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Should I Use A Mortgage Broker To Refinance

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Mortgage Broker Vs Direct Lender: An Overview

Should I Use My Bank Or A Mortgage Broker? (Australia)

The mortgage industry is full of individuals and companies helping people get access to financing for one of the biggest investments in their lives. These entities include mortgage brokers and direct lenders.

While they may provide services to people seeking mortgage loans, they are very different. A mortgage broker acts as an intermediary by helping consumers identify the best lender for their situation, while a direct lender is a bank or other financial institution that decides whether you qualify for the loan and, if you do, hands over the check.

Mortgage Broker Vs A Bank: Whats The Difference

Many homebuyers and homeowners choose a national or local retail bank or credit union for their mortgage needs, because of the convenience of applying and making monthly payments where they do most of their regular banking. Below is a side-by-side comparison of some factors worth considering if youre deciding between a mortgage broker and a bank:

Mortgage broker
Offers you a variety of loan products and rate options. Offers a limited number of loan products and interest rate options.
Can switch to a different lender if youre denied. May offer special closing cost or interest rate incentives based on your deposit balances.

Meeting With A Mortgage Broker

Bring your list of must-haves and nice-to-haves.

The broker should present you with more than one option. Get them to explain how each loan option works, what it costs and why it’s in your best interests.

You don’t have to take the first loan you’re offered. If you are not happy with any option, ask the broker to find alternatives.

You may have a preference for a particular lender, such as your current bank. The broker should show you loans from other lenders as well, so you can compare.

A home loan is a long-term debt, so even a small difference in interest adds up over time. If you can get a lower interest rate from another lender, you could save thousands of dollars.

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My Mortgage Broker Experience

The relationship with my mortgage broker started off pretty well.

I found them through an online search, filled out a loan prequalification application and waited to hear back.

Within 24 hours, the president of the company reached out via email to introduce himself. So far, so good.

He asked me to sign off on an electronic form giving him permission to check my credit. I agreed and a couple of hours later, he came back with some initial rate quotes for a few different types of loans .

From there, I moved on to the next step: getting pre-approved.

What Should You Ask A Mortgage Broker When Refinancing

Should I Use A Mortgage Broker to Refinance My Home Loan?

If you are refinancing with a mortgage broker, there are number of key things you should consider asking, in particular:

  • Are they licensed? Moneysmart advises you to check if a broker is licensed to give credit advice. You can ask your broker directly or check with a body such as the Finance Brokers Association of Australia Limited or the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia .
  • How many lenders do they deal with? While there is no hard-and-fast rule about how large a panel should be, a broker who works with several dozen lenders will naturally have more options to choose from than one who only works with a handful.
  • What are their fees and commissions? While mortgage brokers are bound by statutory duty to act in your best interests, you may still wish to understand how much your broker stands to earn in commissions, and whether this will be paid upfront or annually over the lifetime of the loan.
  • What will the borrowing costs be? While you may not have to pay your broker a fee, there are still costs that can come with refinancing. For example, if you are changing lenders before your fixed home loan term is up, you may be required to pay a break fee to exit your current loan. You can ask your broker or your existing lender about this and other costs that may arise.
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    A Broker May Be Able To Manage Your Fees

    Several different types of fees can be involved in taking on a new mortgage or working with a new lender, including origination fees, application fees, and appraisal fees. In some cases, mortgage brokers may be able to get lenders to waive some or all of these fees, which can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars.

    Below you’ll find mortgage offers available from our partners.

    How Much Equity Can I Cash Out

    You cant cash out 100% of your home equity except in rare circumstances. Most lenders require that you leave 20% of your equity in your property. This can affect your refinancing goals. For example, lets say that you have $20,000 worth of equity in your home and $18,000 worth of credit card debt to cover. You may want to pay off all of your credit card debt with a cash-out refinance, and if so, you need to find a lender that will allow you to cash out 90% of your equity. Such lenders may be few and far between.

    The one exception to this is that you can generally take out up to 100% of your equity on a VA loan if you qualify based on your credit score and DTI ratio. Speak with a lender about their specific requirements.

    Ask your lender how much of your available equity you can cash out with a refinance. Compare your lenders percentage to the current equity in your home and see if its enough to accomplish your goals. You may want to shop for different lenders or reconsider if you should refinance at all if you cant cash out enough equity to pay off your debt or complete the project you want to fund. You can also wait through a few more monthly payments until you have the right amount of equity.

    Need extra cash?

