Getting your first mortgage can be a daunting process. There are lots of numbers, and so much paper work. Working with a mortgage broker helps take the stress out of this process.

But what exactly do you need to know? Here are five things to ask your mortgage broker, before you sign on the dotted line.

can you afford a loan

What documents do I need to provide?

Each lender will have different requirements, but generally, you will need to provide proof of ID, copies of your bank statements, proof of assets and liabilities, and proof of your income. Depending on the type of loan you require, other documents may be required. e.g. contract of sale for a property purchase, plans and specifications for a construction loan, etc. The faster you can provide these documents, the more streamlined the process will be. Check in with your mortgage broker to ensure you know exactly which documents are required, what format they should be in, and when they are needed.

How long will the loan take to process?

The length of processing will vary from lender to lender. But getting a picture of how long processing could take might influence your buying decisions. You don’t want to miss out on your dream property because you got the timing wrong. Likewise, you don’t want to rush the process. Knowing approximately how long it will take can help you mentally and physically prepare for the purchase.

What is the interest rate?

Your mortgage will have interest. The rate of interest will depend on the type of mortgage you take out, and the lender’s requirements at the time.

  • A variable rate will go up and down, depending on the cash rate and other factors affecting the lender.
  • A fixed rate is locked for a certain period of time, regardless of external factors. Ensure you know the fees associated with opting out of a fixed rate.
  • A partially fixed rate allows you to split up your mortgage so the interest on part of the borrowed amount is fixed. Understand the flexibility and associated fees.
  • Some lenders offer an introductory rate, which may be a lower rate for the first one or two years. Get to know the terms of this rate.

How much deposit do I need?

You might have been saving for your dream home for years. But how much downpayment do you actually require? The required deposit will vary from bank to bank, so it is good to know exactly what your lender requires. Ensure the finances add up, before making a final commitment.

Is this the right loan for me?

Your mortgage broker has access to the the latest data and information about lenders’ rates, fees and services. When the broker helps you make a decision on your loan, it’s good to understand why this loan is right for you. It doesn’t hurt to view the documentation and see the figures, to know you and your broker are on the same page. Ask your broker to outline the pros and cons of their recommendations.

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DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article is correct at the time of publishing and is subject to change. It is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, Smartline recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Smartline recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.