Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

About Home Loan
  • How much money can I borrow?

We’re all unique when it comes to our finances and borrowing needs. And different lenders lend very different amounts. Even if your own bank won’t lend you the amount you want, do not assume other’s won’t.

Contact me anytime, I can help with calculations based on your circumstances, all over the phone.

  • How do I choose the loan that’s right for me?

Our guides to loan types and features will help you learn about the main options available. There are hundreds of different home loans available.

  • How much do I need for a deposit?

Usually between 5% – 10% of the value of a property, which you pay when signing a Contract of Sale. Speak with us to discuss your options for a deposit. You may be able to borrow against the equity in your existing home or an investment property.

  • How much will regular repayments be?

Go to the Repayment Calculator on our website for an estimate. Because there so many different loan products, some with lower introductory rates.

  • How often do I make home loan repayments – weekly, fortnightly or monthly?

Most lenders offer flexible repayment options to suit your pay cycle. Aim for weekly or fortnightly repayments, instead of monthly, as you will make more payments in a year, which will shave dollars and time off your loan.

  • What fees/costs should I budget for?

There are a number of fees involved when buying a property. To avoid any surprises, the list below sets out all of the usual costs:

  1. Stamp Duty – This is the big one. All other costs are relatively small by comparison. Stamp duty rates vary between state and territory governments and also depend on the value of the property you buy. You may also have to pay stamp duty on the mortgage itself. To find out your total Stamp Duty charge, visit our Stamp Duty Calculator.
  2. Legal/conveyancing fees – Generally around $1,000 – $1500, these fees cover all the legal rigor around your property purchase, including title searches.
  3. Building inspection – This should be carried out by a qualified expert, such as a structural engineer, before you purchase the property. Your Contract of Sale should be subject to the building inspection, so if there are any structural problems you have the option to withdraw from the purchase without any significant financial penalties. A building inspection and report can cost up to $1,000, depending on the size of the property. Your conveyancer will usually arrange this inspection, and you will usually pay for it as part of their total invoice at settlement (in addition to the conveyancing fees).
  4. Pest inspection – Also to be carried out before purchase to ensure the property is free of problems, such as white ants. Your Contract of Sale should be subject to the pest inspection, so if any unwanted crawlies are found you may have the option to withdraw from the purchase without any significant financial penalties. Allow up to $500 depending on the size of the property. Your real estate agent or conveyancer may arrange this inspection, and you will usually pay for it as part of their total invoice at settlement (in addition to the conveyancing fees).
  5. Lender costs – Most lenders charge establishment fees to help cover the costs of their own valuation as well as administration fees. I will let you know what your lender charges but allow about $600 to $800.
  6. Moving costs – Don’t forget to factor in the cost of a removalist if you plan on using one.
  7. Mortgage Insurance costs – If you borrow more than 80% of the purchase price of the property, you’ll also need to pay Lender Mortgage Insurance. You may also choose to take out Mortgage Protection Insurance. If you buy a strata title, regular strata fees are payable.
  8. Ongoing costs – You will need to include council and water rates along with regular loan repayments. It is important to also take out building insurance and contents insurance. Your lender will probably require a minimum sum insured for the building to cover the loan, but make sure you actually take out enough building insurance to cover what it would cost if you had to rebuild. Likewise, make sure you have enough contents cover should you need to replace everything if the worst happens.
About Refinance
  • Can I get a mortgage where I pay less than I’m paying now?

In almost all cases, yes. But if for some reason you can’t find you a cheaper loan, there was certainly no harm in trying.

With lenders adjusting their rates outside of the reserve bank now is a great time to shop around check that you have the right loan for your needs, I am a great starting point. It will depend what interest rate you’re currently paying, what type of home loan you have (e.g. fixed, variable, interest only, line of credit) and what features you want in your loan. We can quickly explain your options.

  • Can I consolidate credit card or other debts into a home loan?

This is one of the reasons many people refinance. The advantage is that you pay a much lower interest rate on a mortgage than for most other forms of debt – e.g. credit cards, overdraft facilities, personal loans etc. Providing you have sufficient equity in your property, you may be able to consolidate all your debt on a home loan. If you take this option though it is important to make sure you maintain your repayments at their current level or you could end up paying more over a longer period of time. Speak with me anytime to discuss your personal needs.

  • How much money can I borrow?

We’re all unique when it comes to our finances and borrowing needs. Get an estimate on how much you could borrow with our clever loan options tool. Chat to us when you’re ready, we can help with calculations based on your circumstances.

  • How do I choose the loan that’s right for me?

Our guides to loan types and features will help you learn about the main options available. There are hundreds of different home loans available, I can recommend the right loan setup for you.

  • How often do I make home loan repayments – weekly, fortnightly or monthly?

