Good mortgage brokers make sure they are working strictly for your interest and are transparent with you throughout the process. However, finding the best mortgage broker tailored for your needs can be tricky.
While referrals/reviews from friends and families are a great way to choose a broker, it is equally important that you do your own bit of research.
Since each brokerage will have individual strengths, it will fall upon you to understand their strengths and shortlist a few through online research.
The home loan maze
Getting a home-loan could possibly be the biggest financial decision of your life, and it’s always better to plan it right.
It can be a strenuous process, especially if you are a first home buyer. Firstly, you must navigate through many lender options and understand individual policies to find the best fit for you. Then, you make a decision about interest rates, loan products and loan term.
Most importantly, the entire process could take months and turn into a cautionary tale if you make mistakes. Also, if you aren’t well versed about the mortgage market, you could end up more confused than when you started. This is where the expertise and support of a broker can help you save time, money, and effort!
Why choose a broker?
According to a research conducted by CoreLogic ( the leading property data analyst in Australia), more than 60 per cent of all residential mortgages were written by mortgage brokers between July and September 2020. This is the highest market share occupied by brokers till date. It shows that the market is growing more receptive of brokers.
This is why you should – if you are still unsure about it – consider using a mortgage broker too:
- Access to a large number of lenders – big banks and specialist lenders
- Thorough knowledge of the lender’s criteria and credit policies
- Understanding of the right fit for your unique situation
- Free of charge
- Obligation under Best Interest Duty to act exclusively in the customer’s interest
Many applicants directly apply for home loans with the banks. Such a case is optimal only when you are sure about having secured the best deal. Otherwise, you might be missing out on cheaper options in the market!
It is also worthy to note that banks do not come under the scrutiny of ‘Best Interest Duty’ – an obligation passed by the government for mortgage brokers to always act in the customer’s best interest and resolve all conflicts of interest in their favour.
For your ease, we have compared the pros and cons of going through banks vs mortgage brokers .
How to choose a good mortgage broker?
While referrals from friends and families are a great way to choose a broker, it is equally important that you do your own research.
Since each mortgage brokerage will have their own individual strengths, it will fall upon you to understand their strengths and shortlist a few through online research. There are certain things you should look out for when doing so.
A lender panel is a list of all the lender institutions whose loan products are accessible to a broker. Since the brokerage will only tie up with the lenders from their panel, it is advisable to look out for a good balance here. A good panel consists of at least 20+ lenders. It should include all the major four banks (ANZ, NAB, Westpac,Commonwealth Bank) with a combination of other specialist lenders, credit unions and second tier lenders that make up the rest
Quality of the lenders is key here. They must have a varied area of specialty and the ability to handle unusual cases. Most brokerages handle simple cases that can easily get approved, whereas some work on niche cases that are often overlooked by the major banks.
We, at HLE, have a dedicated lender panel of 50+ lenders with a good mix of banks and specialist lenders.We specialise in getting tough, unusual loans approved, and help clients that have been overlooked by the big banks.
Contact us today to find out how we can help you by filling a free assessment form or calling us at 1300 889 743
Visit the mortgage broker’s website and check if all their brokers have the required qualifications to write a loan in Australia. The minimum educational requirement is a Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking along with either a FBAA or an MFAA compliance course.
A degree in finance, although not mandatory, is usually preferred as it shows an interest to delve deeper into the subject matter.
Also, check the years they have operated in the market. The longer a brokerage has worked in the industry, the better your experience is likely to be.
Home Loan Experts is the member of both FBAA and AFCA and upholds the highest professional standards in the mortgage industry. Our 14 year work experience in this industry has made us more equipped to understand loans and give the best service to our clients.
Online reviews and testimonials:
Reviews are a great way of double-checking the merit of a mortgage broker. Analyzing the feedback of happy or dissatisfied customers can help you evaluate the broker better. You could either go to their website and look at the testimonials/reviews or choose a third party review page like Product Review and Google Review to get unbiased feedback.
Our company is proud of having served thousands of happy customers in the span of the last 14 years. Since our priority is customer satisfaction, we make sure to go the extra mile to ensure loan approval. These testimonials from our clients will give you a better idea of how our mortgage brokers go above and beyond to help you seal the loan.
Understand industry jargons
While brokers generally don’t expect you to understand the industry jargons, it would come handy to learn the basic ones. We have compiled a list of all the conversational industry-words that will give you an extra edge while dealing with a mortgage broker.
Many of these words are bound to appear in formal documents during the loan process. So save yourself the future trouble and have a quick look at it before contacting a mortgage broker.
