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Maximise your borrowing power

How much you can borrow may vary between banks.A mortgage broker knows what different lenders are looking for and who'll lend you more.

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Free consultation with a mortgage broker

A mortgage broker will recommend more suitable home loans based on your individual needs. Plus, they'll walk you through the entire process. Best of all, this service is 100% percent free with no obligations, no strings attached.

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The average interest rate for owner occupier paying principal and interest with 40% deposit is 3.24%.

The result provided is an estimate only. Please read our for more information.

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at an interest rate of 3.24%

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How is this service free of charge?

This service can be offered for free because brokers receive commission payments from lenders. This occurs when a customer signs a home loan agreement with a financial instution, which has been recommended by a mortgage broker.

  • Brokers receive commission payments from lenders

Find a local mortgage broker

Ready to take the next step? A mortgage broker could help on your home loan journey.

How to find a mortgage broker near me

Applying for a home loan can be stressful even in ordinary circumstances. But if you’ve faced financial challenges or credit-related issues, applying for a home loan can be a painful experience. To try and avoid this stress, consider consulting a mortgage broker as they can help you identify suitable home loan choices and also negotiate with lenders.

A broker based in your neighbourhood may also know mortgage providers more familiar with local conditions such as the average wage people earn and how much they tend to borrow. The expertise and local connections offered by mortgage brokers may be difficult to find through any other single source.

What is a mortgage broker?

A mortgage broker is a loan industry expert who helps everyday Aussies get a home loan. They offer a wealth of experience in dealing with lenders when applying for home loans and can be especially helpful to those facing difficulties in applying or whose applications have been rejected.

Further, mortgage brokers can help you decode the complex jargon used by lenders in the terms and conditions of a loan. In some cases, mortgage brokers may also negotiate with lenders and get you more competitive home loan interest rates.

What does a mortgage broker do?

Given their specialised knowledge, mortgage brokers may be able to assess your financial profile from a lender’s perspective. They may also advise you financially while helping you shortlist lenders and apply for home loans that are suitable for you. 

In terms of payment, mortgage brokers generally receive commissions from lenders and may not charge you for their services. Usually, you can count on a mortgage broker to assist you throughout the home loan process until the loan is approved and paid out to you. In some cases, you can continue asking the mortgage broker for financial advice, although this may be a paid service.

Even if you have applied for a home loan before, you may have to compare interest rates and loan terms again, as well as checking your eligibility with each lender. A mortgage broker, being a licensed expert, will likely have easier access to this information and may even offer you a more extensive range of options. This can save you a lot of time and hassle in selecting the right home loan lender. 

Consulting a mortgage broker may also reduce the risk to your credit rating incurred by applying for loans too frequently despite rejections. Making multiple home loan applications tends to impact your credit score negatively and makes being approved for a loan more difficult. A mortgage broker’s guidance may improve the chances of a lender approving your home loan application, and at a lower cost. As a result, you won’t need to submit repeated or multiple applications. 

Are there different kinds of mortgage brokers?

Mortgage brokers operate either on their own or as part of a mortgage franchise, also called a mortgage aggregator. You can also consult with an online mortgage broker, via email or Internet messaging rather than by visiting a physical office. Before you speak to a broker, consider checking if they are familiar with your neighbourhood and finding out which lenders are on their lender panel. You may also want to look at the broker’s experience, and ask your neighbour or another area resident for their opinion about the broker.

When you speak to a solo-operating mortgage broker, be sure to ask about their lender panel, which usually comprises the lenders they’ve interacted with often over time. This can be both a positive and a negative thing, in that you can deal with someone with an established, possibly local presence, but you may not get the range of loan options accessible to larger brokers. It is also possible that a broker working on their own cannot negotiate with lenders as effectively as a franchise broker who may have dealt with the lender in other areas as well. You may, however, rely on a solo broker to offer a more personalised, customised service.

With franchisee mortgage brokers you may get access to their franchise’s arguably superior lender network. Franchisees also often receive advanced training, which means you get more qualified advice. However, you may not get as personalised advice from franchisees as they handle a large number of customers. Also, a franchise broker may not know many local lenders, particularly informal lenders who cater to people with specific financial issues. You should also check if the franchisee broker tends to recommend lenders who pay higher commissions.

