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16 critical questions you need to ask your mortgage broker

Before you decide on a mortgage broker, make sure you're asking the right questions.

A good mortgage broker can help you navigate the home loan market to find the home loans best suited to your situation. They can take the confusion out of the mortgage process and match you up with the right lenders for your circumstances. However, before you sign on the dotted line, there are some important questions to ask your broker, both about their business and the loan for which you're applying.

Questions to ask about the broker

1. What credentials do you have?

You will want your mortgage broker to have the relevant mandatory courses completed as well as other additional education to better guide their choices. You'll also want to ensure your broker is registered with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) either as a license holder or a credit representative. You can check ASIC's register here.

2. Are you a member of an industry association?

Mortgage brokers are required to be a member of an industry association, either the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) or the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA). The MFAA and FBAA set standards of practice and discipline for their members.

3. Are you a member of an external dispute resolution (EDR) scheme?

By law, mortgage brokers are required to belong to an EDR scheme, either the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) or the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). An EDR scheme provides consumers an avenue to resolve complaints should problems arise with a broker’s service.

4. How long have you been in the industry?

The length of time that the broker has been in the industry will reflect their experience, so you may want to opt for a broker with more years in the business.

5. Do you charge a fee?

While most mortgage brokers don’t charge their clients, some do, so you should pose the question to the broker at the start so you’re clear about all the costs involved.

6. How many lenders do you have in your network?

As a rule of thumb, most brokers have access to 20-30 lenders. You want to ensure that the broker has a diverse range of lenders in their panel, including banks and non-bank institutions.

7. How much commission do you make?

To understand the broker’s motivation, you should ask how their commission structure works. This may help you determine whether or not there is a conflict of interest at play.

8. Do you have any testimonials?

A successful mortgage broker who has developed positive broker client relationships will be happy to provide you with testimonials from past clients to vouch for their quality of service.

Questions to ask about the loan

1. What is the interest rate?

The answer to this question determines how much you'll repay on top of what you borrow. Interest accrues over the life of the loan, and with the average mortgage lasting 15 years you want to make sure your rate is affordable.

2. Is the rate permanent or just a promotion?

Lenders often give new borrowers an attractive low rate to win their business. This low rate is normally temporary, and sees you revert to the lenders standard rate when the promotional period is over. Find out whether the advertised interest rate is permanent, and if it isn't what's the lenders standard variable rate. There's no point getting a great rate for a year if you're going to pay over the odds for the remaining term.

3. Why have you selected this loan for me over other loans?

By law, mortgage brokers must choose a home loan for you that is "not unsuitable". This means the features, rates and fees should be a good match for your personal circumstances. Make sure you find out how your broker arrived at the decision to suggest a particular home loan for you, including which of your personal circumstances were taken into account.

4. How much of a deposit do I need?

Ask how much of a deposit the lender wants, and find out whether the size of the deposit affects the interest rate of the loan. Sometimes a lender will give you a better rate of interest if you put down a larger deposit. A smaller deposit may also mean that you have to pay a lenders mortgage insurance (LMI) premium.

5. Can I make extra repayments and/or repay my loan early?

The quickest way to repay your mortgage and save money in interest is to make overpayments whenever possible. Double check your lender is happy for you to do this without penalty. Some lenders charge an admin fee to process the additional payment. Whilst you're on the subject of overpayments you should also find out whether your monthly payments adjust in line with any additional payments you make.

6. What are the additional charges?

The most common charges you'll run into when getting a home loan are valuation fees, application fees, and legal fees. It's not unusual for lenders to run special promotions where you get free valuation or help with fees. Ask if there are any additional charges, and find out whether they can be paid upfront or have to be added to your loan.

7. What documents will I need to provide?

Normally lenders need to see three to four months' worth of bank statements, along with a couple of forms of I.D, and proof of your assets and liabilities. Ask whether your lender has any other requirements as this will speed up your application process. Read our home loan checklist for more information

8. How long does it take to process the loan?

In the property market a few days can make a big difference. Try to get an estimate of how long the application process will take, and don't try to settle on a property too early into the process. It's a good idea to get a pre-approval before you go hunting for the home of your dreams.

