One in two Australian home buyers now borrow via a broker. A dip in sentiment towards traditional banks, tighter lending criteria for investors and better-educated consumers have all helped boost mortgage brokers’ popularity over the past decade. There are, indeed, a raft of reasons to turn to a broker for your next home loan. Here are eight to get you started.
1. Freedom of Choice
Brokers generally give you access to multiple loans from multiple lenders. Compare that with the loan options you might be presented with by a single lender. At the end of the day, competition and choice are the most powerful benefits a broker brings to the table and it’s the reason so many Australians have one onside.
2. You Don’t Pay a Fee
Most brokers don’t charge their clients an up-front fee to use their services (and if they do, they need to give you a Credit Quote for your agreement). Brokers receive payment from lenders in the form of a commission and are required by law to disclose the details of these payments under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act to ensure transparency and to give you the peace of mind you’re after. Ask your broker to provide an overview of his or her commissions when you meet.
3. Save Time
Why spend your valuable time researching home loans when a broker can do it for you? It’s the broker’s job to do the hard yards when it comes to your homework. A broker will make the most of your appointment time to get the necessary information to narrow down and present you with easy-to-understand options, saving you hours of online research and hard-to-translate comparisons.
4. It’s All About You
A mortgage broker aims to find a loan that’s right for you. Brokers are not salaried bank staff, and that means they focus on finding a loan that is right for your unique circumstances. Brokers also take the time to understand your financial situation and goals. Such as if you are planning to start a family, take a study break or save for an overseas trip. A mortgage broker can recommend a loan that makes financial sense for you.
5. More Accessible Finance
Stricter credit rules have prompted some traditional lenders to avoid borrowers with poor track records or less predictable incomes. While no magic wands are waved, and higher interest rates might apply, a broker may be able to suggest an alternative option that’s right for you.
6. Smooth Sailing
Buying a home and taking out a loan is an exciting and momentous milestone, but also a stressful process. Brokers ease many of the pain points by dealing with the lender and managing your application process through to approval. Brokers can also arrange after-hours appointments to fit your schedule, rather than the schedule of just one bank or lender.
7. The Latest Legislation
It’s also a broker’s job to stay up to date with legislation so they can make the right recommendations for customers and ensure they meet lending requirements, which have tightened in recent years to reduce the risk of loan defaults and help maintain a stable economy. Brokers stay across industry, economic and regulatory shifts to avoid unexpected roadblocks for borrowers.
8. Home Loan Health Checks
Just like you get a check-up with your GP, your broker can run a regular health check on your home loan to see if it’s still right for you. Competition remains high in the mortgage market so it’s always worth asking your broker to reconsider your options. You could be paying off your loan sooner and saving thousands on interest repayments with a product that is better suited to your needs.