Buying a new home might well be the biggest financial decision you make, and a mortgage (also called a home loan) will typically be your biggest monthly outgoing.

Choosing the right loan can save thousands of dollars – so you want to feel sure you are making the right choices for your situation. A good mortgage adviser might be just what you need.

1. What exactly is a mortgage adviser and what do they do?

They offer assistance to people wanting to buy a house or property, and find mortgage options for their clients. A qualified mortgage adviser – also called a broker – is basically a qualified, registered financial adviser that specialises in mortgages. They can help you understand your best options and their expert knowledge of the market means they can identify the best lenders and mortgage deals out there for you. They work to find the right home loan for your situation.

They will base their recommendations on your individual circumstances. Some of the things they will base their advice on might include:

  • The size of your deposit
  • Your monthly repayment preferences
  • Current interest rates
  • Personal information like your credit history and outgoings

2. What are the advantages of using a mortgage adviser? 

You can go directly to mortgage lenders yourself, but you could miss out on some advantages a mortgage adviser brings:

  • They may be able to help you find a loan if a bank says no. If you are in a position where you don’t fit the box of traditional lenders a good mortgage adviser may be able to can help you find alternatives that you may not have considered.
  • They may save you time by comparing the market for you and they can help you with the ‘red tape’ side of purchasing a home.
  • The bottom line is that they could save you money. Mortgage brokers have access to multiple lenders and they can compare offerings. Ultimately, you may get better interest rates with a mortgage adviser than without. 

3. Is there anything I should consider?

You want to look for an adviser who is registered, uses a wide panel of lenders, and who understands alternative lending options.

Adviser's typically don't charge you - they are paid a commission by the lenders. If you don't end up getting a loan they find, you may still have to pay a cost. Make sure to read all the fine print. 

4. How do I choose the right mortgage adviser for me?

You can start your search for a mortgage adviser by getting recommendations from friends and colleagues. Ask as many people as possible. Ask specific feedback questions, like “Was there anything that you were not happy about with the way your mortgage adviser managed your home loan application?”.

Before settling on one adviser, it could be a good idea to compare them first. Speak to someone from each of the companies you are considering. Once you have recommendations, call to schedule a few interviews with potential advisers. Try to schedule them as close together as possible, ideally in the same week. Make a list of questions, including how many years they’ve been in the industry, how their fees work, and references from past clients. You want someone that asks you lots of relevant questions about your situation and doesn’t just talk rates.

Finally, always check their credentials. An adviser should be fully qualified. To check, you can search the New Zealand Financial Services register.