Foreign Worker Program mortgage

  • Designed for people with a valid work permit.
  • If you don’t have a Canadian credit history, you may still qualify.

CIBC Mortgage Pros

  • Excellent customer service history
  • Convenience of applying in-person, over the phone, or online
  • Mortgage specialist will come to you for an in-person meeting
  • An established and secure bank you can trust
  • Cash back mortgage offer
  • Programs for newcomers

CIBC Mortgage Cons

  • Rates are higher than banks outside of the Big Six
  • Offerings aren’t as unique as some other lenders

CIBC Mortgage: the takeaways

To ensure you get the best mortgage for your needs, make sure to research early and compare lenders to find the right fit for you. CIBC seems to be all about customer convenience, but you may be able to find better interest rates or more unique mortgage terms elsewhere. Using tools like our mortgage calculator or our mortgage rates comparison tool helps simplify the research process and inform you of your best options. Be sure to speak with lenders directly to find a mortgage plan tailored for you.


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