Mortgage broker comparison

Rates last updated July 16th, 2018
Details Features
Aussie Home Loans
Aussie Home Loans
Aussie is one of Australia's leading financial service providers, having won The Adviser’s Top Mortgage Broker award for the last 3 years. They charge no appointment fees and can meet at a time and place which suits you.
Up to 22 lenders Enquire Now More info
Mortgage Choice Home Loans
Mortgage Choice Home Loans
Mortgage Choice is one of Australia's largest independent broker services. They have over 28 lenders on their panel, including the big four banks. 28+ lenders Enquire Now More info
Finsure
Finsure
Finsure has loan offers from over 35 lenders, including major brands, and will work to find a home loan that suits your property needs.
Over 35 lenders Enquire Now More info
eChoice Mortgage Brokers
eChoice Mortgage Brokers
When you do business with eChoice you will be given your own home loan manager to help you select a loan. 25 lenders Enquire Now More info

How does a mortgage broker help?

When you deal with a mortgage broker, the answers to these questions should be used in your comparison of loans. Remember, a mortgage broker is there to help you get a home loan!

Need a home loan? Start comparing

Rates last updated July 16th, 2018
$
Loan purpose
Offset account
Loan type
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Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comp Rate^ (p.a.) Application Fee Ongoing Fees Max LVR Monthly Payment Short Description
3.69%
3.69%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get $1,000 cash into a USaver account when you take out a loan of $200,000 or more (new or refinance). Terms and conditions apply. Enjoy flexible repayments, a redraw facility and the ability to split your loan. Plus, pay no application or ongoing fees.
3.64%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no ongoing fees and enjoy a flexible repayment schedule, including the ability to make unlimited additional repayments without penalty.
3.69%
4.11%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
Save on interest with a 100% offset account and save on other ME products with this package loan.
3.75%
3.75%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Pay no application or ongoing fees and get a flexible loan with the ability to split up to 6 times.
3.64%
4.03%
$0
$395 p.a.
80%
New borrowers or refinancers from another lender get a discounted rate with this package loan.
3.68%
3.83%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
Get a 100% offset account to save on interest charges, and pay no application fee.
3.69%
3.70%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Package your loan and get an interest rate discount, a 100% offset account and help from an HSBC relationship manager.
3.54%
3.58%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Eligible borrowers can get $900 cashback on this loan with a 100% offset account and a redraw facility.
3.69%
3.69%
$445
$0 p.a.
90%
Get a special discount for a limited time when you open an IMB Transaction Account. Face-to-face consultations available in NSW and ACT.
3.85%
3.85%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application and ongoing fees with Macquarie Bank Basic Home Loan.
3.49%
4.49%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Loans over $150k get a discount off an already low fixed rate. Available for NSW, Qld and ACT residents only.
3.68%
3.82%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
80%
Let the mortgage experts at Aussie do the hard work for you. Speak to a broker about this competitive home loan and compare many other offers from across the market.
3.52%
3.53%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Go from application to approval in as little as 20 minutes with a variable rate loan from this innovative online lender. Add a 100% offset account for $10 a month.
3.72%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Save on interest by taking advantage of a 100% offset account along with no ongoing fees or application fees.
3.65%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
This special rate mortgage has no ongoing fees and offers flexible repayments. Save $595 in establishment fees before 30 September.
3.64%
3.84%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Enjoy all the benefits of the Basic Home Loan and take advantage of an offset account.
3.64%
3.64%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A basic variable home loan that offers a competitive interest rate with no application fees and no ongoing fees.
3.65%
3.66%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Competitive interest rate and low fees. Available with a 10% deposit. Partial offset account attached (offset up to $15,000).
3.59%
3.74%
$0
$10 monthly ($120 p.a.)
70%
Low-rate loan with 100% offset account for owner occupiers. You need a 30% deposit to get this mortgage.
3.64%
3.67%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
This loan offers a competitive variable rate and a 100% offset account to help save you on interest repayments.
3.78%
3.78%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application or ongoing fees and get access to a free redraw facility with this innovative online lender.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A basic owner-occupier home loan with a low variable rate that requires a 20% deposit.
3.59%
4.67%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Enjoy a competitive rate with no application fee for this package loan.
3.49%
3.52%
$500
$0 p.a.
95%
This mortgage combines a very sharp interest rate with a 100% offset account and it's available with a 5% deposit.
3.79%
3.79%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a 100% offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees on this special variable rate for owner-occupiers.
3.84%
3.87%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Save on interest with a free 100% offset account and buy your property with just a 10% deposit.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
110%
