Frequently Asked Questions

Borrowing money can be a daunting and complex business. Our FAQ’s aim to debunk myths and handle the most important questions which our clients ask us. We address what we do, the value of a mortgage broker, as well as the costs, process and legal considerations of getting a loan.

Our Value Proposition

Who is on your lending panel?

We have access to over 50 lenders to cover the full spectrum of loan financing needs. These lenders include

  • Major Banks
  • Regional and Challenger Banks
  • Non-Bank and Specialist Lenders
  • Commercial Only Lenders
  • Asset Finance Lenders for Cars, Vehicles and Equipment
  • Unsecured Lenders and Alternative Debt Solutions
  • Debtor Finance and Invoice FInance Lenders
  • Private Lenders

How do you get me the most competitive deal?

There are three factors which allow us to get you the most competitive deal:

  • Access to more lenders – we become accredited to banks that you may not have previously considered, broadening the choice and therefore pricing options for you

  • Access to more information – we receive daily alerts and visits from lender Relationship Managers which notify of the best deals in the market at any given point in time

  • Ability to negotiate – we have access to the tools and relationships to efficiently negotiate the best rates for you. We also know how to position the negotiation and where the banks limits are to give you the best interest rate.

Do you help people outside of NSW?

Yes, we have many clients that are interstate even though our office is in Sydney.

Do you help people outside of Australia?

Yes, we have many Australian Expatriate (Aussie Expat) clients who live in the United States, United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Do you have any special deals for Doctors, Lawyers or Accountants?

Yes Doctors, Lawyers and Accountants can access special policies for bank lending – in particular, the ability to borrow at 90% Loan to Value Ratio without Paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance. These benefits also extend to Actuaries and Chartered Financial Analysts (CFAs).

To read more about these policies please see our:

  • Loans for Medical Professionals Expertise Page
  • Loans Lawyers Expertise Page
  • Loans for Accountants, Actuaries and CFAs Expertise Page

My current bank says “no”, how will you get me a “yes”?

Often a bank says ‘no’ when you should get a ‘yes’ because the wrong bank was picked for your circumstances or your scenario, and especially your income, was not correctly presented to the bank.

We are experts at navigating bank policies across MULTIPLE banks to find a home for your scenario. We are also experts in understanding complex loan structures, entity structures and income and doing the hard work to accurately present your scenario to a bank for approval.

This ensures a more efficient process and allows us to get the most borrowing capacity out of your unique situation.

How do you make sure I am borrowing a safe loan amount?

When assessing your loan, we usually work with the most conservative scenario first and then adjust the assumptions to increase your borrowing capacity. We call this ‘scenario testing’ and we do this to also understand the range in loan amount with the bank is likely to approve. We will present our assessment to you to discuss what is an appropriate loan amount in line with your requirements, your willingness to adapt to each bank’s criteria, and what the bank is able to approve.

Do you have any preferences towards certain lenders?

No, our number one priority is to achieve security of financing following by obtaining the best terms on the best rates for you.

Our approach is to recommend you banks according to your preferences. This will often include factors in addition to just rates, such as the banks service levels, internet banking, speed and ability to access your money, product features, and most importantly policies that are favourable to you.

Costs & Deposit Requirements

What costs should I consider in my property purchase?

The main costs you should factor into your property purchase are:

  • Your Deposit
  • Stamp Duty
  • Legal and Conveyancing Costs
  • Lenders Establishment Fee – if a Specialist or Commercial Loan
  • Due Diligence Costs – Building and Pest Inspections, Strata Reports
  • Other Transaction Costs – Bank Fees, Valuation Fees, Government Registration Fees
  • Costs of Ownership – Removalist fees, repairs and renovations once the property is yours

We also recommend you have savings buffer after your purchase to help you with your initial mortgage payments, vacancy period (if the property is an investment) and to help you furnish the property.

How much deposit do I need

We recommend having a 20% deposit plus funds for stamp duty for most property purchases. Please note this is higher for luxury property purchases. In situations where you have less than a 20% a deposit we can help you consider whether it is worth paying Lenders Mortgage Insurance or another solution is available such as a Family Guarantee or accessing equity in other property.

