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Finding a reputable finance broker can be akin to locating a needle in a haystack. There are a lot of brokers to choose from, but which attributes should you look for in a finance broker? Just because a broker works for the largest brokerage doesn’t mean that they have your best interests at heart. There’s plenty of little things to look for when selecting a broker to handle your finances and financial decisions.
You would be surprised to learn that there’s more than a few people out there who entrust their financial decisions to someone who’s only studied the subject on YouTube. Don’t be that person, make sure that the broker you’re using has the proper credentials. The finance broker company should have their Australian Credit Licence with the ASIC, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
They should be able to produce a CLN or Credit Licence Number upon request and they should be a member of an association such as the MFAA (Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia) or the FBAA (Finance Brokers Association of Australia). This licence ensures that you are getting a properly educated and trained steward of your financial picture.
How long has your finance broker been in business? Five years? Or five months? This difference can be startling when it comes to financial decisions. Usually, a finance broker works as an assistant for the first few months to learn the things that they can’t learn in a textbook.
Strength of Clientele
Has your broker worked with any prominent companies or consulted with any successful businessmen? How strong is their client list? Ask around with some of their clients to see how well their experience was. Good word of mouth should speak volumes about the broker and the way that they do business.
Relationships with Lenders
A broker’s relationship with lenders is the bread and butter of their business. Finance brokers foster and maintain good working relationships with a wide range of lenders. This range is needed to have the ability to work with a wide variety of clients who all have different income levels and credit scores. Having a friend or relative who works in a lending institution can reap great rewards with valuable information about your prospective broker. Lending companies tend to talk “industry” to each other at various times and they’ll most definitely talk about bad broker experiences. You should consider this information when choosing a finance broker.
Visit The Brokerage
When the broker you’re considering works in a brokerage, it’s always a good idea to visit the business to get a feel of the environment. When you walk in, take a look around and take in everything you see. Is there a long queue of clients waiting to see their brokers? Is the receptionist friendly and does that friendliness extend to her phone demeanor when she answers calls? Do you see a lot of glum faces behind the counter? All of these images paint a picture as to how the brokerage is run. If the colors don’t add up to a rosy picture, perhaps you should consider another firm.
If all of the previously mentioned facets above check out okay, then you should have an initial consultation with the broker one-on-one. This should be your final arbiter to get a gauge on the broker themselves. Does the broker seem confident in talking with you? Are they friendly or are they strictly businesslike? Do you feel like you’re speaking to a friend? Or do you feel like you’re just another number that they’ve pencilled into their appointment book. Do they take the time to answer your questions fully and explain everything to your understanding? After all, it’s your finances that are in their hands and you should feel as if you’re speaking with an ally, not a robot.
Finances can be cumbersome and confusing to some and it helps to have someone there who will guide you in the right direction. A good finance broker should address you as an old friend and have your best interests at heart. You should walk out of a brokerage appointment feeling confident and happy about your experiences and your dealings with the broker. Use these tips above to find the broker that will complete your finance team.