19 [easy] tips to Find the Best Mortgage Broker in Brisbane
As of 2019, 59% of all new residential home loans are submitted via mortgage brokers.
The facts don’t lie – for most property buyers, going through a mortgage broker is the smart choice.
But you need to make sure that you find the right broker. You want someone who will give you expert advice and make the home loan application process simple and stress-free.
In this expert-written guide you’ll learn everything you need to know about finding the best mortgage broker for you.
Let’s dive right in.
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What is a Mortgage Broker?
A mortgage broker is a type of financial adviser who will help you to find the right home loan.
They will compare home loans across multiple home loan providers (banks and other lenders) and find you a loan that is a best fit for your needs and financial situation.
Once you have found the right loan, a good broker will be there to guide you through every step of the process and get your loan approved as quickly as possible.
How do I find the right mortgage broker?
As with any profession, the quality of service you will get from mortgage brokers can vary widely. There are a lot of great brokers out there providing a high quality service for their customers. But unfortunately there are some brokers who aren’t quite up to scratch.
You might have heard of some horror stories from friends or family about a bad experience that they’ve had.
Unfortunately, some mortgage brokers don’t really have your best interests at heart.
They might push you to get a loan that isn’t right for you simply because it means more money in their pocket.
Sometimes they are just a bit inexperienced and aren’t able to deal with a more complicated home loan situation.
If they aren’t careful with your paperwork and miss some critical information, your loan could get declined, which means more stress for you, or in the worst case scenario your home purchase might fall through because you can’t reach the finance deadline.
There’s only one way to sort out the superstars from the sellouts – and that’s to do some due diligence on your broker so you can make sure you’re making the right choice.
Research the Broker’s Online Reviews in Brisbane
When you chose the right Mortgage Broker you will find the entire home loan process to be much easier.
Short of asking your friends and family, you can use a few different independent review websites online to see what previous customers have thought of your mortgage broker in Brisbane.
All of these websites are independent, and spending a few minutes reading the past reviews can give you an idea on how your Mortgage Broker might have helped other people in Brisbane.
At Hunter Galloway, we are proud to have over 223 Google Reviews, and 30+ Facebook reviews from our happy customers! Our team can arrange a free assessment to see what your home loan options are.
Why Choose Them?
Although you might expect the answer to be obvious, it is always worth asking your mortgage broker why you should go through them rather than going directly to your bank.
In general using a broker will give you advantages like seeing options across multiple lenders, understanding what the mortgage market is doing and what different policies are available for you to take advantage of (for example 90% no LMI loans for pharmacists or medical professionals), but by asking the broker this question it gives you an understanding of the areas they specialise in.
We find competition between the banks is a good thing, and even though you might have been with a bank for years and years they generally don’t reward loyalty in the form of discounts as they just assume you’ll stay with your existing bank.
So we have seen lots of situations where we have been able to negotiate really large discounts for customers who stay with their own bank because the bank understands the mortgage broker can easily take them somewhere else.
Determine Their Experience
In finance experience counts for everything, it can be the difference to knowing you qualify for a loan or not.
It is worth asking your mortgage broker how long they have been in the industry for, have they had banking experience previously or are they completely fresh to the industry?
This gives you a good sense of their background and if they are suitable to help you in your situation. You can even go one further and ask if they own property? Knowing they have sat on the other side of the fence can help give you some confidence they will be able to help you navigate the home loan process quickly and easily.
These questions will give you an understanding of their background, where they’ve come from, and what they have done.
Our team has its own internal Credit Manager who reviews each application before being submitted to the lenders, meaning we won’t apply with a lender who won’t approve your loan.
The Hunter Galloway Mortgage Broker Brisbane team is here to help. We have a team of home loan experts.
Check if they are members of any associations
These associations ensure the professionalism of the Best Mortgage brokers across the country through required education requirements to make sure the brokers keep up to date on the latest policies and compliance procedures.
If your broker isn’t a member of the MFAA or FBAA it should be considered a red flag as they could have been made to leave the industry due to issues in the past so it’s worth asking the question or doing a quick search online before you see them.
We have a team of Award Winning Mortgage Brokers & members of the FBAA
Check the Mortgage Broker’s Credentials
Mortgage Broker’s in Brisbane are required to have a Credit License, or be a Credit Representative to operate.
You can see if they are members on the ASIC Register portal. We are Credit Representatives 401688 authorised under Australian Credit Licence 389328.
Checking the ASIC portal can show if your mortgage broker holds the correct licenses to operate.
You should also ask if your mortgage broker has won any awards.
At Hunter Galloway, we have built a brilliant reputation for being extremely well organised, helpful and making the home loan process as smooth as possible.
Some of our achievements include:
- 🏆 Finance Brokers Association of Australia National Finance Broker of the Year 2018
- 🏆 Finance Brokers Association of Australia Broker of the Year 2018 (Queensland)
- 🏆 Finance Brokers Association of Australia National Finance Broker of the Year 2017
- 🏆 Finance Brokers Association of Australia Broker of the Year 2017 (Commercial)
- 🏆 Finance Brokers Association of Australia Broker of the Year 2017 (Queensland)
- 🏆 Vow Financial Rising Star of the Year 2016 (Queensland)
- 🏆 Bankwest New Support of the Year 2015
- 🏆 Finalists at the Australian Mortgage Broker awards in 2017.
