What’s the process?
As a mortgage broker, you can only start recommending home loan products from a lender once you’re accredited with them.
Typically, you can only be accredited with the lenders already on the panel of your aggregator but you may be able to get accredited with more depending on the agreement in place.
The more lender accreditations you have, the greater choice you have in providing your customer with the right solution for their needs. How do you get set up?
When can I apply?
Before you can apply for lender accreditations, new brokers need to have:
- Joined an aggregator.
- Completed a Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking [FNS40815].
- Become a member of an industry association such as the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) or the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA).
- Joined a external dispute resolution scheme (EDR) like the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
- Completed a police check.
- Completed a credit check.
- Completed your aggregator’s associate accreditation.
Some aggregators can be slow to respond so be sure to set a reminder to follow up in two weeks if you haven’t gotten a response.
How do I apply?
Through your aggregator’s client relationship management (CRM) portal you should be able to easily complete each lender’s accreditation form.
You’ll simply need to download it from the CRM, fill it in and ask your Australian Credit Licence (ACL) holder to sign it. This will usually be the owner of the brokerage or independent broker you work for.
You’ll then need to send this back to your aggregator along with all supporting documents including evidence of your association membership, Cert IV and the other required documents mentioned above.
Once your application is accepted, most lenders will require you to attend a training session with their business development manager (BDM) or equivalent.
Ideally, you should organise for them to visit you because it’s not inefficient for you to visit them at their offices.
What does the process involve?
The accreditation process varies from lender to lender.
You may be able to get automatically accredited with some lenders just by completing your aggregator’s associate accreditations.
However, some lenders like St George require you to pass a test.
Others such as the Commonwealth Bank require you to pass a test and complete a training session.
In some cases, you may need to have at least two years loan writing experience but you may be able to get this waived if you can show evidence that you’re in a mentoring program.
Check with your aggregator about what arrangements they have with their panel of lenders.
What happens in the training workshop?
To be frank, accreditation is part sales pitch from the BDM but the fact is you’ll learn a lot about what their strengths are in terms of policy.
Typically, a workshop will teach you about:
- Their mortgage products.
- The rates and discounts they’re currently offering.
- The niches they specialise in and the policy exceptions they will allow such as cash out and non-residents.
- Their method for calculating borrowing power (serviceability), which is important to know when you’re trying to choose a lender that will allow your client to borrow more.
- The process for submitting home loan applications and how to escalate your loan during busy periods.
- Other tips for how to present deals for a fast and painless assessment and approval.
It may be hard to get accredited with some lenders
The below list of lenders is an example of why it can be difficult to accredited with all lenders in the Australian market.
- Liberty Financial: This lender is not available on all aggregators’ lending panels.
- RedZed: Not on all aggregators’ panels because they deal mostly with specialist non-conforming brokers.
- Rams: This lender doesn’t actually work with mortgage brokers so you need to contact a local franchise for information on accreditation.
- Qudos: Not available with all aggregators.
- Newcastle Permanent: Can’t be found with all aggregators because they want to restrict volumes to a level that they can service.
- Bank of Queensland (BOQ): Can’t be found with all aggregators because they want to restrict volumes to a level that they can service.
The fact is that you need to work under an aggregator to start practicing as a mortgage broker.
As you can see though, you are subsequently limited to the lenders on their panel.
However, you should find out whether your aggregator has an exclusive or non-exclusive agreement with you.
If it’s exclusive then you can only get accredited with lenders on their panel.
If it’s non-exclusive then you can get accredited with any lender that will work with you.
Do I need accreditations with all lenders?
Your aggregator will have an agreement in place with many banks, major lenders and specialist or non-conforming lenders.
For the majority of customers you deal with, you’ll deal with the same banks and lenders regularly so it’s essential that you’re be accredited with them.
This includes more “vanilla” customers like full-time PAYG workers, borrowers with a good asset-to-debt position and those with a 5-10% deposit.
This is to ensure that you’re meeting your regulatory obligation (the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009) to recommend a product that is not unsuitable for a customer.
However, you should also play to your strengths and really hone in on who your target market is.
For example, if you want to specialise in commercial and business loans, you may want to consider becoming accredited with Adelaide Bank.
If you’re specialty is assisting Australians living abroad (expats), getting accredited with Better Mortgage Management may be beneficial.
These lenders are just an example to demonstrate that although they are “small fish” compared to the big four banks, their strengths lie in their flexible lending policies.
We have nearly 40 lenders to choose from
If you’re considering starting a mortgage broking career, why not join a brokerage with over 10 years experience and with almost 40 lenders to choose from?
Send through your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org and check out the Home Loan Experts careers page to learn more about our current vacancies.
Change the lives of your customers and build the life you want in the process.