If you are looking for convenience or are unable to meet a mortgage broker in person, consulting an online mortgage broker might be another option to consider. Online mortgage brokers will likely give you similar advice via the Internet and at a time you find more convenient. You don’t need to worry about the broker’s business hours or the wait times in their office. In some cases, you may even be able to have an at-home consultation with the broker visiting you. 

Before you consult a broker, you need to be sure of what kind of home loan you want so that you can ask the broker relevant questions and seek more specific guidance. For example, you may want the broker to suggest a home loan with features like an offset account or a lender that may approve self-employed applicants. 

You may want to confirm that the mortgage broker is licensed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which you can do by checking the ASIC’s three professional registers. You can also check if the broker is affiliated with the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA), which is the industry body responsible for ensuring standards and recommended practices.

When should I see a mortgage broker?

People usually consult a mortgage broker if they have doubts about the home loan application process or aren’t sure about which lender to approach. Mortgage brokers bring in financial expertise and experience with multiple lending situations that may not be available to you elsewhere. Even if you are familiar with the language used by home loan lenders, you may still struggle with the application process. If you’re a first-time home loan applicant, selecting the loan offer that seems tailored to your needs almost always means relying on others’ financial advice. 

If you’ve suffered bad experiences with lenders before, applying for a home loan through a mortgage broker may make the process easier this time around. Most mortgage brokers have the knowhow to deal with the unusual circumstances borrowers may face, such as poor credit history. Some mortgage brokers also assist people with special circumstances, such as senior Australians and those dependent on welfare payments or pensions. You can also consider approaching a mortgage broker if you need advice about multiple loans or about refinancing an existing loan.

What is the mortgage borrowing process?

A mortgage broker can help guide you step by step through the following mortgage borrowing process (which may vary slightly depending on your financial situation):

  1. Check your finances: Compare your income and expenses to the potential cost of home loan repayments, as well as the deposit, stamp duty, and any other upfront fees and charges that may apply.
  2. Collect financial documents: Confirm your income and expenses using payslips, bank statements, bills etc.
  3. Fill out a lender’s mortgage application form: Your broker can help make sure that each section is completed correctly, to hopefully avoid processing problems due to admin errors.
  4. Get pre-approval: This is where a lender agrees in principle to provide a loan, but you or the lender can still walk away.
  5. Make an offer on a property: Whether you're buying a home or an investment property, make sure it fulfils your needs.
  6. Credit check and valuation: The lender will check your credit score (based on your history of managing money) and calculate the value of the property to make sure you haven’t over-borrowed.
  7. Sign the formal home loan offer and contract: After your home loan application has been approved, it's time to sign on the dotted lines!
  8. Prepare for settlement: This is the legal transfer of the property from one owner to another. A solicitor or conveyancer can help confirm that everything is done correctly.
  9. That’s it! Time to move in or start looking for tenants.

Why should I compare mortgage brokers at RateCity?

You may have heard that there’s no ‘one size fits all’ home loan that’s the best choice for every Australian borrower. Similarly, the best mortgage broker for one borrower may not be the best choice for the next borrower. For example, a mortgage broker in your area can use their local knowledge to help you choose the right lender and the best home loan for your personal goals and financial situation.

At RateCity, we’ve compiled the details of mortgage brokers located throughout Australia. You can compare mortgage brokers located near you, and read reviews and star ratings from their other customers. Once you’ve found a broker that’s right for you, we can help put them in touch with you to discuss what you want from your home loan.

How do I find a good mortgage broker?

Ideally, you want to deal with a mortgage broker who understands your specific financial circumstances. You can search online for a mortgage broker, or try searching through the MFAA or the ASIC lists. But before you contact a mortgage broker, you may need to do a little homework.

For instance, comparing different reviews of mortgage brokers may be useful in verifying the mortgage broker’s credentials. Apart from having an ASIC license and MFAA affiliation, the mortgage broker should also have enlisted with an external dispute resolution (EDR) scheme such as the Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) or Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). You may want to check if they carry professional indemnity insurance which can help you recoup any financial loss caused by issues with the broker’s advice.

Alternatively, you may find brokers from some of Australia's leading broker organisations, including Australian Mortgage Options, Folio Mortgage & Finance, and SAMLoans, as well as numerous other national mortgage broker organisations and aggregators. However finding a mortgage broker is something RateCity may be able to assist with thanks to the RateCity Broker search, providing a nation-wide network of mortgage brokers for you to search from.