Pay no deposit or LMI and get a discounted rate with this family pledge loan. Requires a family member to act as guarantor. NSW, Qld and ACT only.
3.76%
4.15%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
A high maximum LVR home loan with redraw facility and additional payments. Includes a 100% offset account.
3.71%
3.71%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
A variable rate home loan that has a lot of flexible features. This loan has a 100% offset account.
3.89%
3.77%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application or ongoing fee and borrow up to 80% LVR.
3.64%
3.69%
$600
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive variable rate for borrowers with a 20% deposit or more. Guarantor option available.
3.74%
3.79%
$600
$0 p.a.
80%
A low rate variable home loan offer with no monthly fees or application fee charge.
3.62%
3.62%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Pay no application or ongoing fees and get access to a redraw facility and flexible repayment schedule. Get $1,000 cash into a USaver account when you take out a loan of $200,000 or more (new or refinance). Terms and conditions apply.
3.81%
3.81%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A home loan with a competitive rate and plenty of handy features. This product comes with a 100% offset account.
4.04%
4.07%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
For a limited time, pay no application or settlement fees. You can also take advantage of a free redraw facility.
3.70%
4.13%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
Package your loan with an eligible credit card for discounts on rates and fees, and get a 100% offset account.
3.72%
4.11%
$0
$349 p.a.
90%
Package your loan with other AMP products and save on rates and fees.
3.58%
4.71%
$0
$299 p.a.
95%
Let the experts help you get a mortgage. Speak to a broker about this sharp fixed rate loan and compare many other mortgage offers from across the market.
3.97%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Package your owner occupied loan with investment loan and receive a discounted investment rate. 100% offset account included.
3.75%
4.00%
$0
$248 p.a.
70%
Get a sharp rate and a 100% offset account. Borrowers must have a 30% deposit.
3.62%
4.49%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a competitive rate and avoid ongoing fees. This loan is only available to current and former employees of eligible Queensland government organisations.
3.59%
3.99%
$600
$395 p.a.
95%
Get interest rate discounts and waived fees on this package loan with a 100% offset account.
4.09%
4.11%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
This variable rate loan keeps the features simple and fees low. This loan is offered by a 100% online lender.
3.99%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
2 years fixed interest terms with no application fee or ongoing fees, loans.com.au has won a range of awards for their home loans.
3.89%
3.92%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
A low-fee line of credit loan from an online lender. Unlock the equity in your home and make interest-only repayments with a competitive rate.
3.79%
3.83%
$600
$0 p.a.
80%
A low interest rate loan with limited fees and a redraw facility. Principal and interest repayments only.
4.09%
4.12%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Access a fee-free offset account and a special interest rate for investors.
3.99%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Investors with a 30% deposit can get this low rate loan to fund their property portfolio.
3.90%
4.78%
$600
$0 p.a.
95%
A competitive fixed rate mortgage with split facilities and extra repayments. You can get this loan with a 5% deposit.
3.74%
3.74%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
New customers can get a discounted variable rate and a fee-free redraw facility. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
4.09%
4.12%
$0
$0 p.a.
95%
Buy a home with just a 5% deposit and get flexible repayment options and a redraw facility.
3.59%
4.14%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A one year fixed rate offer with no ongoing bank fees.
3.89%
4.87%
$595
$0 p.a.
90%
Borrow up to 90% of the value of the property you're buying and pay no application or ongoing fees.
4.05%
4.10%
$445
$0 p.a.
90%
Buy a home with just a 10% deposit with this variable rate loan. Face-to-face consultations available for NSW and ACT customers.
4.14%
4.14%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Investors get a 100% offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees on this loan from an innovative online lender.
3.97%
3.97%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
A variable rate loan with a 100% offset account. Available with a 10% deposit.Face-to-face consultations available for NSW and ACT customers.
3.99%
4.62%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
Investors can enjoy flexible repayments and an easy application process with this pioneering online lender.
3.99%
4.86%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Access a fee-free 100% offset account and pay no application or ongoing fees.
3.74%
4.01%
$395
$0 p.a.
80%
A competitive 3 year fixed rate with no ongoing bank fees.
3.64%
3.64%
$0
$0 p.a.
70%
Get a discount for keeping your LVR at 70% or below with this innovative online lender.
4.19%
4.19%
$0
$0 p.a.
90%
Access to redraw facility and offset account without the annual fee.
3.99%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get a discounted, low-fee investor loan from a convenient online lender. 20% deposit required. Get $1,000 cash into a USaver account when you apply for a loan of $200,000 or more (new or refinance). Terms and conditions apply.
3.69%
4.47%
$0
$395 p.a.
90%
A fixed rate loan with a 100% offset account and the option to make additional repayments. Loans over $150k receive a discounted rate. NSW, QLD and ACT residents only.
3.99%
3.99%
$0
$0 p.a.
80%
Get special offers on a Visa Platinum card, transaction accounts and insurance with this package loan.
3.79%
4.18%
$0
$375 p.a.
90%
A high maximum LVR and 100% offset account are available with this loan.

