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Mortgage brokers vs. banks - Which is best?

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Are you thinking of buying a home? Or maybe looking to refinance your existing home loan? Here we’re going to walk you through the main differences between getting a home loan directly with your bank vs using a mortgage broker, or online platform.

We’ll explain why banks (big and small) don’t reward loyalty, why more choice can mean a lot more savings and how you can avoid sorting through complicated jargon to find the best home loan deal possible for your individual needs.

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Almost 60% of Australians don’t go to a bank

It’s a common misconception in home loans that the natural first step in getting a mortgage is to go to your everyday bank. In fact, almost 60% of Australians get their home loans via a third party. That means that most Aussies use a mortgage broker or an online home loan platform like Lendi to find the right loan for them and guide them through the process.

So why are most Aussies using a third party? It comes down to wanting more choice, more competitive home loan deals and convenience... Because who has time to get to a bank these days?

What are the differences between a bank and a broker or online platform?

1. Banks can only offer their own products

Getting a home loan by going directly to your bank can ‘box you in’ because you are only viewing the handful of loans that individual bank offers.

On the other hand, mortgage brokers and online platforms provide homeowners with access to a variety of lenders and a much wider range of options to pick from that fit their criteria. For instance, Lendi’s platform compares over 2,000 loan options from more than 35 different lenders, allowing users to make an informed decision.

The role of a mortgage broker or online platform is to help you understand and compare the best home loan options available. Third parties should not be tied to a particular lender and products.

Mortgage brokers should not favour one lender or product over another and must recommend a loan that best suits the customer's needs. Borrowers can feel confident that they will be matched with the most suitable home loan and that their needs are met.

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2. More choice = more savings

At the end of the day, extra choice can have the most impact on your wallet. The more loans you compare, the more likely you’ll find that needle in a haystack loan product that is right for your specific needs.

While you can go to a bank and inform them of your needs and preferences, they can only show you their in-house home loan products. It significantly limits the loans you can compare and you may end up choosing a loan that doesn't meet your needs and preferences as well as others might. If you want to reduce your interest rate, then it’s pot luck if your bank happens to be the one with the lowest rate available.

On the other hand, brokers and online platforms often have access to special offers and products, such as discretionary discounts on rates, cashback offers or a reduction in fees, all across a large range of lenders.

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3. Convenience - on your own time

Home loans applications require a lot of information and paperwork. One huge benefit of using an online platform, or broker, is that it’s a lot more convenient for you.

If you go directly to a bank, you’ll need to find time out of your work day to visit your local bank branch. Although nowadays some banks allow you to start your application online, you’ll likely still need to visit your branch during business hours to provide documents such as your bank statements, loan statements, and more.

A mortgage broker or online platform can do a lot of this heavy lifting for you. From finding the right loan for your needs, to submitting your application, they can take a lot of stress out of the process for you.

If you use an online home loan platform, this goes one step further. You can apply from the comfort of your home at any time of day, plus you can upload and verify your documents securely online, so you never need to visit a bank branch.

Online home loan platforms, like Lendi, also offer unlimited support from expert Home Loan Specialists who are on-hand to answer your questions and concerns and safely guide your loan to settlement.

Once you’ve submitted your application, you can check your loan’s status online 24/7. You’ll also regularly be kept up to date on your loan’s progress, so there’s no need to chase up the bank to find out what’s going on with your application.

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Do I have to pay a mortgage broker?

No, you do not pay a mortgage broker. Their service is free and there are no hidden costs.

Once the loan is settled, the lender pays the broker. No costs are passed onto the borrower when using a broker or online platform.

When does my relationship with a broker end?

It is entirely up to you, the borrower, when it comes to using a mortgage broker or online platform. Many borrowers like to use the same broker or platform for refinancing or future home loan applications.

Unlike some banks, third parties (mortgage brokers and online platforms) will keep borrowers updated about the best rates every 6 to 12 months.

How much could you save with a lower interest rate?

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Got a home loan question? Just ask!

We're here to help. Get free expert advice at a time that suits you. Choose a time to chat with a Home Loan Specialist here.

The information in this post is general in nature and should not be considered personal or financial advice. You should always seek professional advice or assistance before making any financial decisions.

Tags: refinance, new purchase, application form, mortgage broker, big 4 banks, commonwealth bank of australia, anz, westpac, nab

Check today's low rates

Tell us what you are looking for and see if you can save.

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Check today's low rates

Tell us what you are looking for and see if you can save.

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Important legal stuff

Lendi is the trading name of Lendi Pty Ltd (ACN 611 161 856, Credit Representative 518849), a related body corporate of Auscred Services Pty Ltd (ACN 164 638 171, Australian Credit Licence 442372). We will never sell your email address to any third party or send you nasty spam, promise.
# Quoted rate applies only to PAYG loans with LVR of 80% or less with security in non-remote areas. All applications are subject to assessment and lender approval.
Lendi is a privately owned and operated Aussie business. Our mission is to provide Aussies with the right experience when choosing a home loan from our panel of lenders including ClickLoans, a related body corporate of Auscred Services. Although Lendi compares over 1600 products from over 35 lenders, we don't cover the whole market or compare all features and there may be other features or options available to you. While Lendi is 40% owned by founders and employees, we have also been supported by some great minority shareholders including Bailador, Macquarie Bank Ltd and a number of Australian sophisticated investors. We have an independent and founder led board.
WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the example given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. The comparison rates are based on a loan amount of $150,000 over a loan term of 25 years. Fees and charges apply. All applications are subject to assessment and lender approval. Quoted rate applies only to PAYG loans with LVR of 80% or less with security in non-remote areas. All applications are subject to assessment and lender approval.
EXAMPLE: This example is current as at 20th October 2016. A Click Loans Online Principal and Interest Loan of $150,000 over 25 years has monthly repayments of $767. This is calculated based on the interest rate of 3.69%, comparison rate of 3.69%, upfront fees of $0 and annual fees of $0.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Loan terms of between 1 Year and 40 Years are available subject to lender and credit criteria. Maximum comparison rate will not exceed 14.99% (see comparison rate warning above). Any calculations or estimated savings do not constitute an offer of credit or a credit quote and are only an estimate of what you may be able to achieve based on the accuracy of the information provided. It doesn't take into account any product features or any applicable fees. Our lending criteria and the basis upon which we assess what you can afford may change at any time without notice. Savings shown are based on user inputted data and a loan term of 30 years. All applications for credit are subject to lender credit approval criteria.
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