What is Lenders Mortgage Insurance and when does it apply?

Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) is a one-off fee that you pay to an insurance provider for borrowing above a certain Loan to Value Ratio (LVR). This LVR threshold is typically 80%. The benefit of LMI to you is you are able to borrow more, and thereby access a higher value property. The cost is you must pay the fee which increases as the loan amount and LVR increases. For some borrowers and loan structures, LMI Can be waived.

To read more about Lenders Mortgage Insurance and when it can be waived, please see our

What is a family guarantee and am I eligible?

A family guarantee is where a member of your immediate family, usually your parents, offers an additional security to the lower the Loan to Value (LVR) ratio on your property purchase.

This means rather than putting in more of a deposit, you are able to borrow more against the equity in your parent’s home or investment property, therefore avoiding Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI).

Learn more about Family Guarantees by visiting our Family Guarantees Expertise Page

Am I eligible for the First Home Owners Grantor or Stamp Duty Concession?

Each state will have its own requirements to determine your eligibility for a First Home Owners Grant or Stamp Duty Concession. The main requirements are

  • Confirming your citizenship status or permanent residency
  • Confirming that purchase price is within the criteria
  • Confirming it is in fact your first home

Links to each state’s requirements are conveniently located here: http://www.firsthome.gov.au/.

Can you help me to apply for the first home owners grant?

Yes, if you are eligible for the First Home Owners Grant at the time of your application, we will help you prepare and submit your application. This preparation happens after your loan is formally approved and when you sign your loan documents.

How do you make the process easy for me?

We aim to take as much of the process of your hands as possible so you can focus on the important decisions rather than the distractions of applying for a home loan. Ways we do this are to pre-populate forms for you wherever possible, deliver high quality advice and education so you can make an informed decision, contact and build a great relationship with your advisers, pre-empt and mitigate all the risks and pitfalls to ensure your loan settles smoothly. This allows you to put all your attention into finding the right home or investment property!

Do you work after hours?

Yes, we know you are busy and are available to meet before or after work hours to make the process easier for you.

Loan Process

What are the first steps to getting a loan?

We have developed our own process called Finance MADE EASY to help smoothly manage your loan process and get the best outcomes for you. The first step is for us to “Meet and Discuss” so we can properly understand your scenario, goals and requirements. This can happen in person or in an initial phone call.

Please don’t hesitate to Contact Us by completing our Enquiry FormOnline Assessment Form, or calling us directly.

How long does the whole process take?

You should budget 4 – 6 weeks for a standard home loan process whether purchasing or refinancing. If your scenario is complex, you may need more time, and we recommend approaching us well before deciding to make a purchase.

How long does it take for my loan to be assessed?

Please give us up to 2 business days for a standard loan assessment, and 5-7 business days for a complex loan enquiry. We will always try and get back to you sooner. If there are any delays due to scenario complexity, case load or enquiry volume we will definitely let you know.

Should I get a pre-approval?

Yes, we strongly recommend getting a pre-approval where you are unsure how much you can borrow, where you have varying income, self-employed income or if your scenario is unique.

How long does it take to obtain a pre-approval?

A standard pre-approval will take 2-4 business days from the time of submission, depending on the bank you pick.

How do I strengthen my application to make sure I get approved?

Providing quality information upfront and accurately responding to our information requests will greatly increase the chances of your loan being approved. Where your circumstances are unique, the bank is very interested in knowing the facts behind your scenario and obtaining documented evidence to support it. This is an important key to having a difficult loan approved.

Can you work closely with my advisers such as my accountant, solicitor or financial planner?

Yes, we work with any advisers that are needed to smoothly get your loan approved. Our goal is to give them an amazing service experience as well so that they are encouraged to help us approve your loan. We make the process as simply as possible by helping draft important letters, collecting quality information up front, and setting out the numbers and facts to assist with their decision making when advising you.

Who is responsible for my loan application?

You will have an accredited broker responsible for your loan at all times. While the processing and preparation of your application may be done by support staff (who also play a very vital and important role!), accountability for your file will be held with a broker at all times.

