A large percentage of people head straight to their own (or nearest) bank when deciding to apply for a home loan. Most finance experts warn, if this is your strategy, you may be missing out on some significant benefits.
There are countless reasons why it pays to use a mortgage broker when shopping for your home loan, and even if you want to use your own bank for your mortgage, you can still use a broker to help process paperwork, possibly negotiate a special pricing offer for you and manage the application on your behalf, plus there is no direct cost to you.
And if you’re not committed to a particular lender, a broker can certainly be your best friend - and don't just take our word for it, many financial commentators are of the same opinion.
The greatest advantage of a broker over a bank is choice. When you engage a broker you are sitting in front of 20+ banks and 100+ products versus visiting a banker who has access to only one – his or her own - bank’s products. This is especially important at time like now, when there are ever more complex credit policies being instituted by lenders and the banks are saying ‘no’ more. By having a broker with specialist knowledge about a wide range of lender policies and an understanding of each lender’s particular niches, the more choices you’re likely to have and the more likely you are to get a ‘yes’.
Brokers often own their own businesses and are committed to their clients in the long term, with many years of industry experience. Your mortgage broker is “like the perfect personal banker". They know what needs to be done, they make sure it happens and because it’s their own business, they’re in for the long haul. Banks are big companies; they reward good performers with promotions and move their staff around, disconnecting them from their customers.
It can be confusing to know whether to get a variable rate or fixed rate mortgage, and what features are important. That's why it's important to not only check the right rates, but make sure that you're getting the right features in your home loan. If you’re looking for specialised assistance with your loan, it pays to talk to a specialised broker. For example if you’re starting property investing, look for a broker who specialises in property investors. Bank staff often don’t have the training or experience in one area, but service whoever happens to walk in to the branch.
Following up the progress of your loan application can be time consuming and frustrating. A good mortgage broker will have a system for keeping you informed and saving you time.