With so many different lenders and credit providers to choose from, a good mortgage broker can make things a whole lot easier and do all the legwork for you. Brokers not only help you decipher which loans are suitable for you but can negotiate special rates for you with the lender, take care of all the paperwork, and guide you through the entire process.
To make sure you are dealing with a well-reputed, experienced and compliant professional, ask your broker these initial questions before choosing who to engage with:
Are you a qualified, licenced broker who is a member of a professional industry body?
It’s important to check a broker’s qualifications and credentials. Major lenders require that brokers complete at least a Certificate IV in Financial Services and either hold an Australian credit licence or be authorised under a licensed home loans aggregator or lender. They should also be a member of the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) or the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA).
How long have you been a mortgage broker?
It may help you feel more comfortable with your decision if you know the person you intend to choose as your broker is experienced and has a solid track record. This question will let you know how long they’ve been a broker and what sort of lending they’re involved in.
Do you have access to a range of different mortgage lenders?
The mortgage broker you choose should be able to offer you loans from a large number of Australian lenders. Ask how many they have access to and if they are accredited with them all. That way you can have confidence in their contacts and know that they have a wide selection to choose from.
Do you charge a fee or commission?
This question may seem blunt, but it is good to understand how they are paid, and how that may affect you. All brokers must disclose all payments and commissions they receive. In 99% of cases, the lender pays the broker a commission which is not payable by the client.
Why should I deal with you and not another broker, or direct with the bank?
Another direct question, but this gives the broker the opportunity to explain why he/she will be the right “fit” for you; it is important to feel comfortable with the person we entrust to help us choose what will arguably be the biggest debt we ever commit to.