Otherwise, they can do little more than present you with a beauty parade of the cheapest rates and the lowest fees.
So, here are our five top tips to help you get the most out of a mortgage broker:
Choose an experienced broker
With the large number of brokers out there, it can be difficult to choose the right one. Personal recommendations are always invaluable and it’s important to look for brokers with proven experience who put customer experience first. Look for a broker with a long list of happy clients and repeat business. In terms of credentials, ensure your broker:
- Is registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commissions (ASIC)
- Has an Australian Credit Licence or is an Authorised Credit Representative
Check fees and charges
Find out the fee structure for the broker’s service. Most brokers will provide their service for free as they get paid a commission from the lenders, this commission should always be disclosed to you. Some brokers also charge a fee for service. This is usually a flat dollar fee.
Discuss broader financial goals
To do their jobs, a mortgage broker needs to assess your financial situation and creditworthiness and understand your financial goals.
Only with this complete picture can they help you look through all the loans available andfind a loan that meets your needs as closely as possible. With access to real-time information on lenders and available offers, they can research your options quickly and effectively.
If you don’t have a solid understanding of the finance and mortgage industry, it can be difficult to judge what is a good deal. So when your mortgage broker comes back to you with their recommendations, it’s important that they spell out exactly why they are recommending a particular loan for you.
Do your homework
Don’t become fixated on features, such as:
- The cheapest advertised interest rate
- Low fees
- A honeymoon period
- An offset account
The best loan for you is the one that helps you meet your financial goals. As brokers do not have access to all credit providers’ loans, you should also shop around yourself to see what deals are out there. The features, rates and fees should be a good match for your personal circumstances, now and in the future.
Remember, good mortgage brokers offer expertise, access to a large number of options, and the ability to negotiate even better rates. But, as with any adviser, as the ASIC website says, it’s wise to shop around. Do some checking yourself to make sure the loan is suitable and competitive.