Getting a good mortgage broker is crucial to getting the right loan. You need to ascertain that they have experience and qualifications, as well as being committed to the industry code of practice. You also need to ensure that the broker is right for you; the home loan application process is a stressful one – you cannot afford a personality clash. A good mortgage broker will ensure that your needs are met in a stress-free manner.
Here is a step-by-step checklist that will help you know if your broker is on the level.
- For residential loans, all of the broker’s services should be free, i.e. is the whole service of giving you information in relation to home loans, negotiating the loan for you and handling the paperwork through to approval
- The right broker will take the time to really understand your entire finance situation, both now and into the future
- Your broker should have access to a range of home loans from a wide variety of lenders, e.g. banks and non-banks, conforming and non-conforming
- Ensure your broker is not just an agent for one lender
- Check the qualifications and experience of your broker, even ask for references from previous borrowers
- Are they a member of the professional mortgage association (MFAA – Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia )?
- Make sure your broker discloses all commission and payments received so you can judge whether a particular loan recommendation is being influenced by how much the broker will be paid
- Ask your broker to show you on their computer how the loans they offer compare for your situation. Good brokers should have the appropriate software and be able to clearly outline their criteria and logic
- Ask your broker how they comply with the Privacy Act to ensure the security of your personal and financial details
- Your broker should have appropriate Professional indemnity insurances
- A good broker should be able to explain the most complex loans in plain English
- Ask for testimonials – what other customers have said about them
- It is up to you, but it really helps if you actually like your broker as well!