The best mortgage brokers in Canberra 

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Mark and Kristy Edlund at Clarity Home Loans.

Mark and Kristy Edlund from Clarity Home Loans, one of Canberra’s most recommended mortgage brokers. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

For most of us, buying a home is one of the largest purchase decisions we will make in our lifetime. Be it an inner-city apartment or sprawling suburban sanctuary; there are a myriad of places that Canberrans call home. And, as the local real estate market heats up, many of us are considering making a move to the next step on the property ladder.

Whether you are a first-time buyer, an upgrader, investor, or downsizer, you are likely to have something in common. And that is the need to secure a loan to assist you along this purchase journey. This loan, or mortgage, finances the purchase with real estate serving as collateral.

The beauty of a mortgage is that it affords an opportunity to purchase a property without needing the full amount up front. With a deposit, assets, secure employment, and good credit rating, potential suiters can own the home of their dreams today. But mortgages are complex things.

They come in all shapes and sizes, with different rates, fees, and options. Mortgages also come with a choice of bells and whistles. Features like off-set accounts and redraw facilities each provide greater choice for borrowers. And with everyone from multinational banks to local credit unions offering mortgage products, the options are almost endless. Add to this, nuances in your personal situation and finding the right loan can become a tedious task indeed.

A financial services arm, brokerage assists with this exact dilemma. Mortgage brokers are professional loan negotiators. Their skills lie in securing competitive loans for clients. As intermediaries between purchasers and lenders, mortgage brokers suggest loan solutions to address need. So, to help you finding a great broker, we’ve provided some helpful hints below.

What makes a great mortgage broker?

Great mortgage brokers are loan sourcing experts, masterminding competitive options on your terms. They make the whole process easier and smoother; and can make it more affordable in the long run. Here are some aspects to consider while evaluating your mortgage broker:

  • Qualified & licenced. The best mortgage brokers are equipped with the right credentials. At the very minimum your broker should hold a certificate IV or diploma in Finance and Mortgage Broking. The most qualified brokers hold a Bachelor of Business specialising in Financial Planning. In addition to qualifications, your mortgage broker must also hold an Australian Credit License (ACL) as issued by ASIC. License holders adhere to high professional standards, so look for these over representatives.
  • Industry affiliated. The most reputable mortgage brokers are affiliated with Australia’s leading industry bodies. Membership indicates support of ethical practises and adherence to strict codes of conduct, which of course benefits end consumers. Check for memberships with the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) or the Finance Broker Association of Australia (FBAA).
  • Lender accreditations. Generally speaking; the more options a broker can offer you, the better the outcome. So, to maximise your options look for a broker who works with a broad panel of lenders. The best mortgage brokers are accredited with a wide range of banks, lenders, credit unions, and building societies. After all, mortgages come in all shapes and sizes, so hunt far and wide for the right loan solution. Importantly, understand the type of relationship your broker has with each lender, and whether they have a preference. Why? See below.
  • Fees & commissions. While some mortgage brokers will charge for their assistance, others may offer their services free of charge. Interestingly, this is because lenders tend to offer commissions for referred business. These commissions can include lump sum payments on settlement, plus monthly trail payments for the loan’s lifetime. An unbiased product selection is important, as it ensures the best rates and terms for you. The best brokers offer full transparency, so enquire about commissions from lenders and how these are paid.
  • Local and independent. By nature of their profession, mortgage brokers are incredibly well connected. And while these connections are vital to their success, some run deeper than mere accreditation. It may come as a surprise to know that some brokerage firms are wholly or partially owned by lenders. While this ownership undoubtedly offers many advantages there can also be drawbacks that impact a borrower’s options. By choosing an independent mortgage broker you are giving yourself the best chance of unbiased advice. And when locally owned, you are supporting a business to make a positive contribution to the community.

The best mortgage brokers in Canberra

RiotACT’s editorial team has combed through 20 years of on-site comments to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.

To be listed in our Best of Canberra series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on RiotACT and Facebook as well as maintaining a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.