Most lenders offer flexible repayment options to suit your pay cycle. Aim for weekly or fortnightly repayments, instead of monthly, as you will make more payments in a year, which will shave dollars and time off your loan.

  • What fees/costs are involved in switching mortgages?

Penalty fees could apply if you’re paying off a fixed rate mortgage early, but it usually costs only a few hundred dollars in administrative costs to your current lender for a variable mortgage. But I wouldn’t recommend a loan where these costs are not substantially offset by repayment savings when you switch home loans. I’ll walk you through any fees that will apply in your circumstances.

About Property Investment Loan
  • What’s the difference between an investment loan and an ordinary home loan?

Most of the same types of home loans and loan features apply for investors as for owner occupiers. Some lenders may charge higher rates for investment properties if the associated risks are higher.

  • Can I use equity in my home as a deposit for an investment property?

Many an investor has started out by utilising the equity of their own home. Banks will usually accept equity in a home (or other property) as additional collateral against which they are prepared to lend.

This means you could potentially borrow the full purchase price of the property, as well as all costs (stamp duty and other fees) without having to contribute any cash. The risk in using your home as collateral is that if you can’t fund the mortgage for the investment property, the investment property and your home are at risk.

When we meet, we can go through the options you have available.

  • What is negative gearing?

This is when the cost of owning a property is higher than the income it produces. If the rent you get for an investment property is less than the interest repayments, strata fees, maintenance and other costs, your investment is negatively geared, or making a loss.

This loss can be offset against your income, reducing your income tax bill.

  • How much money can I borrow?

We’re all unique when it comes to our finances and borrowing needs. Get an estimate on how much you could borrow with our fast and clever loan options tool. Or contact us and we can help with calculations based on your circumstances.

  • How do I choose the loan that’s right for me?

Our guides to loan types and features will help you learn about the main options available. There are hundreds of different home loans available, we can recommend the right loan(s) for you.

  • How much do I need for a deposit?

Usually between 5% – 10% of the value of a property, which you pay when signing a Contract of Sale. Talk to us to discuss your best options for a deposit.

You may be able to use the equity in your existing home or an investment property.

  • How much will regular repayments be?

Go to our Repayment Calculator on our website for an estimate. Because there so many different loan products, some with lower introductory rates, contact us for all the deals currently available and the right loan set-up for you.

  • How often do I make home loan repayments – weekly, fortnightly or monthly?

Most lenders offer flexible repayment options to suit your pay cycle. Aim for weekly or fortnightly repayments, instead of monthly, as you will make more payments in a year, which will shave dollars and time off your loan.

  • What fees/costs should I budget for?

There are a number of fees involved when buying a property. To avoid any surprises, the list below sets out all of the usual costs:

  1. Stamp Duty – This is the big one. All other costs are relatively small by comparison. Stamp duty rates vary between state and territory governments and also depend on the value of the property you buy. You may also have to pay stamp duty on the mortgage itself. To find out your total Stamp Duty charge, visit our Stamp Duty Calculator.
  2. Legal/conveyancing fees – Generally around $1,000 – $1500, these fees cover all the legal rigour around your property purchase, including title searches.
  3. Building inspection – This should be carried out by a qualified expert, such as a structural engineer, before you purchase the property. Your Contract of Sale should be subject to the building inspection, so if there are any structural problems you have the option to withdraw from the purchase without any significant financial penalties. A building inspection and report can cost up to $1,000, depending on the size of the property. Your conveyancer will usually arrange this inspection, and you will usually pay for it as part of their total invoice at settlement (in addition to the conveyancing fees).
  4. Pest inspection – Also to be carried out before purchase to ensure the property is free of problems, such as white ants. Your Contract of Sale should be subject to the pest inspection, so if any unwanted crawlies are found you may have the option to withdraw from the purchase without any significant financial penalties. Allow up to $500 depending on the size of the property. Your real estate agent or conveyancer may arrange this inspection, and you will usually pay for it as part of their total invoice at settlement (in addition to the conveyancing fees).
  5. Lender costs – Most lenders charge establishment fees to help cover the costs of their own valuation as well as administration fees. We will let you know what your lender charges but allow about $600 to $800.
  6. Mortgage Insurance costs – If you borrow more than 80% of the purchase price of the property, you’ll also need to pay Lender Mortgage Insurance. You may also choose to take out Mortgage Protection Insurance. If you buy a strata title, regular strata fees are payable.
  7. Ongoing costs – You will need to include council and water rates along with regular loan repayments. It is important to also take out building insurance and contents insurance. Your lender will probably require a minimum sum insured for the building to cover the loan, but make sure you actually take out enough building insurance to cover what it would cost if you had to rebuild. Likewise, make sure you have enough contents cover should you need to replace everything if the worst happens.
  • What is landlord’s insurance?

