The 10 best questions to ask your mortgage broker
One way to handle the volatile housing market is to find a mortgage broker to help find the best deal for you.
A mortgage broker matches people looking for a mortgage with lenders. They are a third-party provider that help homebuyers get the best rate possible.
Finding the best mortgage broker can be tricky, so we’ll run through the 10 best questions to ask before signing on the dotted line.
1. Are you regulated?
The federal government and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulate mortgage brokers and companies. Checking whether your broker is regulated in advance is a good idea.
2. How much do you charge?
It’s worth discovering how much you’ll be charged before choosing a mortgage broker. You can check any documents before you apply and determine what fees you will have to pay both now and in the future.
3. What’s the best type of mortgage for me?
There are different types of mortgages with various pros and cons.
For example, a fixed-rate mortgage means you pay a monthly amount over an agreed period until the capital and interest are paid off. An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) differs as it offers a variable interest rate instead of a fixed one.
Your mortgage broker should be able to recommend the right one for you based on your circumstances and future plans.
4. How many lenders can you access?
If you’re looking for the most competitive deal, make sure to ask whether your mortgage broker can access all the offers in the market or whether they are restricted to certain lenders.
5. How do I need to save to buy my home?
The amount you’ll need to save depends on how much your property is worth and the percentage of that value the mortgage provider is happy to lend (known as loan to value or LTV).
If you’re a first-time buyer, you may get up to 95% LTV, but if you have a bigger deposit, you’ll likely be able to access more competitive deals.
On top of the deposit, make sure you can also pay other fees, such as moving and legal costs.
6. How much can I borrow?
While a deposit will help you buy your home, if your mortgage lender won’t offer you enough, you won’t be able to buy it! A mortgage broker will assess your circumstances, including your salary, monthly spending and credit history, to determine how much you’ll be able to borrow.
7. What is the interest rate, and will this change?
If you’re going for a fixed-rate mortgage, the interest charged will not change until the mortgage term ends and you’re moved to a different rate, which is typically higher.
Other types of mortgages, like adjustable-rate mortgages, typically have lower interest rates to start with but can increase.
A mortgage broker can advise on the best mortgage type for your needs.
8. Are there any restrictions on my mortgage?
This is vital to ask, especially if you’re considering moving to another property in the future.
Prepayment penalties are also worth asking about, as you could get charged for ending your mortgage before the term ends.
9. Can you help me with other aspects of the house-buying process?
Some mortgage brokers may offer help with other things, such as finding insurance.
It’s a good idea to ask whether the broker gets a commission for recommending any products and how much this is.
10. What documentation do I need, and how long will it take to approve my mortgage?
Mortgage brokers may ask for documentation such as payslips and proof of identity. Ensuring you have these ready can help you get your mortgage application processed quicker.
The process can vary depending on your circumstances, but your financial advisor may be able to advise on how long the process will take. Unbiased can match you with your perfect financial professional. Get started today.
Senior Content Writer
Rachel is a Senior Content Writer at Unbiased. She has nearly a decade of experience writing and producing content across a range of different sectors.