Mortgage Broker vs Bank in Singapore: Which One Is Better?
Deciding on your mortgage loan can get a little daunting, especially when you have so many options out there, such as fixed or floating interest rates, subsidies, penalties, loan terms, lock-in periods, and other related features. While there isn’t really a “best” home loan in Singapore – the most suitable mortgage loan depends on your needs, preferences and most importantly, your financial capacity to pay off the loan.
If you’re in need of some help in deciding between getting a loan from a mortgage broker or directly from a bank, we’ll give you a hand at this. Let’s take a look at the differences between engaging the services of a mortgage broker like MoneySmart, versus buying from a bank directly.
What's the difference between mortgage brokers vs getting quotes from a bank?
For those who do not mind the hassle of going through the details and reading the fine print yourself, you can buy the home loan directly from your preferred bank. On the other hand, if you’re keen about knowing about the differences in the interest rates all in one platform, with recommendations by mortgage specialists, then going through a mortgage broker like MoneySmart would be ideal for you.
Pros And Cons of Using A Mortgage Broker
- Negotiation for home loan rates with bank partners done for you
- Comparison across various home loan rates available in the market done for you by a mortgage specialist/a team of mortgage specialist
- More options to choose from due to wide access to many banks and other home loan providers
- No extra fees charged for this service, unlike a bank where it’s commission-based
- Time-efficient as home loan application process is done for you
- Limited control over your application process as they do not work for the banks; the most that a mortgage broker can do is to follow up on your behalf
- Less personalised service as compared to going directly to the bank for your home loan purchase
Compare The Best Home Loan Interest Rates Here
Pros And Cons Of Going Directly To A Bank
- More control over your application process, so if anything is pending, the bank representative assisting you can help you out as soon as possible
- Limited home loans options as compared to the variety that a mortgage broker can present to you
- More personalised service
- Access to the best rate available among all the packages offered by that one particular bank you go to
- Faster to refinance with the same bank and you may get preferential rates which are not publicly advertised
- Advice on your mortgage needs are often biased towards that particular bank as they tend to sell you packages from just that bank that they represent, since they work for that bank
- May not get the best rates in the market as other banks may offer lower rates with better perks
- More effort and time required to compare home loan packages against interest rates from other banks if you do it by yourself, as banks do not offer the complimentary services that a mortgage broker provides
Is It More Expensive To Use A Mortgage Broker?
It is actually more cost-effective to get your home loan through a mortgage broker as compared to purchasing your mortgage from a bank directly. There are several ways you can save some money when using a mortgage broker and here’s why.
There is usually a team of mortgage specialists who will help you to filter the right packages for you based on your specific needs and wants. They also consolidate the relevant documents from you, process the required paperwork, reference your credit history, verify your employment, income, and CPF statements for you before helping you to apply for the most suitable home loan.
All these hassle is settled for you without any fees, but these mortgage brokers will definitely get some commission from the respective banks they collaborate with each time they successfully arrange a home loan for you.
Special preferential rates
The business relationships and networks that mortgage brokers have with many banks and financial institutions in Singapore enables them to have access to a wide range of home loan packages at well-negotiated rates and also negotiate terms of the contract on your behalf. As a result, they can offer the packages at more value-for-money rates which are usually better or lower than those that the banks advertise on their websites.
Things To Note When Using A Mortgage Broker
Level of credibility
Given that most mortgage brokers have established an online presence, you can conveniently validate their credibility through customer reviews on Google or other social media sources like Facebook and Instagram. This way, you can have peace of mind when you know how experienced a particular broker is and trust that the advice provided is reliable.
Considering that some home loans offered by certain banks include free repricing features that let you switch to another mortgage loan package within the same bank, such situations may not require you to use a mortgage broker.
However, it is still wiser to use a mortgage broker to compare and find better rates as compared to the current loan you’re paying, so that you will not miss an opportunity to lower your monthly repayments with a new loan package.
Banks usually take turns to change their interest rates and mortgage loan packages every month or so (so as to gain market share), so it’ll be better to inquire about the best repricing offer from your bank before using a mortgage broker to compare the refinancing rates.
Property valuation process
As covered in MoneySmart’s Home Loans page, the mandatory property valuation process involves the calculation of the Loan To Value (LTV) ratio, which the bank takes into consideration when determining how much they can loan you for your house.
In the case that the bank gives you a valuation that you are not satisfied with, a mortgage broker can help you out by using different valuers (but do note that this is not guaranteed).
Looking for the best mortgage rates? Our dedicated mortgage brokers are here to get you the best rates
Where Can I Find The Best Home Loan Interest Rates?
Whether you’re a new home buyer or a first-timer at refinancing, you can get a little lost in the process of searching for the right mortgage loan at times. Tapping on comparison platforms by mortgage brokers like MoneySmart is a good place to start, and it can make things a lot easier and faster.
Visit MoneySmart’s Home Loans page
As you’re gearing up to get your own home, you’ve got to make sure that you know what you can afford in your mortgage loan package, i.e. loan tenure, loan amount, etc. so that you can manage to pay off your mortgage without risking late payments. Once you’ve got that laid out, you may let our MoneySmart mortgage specialist team know via a simple form.
Get complimentary consultations
Our MoneySmart mortgage specialists will liaise with the respective banks’ home loans team on your behalf and do up a list of recommended home loan packages for you to choose from, depending on your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, which is the amount that you are allowed to borrow to finance your home based on your total monthly income and other ongoing loans or financial liabilities you may have.
Compare real-time mortgage rates
Depending on the current economic situation, the type of property you’re purchasing and your long-term financial capacity to afford a home loan, our MoneySmart mortgage specialists will recommend the latest fixed or floating-rate home loan packages that are suitable for you.
Keep in mind that these mortgage rates are susceptible to economic changes and will fluctuate with time, so having a mortgage broker will allow you to get the most updated rates without you having to go through the hassle of crawling through the various banks’ websites for the latest information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to pay to use a mortgage broker?
- Most mortgage brokers do not charge fees for using their platforms, and they offer free services to consolidate the relevant documents from you, process the required paperwork, reference your credit history, verify your employment, income, and CPF statements for you before helping you to apply for the most suitable home loan.
Is it better to choose a mortgage broker to get your home loan?
- If you do not mind the hassle of going through the details and reading the fine print yourself, you can buy the home loan directly from your preferred bank. On the other hand, if you’re looking for the convenience of having a team of mortgage specialists to do the legwork for you and settle the paperwork for the application process, then a mortgage broker will be more suitable for you.
How can I find the best home loan interest rates?
- You may tap on online mortgage brokers like MoneySmart’s Home Loans page to find the best home loan rates as it is a good place to start and probably the fastest way to have an overview of the latest rates by most banks.
Is repricing different from refinancing?
- Repricing involves switching to a new home loan package offered by the same bank that you’re currently financing your home with, but refinancing requires more steps as it requires financing your current home with another bank instead of the current bank you’re with.