Mortgage broker vs bank: What’s the difference anyway?

Decision angst. It hits you even before you start house hunting. Heck, you’re up against some big decisions even before you get to the home loan options stage. 

It starts with one simple dilemma: to go with a mortgage broker or a bank. Is there even a difference?

There is. Kinda a big one. 

If you get a home loan with a bank, you’re going directly to the lender. But a mortgage broker can give you a range of loan options across different lenders and help you figure out the right one for your needs. 

Both options have pros and cons. So…brokers vs banks? 

Let’s go head to head and compare the difference between lenders and mortgage brokers so you know what’s what.

So what’s the difference between a mortgage broker and a bank anyway?

When you’re hunting for a home loan, you can choose to go through a mortgage broker or directly to a bank. 

In this scenario, banks are a type of lender. That means they provide the home loan, process it for you, and fund it. 

A mortgage broker is your ultimate wingman/woman/person when it comes to home loans. They’ll compare some great loan options from a bunch of banks and other lenders (not all lenders are banks) and set you up with the right deal for your needs. 

They’ll deal with the admin, talk to the lender, sort through the paperwork, and – you better believe it – help you all the way through to settlement and beyond!

Let’s dive deeper into each option so you’re across it all before making a decision.

The pros and cons of getting a home loan through a bank

Going directly to a lender means you’ve gone right to the source of the loan. Where your $$$ will be borrowed from.

You’ll work with one of the bank’s loan officers, who’ll know the mortgage options through and through. But those options? They’re limited to what that particular  bank offers and nothing more.

So, the pros and cons of going through a bank?

Pros:

  • You’re more hands-on from start to finish and you can do your own negotiating—if that’s what you’re into.
  • If you already bank with them, you might get deals on the bank’s other services, such as savings accounts or credit cards (but hey, a broker can help you with that too in many situations). 
  • It can be a breeze setting up automatic payments from your bank account to your home loan. But again—you can snag the same support through a broker. 
  • You might already have a good relationship with the people at your bank—someone who already knows a bit about you and your situation, which can get you off to a headstart.

Cons:

  • Since you won’t be comparing different lenders, your options are limited, which means you might miss out on big savings. 
  • Banks can usually only offer you their own products—which may mean you miss out on better options.
  • Certain lenders may not take into account financial bonuses, commissions, overtime payments, or child support—details that could help get your loan approved.
  • Without expert guidance, you might fail to secure a home loan, especially if you have a complex credit history or your finances are complicated. Yikes!
  • If you want to know how you will fare across different banks, you have to apply with each one separately. Imagine going through the whole bank application process only to get your loan rejected and having to start from scratch with the next bank. Who’s got time for that?

Signs you might want to go direct to a lender

If market research and applications get you pumped, going direct to the lender might be your thing. If not, a mortgage broker can steer you towards big savings and a smooth-sailing home loan process.

The pros and cons of getting a home loan through a mortgage broker

Mortgage brokers (like Finspo) are on your side. We have extensive access to different lenders and products so we have more options to find the right loan for your needs. 

Great brokers will take the time to be fully across your situation, wants, and needs so you can find the right home loan for you. They’ll share their industry intel and educate you on interest rates, closing costs, and other details of your loans so you know what you’re getting into. 

Illustration of broker with headset on, speaking to client over video call.

Pros:

  • Hate talking to banks? Hate paperwork? Brokers will do a lot of the heavy lifting here for you so you don’t have to. Most brokers, like Finspo,  don’t charge you any fees for their service. See cons…
  • Mortgage brokers have an obligation to put your best interests first when recommending a home loan. Comforting, hey?
  • Mortgage brokers have access to a greater range of products. Take Finspo. We’ve got access to more than 1,000 home loan products from over 30 lenders. Because more choice can lead to more savings.
  • Brokers have great market intel, along with access to deals and rates you may not know about if you went it alone.
  • They’ll help you through the application process so you get it right the first time. Boom.
  • You’ll get the human touch. Mortgage brokers are often smaller than banks, so you’ll work directly with your broker throughout the loan application process.
  • Brokers have no fear of negotiating (even in those really awkward moments) and have a good understanding of the most competitive rates available.

Plus, unlike other brokers, Finspo also helps you pay off your home loan faster via the Finspo app. Now that’s a big win.

Cons:

  • Some brokers charge you a fee (but not Finspo—we get paid by the lenders, not you. Phew!). Check before you commit. 
  • There are so many mortgage brokers, how do you know which one’s right for you? More decisions? Gah! (We can make that one simple for you 😉)

Signs you should buddy up with a mortgage broker

If you value choice and expert advice, mortgage brokers are your golden ticket to a great home loan. They can guide you through the process, handle the paperwork and educate you on all the options for your circumstances. 

They’re super helpful, especially if you’ve got a complex credit history or you need extra help with the process because you have a unique employment situation (for example, you’re self-employed). 

Even if you think you have the most straightforward scenario in the world, there could always be that one thing you might not realise impacts you (*cough* AFTERPAY *cough*). A great broker will spot these things early and match options to suit.

How to tell if a mortgage broker is legit

Many people look at loans with their existing banks because they already know and trust them. But it’s easy to check a mortgage broker’s credentials. 

Legit brokers operate under  a credit licence regulated by ASIC and are listed on ASIC Connect’s Professional Register as either a Credit Representative, or a Credit Licensee. 

Be sure to check the trading name of the broker. For example, Finspo is the trading name  of LAB35 PTY LTD.

So mortgage broker vs bank: Who wins?

Is it better to use a mortgage broker or go direct? 

Going direct to a lender might be for you if:

  • You know exactly who you want to borrow from
  • You’re an organising ninja who likes to be super hands-on

A mortgage broker might work for you if:

  • You love to save money!
  • You’re keen to shop around but want an expert’s helping hand
  • You like saving time for the more fun stuff—like adding to your interior design Pinterest board.

Mortgage brokers can help you save time and money by matching you with the right loan (from thousands) for your circumstances. 

At Finspo, we do the heavy lifting for you. With access to more than 1,000 home loan options and the know-how to help you lock in something for less, we’re all about helping you get a great loan AND pay it off faster. 


Get started and fast track your way to a great home loan today.

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