What is a mortgage broker?

Wednesday January 18, 2023

Do you know what a #mortgagebroker is?  

Sometimes known as a mortgage adviser or intermediary, a mortgage broker is a financial professional who can work with home buyers to find exactly the right mortgage product to suit their circumstances.

They act as the middle-man or woman between you (the person seeking the mortgage), and the banks or lenders, (the companies who provide the mortgage). As part of their role, they will also complete key documentation and applications on your behalf.

Did you know that there are different types of mortgage brokers? This is important to understand so that you can make an informed decision about the type of mortgage broker you want to deal with.

So what are the different types of mortgage broker?

Whole-of-market brokers have access to 100s of lenders and mortgage products across the whole of the mortgage market. This means that they can do all the leg work, finding exactly the right product and lender for your specific situation. They may even present you with a number of options for you to choose from. Often, they will have close relationships with lenders and so they can negotiate on your behalf and secure you a better deal than you might have been offered if you’d gone directly to the lender. Whole-of-market brokers will charge you a fee for their services but they will be thorough, complete all documentation on your behalf and do all the time consuming legwork to find you the best mortgage product which will save you precious time and most likely money.

Appointed representative brokers work on behalf of a lender or a panel of lenders. They may be cheaper than a whole-of-market broker, which could suit your budget, but they will only be able to access products from a restricted number of lenders from that panel. If they are based inside a bank or building society, then they can offer you a mortgage product from that bank or building society only. They will be able to help you with your application but you won’t have the same choice of products that you would have through a whole-of-market broker.

Robo-mortgage brokers are online platforms which will search a wide variety of lenders and products for you from across the market. Many will be fee-free, taking their commission from the lender, but much of the search and application process is reliant on the borrower. It can be time consuming working through the lending criteria online, plus if your application isn’t ‘vanilla’ (you may be self-employed, have a small deposit or perhaps a blip on your credit score for example) you are likely to be unsuitable for the services of an online broker.

So, how do you tell the difference? A robo-mortgage broker is self-explanatory but it’s not always easy to tell the difference between a whole-of-market broker and an appointed representative. The best thing to do? Ask them the question! This way you know exactly which type of broker you’re dealing with.

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Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or any other debt secured on it. Changes in the exchange rate may increase the sterling equivalent of your debt. You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage. Think carefully before securing any other debts against your home.  

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