What are some questions I should ask mortgage brokers?

The first question you need to ask a mortgage broker is about the fees they charge. Ideally, you shouldn’t have to pay a mortgage broker any fees for recommending a lender, although you may have to bear the costs for seeking additional financial advice.

You should also ideally consider finding out about the commissions they are being paid by the lenders on their panel. Usually, if the broker only guides you until the loan is approved they may receive an upfront commission, which is a percentage of the total loan amount. In case the broker continues to advise you even after the lender approves your home loan application, they are usually paid a recurring or trail commission which is as a fraction of the loan amount pending repayment.

It may also be useful to see how many lenders the mortgage broker suggests when advising you on home loan options, and whether this includes lesser-known or online lenders who can’t pay high commissions. You can usually gauge the depth of the mortgage broker’s experience by the variety of financial institutions they work with. Consider also asking the broker about the interest rates and other terms they have been able to negotiate in the past with lenders recommended to you by others.

In some cases, the lender may offer an attractive rate that is only valid for the first year or so, by which time you may no longer be dealing with the mortgage broker. Also, consider checking whether the interest rate is affected by your initial deposit. You should have all the information regarding the terms of the loan offered to you before you sign the loan agreement and be able to compare them with the lender’s standard loan terms. Caution is necessary, as any variations may affect the repayment options available to you.

You need to remember that the mortgage broker acts as the middleman, easing the process of getting information about, and applying for, home loans. You should be able to compare and confirm the mortgage broker’s information on the lender’s website. Ultimately, you should be the one choosing the lender, the loan, and the loan terms. If you are unable to ask the mortgage broker critical questions, you may not get the kind of service you deserve.

How mortgage brokers can help you

Mortgage brokers can get you a better deal

Finding a bargain and haggling down the price at your local markets is one thing, but researching home loans and negotiating with a bank is another. A mortgage broker is a resource you can use to help find you a home loan with an affordable interest rate, including special mortgage offers that aren’t normally advertised. Their relationship with the lender can also help them to negotiate a better deal on your behalf. 

Mortgage brokers can help you complete your application

Home loan applications can be complicated, and lenders don’t always make their paperwork crystal-clear to borrowers. An experienced mortgage broker can manage the home loan application process for you, helping you to save time, avoid rookie mistakes, and improve the chances of your application being quickly processed and approved. 

Mortgage brokers can help you understand your loan options

If you’re not familiar with home loans, it can be hard to know which bank you should apply with. And even if you’ve done your research, a mortgage that looks great on paper may have special requirements or hidden costs to consider.

A good mortgage broker can help you work out which home loans are not only affordable and ideal for your needs, but offer features and benefits that can help you achieve your financial and lifestyle goals.

Mortgage brokers know mortgage lenders

Mortgage brokers work with banks and mortgage lenders every day, and can offer an insider’s view of their home loan credit policies. They can give you a better idea of how strict some lenders are about their paperwork, how long you can expect to wait for a response to your application, and which lenders are easier to deal with.

They can also tell you which lenders offer other banking services you may find valuable, from easy branch and ATM access to smart apps and bundled deals on other financial products. 

Mortgage brokers can find loans to match your special needs

Every borrower is different, but if you’re in an unusual financial situation, or want something special from your mortgage, you may need a non-standard mortgage structure. A local mortgage broker can take you through home loan options that aren’t typically advertised, and help you work out a loan structure that suits your specific requirements. 

Mortgage brokers can give you a stress-free home loan experience

Australian mortgage brokers can walk you through every step of your home loan journey and beyond. Even after you’ve signed on the dotted line, your broker can make sure you keep enjoying great value from your loan, and offer options to refinance if required. 

Free consultation with a mortgage broker

Popular home loans recommended by brokers

Free consultation with a mortgage broker

A mortgage broker will recommend more suitable home loans based on your individual needs. Plus, they'll walk you through the entire process. Best of all, this service is 100% percent free with no obligations, no strings attached.

Frequently asked questions

How to break up with your mortgage broker

If you find a mortgage broker giving you generic advice or trying to sell you a competitive offer from an unsuitable lender, you might be better off  breaking up with the mortgage broker and consulting someone else. Breaking up with a mortgage broker can be done over the phone, or via email. You can also raise a complaint, either with the broker’s aggregator or with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority as necessary.

