If you're refinancing your mortgage to a new lender, a broker's expert knowledge could help you find a better deal and help you navigate the application process. A broker can:
- Help you compare cheaper interest rates to work out how much you can save
- Find mortgages that much your needs
- Help you through the application process with the new loan
- Advise you on how best to access your equity
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How can a broker help you refinance?
A mortgage broker specialises in helping people find suitable home loans. Mortgage brokers have relationships with multiple banks and non-bank lenders, and while they don't work for these institutions, they work with them to offer you a range of home loan alternatives. These professionals know exactly what the borrowing process entails, including everything from comparing home loans to applying for them and the settlement process.
Want to do it yourself? Read our detailed guide to refinancing
How to compare mortgage brokers when refinancing
Check their qualifications
To start, look for ASIC registrations and Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) or the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) membership. The former is a prerequisite for mortgage brokers to operate in Australia, and ASIC enforces a strict level of education and experience amongst the nation's mortgage brokers. MFAA or FBAA memberships show that the broker in question follows high standards in regard to legal requirements and that they offer thorough transparency in everything they do.
Check their lending panel
The number and quality of lenders on the panel of one mortgage broker is not the same as another's, so you will need to look into this. When you have narrowed your choice down to a few mortgage brokers, you can use feedback and online reviews from previous customers to make a decision.
Review the broker's commission structure
Brokers work for you but get paid by the lender on commission. They're free for borrowers but it’s important that you review the commission structure your mortgage broker uses, to ensure they are going to find the best deal for you.
Johanna consults a mortgage broker
After researching different home loan products, Johanna felt overwhelmed by the amount of choice available. Unsure about the amount she could afford to borrow and the different rates and features on offer, Johanna decided to speak to a mortgage broker about her borrowing options.
The mortgage broker reviewed Johanna's personal and financial situation and helped Johanna estimate the amount she could borrow from a lender. The broker recommended that Johanna opt for a split-rate loan so that she could take advantage of the flexibility of a variable rate and the security of a fixed rate.
The broker also suggested that Johanna should select a mortgage that allowed her to make unlimited additional repayments, with a redraw facility and an offset account. She explained that these features would help Johanna repay the loan as soon as possible and reduce the amount of interest she'd have to pay over the lifetime of the loan.
Johanna felt relieved that her broker could negotiate for a competitive rate on her behalf and help her through the application process.
Learn more about mortgage brokers