Clarity Home Loans

Clarity Home Loans

Located in Allara Street in Canberra City, they’re locally and privately owned. Most importantly, unlike many others in the industry, their brokers don’t earn commissions. They pay their brokers a base salary, and any bonuses they can earn are largely based on compliance and customer satisfaction, meaning there’s no financial incentive for them to recommend one product over another. They also have access to a panel of more than 30 lenders including all the major banks.

Clarity Home Loans place a strong emphasis on service with company standards that ensure their brokers fully explain not only the home loan process, but the entire property transaction from start to finish including what’s involved from each party at each stage. They have great relationships with all Canberra conveyancers and can guide you through everything from applying for any grants or concessions, to preparing for settlement.

While they’re experienced in all facets of property finance, they’re particularly skilled in helping manage the transition between selling an existing property and buying the next property (which is arguably one of the most confusing property transactions to navigate). They’re also great if you’re looking to refinance or consolidate debts into a single loan.

Clarity Home Loans are well-equipped to help with investment loans (explaining everything from loan products and interest rates, to repayment options and potential tax benefits) and commercial property loans.

They’ve also received loads of positive online reviews, like this RiotACT review from Caroline T, “I highly recommend Radka Paulovicova from Clarity. Our original lender (the bank we had been banking with and who had approved our original loan) were proving to be a nightmare. With only three weeks to settlement (with even less business days because Easter and ANZAC day holidays were in the middle) I called Clarity and explained our situation to Radka… From that first meeting, Radka took control of the process, she identified a new lender with a loan approval processes that would work for us. Her communication skills are excellent and she went above and beyond to make sure every t was crossed and every i dotted so nothing could slow the process down.”

Level 3, 33 Allara Street
Canberra City ACT 2601

Fife Financial

Founded in 2010 by Directors Nick Fife and Michael Slater, you’ll find their Canberra office in Lathlain St in Belconnen, but they also have offices in Goulburn and Wagga Wagga. With more than 30 lenders on their panel including several major banks, they can show you hundreds of different loans and help you manage the process from your initial application through to approval and settlement.

In addition to home loans, they also provide conveyancing, financial planning, legal and insurance services, so are one of the few mortgage brokers in Canberra that can say they honestly provide end-to-end property and financial services.

As part of the Australian Finance Group (the largest mortgage broking group in Australia), they also have access to IT systems which allow them to manage much of the lodgement process online. They’re also participating members of the Credit Ombudsman Service (a dispute resolution service provided by ASIC), which gives you access to external support if you have an issue or complaint about their service or professionalism.

Previous customer Sally Friend had good things to say about them, commenting “Fantastic! Great help! Michael is top bloke!” in her Facebook review of them.

CASA Mortgage Services

Based in Forrest (in Canberra Avenue), they’re not limited to home and investment loans—they can also help with vehicle, equipment and personal loans. With access to hundreds of different loans, they can manage the whole process for you, including handling all the negotiations with your chosen lender.

They can show you loans for almost any type of property purchase whether you’re looking to buy, invest, renovate or review your current loan. They’ll do all the paperwork, manage the application process and take it through to approvals and settlement, allowing you to be relatively hands-off. If you’re strapped for time, their brokers can also arrange to meet you at a time and place that suits you to make the process easier.

They’re a great option for first home buyers, happy to explain everything from your borrowing capacity and repayment options, to eligibility and conditions for the first home buyer grant. They’re also able to offer plenty of tips and advice if you’re thinking of building a new house of building a new house or apartment.

Their brokers can explain the various benefits and drawbacks of every type of loan in depth and they take the time to discuss the other fees and costs of buying a property like stamp duty, legal/conveyancing fees, building and pest inspections, lender costs and mortgage insurance.

Rioter Mark_74 also gave them a good rap, commenting “I highly recommend Joel Defazio from Casa mortgage services. He got me a good rate on my home loan in a timely manner and kept me updated at all times.”

AdvisorCorp

Founded locally in 2016, AdvisorCorp offers holistic financial advisory services to both individuals and businesses in the Canberra region. A key specialisation is the procurement of mortgages for purchases, investments, and also refinancing.