- 🏆 Our Director Nathan Vecchio was named in The Adviser’s Top 5 Brokers in Australia under 30 for 2017
- Regularly featured in The Adviser, Mortgage Professionals of Australia and other mortgage industry publications.
Their Home Loan Research Process
Ask your broker how they will decide which loan will best suit your needs, as well as find out their process and how they operate.
Firstly if they are saying they will use the lowest rate to best suit your needs you need to ask more questions, a low-interest rate loan could attract additional fees or have restrictions for example not having an offset account which could cost you much more in the long run.
In addition to this it’s good knowing their process and what goes on in the background to get your loan approved – do they have other team members or support staff?
If they are a one person brokerage what happens if they get sick, or take holidays – will your loan still get processed? It’s always good to know they have a team working in the background to make sure you not only get the best deal, but you are also looked after in the process.
Find out your mortgage brokers research process. At Hunter Galloway, we have a team of Home Loan Experts.
Question their Turn Around Time
You also want to ask your broker how fast they can turn around your mortgage application.
Why? It could make or break your first home purchase.
Like we mentioned in the last point, many Mortgage Brokers in Australia are one man bands, in other words they do not have any additional staff and if they are sick or away your home loan application can sit on your brokers desk not progressing.
Equally if you have Signed a Contract of sale subject to 14 days finance, you don’t want to risk losing the property if the broker can’t get your loan approved in time.
You also want to ask the broker what the bank you are applying with’s turn around time is, because some banks are known to be notoriously slow with processing loan applications.
In fact, we’ve heard stories of banks taking 12 business days – In other words, almost 3 weeks – to get a loan approval 😳. This is not workable for most purchases.
At Hunter Galloway, our Mortgage Brokers will be upfront with you and give expected turn around times at all stages of the home loan process and we will return all phone calls within 4 business hours.
We have very good contacts with the State Managers and Senior Management at most banks and can get things turned around much quicker than the average broker – infact our average home loan application is formally approved in under a week.
If it is going to take your broker more than a few days to get your home loan approved, then speak with our team to see how we can help you out much faster than regular mortgage brokers.
Ask Their Mortgage Application Approval (And Rejection) Rates
While broker’s can help you negotiate interest rates, an even more important function is actually getting your loan approved in the first place!
This is because getting a home loan has gotten much more difficult in 2019 in light of the Royal Commission and Banks tightening their credit criteria.
In other words, earlier this year 4 in 10 home loan applications were being knocked back or declined.
At Hunter Galloway, we believe slow is fast with a home loan application.
Its important to take time up front to understand your situation, what you are looking to achieve and then find a bank that fits with you.
In using this approach we have helped over 300 home owners in buying a house in the past 12 months, and our Mortgage Application Approval rate is over 96.4%.
Don’t risk having your home loan declined, get in touch with our team today to see how we can help get your Home Loan Approved.
Ask About Commissions
It’s always good to find out how much commissions they get paid for doing your home loan. In general mortgage brokers get paid commissions from the bank that gives you your loan – this doesn’t add any costs to you as a customer but in some cases, there are brokers who also charge fees for their services.
These are typically on commercial loans or development finance, but it’s always best to know up front what you’re getting into so you don’t get down the process and unexpectedly find out you need to pay your broker extra fees. You can also ask if the mortgage broker has any conflicts of interest.
At Hunter Galloway, we do not charge any additional fees for our service.
We paid commissions by the banks so our services do not cost anything to you.
Request Their Lender Panel
The majority of accredited mortgage brokers have at least 20 different lenders and bankers they can utilise to help give you the best home loan – but – these days not all lenders are accepting loans from all brokers.
There are different volume requirements, where a broker who doesn’t do much business is unable to write mortgages through a bank like the Commonwealth Bank (CBA) as they require brokers to submit a minimum amount of home loan applications per year to maintain their accreditations.
Again it’s important to understand this up front, to know which banks are on the broker’s panel and which aren’t – and importantly why?
Having a large range of lenders ultimately gives you more options and more choice! At Hunter Galloway, we have over 30 Lenders to choose from!
Prepare Some Questions
Question 1: What is a Comparison Rate?
A comparison rate is a brilliant tool that can help you work out the actual cost of a loan. It factors in all the interest rate expenses, loan fees and charges to boil down into a single percentage rate. Ultimately this can help you compare one lender to another, factoring in all fees and charges.
For example, the broker might tell you about a loan that has a variable interest rate of 3.99% and a comparison rate of 4.54% based on a loan of $150,000 over 25 years.
If you are borrowing a loan of say $500,000 or another figure and your loan term is 30 years the 3.99% rate is not really true and will be higher once you factor in fees and charges so don’t let a really cheap rate trick you up. Comparison rates can help you work out which lending option makes sense for you factoring in all fees.