    Read Also: Does Prequalifying For A Mortgage Affect Your Credit

    How To Choose A Mortgage Broker

    Finding a mortgage broker requires a bit of homework. You can start by asking your real estate agent, friends and family for referrals. Read online reviews and check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints, as well.

    As you explore your options, look beyond the basic services the broker offers. Consider their communication style, level of expertise and how they manage their clients needs. Interview a few brokers, and dont be afraid to ask plenty of questions before moving forward. If you arent comfortable with the way someone does business, you can always work with someone else.

    Ultimately, the burden is on you to find the best mortgage provider, whether through a broker or loan officer, and to shop around for the best rate and lowest costs.

    Youre Our First Priorityevery Time

    Why Use a Mortgage Broker When Purchasing/Refinancing a Home?

    We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. And while our site doesnt feature every company or financial product available on the market, were proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward and free.

    So how do we make money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products we review and write about , but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services.Here is a list of our partners.

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    The Most Common Types Of Mortgages

    First-time Buyers

    The most obvious reason for needing to negotiate a mortgage is financing the purchase of a home. If this is your first home, congratulations! Sometimes, are incentives for first-time buyers just entering the market.

    Repeat Buyers

    Perhaps youve sold a home and are ready to purchase a new one. Youve been through the process before and gained a little knowledge along the way. Remember if you are ending your contract early though, you may incur penalties.


    Maybe your mortgage term has come to an end. Now its time to renew. In this situation, you may stick with the lender who approved your first mortgage, or it may be time to do some shopping. If youve waited until your renewal date, you may be able to get a better rate or change the terms without penalty.


    You may be looking to refinance your mortgage loan, increasing the funds available to you. This can be a great option if you are looking to consolidate debt or begin a renovation project in your home. If you want to increase the amount of your current mortgage, you will need a home appraisal to determine the value of your home.

    Reverse Mortgages

    This option, open to seniors, allows homeowners to pull a portion of equity, in cash, out of their home to use for living expenses, travel, home repairs, or other expenses.

    For more information on reverse mortgages, .

    How Do I Choose A Mortgage Broker

    The best way is to ask friends and relatives for referrals, but make sure they have actually used the broker and aren’t just dropping the name of a former college roommate or a distant acquaintance.

    Learn all you can about the brokers services, communication style, level of knowledge and approach to clients.

    Another referral source: your real estate agent. Ask your agent for the names of a few brokers that they have worked with and trust. Some real estate companies offer an in-house mortgage broker as part of their suite of services, but youre not obligated to go with that company or individual.

    Finding the right mortgage broker is just like choosing the best mortgage lender: Its wise to interview at least three people to find out what services they offer, how much experience they have and how they can help simplify the process.

    Check your states professional licensing authority to ensure they have mortgage brokers licenses in good standing.

    Also, read online reviews and check with the Better Business Bureau to assess whether the broker youre considering has a sound reputation.

    A mortgage broker finds lenders with loans, rates, and terms to fit your needs. They do a lot of the legwork during the mortgage application process, potentially saving you time.

    Mortgage broker fees most often are paid by lenders, though they sometimes can be paid by borrowers. Competition and home prices will influence how much mortgage brokers get paid.

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    How A Mortgage Broker Works

    A mortgage broker works with everyone involved in the lending process from the real estate agent to the underwriter and closing agent to make sure a borrower gets the best loan and the loan closes on time.

    A broker can work independently or with a brokerage firm. Mortgage brokers research loan options and negotiate with lenders on behalf of their clients. A broker can also pull the buyers credit reports, verify their income and expenses and coordinate all of the loan paperwork.

    Many brokers have access to a powerful loan-pricing system, as well, which prices a mortgage loan across many lenders at one time, thereby speeding up and streamlining the process.

    Should You Use A Mortgage Broker

    4 Tips to Tell Your Clients So They Can Save on Their Mortgage Loan

    When you make the decision to buy a home, getting in touch with a professional real estate agent is typically your first call. But in order to be able to afford such a large purchase, a mortgage is typically necessary, which means a call to a mortgage broker is warranted.

    Rather than heading straight to your local bank to apply for and obtain a mortgage, working with a specialized mortgage broker is often the better choice. Instead of offering you one interest rate and set of mortgage terms as banks typically do, a mortgage broker will be able to shop around with various lenders to find the best rate and conditions to suit your specific situation.