Their expert team of mortgage brokers do the heavy lifting sourcing the right loan and terms with their extensive panel of lenders. And they don’t stop at finding the finance, they assist with the entire process from preliminary paperwork through to final approval.

For a personalised and polished boutique feel with highly experienced Canberra brokers look to AdvisorCorp.

Melissa Ryan shared this glowing review on Google, “As current clients of AdvisorCorp we have continually been delivered the best service and professionalism from the entire team.”

For helpful financial services related to your property purchase check out our articles on the best the best financial planners, the best tax accountants, and the best conveyancing lawyers in Canberra. If you are considering a commercial purchase be sure to read our article on the best commercial mortgage brokers in the region. And, if you are ready to kick off the property search check out our article on the best real estate agents that Canberra has to offer.

Your experience with mortgage brokers in Canberra

Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.

Have you had experience with any of the mortgage brokers listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I consider using a mortgage broker?
As an intermediary between borrowers and lenders, mortgage brokers play an incredibly useful role in the home buying process. If you are short on time their market knowledge can help expedite securing finance; and if you are new to the process their expertise can help to steer you in the right direction. Mortgage brokers can also be useful for buyers in complicated financial situations whose application may be more complex, such as contractors or the self-employed. Importantly, through providing a range of options a mortgage broker enables loan comparison, which may be beneficial in many circumstances.
What questions should I ask a mortgage broker?
A mortgage is a long-term debt where the smallest of differences can accumulate into a big sum over time. That is why gaining an understanding of how each loan works and costs is so important. A meeting with a mortgage broker will help in this understanding, though it does require preparation. Consider asking questions to find out more information on the lenders they deal with; how they earn their fees or commissions; loan specific borrowing costs and available features; along with a rational on each recommendation and the lowest cost option.
What are mortgage features and are they worth it?
In addition to the interest rate, deposit, fees, and repayments; mortgage features are also an important item to consider. Mortgage features are additional loan options that provide greater flexibility, while at times coming in at an additional cost. Examples of such features are offset accounts, redraw facilities, additional or lump sum payments, splitting between fixed and variable rates, and the ability to attain pre-approval. Each has its advantages; and are effectively ways to allow mortgagees to reduce interest paid. Whether they are worth it depends on individual circumstance and needs, so weigh up these options and only consider features that will be used. To find out more, consult your lender or mortgage broker.
What is LMI?
LMI or lenders mortgage insurance is an insurance policy that some loan borrowers need to pay for. Lenders mortgage insurance is designed to protect the lender for financial loss if the borrow cannot meet their home loan repayments. Typically, lenders required LMI when the deposit is less than 20% of the totally property value. LMI can generally be paid upfront or added to your home loan. If capitalised into your loan, the lender would generally charge interest on it along with the rest of the loan. Bear in mind that each lender address LMI differently so be sure to assess options directly or with your mortgage broker.
What do mortgage brokers charge?
In many instances mortgage brokers do not charge borrowers for their services. Rather, they are remunerated in the form of commission by lenders. Usually, this commission is paid as a lump sum of between 0.45% to 0.65% of the total loan amount on settlement, followed by an ongoing monthly payment over the life of the loan of between 0.01% to 0.30%. It is important to note that while some mortgage brokers do not charge fees, there are others who do. So, be sure to shop around and enquire about how each broker charges and receives commissions.

What's Your Opinion?


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91 Responses to The best mortgage brokers in Canberra 
Vivi Chang Vivi Chang 8:06 am 18 Oct 21

The best mortgage broker is Jessie Chen from Clarity Home Loans. She is the very professional, passion, attention to detail and extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of real estate. My partner and I as first home owner feel overwhelming and exhausted to all the things about home loan applications, Jessie nicely explained absolutely everything from start to finish in great detail, answered all questions and made me feel at ease. We sincerely recommend Jessie Chen if you are buying your home, she is absolutely the star.

ri70 ri70 8:23 am 30 Sep 21

Look no further. This is the second time I use Clarity to finance a mortgage. Their expertise and professionalism is second to none.