Loan Types and Loan Structuring

What is the difference between a variable vs fixed rate?

A variable rate loan is one where the interest rate can be changed by the bank in response to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) Cash Rate, the need of the bank to maintain its profits, or the desire of the bank to attract market share. For a variable loan, you are entitled to pay out the loan at any time without penalty to you and you are entitled to an offset account for a packaged home loan.

A fixed rate loan is one where the interest rate is set for an agreed period of time. During the fixed rate the loan cannot be repaid or paid down by more than the regular monthly payments, or a penalty may apply. A fixed rate loan typically does not have an offset account, although there are some exceptions.

When should I set my loan as variable vs fixed?

A variable rate loan is more suitable where you would like to make additional repayments, or have a large sum of money you would like to keep in offset. A fixed rate loan is more suitable for budgeting purposes and achieving certainty of loan repayments. You can also use these loan times to hedge or take advantage of movements in interest rates, although this is very hard to predict.

What is the difference between principle and interest vs interest only?

A Principal & Interest repayment is one where each repayment has a component of interest and a component of principal that goes towards paying down the loan. The gradually reduces with each repayment in a process called ‘amortisation’. The proportion of principal vs interest in each repayment changes with each repayment, such that the loan is paid of faster during the later years of holding the home loan.

An Interest Only repayment is one where each repayment only goes towards paying Interest on the loan. This means that the loan itself is not paid down by the repayment, but only when there is a manual decision to pay down the loan. Note an interest only loan is only allowed for a set period of time (usually up to 5 years). After that time, the loan will revert to Principal & Interest on a reduced term.

When should I pay principle and interest vs interest only?

A Principal & Interest loan is most suitable for home owners who wish to own or substantially own their home outright over time. It is also suitable for investors who want to gradually lower their debts over time so that they own more of the investment property. In this way, paying Principal & Interest can be viewed as a form of forced savings. In the current market, lenders are also pricing Principal & Interest loans at a discount to Interest Only loans to encourage borrowers to pay down their debts over time.

An Interest Only loan is more suitable to investors who wish to preserve their cash flow to save for future investments, and to maximise their negative gearing benefit. It can also be suitable for Home Owners who also wish to build their savings or to preserve cash for other investments, or who view their current property as a temporary home before they relocate. For Home Owners the reasons for an interest only loan will need to be explained to the bank to make the bank more comfortable to approve an interest only home loan.

What is an offset account?

An offset account is an account attached to your home loan, whereby every dollar deposited into your offset account acts as if your loan is paid off for the purposes of calculating interest. For example, if you have a $500,000 home loan and you have $100,000 in your offset account, interest is only calculated on $400,000.

What is a Line of Credit?

A Line of Credit is a special type of loan with an agreed limit, where by you may continually draw down and pay back the loan as you would like to use the funds. The loan does not automatically pay itself down like a Principal & Interest term loan. It operates similar to how a very large credit card limit would, but secured against your house. Lines of Credit are more suitable for experienced investors and business owners, and therefore attract a higher rate than a normal home loan.

How frequently should I repay my loan – monthly, fortnightly, weekly?

We recommend setting the frequency of your loan to match your pay cycle. For example, if you get paid monthly, then you should set your home loan monthly. This choice is completely up to you though. If you can manage the more frequent repayments, your loan is paid of faster the more payments you make into the loan.

Can I close my loan at any time?

If you have a variable rate loan, your loan can be paid back at any time without penalty to you. If you have a fixed rate loan, the bank may apply a break free to close out the loan during the fixed rate period.

We also ask that you talk to us if you need to repay your loan within a 2 year period as we incur a penalty from your lender called a ‘claw back’.

Can you help with Debt Consolidation?

Yes, we can help you with Debt Consolidation to make the repayments on all your loans more manageable or simply to tidy up your existing banking arrangements.

Can I use the equity in my home to purchase another property?

Yes, we can help you use the equity in your home to purchase another home or investment property. This involves testing whether there is sufficient equity in your home and that you are able to demonstrate sufficient borrowing capacity to afford the increased borrowing, including the loan for your next property. This process is sometimes called a ‘cash out’.

To learn more about this process, please see our: