Frequently Asked Questions
How much experience do you have as mortgage brokers?
Our brokers have many years of broking experience between them, and over 90 years of banking experience across the team. Furthermore, we benefit from maintaining a small and close-knit team by having our company director to personally oversee all applications, and guiding our newer brokers. This level of care is simply not possible under large, high-volume business structures.
Why should I use a mortgage broker rather than going straight to the bank?
A bank has a vested interest in certain loan products – namely, their own – and in steering consumers in particular directions. Our brokers have access to products from over 25 lenders, and have no reason not to guide you toward the best products for your needs. Furthermore, we are in a unique position which allows us to negotiate interest rates on your existing or prospective loans to save you money in the short and long term.
How do you decide which loan is best suited to my personal situation?
With time, knowledge and expertise. We take the time to sit down with you and discuss your financial position, and what your priorities are in a loan. We acknowledge that these priorities are not the same for all of our clients – most want to pay less, obviously, but where some would prefer upfront savings on fees, others may prefer long-term savings. For others, specific product features such as offsets and redraws may seal the deal. We work together with you to find the best products for your needs, and then work hard to ensure you can get it in a timely manner.
Do you charge a brokerage fee for getting my finance approved?
No! Our business operates on lender commissions. As such, you do not pay for our service, and we can often save you money by negotiating better rates than you could access at the branch!
What commissions do you get paid for writing my loan?
Our commission structure will be disclosed to you at the time of your credit assessment, in accordance with our full disclosure policy.
Do you offer a range of different lenders?
Yes, we offer a wide range of products from over 25 lenders.
If I have a default on my Credit Report. Will this impact on my ability to obtain a loan?
A default on your credit report may affect your suitability for certain loans and with certain lenders, though it will not necessarily prevent you from obtaining a loan, depending on the nature and date of the default. Further, some of our panel of over 25 lenders cater specifically to credit-impaired applicants, so it is definitely worth discussing your options with your broker before assuming you will be unable to obtain a loan.
How much of a deposit do I really need to obtain a loan?
This is a question many of our clients ask, and the answer varies from lender to lender. A 20% deposit will allow you to avoid any mortgage insurance expenses, though loans are available across our lending group for customers with deposits as low as 5%. For borrowers will smaller deposits than this, there may be options for purchasing properties with family guarantees, subject to individual circumstances.
What impact will my credit cards have on my borrowing capacity?
This is a question we get from many of our clients. Lenders take into account your credit card limits – not just your balances - when assessing your capacity to repay loans. For example, a bank will view a $6,000 credit card with $0 owing as a $6,000 liability. They will then calculate a theoretical repayment on this liability, and take this into consideration when calculating your monthly expenses. Banks will view your interest-free credit cards the same as any other. It is important to disclose any credit facilities you own, regardless of the balances on them.
What fees will I incur when taking out a home loan?
This depends entirely upon the lender and product you choose, and the nature of your transaction. Banks may charge fees for everything from new applications to loan maintenance and loan closures, and each of these differ greatly between lenders and their ranges of products. For property purchases, you should also account for additional expenses including stamp duty, transfer fees, solicitor fees, building and pest inspections, and mortgage registrations. We would recommend speaking with a broker, who can outline any fees you will need to pay before starting the process, to avoid any nasty surprises down the track.
What is a “comparison rate”?
A comparison rate, simply put, is a way to help borrowers compare home loans quickly and easily. Banks will often advertise their headliner interest rates to draw in customers, but interest rates alone do not necessarily reflect the true cost of the loan, once hidden fees and charges are taken into account. Comparison rates combine interest rates and fees into one figure, to make it easier for borrowers to compare rates from different lenders. When looking at comparison rates, it is important to note that these are set at a specific loan amount and term, which will be detailed alongside the rate.
What information do I need to provide you to obtain my finance?
This will depend on the lender and on your own specific circumstances. Each lender has slightly different policies for verifying your identity, and your financial information. Further, the nature of your employment and your living arrangements will also have a bearing on what information needs to be provided. Generally, though, a bank will require identification documents (driver licence, passport etc.), income verification (payslips, tax returns, employment contracts etc.), and sometimes, verification of your savings (bank statements). Your broker will be able to outline exactly what is required for your application to avoid any unnecessary run-around.
How long will it take for you to obtain the appropriate finance for my needs?
The simple answer is: it depends. Once your finance application is submitted to a bank, it will be placed within a queue for assessment, the length of which depends on the lender, their current promotional deals (which may increase business), the complexity of your application, and even the time of year!
If you’re purchasing a property, and would like to know how long to allow in your contract for obtaining finance, we would suggest giving us a quick call. We can consider your lender options, the complexity of your specific application, and any other factors (e.g. public holidays) to advise you on how long to allow.
Can you explain to me what Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance is?
Lenders’ Mortgage Insurance (or LMI) actually protects the lender – not the borrower. It protects against the bank’s losses in the event of a borrower defaulting on a loan, and the bank needing to repossess and sell the property. Specifically, the insurance covers any shortfall from that sale if the funds are not sufficient to pay off the loan in full.
Your LMI premium is calculated based on perceived risk to the bank. The larger the deposit a borrower pays, and therefore the smaller the risk of the bank making a loss through a repossession and sale, the smaller the borrower's premium will be. Your broker will be able to discuss these LMI premiums with you, and help you to decide on what deposit to pay.
Will you process the First Home Owner’s Grant for me?
The First Home Owner’s Grant (or “Great Start” Grant) is approved by the Office of State Revenue. Your broker will be able to complete the application forms with you, and deliver it to the bank and/or the OSR on your behalf, to avoid any errors or unnecessary delays.
Are you members of the Mortgage Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) or Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA)?
Fast Track Home Loans are accredited members of the FBAA.
Do you have your own Credit License or are you a Credit Representative?
We operate under our own Credit Licence.