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    Qualifying For A Mortgage

    Whether you choose to use a bank or a mortgage broker, your lender will look at your income and your debt load when calculating your mortgage amount.

    When you are deciding where to pursue your mortgage, it is important to educate yourself. Interest rates are increasing and rules are tightening up because lenders want to know that you will be able to carry the costs.

    A better interest rate can mean a savings of hundreds of dollars every year. Learn as much as you can about the terminology and your potential options before consulting a mortgage professional. This will give you a better idea of what questions you should ask.

    Determine the amount you will be able to use for your down payment and the monthly payment you can afford ahead of time. You can even check your own credit score so there wont be any surprises when you meet with your lender. You can do this easily through companies like Equifax and Transunion, for a minimal fee. If you do it yourself, it doesnt count as an inquiry on your credit report. Be careful when shopping around for mortgages because each time a lender pulls your report, it can affect your score.

    Start with a pre-approval. If you are denied, you can work on improving your situation before searching for a property. A mortgage broker is often willing to help you make a plan to put things in order before applying again.

    What Mortgage Brokers Do

    If you’ve never bought a home before, you might not know what mortgage brokers are all about. Here’s the deal:

    Mortgage brokers don’t actually make home loans. Instead, they research different mortgage options for you to help you find the best one for your needs and budget.

    To do that, you have to give the broker certain information, including:

    • Your employer’s contact details so they can verify your work history

    That sounds easy enough, right?

    And in exchange for giving the broker those details, they handle all the lifting of mortgage loan shopping.

    So why is that good for you?

    Well, for one thing it saves you time. You don’t have to spend hours looking for a loan because the broker is handling that.

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    A Broker’s Interests May Not Align With Your Own

    Your ultimate goal in shopping for a mortgage is to find one with an affordable interest rate and low fees. You are in it for the long haul. A mortgage broker, on the other hand, often gets a fee from the lender for bringing in the business. This fee can be based on the amount of the mortgage and will vary among lenders. A broker’s goal, therefore, is to get you into a mortgage that maximizes their compensation. The 2008 market crash revealed that many brokers were getting their clients into mortgages that they could not afford over time.

    Why You Can Trust Bankrate

    Home Loans – Mortgage Broker Versus Banks, Who Should I Use in Fresno ?

    Founded in 1976, Bankrate has a long track record of helping people make smart financial choices. Weve maintained this reputation for over four decades by demystifying the financial decision-making process and giving people confidence in which actions to take next.

    Bankrate follows a strict editorial policy, so you can trust that were putting your interests first. All of our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts, who ensure everything we publish is objective, accurate and trustworthy.

    Our mortgage reporters and editors focus on the points consumers care about most the latest rates, the best lenders, navigating the homebuying process, refinancing your mortgage and more so you can feel confident when you make decisions as a homebuyer and a homeowner.

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    What Do Mortgage Brokers Do

    Mortgage brokers work with different banks and lenders to provide multiple lending options to their customers. They have to be approved by the lenders they do business with, and comply with all federal and state lending guidelines for mortgage lending.

    An MLO working for an independent mortgage broker is also familiar with several different lenders products and interest rates, giving customers more choices than theyd get by shopping just one mortgage bank. MLOs continuously monitor the interest rates and programs of multiple lenders, saving you time and money you wouldve spent shopping around yourself.

    Disadvantages Of Working With A Mortgage Broker

    As helpful as mortgage brokers can be, its not the right path for everyone. There are downsides to working with brokers as well:

    • Theres no guarantee that a broker will find you the best deal, and you may be able to get a great loan by working directly with a lender.

    • Not all lenders work with brokers, which means you could miss out on some loan options that would be well-suited to you.

    • You may have to pay a broker fee on top of standard mortgage expenses .

    • If the broker is focused primarily on loan volume, they may not emphasize customer service, and you may end up feeling rushed to choose a loan when youre not fully confident in your choice.

    While a mortgage broker can help you on your homeownership journey, its critical to consider whether you need someone to act as a go-between for you and lenders or whether youre willing to put in the time to find a great deal yourself. Depending on the brokers history and fee structure, you may find that the extra time it takes to find a loan on your own is worth saving some money and having peace of mind.

    Mortgage brokers can be particularly helpful if you have a unique circumstance that makes you an unconventional borrower, said NAMB President Kimber White. Non-W2 workers, for example, must show different documentation, and some lenders may not be willing to work with them. A mortgage broker can help them find lenders who not only welcome self-employed borrowers but who are accustomed to making loans for them.

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