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Credit services for Aussie Select, Aussie IQ and Aussie Optimizer products are provided by AHL Investments Pty Ltd ACN 105 265 861 Australian Credit Licence 246786 ("Aussie"), and its appointed credit representatives. Credit for Aussie Select products is provided by Residential Mortgage Group Pty Ltd ACN 152 378 133 Australian Credit Licence 414133 (“RMG”). RMG is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 234945. Credit for Aussie Optimizer products is provided by Perpetual Limited ABN 86 000 431 827 (Lender). Credit for Aussie IQ is provided by Macquarie Bank Limited ABN 46 008 583 542 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 237502. Home loans issued by the Lender are serviced by Macquarie Securitisation Limited ABN 16 003 297 336, Australian Credit Licence 237863 (MSL).

Aussie is a trade mark of AHL Investments Pty Ltd. Aussie is a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124. ©2018 AHL Investments Pty Ltd ABN 27 105 265 861 Australian Credit Licence 246786.

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Marc Terrano

Marc Terrano is a content marketer manager at finder. He's been writing and publishing personal finance content for over five years and loves to help Australians get a better deal.

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4 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    beatriceMay 8, 2017

    Hi,
    I am a real estate agent and i wanted to know more about promoting our properties via bank mortgages. how do i go about it? what are the terms?

    • finder Customer Care
      LiezlMay 9, 2017Staff

      Hi Beatrice,

      Thank you for your question. Just to confirm though, you have come through finder.com.au, not actually a mortgage broker.

      Unfortunately, finder.com.au can only provide general advice regarding the products we display. It would be best to approach directly your local lenders and mortgage brokers to know their procedure and terms in keeping and promoting third party property portfolio.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Liezl

  2. Default Gravatar
    JamesApril 18, 2015

    Are there mortgage brokers that specialize in helping those with bad credit or recent bankruptcy but can arrange for 50% down payment for $400,000
    purchase money mortgage and fully employed in professional job with $100,000 annual salary?

    • finder Customer Care
      jodie.humphries@hiveempire.comApril 24, 2015Staff

      Hi James,

      Thank you for getting in touch.
      There are a range of lenders who specialise in assisting borrowers who have been discharged from bankruptcy which you might want to speak to, and we have multiple articles that deal with how you can get a home loan with bad credit or a discharged bankruptcy.

      Regards
      Jodie

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