As licensed industry professionals, mortgage brokers have the responsibility of giving you accurate advice so that you know what to expect when you apply for a home loan. You may have approached the mortgage broker, for instance, because you have questions about the terms of a home loan a lender offered you. 

You should remember that mortgage brokers are obliged by law to act in your best interests and as part of complying with The Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC) regulations. If you feel you didn’t get the right advice from the mortgage broker, or that you lost money as a result of accepting the broker’s suggestions regarding a lender or home loan offer, you can file a complaint with the ASIC and seek compensation. 

When you first speak to a mortgage broker, consider asking them about their Lender Panel, which is the list of lenders they usually recommend and who may pay them a commission. This information can help you decide if the advice they give you has anything to do with the remuneration they may receive from one or more lenders.

What are the responsibilities of a mortgage broker?

Mortgage brokers act as the go-between for borrowers looking for a home loan and the lenders offering the loan. They offer personalised advice to help borrowers choose the right home loan for their needs.

In Australia, mortgage brokers are required by law to carry an Australian Credit License (ACL) if they offer credit assistance services. Which is the legal term for guidance regarding the different kinds of credit offered by lenders, including home loan mortgages. They may not need this license if they are working for an aggregator, for instance, as a franchisee. In both these situations, they need to comply with the regulations laid down by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

These regulations, which are stipulated by Australian legislation, require mortgage brokers to comply with what are called “responsible lending” and “best interest” obligations. Responsible lending obligations mean brokers have to suggest “suitable” home loans. This means loans that you can easily qualify for,  actually meet your needs, and don’t prove unnecessarily challenging for you.

Starting 1 January 2021, mortgage brokers must comply with best interest obligations in addition to responsible lending obligations. These require mortgage brokers to act in the best interest of their customers and also requires them to prioritise their customers’ interests over their own. For instance, a mortgage broker may not recommend a lender who gives them a commission if that lender’s home loan offer does not benefit that particular customer.

Do mortgage brokers need a consumer credit license?

In Australia, mortgage brokers are defined by law as being credit service or assistance providers, meaning that they help borrowers connect with lenders. Mortgage brokers may not always need a consumer credit license however if they’re operating solo they will need an Australian Credit License (ACL). Further, they may also need to comply with requirements asking them to mention their license number in full.

Some mortgage brokers can be “credit representatives”, or franchisees of a mortgage aggregator. In this case, if the aggregator has a license, the mortgage broker need not have one. The reasoning for this is that the franchise agreement usually requires mortgage brokers to comply with the laws applicable to the aggregator. If you’re speaking to a mortgage broker, you can ask them if they receive commissions from lenders, which is a good indicator that they need to be licensed. Consider requesting their license details if they don’t give you the details beforehand. 

You should remember that such a license protects you if you’re given incorrect or misleading advice that results in a home loan application rejection or any financial loss. Brokers are regulated by the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC), as per the National Consumer Credit Protection (NCCP) Act. 

What do mortgage brokers do?

Mortgage brokers are finance professionals who help borrowers organise home loans with lenders. As such, they act as middlemen between borrowers and lenders.

While bank staff recommend home loan products only from their own employer, brokers are independent, so they can recommend products from a range of institutions.

Brokers need to be accredited with a particular lender to be able to work with that lender. A typical broker will be accredited with anywhere from 10 to 30 lenders – the big four banks, as well as a range of smaller banks, credit unions and non-bank lenders.

As a general rule, brokers don’t charge consumers for their services; instead, they receive commissions from lenders whenever they place a borrower with that institution.

How do I apply for a home improvement loan?

When you want to renovate your home, you may need to take out a loan to cover the costs. You could apply for a home improvement loan, which is a personal loan that you use to cover the costs of your home renovations. There is no difference between applying for this type of home improvement loan and applying for a standard personal loan. It would be best to check and compare the features, fees and details of the loan before applying. 

