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30 Sep

What IS a Mortgage Broker?


Posted by: Darick Battaglia

One thing Canadians have in common is that most of us are paying off a mortgage.

The mortgage market can sometimes be confusing. There are a vast array of choices – open, closed flex down, equity take-out, cash back, and of course the rates themselves. While we would not attempt to try to muddle through the intricacies of insurance or investments without expert help, we will often go it alone when it’s time to get a mortgage.

We will call a variety of banks and other lenders in an attempt to get the best rate. After numerous phone calls you get back to your original lender, and they agree to meet your best rate. Why should you have to spend so much of your time finding the best rate? If you are not quick enough the rate may change before you lock it in.

There is a solution to this problem – use the services of a mortgage broker. 85% of Americans use mortgage brokers today but only 33% of Canadians do; mainly because they do not know what a mortgage broker is and what they do.

What is a mortgage broker? A mortgage broker is an individual who represents a mortgage brokerage firm. The brokerage has access to over two dozen banks, trust companies, insurance companies and other lenders at their fingertips. By dealing with these lenders on a day-to-day basis, we have access to wholesale lending rates which can save you thousands of dollars. It should also be noted that the majority of mortgage brokerages are not owned by the lenders they represent. Brokers work for the borrower, not the lenders. Mortgage software allows us to scan all the lenders for the best rate for the term you are looking for in seconds. In addition we will advise you on the best options for your own personal situation. Newlyweds with no cash can purchase a house with 0% down under certain conditions. Some lenders will even give you 1-5% cash back. Wouldn’t that come in handy for buying curtains and furniture for your new home?

Now this sounds great! Everyone could use an expert to save them money, but how much does it cost? The majority of mortgages are arranged at no cost to the consumer. The lenders pay a finders fee to the brokerage firm for finding and arranging the mortgage. If you have an unusual credit history which involves more work, a set fee would be agreed upon before we start on the application.

Why would you choose to use a mortgage broker instead of your bank?

Lower Interest Rates

Wholesale mortgage rates are discounted an average of 1.20% over what the bank will offer you. A 1% interest discount on a $150,000 mortgage can save you more than $7900 in interest costs over a 5 year term.

Best Mortgage Options

By shopping the lenders’ market we can find you the best options for your particular situation. Banks are limited to the products carried by their institution.

Bank Loan Officers are employees of the bank

Mortgage agents work for you, the borrower.

Fast Service

A mortgage broker can often get your mortgage approved in a day. In addition we can meet you at your home, office, or wherever it is convenient for you.

As you can see, mortgage brokers offer convenience, service and great rates. It’s no wonder more and more Canadians are choosing to call a mortgage broker when it is time to renew their mortgages. As the #1 mortgage brokerage company in Canada, we here at Dominion Lending Centres are ready to help you!

Courtesy of David Cooke, AMP – DLC Westcor