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What does a mortgage broker do, and should you use one?

September 11, 2023 | 6 min read 

 

Summary: A mortgage broker can play a key role in simplifying the home loan process for you. They offer access to multiple lenders, expert advice, and personalised loan recommendations, potentially saving you time and money.


Key takeaways

  • A mortgage broker acts as an intermediary between you and a lender, to find the most suitable mortgage products based on your individual financial situation 
  • Mortgage brokers have access to a vast network of lenders. This gives you access to a broader range of mortgage products and a better chance of finding a suitable loan for your specific needs. Mortgage brokers earn a commission from lenders when they successfully match a borrower with a mortgage product. While this commission is typically paid by the lender, it could indirectly impact the overall cost of your mortgage.

Buying a property, whether it's your dream home or an investment, is a significant financial decision that typically requires a mortgage to finance the purchase.

Securing a mortgage can be a complex and overwhelming process for many individuals, especially for first-time homebuyers. This is where a mortgage broker can help.

Mortgage brokers play a valuable role in helping you navigate the mortgage market, find suitable loan options, and streamline the application process.

Here, we will explore what a mortgage broker does, the advantages and disadvantages of using one, and considerations to help you decide whether or not to use one.

What does a mortgage broker do?

A mortgage broker acts as an intermediary between borrowers and lenders, helping borrowers find the most suitable mortgage products based on their individual financial situation and needs. Here's a breakdown of the key responsibilities of a mortgage broker:

  • Financial assessment - A mortgage broker will assess your financial situation, including income, expenses, credit history, and savings. This helps them understand your borrowing capacity and what type of loans you may qualify for.
  • Loan comparison and recommendations - With access to a wide range of lenders and loan products, mortgage brokers can compare different loan options, interest rates, terms, and features to find the most suitable one for you.
  • Application process – Assisting with the completion of the mortgage application accurately and efficiently and liaising with lenders on your behalf to expedite the application and approval process.
  • Negotiation – Brokers negotiate with lenders to secure competitive interest rates and favourable loan terms and associated fees.
  • Support and guidance – They will guide you throughout the entire mortgage process, answering your questions and addressing any concerns.

Advantages of using a mortgage broker

Mortgage brokers can provide assistance in a number of key areas, including:

  • Access to a wider range of options - mortgage brokers have access to a vast network of lenders, from major banks to niche lenders. This gives you access to a broader range of mortgage products and a better chance of finding a suitable loan for their specific needs.
  • Market knowledge and expertise - mortgage brokers are well versed in the ever-changing mortgage market. This can be invaluable in identifying the best loan options and securing competitive rates on your behalf.
  • Efficiency - shopping for a mortgage can be time-consuming, involving multiple meetings with different lenders. A mortgage broker streamlines this process by doing the legwork for you, saving you time and effort.
  • Tailored advice - a mortgage broker assesses your financial situation and goals to provide personalised recommendations, ensuring you choose a mortgage that aligns with your needs.
  • Navigation through complex situations - if you have a unique or unusual financial situation, or credit issues, a mortgage broker can help you find lenders who may be more willing to work with you.
  • Deal making skills - brokers have experience negotiating with lenders, which can lead to more favourable loan terms and interest rates than if you were negotiating alone.

Disadvantages of using a mortgage broker

  • Fees - mortgage brokers earn a commission from lenders when they successfully match a borrower with a mortgage product. While this commission is typically paid by the lender, it could indirectly impact the overall cost of your mortgage.
  • Potential bias - some mortgage brokers may have preferential relationships with certain lenders, potentially limiting the range of options they present to you.

Should you use a mortgage broker?

Whether you should use a mortgage broker depends on your personal preferences, financial situation, and comfort level with the mortgage application process. Consider the following factors when making your decision:

  • Complexity of your financial situation - if you have a straightforward financial situation and a good credit score, you may find it easier to navigate the mortgage process independently. However, if your financial situation is complex or you have a low credit score, a mortgage broker's expertise can get you over the line.
  • Better access to mortgage products - if you want access to a broad range of mortgage products and lenders, a mortgage broker can facilitate this quickly and easily. Some lenders, especially smaller or non-bank lenders, may not deal directly with the public. A broker can help you access these lenders and their products, expanding your range of options. If you have unusual financial circumstances or need specialised loan products (e. G. , low deposit loans, self-employed loans), a mortgage broker can help you find lenders who cater to your specific needs.
  • Time constraints - if you have limited time to research and compare mortgage options, a mortgage broker can save you a significant amount of time and effort and expedite the process.
  • Understanding mortgage terms - if you are not familiar with mortgage terminology or find the process overwhelming, a mortgage broker can simplify the information and guide you through each step.
  • Cost considerations - while you may be concerned about the potential cost of using a mortgage broker, it's essential to weigh the savings they can offer through competitive rates and loan features against any associated fees.

Summary

A mortgage broker can play a key role in simplifying the home loan process for you. They offer access to multiple lenders, expert advice, and personalised loan recommendations, potentially saving you time and money. 

Whether you should use a mortgage broker depends on your individual financial situation, preferences, and comfort level navigating the lending market independently. By carefully weighing the pros and cons, you can make an informed decision on whether a mortgage broker is the right choice for you. 

Remember to choose a reputable and licensed professional who can guide you through the process of securing a home loan that aligns with your financial goals and needs.

 


 

* Based on KPMG Super Insights 2023 Report as at May 2023 KPMG Super Insights 2023 Report

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  • This article has been prepared by NULIS Nominees (Australia) Limited ABN 80 008 515 633 AFSL 236465 (NULIS) as trustee of the MLC Super Fund ABN 70 732 426 024. NULIS is part of the Insignia Financial group of companies comprising Insignia Financial Ltd ABN 49 100 103 722 and its related bodies corporate (‘Insignia Financial Group’). The information in this article is current as at November 2023 and may be subject to change. This information may constitute general advice. The information in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions based on this information. It is recommended that you consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination (TMD) before you make any decisions about your superannuation. You can obtain the latest copy of the PDS (or other disclosure documents) and TMD by calling us on 132 652 or by searching for the applicable product at mlc.com.au. You should not rely on this article to determine your personal tax obligations. Please consult a registered tax agent for this purpose. Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue. The case study examples (if any) provided in this article have been included for illustrative purposes only and should not be relied upon for decision making. Subject to terms implied by law and which cannot be excluded, neither NULIS nor any member of the Insignia Financial Group accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in the information in this communication.