Are you undecided about using the services of a mortgage broker or skeptical as to what a mortgage broker can do for you? The purpose of this article is to clarify the many advantages and benefits you will receive when using the services provided by mortgage brokers in Canada.
I am optimistic that after reading this article Canadians will have a much better understanding about the services provided by a mortgage broker, and will consider using a mortgage broker for their mortgage financing needs.
What exactly is a mortgage broker?
Basically, a mortgage broker is a representative for all of the Canadian lending institutions in Canada. Their function is very similar to that of an insurance broker. A bank representative that works in one particular lending institution is employed by that bank and is aware of every mortgage product that their bank offers.
Therefore, when you go into your bank for a mortgage the representative analyzes your situation and chooses the best product their bank offers for your needs. Mortgage brokers act as agents for all Canadian banks, Credit Unions, Trust Companies, finance companies and individual private lenders.
Subsequently, when you visit a mortgage broker for mortgage financing they analyze your specific situation and choose the best product from one of the 50 Canadian lending institutions at their disposal.
In Ontario, mortgage brokers are educated professionals who are licensed and regulated by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO). FSCO is merely one of the government agencies that monitors the business practices of mortgage brokers, each province has an agency that provides the same service to Canadians. As a result, these agencies certify that Canadians are being given reliable protection, a thorough comprehension of mortgage products, and a standard of service to meet their individual needs.
So, how exactly will you benefit by using a mortgage broker?
Save time: Many people try to shop around their own mortgage by traveling to the 5-6 major Canadian retail banks, which can be very time-consuming. A mortgage broker will meet you where it’s convenient for you and they will shop your mortgage for you saving you a lot of valuable time.
Credit Score: One of the most important considerations for Canadians when shopping around at different banks is their credit score. Each time you go to a bank and apply for a mortgage, they will make a credit inquiry, too many inquiries will negatively affect your credit score. A mortgage broker only requests one credit inquiry and then forwards that to the banks they are shopping.
Save Money: Many people are under the false assumption that it is expensive to use a mortgage broker. In fact, most brokers do not charge any fees because they are paid by the banking institutions for bringing them in business. That’s the best part, you receive unbiased advice about your mortgage and it doesn’t cost you any money.
Best Rates: Using a mortgage broker guarantees you that you will get the best rates available, independent mortgage agents rely on repeat business so they do not play games, they always find their clients the best rates possible. Additionally, as a reward for bringing them millions of dollars per year in business, many banks will offer special rates only available to mortgage brokers for their clients.
Fast Approvals: Usually, a mortgage broker will have your mortgage approved within 24 hours, at the very best interest rates. Even if the retail banks do approve a person’s mortgage fast, it can sometimes take weeks to negotiate them down to their best rate.
Feel At Ease: A mortgage agent will take the time to explain the entire process to the mortgagee, this is especially comforting for first time homebuyers. They will take the time to explain all of the terms and conditions of a mortgage commitment so there are no surprises later.
They will usually present more than one option for clients, and be able to explain the differences between each bank, this will help consumers make educated choices about which banks they would rather use.
Yes, banks and credit unions still have a large market share for mortgage origination, a larger chunk of market share is now occupied by companies whose business is specifically to originate mortgages.
As one can imagine by looking at the number of competitors in the market place, there is a lot of money to be made by the companies that provide or find mortgages for home buyers, not only on the interest, but also on closing costs and other fees. When looking at companies specializing in mortgage lending, there are two basic categories of mortgage originator…
Mortgage Banker and Mortgage Broker
Lets look at the mortgage banker first. When you do business with a mortgage banker you are dealing directly with the company making your loan. Often the term direct lender is used to describe a mortgage banker.
The mortgage banker may not be a mortgage servicer, meaning they are not ultimately going to be the company where you make your mortgage payments, but it is their underwriting decision to determine if your loan meets the guidelines of approvability.
Although a mortgage banker is typically limited to the products they will offer to borrowers, many mortgage bankers maintain relationships with “wholesale” lenders where they can broker loans should a borrower’s request or borrowing profile not meet their own mortgage loan offerings.
A Closer look at the Mortgage Broker
A mortgage broker serves the same needs as a mortgage banker but in a different manner. The mortgage broker is not a lender, does not make the ultimate decision to approve or decline a mortgage application but has the luxury of drawing from a large pool of lenders for borrowers to find the right match and obtain mortgage loan approval.
To say that using a mortgage broker creates a middle man effect (broker to lender to borrower), and to then assume this effect creates more cost to the borrower is not entirely fair. Mortgage Brokers do not deal in the retail world of loans.
Most direct lenders, lenders that you can access on your own, have a wholesale department with the sole purpose of servicing the loans sent in by mortgage brokers. These departments are commonly referred to as wholesale lenders and they offer pricing that is not available to the public and allow brokers to be competitive on a retail level with mortgage bankers.
I think it is important to point out that on occasion, a wholesale lender will price unusually low to beef up their pipeline of loan originations and a broker can be in position to take advantage of this for you whereas a mortgage banker wouldn’t.
In scanning the mortgage market, both nationally and regionally a broker knows a lender’s specialty. The broker can identify what lender might fit a borrower’s special needs based upon an analysis of the borrower’s credit profile.
The broker does everything the lender would do — checks your credit and work record, arranges for title search and hires the property appraiser — but, once all of this information is compiled, the broker selects a mortgage lender that will most likely accept the application based on its financial data and unique information, and In some offices, the mortgage brokers also are lenders.