Is it safe applying online?
As technology gets better, more Australians are turning to an online mortgage broker to help them compare home loan options and apply with a bank.
The online model saves a whole lot of time and is very convenient if you’re unable to meet with a broker face-to-face.
However, it can be easy to make the wrong choice in an online broker if you don’t do your homework.
Why should I use an online mortgage broker?
They operate from anywhere in Australia and they’re available after hours.
This is helpful to borrowers who live in rural locations, interstate and even overseas.
It’s also helpful to those who can’t travel due to a disability or those who simply don’t have the time because they’re busy with work or looking after children.
You don’t have to waste time travelling to meet up for appointments.
On top of that, the best online mortgage brokers use state-of-the-art Client Management Systems (CMS), calculators and home loan comparison tools.
That means that they can quickly assess you over the phone, or based on the information you provide in a short online enquiry form.
They can then quickly come back to you with options from their panel of lenders via an email generated from their CMS that spells out the full costs of each home loan option.
Not all online mortgage brokers are the same!
Some brokerages will only deal with clients over the phone or via email but you’re always welcome to schedule an appointment at our office. Alternatively, we can come to you at a time and day that suits you.
Please call us on 1300 889 743 (+61 2 9194 1700 if you’re overseas) or complete our free assessment form to speak with one of our specialist online mortgage brokers about your home loan needs.
Does the best interests duty apply to banks?
No, the best interests duty that came out of the Royal Commission’s recommendations doesn’t apply to banks!
In other words, as mortgage brokers, we must always act in the best interests of borrowers; however, if a customer goes to a bank directly, then the bank can act in their own interests and not those of the borrower.
We welcome the implementation of the best interests duty (BID) as our customers can rest easy knowing that when dealing with us, we’re acting in your best interest. This will differentiate us significantly from the banks.
Am I speaking with an expert?
An often forgotten but critical aspect when selecting a mortgage broker is domain expertise, i.e. if you’re an expat living overseas, you want a mortgage broker with experience dealing with expat loans. Specifically, you want a broker with prior experience dealing with situations similar to yours.
Our mortgage brokers pride themselves on being credit experts first and foremost. Not surprisingly, ‘we get tough loans approved’ is one of our mottos.
All of our online mortgage brokers have a Cert IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking, although many of our experienced brokers have advanced diplomas and other training, including skills in commercial, business and self-managed super fund (SMSF) mortgage broking.
They’re also active members of the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) and operate under the customer protection provisions set out in the National Consumer Credit Protection Act (2001) (NCCP Act).
These are the same regulations that govern traditional mortgage brokers.
Check out the Why Use Us? page for more information.
When it comes to choosing an online mortgage broker, it can be a bit of a minefield.
It’s very likely that when you’re searching online, you could land on a scam website.
What steps can I take?
The best thing you can do is to cross-check that the mortgage broker appears on other webpages, specifically reputable review, comparison or news websites.
In addition to this:
- Check for contact details: Look for a telephone number and mailing address on their website and get in contact.
- Beware of brokers that ask for upfront fees: Don’t sign any form of agreement until they’ve properly assessed your situation.
- Look for referrals: Do your friends or family know these guys? Alternatively, you can check out their Facebook or a review site.
- Contact the MFAA or the FBAA: The MFAA or the Finance and Broking Association of Australia (FBAA) are usually well aware of dodgy online mortgage brokers out there.
Are online mortgage brokers cheaper?
Like some other online mortgage brokers, Home Loan Experts operates with fewer overheads because we’re mostly dealing with our clients online.
Because of that, we pass those savings onto you. In fact, in most cases, our services are 100% free unless:
- Your loan is for less than $200,000.
- Your situation is complex or you need a commercial property loan or business loan.
- You are keeping the loan for less than two years.
Can I still access the same lenders?
Yes! Banks and lenders don’t discriminate against mortgage brokers whether they’re online or not.
The broker simply needs to be accredited with that bank in order to write a home loan with them.
Most banks see the benefits of the online broking model, especially brokers that have strong systems in place to provide clean and well-packaged home loan applications.
Making life easier for the banks means that you’re more likely to get approved the first time around!
How do I provide my application documents?
Once you’ve spoken with an online mortgage broker and you’re happy to proceed, you’ll be asked to complete a Short Application Form (SAF) and email it back to the broker with a copy of your payslip and your drivers licence.
The SAF is used to detail your current asset position and what you’re looking to achieve.
Ultimately, you can do all of this without leaving your home and at a time that best suits you!
Will they ever have to meet me face-to-face?
Yes! Depending on your situation, you may not be able to get away with a completely online service.
Some lenders will require the online mortgage broker to meet with you face to face in order to meet their lending policy requirements.
The drawbacks of cutting out a broker altogether
In mid-2016, the first online mortgage platform (software) was released in Australia to allow borrowers to “broker” their own home loans.
You can actually use the same calculators that the banks use to calculate things like your borrowing power and the cost of Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) for the amount that you’re looking to borrow.
After inputting your details, the software will come back to you with a few options that would best suit your needs.
Of course, after that, you still need to choose an option and apply with the appropriate lender, providing all of the required income and deposit evidence as normal.
In reality, you’re having to go about the initial research yourself with no support or guidance!
An online mortgage broker will properly discuss your situation, compare home loan options by working on the best case scenario and handle the application process from submission to settlement. You won’t get this with online software.
Online lenders and comparison sites are also not really helpful if your situation is complex, such as having unusual employment or being a non-resident, a commercial property investor, a business owner or if you want to buy property for your SMSF.
Need help finding the best? Here’s a guide on how to find the best mortgage brokers anywhere in Australia?
We’re online and ready to speak with you!
Our website is one of the best home loan websites in Australia, full of handy tips and guides that can help you to make the right choice in home loan.
We’ve also got plenty of tools and calculators, whether you need to calculate the benefits of buying a home versus continuing to rent, work out your borrowing power or even calculate your negative gearing benefits from your investment property.
Speak with an online mortgage broker by calling 1300 889 743 or by completing our online enquiry form today.