Landlord’s insurance provides standard building and contents cover plus cover for theft or malicious damage to the property by tenants and covers loss of rent in certain circumstances.

It also covers the owner’s liability (e.g. if a tradesperson is injured while working in the property). Landlord’s insurance is an affordable extra safeguard and strongly recommended for all investors.

Why Use a Mortgage Broker?

Mortgage brokers write approximately more than half of all home loans in Australia, making it a multi-billion dollar industry. It’s easy to see the attraction: working out what is on offer from each institution can be time-consuming and confusing. Much easier to let a mortgage broker do the legwork for you.

What is a mortgage broker?

A mortgage broker is a type of financial adviser who specialises in helping people find a suitable loan according to their objectives.

What does a mortgage broker do?

A mortgage broker is essentially a conduit between the lender (usually a bank) and you. Their first job is to assess your financial affairs, put together a picture of your credit-worthiness, and help you determine what type of loan will be right for you. They should then offer you a variety of loan options from the panel of lenders they act for.

Mortgage brokers generally offer lending products from a number of different financial institutions, not all of the lenders on the market. Because they have access to numerous products, they will almost certainly have access to something that suits your needs and they can spend the time with you to understand what your goals are, to explain the options, and to help you with the paperwork. They can potentially provide you with a very useful service.

Why is a broker a better financial choice than going to the bank?
  1. Choice  = A cheaper loan for you.

The biggest advantage of a broker over a bank is choice. When you sit in front of a Brokers Zone Broker you are sitting in front of 50+ lenders and more than a thousand loan products, versus visiting a banker who has access to only one bank’s products.

It is much more likely that a broker has a cheaper loan for you than the single lender you may be banking with currently. And if they do, your lender is very likely one of the lenders we work with anyway, in which case we will be comparing their loans as well.

  1. Get a cheaper loan from your current bank

Even if you are certain you want to get your loan from a specific lender, a Brokers Zone Broker is still your best bet because they will ensure you see the cheapest loans and special discounts that lender offers if they are on our extensive lending panel. Which is very likely because our lenders represent around 90% of the loans organised in Australia.

  1. Big Lenders and Small Lenders

Brokers Zone Brokers offer all the loans of the Big 4 Banks of the ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and the National Australia Bank. We also have dozens of other lenders, many you have heard of, some you may not have.

Lenders that we work with include major and minor banks, state based lenders, community institutions, building societies, international banks, specialty lenders, mortgage managers and credit unions.

We are working with over 50 lending institutions, listed below.

  • ANZ
  • Adelaide Bank
  • AFG Home Loans
  • AMP Bank
  • Bank of China
  • Bank of Melbourne
  • Bank of Queensland
  • Bank SA
  • Bankwest
  • Bluestone
  • Capital Finance
  • Citibank
  • Collins Securities
  • Commonwealth Bank
  • Deposit Power
  • Flexi Commercial
  • GE Money
  • Heritage Bank
  • Home Building Society
  • Homeloans Limited
  • Homeside Lending
  • HSBC
  • Illawarra Mutual Building Society
  • ING Direct
  • Integris Home Loans
  • Keystart
  • La Trobe Financial
  • Liberty Financial
  • Macquarie Bank
  • Mariner
  • Maxis Loans
  • Members Equity Bank
  • MKM Capital
  • Mortgage Ezy
  • Mortgage Mart
  • Mortgage Street
  • National Australia Bank
  • National Mortgage Market Corp
  • Now Finance
  • Over Fifty Group
  • Pepper Home Loans
  • Police and Nurses Bank
  • RAMS
  • RBS
  • RHG
  • St George Bank
  • Suncorp Bank
  • The Rock Building Society Ltd
  • Think Tank
  • Westpac
  • Wide Bay Australia
  • MyState
  1. Your Protection

It’s important to know how your rights are protected when dealing with both banks and brokers. Banks are overseen by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, whilst brokers require an Australian Credit Licence which is overseen by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Brokers must be a member of either the Credit and Investments Ombudsman or Financial Ombudsman Service.

All Brokers Zone Credit Representatives are formally audited by a third party audit firm at least annually and must legally comply with the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.

The Credit and Investments Ombudsman (CIO) that we are a member of is a free, independent and impartial dispute resolution service. Across thousands of home loans we have organised, Brokers Zone has never had a negative ruling with the CIO.

  1. Make Lenders Compete for You.

Even if you have never used a broker, your loans are cheaper because of us. By offering their loans through Mortgage Brokers, smaller lenders can promote their loans without having the huge expense of opening branches and hiring their own staff. This reduces their costs and forces all lenders to keep their loans cheap to stay competitive. More competition means cheaper loans for everyone. When you go direct to your bank you are giving away your power of making lenders compete for you.