Question 2: What impact will my credit card limits have on my borrowing capacity?
Lastly, ask what impacts your credit card limits would have on your borrowing capacity. Even if you don’t owe anything on your credit cards, your credit card limits will have an impact on your borrowing capacity, and if you’re looking to purchase your dream home and need to lend a bit more money reducing your credit cards will have a positive impact.
For example, a $10,000 credit card limit, which has nothing owing on it could reduce your borrowing capacity by up to $40,000 – this is 4 times the credit card limit, and could negatively impact your dream home purchase! Knowing what impact these cards will make can help you make better decisions before starting the entire home loan process.
Explain Your Needs
Ensuring the mortgage broker knows your financial situation and borrowing needs will help them find the best home loan for you.
What are you looking at doing? Buying a home? Refinancing your existing mortgage? And what are you looking for?
Having a clear idea on this, and explaining your needs to your mortgage broker can make sure you get the best results.
Read More: First Home Buyer Information
Question What Mortgage Features You Need
Features and add ons can be an enticing part of buying something, just like cars and coffee machines, home loans are also filled to the brim with features.
However, understanding which features will affect the total cost of your loan and make a significant impact on how much you spend is a critical way to assess which ones are for you.
Speak to your broker about features like extra repayments, redraw facility and offset accounts. And if you’re unsure about what any of these are, find out what they mean for you and which ones will help you.
Each situation is unique, and this will impact which features are best for you.
And, if you’re preparing for changes like a new baby on the way, going on maternity leave or renovations, you’ll need to keep this in mind as it will be able to help you figure out which features are most important and relevant to you.
Read More: Extra Home Loan Repayment Calculator
Don’t Make Too Many Applications
Making too many home loan applications can affect your credit rating.
A Mortgage Broker’s job is to shop around and find you the best deal, and while you might want to talk to multiple brokers to find someone that is a good fit you should never submit multiple loan applications with multiple lenders.
This can affect your credit rating and cause your loan to be declined.
Ask About Home Loan Rebates
From time to time there are home loan rebates and specials available from mortgage lenders including cashback deals.
Lenders can offer up to $2,000 in cash back rebates and rewards after a loan has been refinanced.
Talk to a mortgage expert and see if you qualify for cash back rewards and rebates.
Get All Details In Writing
Always ask for written recommendations and get information on commissions, fees and products in writing.
ASIC recommends, a written agreement should tell you the type of loan being arranged for you, the amount of the loan, the term of the loan, the current interest rate, and any fees you have to pay. The fees could include broker’s fees or commissions, fees to the credit provider or lender for setting up the loan, and/or any early termination fees.
Your mortgage broker should always provide credit advice in writing.
Slow Down And Don’t Rush
Don’t sign anything unless you fully understand what it is. If you aren’t sure about what you are signing get independent legal advice.
Read More: Home Loan Guide to Brisbane
Finding the best mortgage broker in Brisbane is as simple as following these steps.
Don’t Risk Being Declined
Did you know that in 2018 over 40% of home loan applications that get submitted never make it to settlement? Don’t take that risk.
Our Mortgage Brokers have seen all sorts of mistakes in the past!
With their level of experience, they know problems you may face on your loan application and how to mitigate them when applying with a specific bank or lender. We have a wide range of lenders on our panel and our brokers intimately understand their credit policies.
We can do this through our own internal credit assessment process which we complete before applying with any lender.
Our team has its own internal Credit Manager who reviews each application before being submitted to the lenders, meaning we won’t apply with a lender who won’t approve your loan.
Our Mortgage Brokers have helped lots of home owners around Paddington and Brisbane.
Understand How to Complain
ASIC reccomends if you have a complaint about a broker or a dispute you can’t resolve, find out how to complain or phone ASIC’s Infoline on 1300 300 630.
Your mortgage broker should always provide copies of the following, which will outline how their complaints process.
What does this all mean in short?
As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, there’s a reason more Australians are using brokers over banks for their home loans.
If you have the right mortgage broker on your team, applying for your home loan will be a breeze.
A good broker will find you the best loan for your needs, manage the complexities of the home loan process, and make sure you have the best chance of getting your home loan approved.
Follow the recommendations above and you will be able to make sure that you have all of the information you need to make the right decision.
If you’re looking to buy a home within the next 6 months, it’s time to start talking to brokers.
You can ask your friends for recommendations, search on Google, or better yet — arrange a free assessment with one of our friendly mortgage brokers here at Hunter Galloway.
We’ve helped hundreds of people just like you to find the best home loan. Our focus is on taking the stress out of the home loan process.
With our team of experts, we help you navigate over 30 lenders, taking care of the details and finding a mortgage solution that works for you.
With a 5-star rating from over 150 reviews across Google, Facebook, and Product Review, you can rest assured that we will deliver outstanding customer service and take care of you every step of the way.
Click on the button below to book a free, no-obligations phone call to see how we can help you on the next step of your home buying journey.