One often forgotten aspect of selecting a mortgage broker is domain expertise, i.e. if you’re an expat living overseas, you want a mortgage broker in Australia with experience dealing with expat loans.
You are done with the online research and have now shortlisted a few of the brokers. At this point, you must already have a tentative idea about your deposit/savings amount and the kind of property you are willing to buy.
It is not mandatory to have a property booked yet, but a clear understanding of your financial investment is necessary.
Even if you do not qualify for a loan yet, there is no harm in calling up the brokers and asking for assistance. For example, we have a dedicated Prepare to Buy Program– which helps an unsure/unqualified client strengthen their future prospects of landing a great deal!
After researching and shortlisting a couple of mortgage brokers according to your need, it is now time to call them.
Some people directly go with the first broker they find, either from referrals or research. However, if you are not fully confident about the first choice, always talk to a few more.
We have listed down the general questions you should ask a mortgage broker on the first call:
- How many loan options can you provide for my case?
- Why did you recommend this loan product?
- Are there any hidden costs associated with the recommended loan product in the future?
- Is this the cheapest rate for my situation? Are there any similar options?
- Can you clearly explain the loan process?
- Are you owned by a big bank? Will that create any conflict of interests?
- Are you going to charge any fees, and if so, in what circumstances?
- How much can I borrow with my financial situation?
- How does the mortgage approval process work?
- Can I refinance my loan in the future? How flexible is the process?
- What are your qualifications and experience in the industry?
- Can you be transparent about your commission from this transaction?
If you are buying a house for the first time, you could additionally ask these questions:
- Am I eligible for a First Home Owners’ Grant, Home Builder Grant or the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme?
- What extra costs are involved while purchasing this property?
- How quickly can I get pre-approved for the loan?
- Can I get a better home loan if I make changes to my employment status?
In case you are refinancing a property, make sure to add these questions:
It is important to note that mortgage brokers do not usually charge upfront fees from you, unless it is a special case. For example, fees might be charged for loans below $200,000. Otherwise, the commission is paid directly by the lender on a transaction basis. Still, there might be some instances where a mortgage broker could charge you, owing to your unique circumstances.
Finding the “best fit”
You have now called a couple of brokers already. But how do you now narrow down your best choice from those options?
After checking out the best reviews from Product Review for Mortgage brokers, we compiled a list of qualities that made clients the happiest.
- Attentive and selflessly aiming for client’s satisfaction
- Diligent and able to follow-up on time
- Confident about their options and methods of work
- Empathetic and ensuring that client is stress-free and understands the whole process
- Patient in answering the client queries
- Fluent in industry knowledge and great at communicating them
- Equipped to provide post-settlement services and keep the clients updated about better offers
- Methodical approach to work that avoids errors and hassle
These feedbacks are from clients who successfully settled their home loans with the help of mortgage brokers. You can use this information to reverse-engineer the selection process. Look for brokers who fulfill these qualities and narrow down your final choice. This way, your chances of being a happy client increase.
Luckily, and with sheer hard work, our brokers imbibe all the above qualities. Since we are the members of both FBAA and AFCA, we hold the highest standard of integrity while performing our work.
Be wise and choose right
Choosing a mortgage broker can be almost as important as choosing your life partner! It could be a commitment of around 25 years – the general tenure of a home loan. Make sure you are not hurrying into the process. Ask the right questions, look for reviews and be vigilant of their intentions.
To make your choice easier, we have made a short argument for why we are the best mortgage brokers out there:
- We work with over 50 lenders and are experts in the credit policies of each lender. Since one of our niches is to crack unusual cases, we are great at resolving cases of bad credit, foreign nationals, Australian Expats, low doc etc.
- We have won several awards, as a testament to the kind of work we do. In 2020, we won the Major Brokerage of the Year- Non Franchise ( Australian Broking Awards 2020) and Best Independent Office ( Better Business Awards ). Our brokers have won numerous awards themselves over the years.
- Our dedicated customer care team will continue providing you service, even after your loan has settled! We send you free annual reviews, post loan settlement, to inform you about better interest-rates in the market. We make sure that you do not lose on any available discount!
- We provide a free upfront valuation report to ensure that your property meets the bank’s lending criteria. Furthermore, we provide you a copy of your credit file so that you know exactly where you stand with the banks.
- We are not owned by any bank and work independently to prioritize customer well-being. You will not have to worry about any conflicts of interest arising with us. However, we have excellent relationships with our lenders and can provide sharp rates.
If you are still unsure, we suggest you try our free services and then make a choice. Fill our free online assessment form or call us at 1300 889 743.
We wish you all the best in finding the right broker!