  1. Get the loan amount you want.

Different lenders have very different rules regarding how much they will lend. A Brokers Zone Broker knows these rules and can make sure you get the loan amount you want without unnecessary delays and messing around.

  1. Protect Your Credit Rating

Every time you make a loan inquiry with a lender it is recorded on your credit file. Lenders see this and it makes them wary of lending to a person they think is ‘shopping around’ too much for finance or who may have been declined by another lender. A Brokers Zone Broker makes sure not to present your loan to a lender unless they are confident it will be approved.

  1. Experience

A Brokers Zone Broker owns their own business, so they are committed to their clients in the long term, with many years of industry experience. Banks are big companies; they move their staff around and reward good performers with promotions into management and away from directly dealing with customers.

In fact, the best lending staff within the banks will often outgrow being a bank employee and become mortgage brokers themselves so they can offer a wider range of products and more personalised service to their customers.

  1. Available when you need us

Unlike your bank, your Mortgage Broker is available on weekends and outside of regular business hours. If you find the home of your dreams today and need to act quickly, we are ready to give you the answers you need, when you need them and get your loan application underway now.

  1.  Handling Complicated Loans

If you’re looking for specialised assistance with your loan, it pays to talk to a specialised broker. For example if you are upgrading to your next home, look for a broker who specialises in the loans available to proven borrowers, not a first home buyer specialist. Bank staff have to be general lenders who service whoever happens to walk in to the branch.

At Brokers Zone we can handle more complicated situations by ensuring your lending situation is matched to the specialisation of our right team member.

  1. Save a lot of time and effort

Following up the progress of your loan application is time consuming and frustrating. A good mortgage broker will have a system for chasing up the bank, keeping you informed and saving you time. All too often a home loan application can disappear into the bureaucracy of a bank, be delayed and shuffled between staff. A good broker will be in constant contact with the lender and closely track the application through the approval stages.

  1. Your Personal Banker

Your Brokers Zone Broker is like the perfect personal banker. They know what needs to be done, they make sure it happens and because it’s their own business, they’re with you for the long haul. Bank staff are moved around often, so even if you are lucky enough to find a good personal banker they change jobs before you know it. We aren’t tied to any particular lender so we will always be on the lookout out for better deals for you.

  1. A Local Touch with Huge Support

Behind every one of our local brokers is Australia’s largest lending group, delivering over $4 Billion in home loans every month with the support of over 170 hand-picked back-office staff.

The best customer service is driven by local brokers who are truly invested in maintaining the best possible name in their local area, backed by the resources, technology and lender access of Australia’s largest mortgage broking group.

  1. The VIP Treatment

Unlike your bank that can rely upon millions of dollars in advertising to draw customers into their branches, your local Brokers Zone Broker needs to do a great job each and every time to grow their business. In the highly competitive finance industry, a local business with unhappy customers simply won’t survive.

To your local Brokers Zone Broker you really are a VIP. Getting a home loan with Brokers Zone means you will be treated like you matter, because every customer is valuable to our business. No more being ‘just a number’ dealing with a large faceless organisation.

  1. Lifetime Value

A Brokers Zone Broker has a very different goal than your bank. Your bank has the priority of keeping all your lending and finances within their bank, for as long as possible, so the bank makes money from you for the longest time. It’s not in their interest to change you to a cheaper loan if that becomes available.

A Brokers Zone Broker has the priority of getting you the cheapest loans from all our lenders and structuring them properly so you can pay them off quickly and move into wealth creation sooner. We work to ensure you are offered the cheapest loans we can offer that you qualify for, no matter which of our lenders provides that loan.

From the very first loan we do for you, our focus is on keeping your lending costs down with proven strategies that accelerate your financial freedom.

In fact, it is crucial to our success that we do such a great job for you that will want to mention us to your friends and family when they are thinking about their next loan.

  1. Transparency – don’t get taken advantage of.

We compare all the loans from our lenders, updated in real-time on a computer screen right in front of you. Everything is clearly displayed. Not only that, a Brokers Zone Broker will show you upfront what different lenders pay us for organising your loan. However, a bank won’t tell you the differing profits they make from the different loans they offer.

  1. And it doesn’t cost any extra!

People sometimes think with all the benefits a broker offers, it must cost them more than going to their bank, but that simply isn’t the case. Banks pay either their own staff or a mortgage broker to organise loans for them. A Brokers Zone Broker doesn’t charge you for their service nor it is added into your loan in any way.

A Brokers Zone Broker works for you, not the bank. It’s simply not in the bank’s financial interests to give you their cheapest loan if they don’t have to. However, for us the best thing we can do is to help you become debt free as fast as possible – we do this by getting you a cheap loan you can pay off fast, future-proof your lending by regularly comparing your loan against new loans and special offers, and when you are ready, help you build wealth.