How To Choose The Right Financial Broker


Mortgage brokers are there to help you select the right loan, but how do you select the right broker?

 As with any advisor, it is wise to shop around. Do some investigating to make sure the arranged loan is suitable and competitive, otherwise you could end up paying more than you need to.

What to look for?

Make sure you find out how long your broker has been in the industry, which lenders they might choose and the types of loans they’re offering. This will give you a good indication of their experience and qualifications.

Your broker should be 100% confident in the information they provide. He or she should have good product knowledge, good people skills, patience and the confidence to discuss lenders and products without full reliance on computer software.

Before they provide you with any assistance, brokers have a legal ‘responsible lending’ obligation they must go over with you. They must give you a Credit Guide, with information including their license number, fees and details of your right to complain. Your broker should be accredited under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act, have a Certificate IV and preferably a Diploma in Financial Services Mortgage Broking. He or she should also be a member of the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) and/or the Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA), and be a member of the Credit Ombudsman Service Ltd (COSL), which is an avenue for borrowers to source independent dispute resolution help.

You should also ask to read their testimonials from previous clients or to speak to them directly, as this allows insight into their relationships with borrowers.

Who’s on their lending panel?

You can tell a lot about a broker by looking at their lending panel. Check which lenders they use and their reputation. It would also be worth it to ask them why they use that lender. Make sure a broker uses the lenders on their panel for the right reasons. If they only use a few lenders for most of their clients, ask why. Big lending panels don’t always mean better service. After all, it comes down to the borrower’s needs.

Ideally, a broker should have ready access to an extensive range of lenders, with a mix of both traditional (banks, building societies and credit unions) and non-traditional (wholesale or non-conforming) lenders. Some brokers don’t always compare a wide range of suitable loan products, so it’s best to ask your broker which products they’ll be comparing and from which lenders.

Ask for an explanation of all the documentation surrounding your loan application and contract. Many brokers do not clearly inform the borrower as to which lender they arranged, let alone the interest rate or features of the loan product. Ask for a loan product factsheet too. Having in writing what the broker has offered will ensure there are no nasty surprises later.

What are their fees and charges?

Most broker’s services are usually free to consumers and are paid commission by the credit providers. If you are charged a fee, it may be payable upfront or upon completion of the service. If they do charge you a fee, ask yourself is it a fair and reasonable amount for the services provided? Under the new legislation, brokers must also disclose the amount of commission paid to them by their lenders. So make sure they give you this information.

Keep in mind, that if a broker does secure you a loan that meets all your requirements set out in your original agreement, and you decide to not accept it, you will still most likely have to pay the broker’s fee regardless.

When it comes to choosing a mortgage broker, their knowledge, confidence, integrity and reputation are all strong indicators of their worth. Remember to follow your instincts as well!

Here are 20 questions you should ask your broker: 

1. How long have you been in the industry?
2. How many lenders do you have accreditation with?
3. Who do you write most of your loans with, and why?
4. Is there a fee for your service?
5. Are you licensed or accredited with ASIC?
6. Are you a member of an industry body? If so, which one?
7. Do you have a strategy for the current interest rate outlook?
8. What are the establishment fees, legal fees, valuation fees and ongoing fees that I might have to   pay? Are there any other fees?
9. Do you have a mortgage? If so, who is it with and why? Is it fixed or variable?
10. How is business going?
11. Can I speak to one of your other clients?
12. What can you provide that other brokers and lenders cannot?
13. How does your service work?
14. Do you specialise in any particular type of client?
15. How do I know you are going to look after my best interests?
16. How will you look after me in the process of getting a loan?
17. What happens after the loan has been settled?
18. What happens if the bank or lender makes a mistake with my loan?
19. Do you have any testimonials?
20. What industry training and/or qualifications do you have?


Our Financier – Nicole Palazzi

Our financier is a well-known and trusted mortgage broker, who has over 9 years experience in home lending which has allowed her to understand the 'ins and outs' of the Australian home loan landscape.

“Your home loan is probably your biggest financial commitment. That's why I am committed to making sure your mortgage is made to measure.

My passion is to help empower people and guide them on the path to their financial goals. I get much satisfaction from seeing clients achieve their home ownership or investment dreams.


I work closely with the ASIC smart money program to introduce financial literacy to youth within the community in order to assist them in buying their first home sooner.”