Besides taking out a home improvement loan, you could also:

  1. Use the equity in your house: Equity is the difference between your property’s value and the amount you still owe on your home loan. You may be able to access this equity by refinancing your home loan and then using it to finance your home improvement.  Speak with your lender or a mortgage broker about accessing your equity.
  2. Utilise the redraw facility of your home loan: Check whether the existing home loan has a redraw facility. A redraw facility allows you to access additional funds you’ve repaid into your home loan. Some lenders offer this on variable rate home loans but not on fixed. If this option is available to you, contact your lender to discuss how to access it.
  3. Apply for a construction loan: A construction loan is typically used when constructing a new property but can also be used as a home renovation loan. You may find that a construction loan is a suitable option as it enables you to draw funds as your renovation project progresses. You can compare construction home loans online or speak to a mortgage broker about taking out such a loan.
  4. Look into government grants: Check whether there are any government grants offered when you need the funds and whether you qualify. Initiatives like the HomeBuilder Grant were offered by the Federal Government for a limited period until April 2021. They could help fund your renovations either in full or just partially.  

Can I get a home renovation loan with bad credit?

If you're looking for funds to pay for repairs or renovations to your home, but you have a low credit score, you need to carefully consider your options. If you already have a mortgage, a good starting point is to check whether you can redraw money from that. You could also consider applying for a new home loan. 

Before taking out a new loan, it’s good to note that lenders are likely to charge higher interest rates on home repair loans for bad credit customers. Alternatively, they may be willing to lend you a smaller amount than a standard loan. You may also face some challenges with getting your home renovation loan application approved. If you do run into trouble, you can speak to your lender and ask whether they would be willing to approve your application if you have a guarantor or co-signer. You should also explain the reasons behind your bad credit rating and the steps that you’re taking to improve it. 

Consulting a financial advisor or mortgage broker can help you understand your options and make the right choice.

Can you borrow the deposit for a home loan?

Most lenders will want the majority of your home loan deposit to be made up of ‘genuine savings’ which is income earned from your job. While a small number of lenders may let you use a personal loan or a credit card to help cover the cost of your deposit, this may potentially cost you more in interest, and put your finances at higher risk.

If you haven’t saved a full deposit, it may be possible to effectively borrow the deposit for a mortgage with the help of a guarantor. This is usually a parent of other family member who guarantees your mortgage with the equity in their own property.

It may also be possible to borrow the money for a home loan deposit from a family member (e.g. the Bank of Mum & Dad) or a friend, provided you draw up a formal legal agreement to pay this money back, showing your mortgage lender that you’re taking responsibility.

Can I borrow extra on my mortgage for furniture?

Yes, you may be able to borrow extra on your mortgage for furniture. This may be done by considering a home equity loan. A home equity loan may allow you to access the equity in your mortgage for furniture via:

  • A line of credit – A pre-approved credit limit based on your equity.
  • A lump sum payment – Like a persona loan, with equity in your home loan used as security.

If you want to avoid borrowing more money, consider accessing cash deposited into your offset account or drawing down on extra repayments with a redraw facility to fund furniture purchases.

How can I get a home loan with bad credit?

If you want to get a home loan with bad credit, you need to convince a lender that your problems are behind you and that you will, indeed, be able to repay a mortgage.

One step you might want to take is to visit a mortgage broker who specialises in bad credit home loans (also known as ‘non-conforming home loans’ or ‘sub-prime home loans’). An experienced broker will know which lenders to approach, and how to plead your case with each of them.

Two points to bear in mind are:

  • Many home loan lenders don’t provide bad credit mortgages
  • Each lender has its own policies, and therefore favours different things

If you’d prefer to directly approach the lender yourself, you’re more likely to find success with smaller non-bank lenders that specialise in bad credit home loans (as opposed to bigger banks that prefer ‘vanilla’ mortgages). That’s because these smaller lenders are more likely to treat you as a unique individual rather than judge you according to a one-size-fits-all policy.

Lenders try to minimise their risk, so if you want to get a home loan with bad credit, you need to do everything you can to convince lenders that you’re safer than your credit history might suggest. If possible, provide paperwork that shows:

  • You have a secure job
  • You have a steady income
  • You’ve been reducing your debts
  • You’ve been increasing your savings

When do mortgage payments start after settlement?

Generally speaking, your first mortgage payment falls due one month after the settlement date. However, this may vary based on your mortgage terms. You can check the exact date by contacting your lender.

Usually your settlement agent will meet the seller’s representatives to exchange documents at an agreed place and time. The balance purchase price is paid to the seller. The lender will register a mortgage against your title and give you the funds to purchase the new home.

Once the settlement process is complete, the lender allows you to draw down the loan. The loan amount is debited from your loan account. As soon as the settlement paperwork is sorted, you can collect the keys to your new home and work your way through the moving-in checklist.