June 3, 2024 UFinancial

8 questions to ask your broker before getting a mortgage

Navigating your mortgage journey

If you’re in the market for a new home, or looking to refinance, finding the best product to suit your needs is essential. While lenders will inquire about your financial situation, it’s equally crucial to come prepared with your own set of questions when consulting with your broker.

Here are eight inquiries to consider:

1. What is my borrowing capacity?

While this is pretty straightforward, the amount you can borrow varies significantly among lenders due to their individual lending criteria. In recent years, lenders have tightened their home-loan lending rules, potentially impacting your borrowing capacity. Understanding your needs is key, and your broker can tailor options based on various products and features. For instance, if flexibility is vital, options like variable rate home loans with features such as prepayment flexibility and offset accounts might be suitable.

2. What is the current interest rate?

Ensure you comprehend the interest rate specific to the lender you’re considering. If opting for a split loan, where parts are fixed and variable, verify rates for each split. Additionally, confirm details such as the existence of an offset account and the timing of your first repayment.

3. What are the loan features?

Inquire about additional benefits offered by lenders, such as discounted plans, fee waivers, cashback incentives, and offset account options. Understand whether these features are long-term or introductory offers.

4. How flexible are the repayments?

Learn about the flexibility of repayment options, whether it’s through variable or fixed rates, and the possibility of choosing between principal and interest or interest-only payments based on your circumstances.

5. What other fees should I be aware of?

Get a comprehensive breakdown of all fees, including settlement costs, legal fees, annual fees, and discharge fees. Request a copy to compare with other lenders and gain clarity on what each fee covers.

6. Which payment frequency suits me best?

Discuss repayment frequency options that align with your income cycles. Consider switching from monthly to fortnightly or weekly payments to potentially reduce total interest charges.

7. Is there a redraw facility option?

Explore options for ongoing access to funds post-loan initiation. A redraw facility allows you to access extra repayments made, providing a safety net for future financial needs.

8. What happens if my financial situation changes?

Understand the hardship options available in your loan agreement in case of unforeseen circumstances affecting your ability to meet repayments. Early communication with your broker is crucial, as hardship options vary among lenders, and returning to normal repayments after a temporary setback is essential.

By asking these questions, you can ensure a clearer understanding of your mortgage options and set yourself up for success in homeownership.

Get in touch with an experienced UFinancial broker today, click here.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute tax or financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced, or republished without prior written consent. Content developed in partnership with IFPA.

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