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Mortgage Brokers - More than just a bank

Phil Naylor is the Chief Executive Officer of The Mortgage Industry Association of Australia (MIAA), a position he has held since July 2002. Their mission is to ensure he orderly and ethical working of the mortgage industry in Australia.

With hundreds of mortgage products available to borrowers, finding the right loan to suit individual needs requires shopping around. This has resulted in more homebuyers turning to mortgage brokers for expert help.

Mortgage brokers offer a comprehensive range of loans form a group of lenders (known as a broker panel of lenders). However convenience is not the only reason mortgage brokers are gaining ground on banks and other traditional mortgage lenders. In recent years, brokers have gained a reputation for their assistance form the initial finance enquiry through to settlement.

Brokers work closely with borrowers preparing the documents for the lender, submitting the application, liasing with both parties through the process and answering any questions through the loan approval stage. It is no wonder approximately 35% of home loans are now arranged through brokers.

The 2005 MIAA/Bank West Home Finance Survey revealed a noticeable increase in people's intentions to use a broker. More that half (56%) of those surveyed said they would consider a broker if they were in the market for a loan and 72% believed a broker would save them time in deciding on a house loan. A similar number (69%) felt brokers provide a valuable service when arranging a mortgage.

Chief Executive of the Mortgage Industry Association (MIAA), Phil Naylor, advises consumers to always use a qualified professional who is a member of the MIAA.

"After all, the most people a mortgage is the biggest purchase they'll ever make," he says.

In the absence of consistent regulations governing brokers in every state in Australia, the standards the MIAA sets for it's accredited brokers are the highest in the industry.

Mortgage brokers have to pass membership hurdles such as minimum levels of experience and education, undergo probity checks and meet fair and ethical trading standards before gaining MIAA accreditation. They must also belong to an alternative dispute resolutions service - a protective measure for borrower if any disputes arise.

This article is reprinted from our quarterly published "Financial Matters" Newsletter, Winter 2006 issue.

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