shanecbr85 shanecbr85 1:13 pm 17 Sep 21

My partner and I used Clarity Home Loans for assistance with both refinancing our investment property and arranging approval for a home loan for the purchase of a new property. We were assigned Cesar Martinez, for which we’re extremely grateful. Cesar was brilliant – his knowledge and expertise in this field, and his ability to communicate and guide us through the process from application through to approval was outstanding. We’d recommend Clarity and, in particular, Cesar Martinez, for anyone seeking brokering services. On a scale of 1-10, we’d give Cesar 11.

Shane and Sally.

Matthew Boorman Matthew Boorman 6:17 pm 29 Aug 21

Had a great experience with Clarity who guided us through our first home mortgage process (despite the challenges COVID presented)!

Guy in particular smashed it and was super responsive to all our our questions and issues!

Jessica McDonald Jessica McDonald 12:44 pm 28 Aug 21

We chose Clarity Home Loans to assist with our property purchase after seeing the great reviews on the riot act – and we couldn’t have been more impressed by the service we received from Cesar. He was professional and fully engaged with us through every step of the process. Cesar took the time to understand our needs, answer our many questions and work with us to find the best loan product that suited us. We most valued his regular communication and checking in at each stage of the purchase journey.

bell bell 12:03 am 26 Aug 21

I have been working with Arman Yazarloo from Clarity Home Loans for an extended period of time and he has provided me with excellence customer service in relation to a range of mortgage related matters; property purchase, refinance and more recently, a family law settlement.
Arman worked hard to ensure that I was provided with the best financial offer available for my personal situation. He worked over weekends to ensure I could capitalise on end of financial year deals and to meet settlement timeframes.
He made himself available to speak with me at times that were more conducive to my work arrangements and made the time to explain all the mortgage terms and conditions, so I really understood what I was committing myself to financially.
Best of all, I was treated with respect and compassion as a person and for my personal circumstances and not treated as a box to be ticked before moving onto the next client.
I would highly recommend Arman Yazarloo from Clarity Home Loans for first rate mortgage brokerage services.

Luke Kensey Luke Kensey 8:15 pm 07 Jul 21

Rob Garth at Clarity is amazing. Helped us deal with multiple properties and is always available. No question is too difficult. Couldn’t rate any higher!

Mark Monterosso Mark Monterosso 8:50 pm 27 Jun 21

Good work Ian J Gorman well deserved.

Jez Wheeler Jez Wheeler 7:34 pm 27 Jun 21

Susan Tan at Dreamcatchers Lending was amazing and made the experience so much easier to understand and complete.

Tarsem Singh Tarsem Singh 6:47 pm 27 Jun 21

VERYNICE

Lynne Howell Lynne Howell 12:45 pm 27 Jun 21

Andrew cole ....Deanne Cole

Kristy Piccolo Kristy Piccolo 12:17 pm 27 Jun 21

Clarity are the best!

Dave Payne Dave Payne 10:53 am 27 Jun 21

Mayfair Mortgages.. Michelle Coleman is amazing, really know her stuff and works extremely hard to get you the best deal.

Sasha Je June Sasha Je June 10:34 am 27 Jun 21

Casa are brilliant. Glad to see they made the list.

Katrina Blazey Katrina Blazey 8:46 am 27 Jun 21

Dominion Finance

Ray Moon Ray Moon 8:04 am 27 Jun 21

Robbie Garth at Clarity Home Loans. I’ve been using him for over 10 years! Best in the business!

Markus Bruun Markus Bruun 7:47 am 27 Jun 21

Rob Garth at Clarity was fantastic.

Linda Gillespie Linda Gillespie 11:54 pm 26 Jun 21

Curtis @ Fortis Mortgages

Libby Werner-Gibbings Libby Werner-Gibbings 11:27 pm 26 Jun 21

Cesar at clarity was amazing

Margus von Tihemetsa Margus von Tihemetsa 10:33 pm 26 Jun 21

Oracle Home Loans

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