If you’ve taken the first steps into looking for a mortgage, you’ll know that there are lots of loan products to choose from – and that finding the right product to suit your circumstances can at times seem quite overwhelming.
It’s a great reason to consider using a mortgage broker to help you make the right decision and sense of all those choices – but how do you know if you’re choosing a good mortgage broker to guide you?
Finding The Best Mortgage Broker For You
Without professional knowledge of the home loan industry, it can be stressful and time-consuming to make such an important decision about what will be one of the biggest financial investments you make in your life.
Choosing a good mortgage broker is worth the time because, with a mortgage broker there to help you find the best mortgage, you can, potentially, save thousands of dollars – and even years – off your home loan.
The most important thing to remember is that you must always check the credentials of a mortgage broker with whom you are considering doing business. Professional mortgage brokers must be licensed and it is highly recommended that you check they are fully authorised through the ASIC website. In fact you should check the license details of any person from whom you are seeking financial advice. You can read more about why it’s important – and how to do it – via this link: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/check-asic-lists.
Friends and family can offer good recommendations about mortgage brokers they may have worked with in the past, so simply asking people you know for connections to people they know, like and trust can be a good next step.
Once you have narrowed down a shortlist, you can arrange to meet with a couple of licensed mortgage brokers to discuss your own individual financial circumstances.
Be sure to ask questions that will give you a good understanding of the way they do business and how they will be able to help you. It’s vital, basic research that gives you the confidence to select a broker you feel comfortable with.
Some good questions to start with include:
- ‘How will you decide which loan best suits my situation?’
- ‘How long have you been working as a mortgage broker?’
- ‘Do you foresee any challenges to my lending requirements? And, if so, how would you handle them?’
Feeling that you have faith in their support and professional insights is important – after all, taking on a mortgage is a huge financial commitment.
Do you feel that they have a genuine desire to help you, or are they just ticking another customer off their list?
Taking an interest in your needs and your financial circumstances is appropriate behaviour for any good mortgage broker. A quality broker will ask questions about your situation to ensure they are giving you the right advice, so if they are not asking you lots of questions about you, they may not be the best broker for you.
Finding out their fee structure and comparing the fees charged to you is another way of checking if you are choosing the right broker for you.
How many lenders are on the broker’s panel is also a good question to ask. The more lenders they have professional relationships with means more choice for you – and that can lead to finding a great deal to save you money.
Quality brokers will have access to all the main lending institutions, as well as second-tier lenders and credit unions.
Asking for referees is also recommended.
A broker with a positive professional reputation will have no qualms about providing you with references from happy clients.
Of course, even with all this due diligence on the quality of a broker you are considering working with, it is also vital to apply some of your own research to the loan recommendations they provide you. This gives you further peace of mind in knowing what they offer really is a good deal – and does suit your own personal home loan needs.
Checking out rate comparison sites, such as RateCity, Canstar and Finder, can give you some background at your fingertips.
Remember: Always check if they are a member of the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) or the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA). These are the peak bodies for Australian mortgage brokers and doing business with professionally-accredited mortgage brokers is critical to creating a solid foundation for a positive relationship.
For more information about how to choose a good mortgage broker, talk to our team of home loan professionals at Lending Specialists today.