Why Go to a Mortgage Broker?

In this episode of Searle Sitdown, we explore why 55% of Australians go to Mortgage Brokers.

Money Management Tips in 90 Seconds

In this episode of Searle Sitdown, Andrew speeds us through 3 important tips that can be used for money management.

Guarantor Loan

In this episode of the Searle Sitdown, Andrew walks us through the process of applying and approving a Guarantor Loan. This can be especially handy for those applying for their first home loan.

Cross Collateralisation

In this episode of Searle Sitdown, we explore the dangers of 'Cross Collateralising' your home loan and the other options that you have at your disposal.

Tax Benefits of an Offset Account

In this episode of Searle Sitdown, we discuss the Tax Benefits of having an Offset Account.

frequently asked questions

A Mortgage Broker is an intermediary who brings borrowers and lenders together. A Mortgage Broker helps borrowers connect with lenders and seeks out the best fit in terms of the borrower’s financial situation and interest rate needs. The Mortgage Broker arranges the loan application for the borrower, completes all the paperwork and removes the stress and the hassle of dealing directly with the banks, all without having to charge a cent. The borrower’s chance of a successful loan application is greatly enhanced because it allows the borrower the opportunity to find the best deal from a selection of lenders who are more likely to approve their loan. That’s why over 70% of Australian borrowers use a Mortgage Broker! 

Firstly, it’s challenging for most people to choose. Which bank? Which product? What about building societies and credit unions? There is just so much choice.

Many people don’t realise that some banks work better for some clients (depending on their individual situation and circumstances) than others.  It’s the role of the Mortgage Broker to help you find the ‘right fit’.

There are a lot of options out there, and with the Reserve Bank often moving official interest rates and banks able to move their rates independently, it’s an ever-changing market. Not to mention all the new products that are constantly being introduced.

With choice comes complexity. It can get tricky to navigate through it all and it can take a lot of your time.

A Mortgage Broker will steer you through the complexities to find a loan that suits your needs and not the need of one, particular bank. We then deal with the lender and help manage the application process on your behalf through to approval.

That’s why a broker makes sense. We do this day in and day out. We know the lenders and their products, and we’re up to date with changes when it comes to lender policies, products, and their different lending appetites. We help choose what’s right for you.

The banks pay Mortgage Brokers a commission for introducing the client to the bank, which makes it a fantastic service for the borrower because the broker does not have to charge the client a fee for their professional time. 

Mortgage Brokers are licensed and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and must adhere to strict codes of practice to ensure that their advice is in the best interest of the borrower.

It depends on several factors including your income, living expenses, commitments, your deposit, the location and type of property being purchased. To get an accurate indication of your borrowing power call us on (07) 4632 1300 and request to speak with one of our brokers.

The short answer is – yes. A solicitor/conveyancer has several roles to play in the buying process.

You should contact a solicitor early in the process when you have received a pre-approval for a home loan from a lending institution.

When you find a property, your solicitor will help you check the Contract of Sale.  They will then undertake several property related searches and alert you to anything that may affect your decision to purchase the property.

After a contract has been signed, the settlement period begins. During this period, a number of key events will occur that are driven by your solicitor. These include preparing the Transfer of Land document, arranging a settlement date, and advising on the amount of funds you are required to provide at settlement. 

If you are applying for a fixed interest rate loan, many lenders allow you the option to lock in the interest rate advertised on the day rather than accepting the rate offered on settlement day. The cost varies between lenders, you should budget for 0.15% of the loan amount. Rate lock is always an important consideration especially in an environment of increasing interest rates. One of our friendly mortgage brokers will be more than happy to outline the pros and cons of rate lock.

Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) is a one-off fee that’s added to your home loan. It’s calculated based on the size of your deposit and how much you borrow. LMI protects the bank against any loss they may incur if you are unable to repay your loan. Usually, if your deposit is less than 20% then LMI is payable, however we have access to some banks that won’t charge mortgage insurance under certain circumstances saving you thousands of dollars. Call us on (07) 4632 1300 to find out more.

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contact us today

Grace Kennedy

Grace joined the team as a broker support officer in 2024. After many years as a financial adviser’s assistant, working mainly in retirement planning, Grace is passionate about supporting clients in looking after their most important financial assets and realising their goals. Keen to expand on her experience in financial services, Grace is motivated by achieving the best outcome for clients.

Outside of work, Grace is kept busy by her 3 sporty kids and border collie. The family enjoys spending as much time as possible in the outdoors so you’ll find them on soccer pitches and carnivals across the south east or enjoying bushwalks and camping in our beautiful region.

Kodi Koina

Business Support Officer

Kodi joined Searle Financial as Bec’s assistant in August 2021, after completing her Bachelor of Business and Commerce through the University of Southern Queensland. 

You will find her working behind the scenes gathering information and managing Bec’s client applications all the way from submission to settlement, as well as completing reviews for existing clients to ensure they are on the most competitive rate possible. She enjoys liaising with clients and keeping them up to date throughout the entire application process.

You will often find Kodi catching up with friends and family in her spare time.

Michael Todd

Mortgage Advisor

Michael joined Searle Financial in 2022. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Finance (with distinction) from the University of Southern Queensland and a Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking.
Michael’s combination of industry experience and tertiary studies in finance allow him to strategically assist a variety of clients from first home buyers through to complex self-employed business owners.

Michael has a client focused approach to his work and is continuously refining his process to ensure clients’ requirements & objectives are met and industry changes are incorporated. During the client journey Michael looks to communicate clearly with all stakeholders, allowing for settlements to occur smoothly.

In his spare time Michael enjoys all things outdoors with friends and family. He also has a genuine interest in the economic events of the world.

Melissa Hitchen

Business Support Officer

Melissa joined the Searle Financial Services team in July 2017, bringing with her several years of experience in a broker support role. Having completed both her Diploma and Certificate IV in finance and mortgage broking management, you’ll often find Melissa quietly working away in the background. Her role involves managing Andrew’s client applications, and ensuring the process is smooth and effortless. 

Whether the purchase of their first home, adding to an investment portfolio, or obtaining a more competitive rate on their mortgage, Melissa’s goal is always the same – to assist our clients to achieve their financial goals. 

Melissa is a mother to two gorgeous – and active – girls, so you’ll often find the family out and about looking for new adventures!

Michael Todd

Mortgage Advisor
0400 595 555

THIS BLURB NEEDS TO FEATURE MICHAEL! With a background in Financial Planning, Charmaine has now come full circle, rejoining our Mortgage team to ensure clients continue to enjoy competitive rates and service for the life of their loan. Charmaine enjoys the role of office manager, supporting the brokers and administration support staff in their varied roles.

Prior to her career in Finance, Charmaine worked across the ceramic and glass art industries, and still maintains her creative endeavours by actively nurturing her two artists-in-the-making – her children Hugo and Xanthe!

Julie Ikin

Business Support Officer

Having previously worked in banking for eight years, Julie joined the Searle Financial Services team in May 2018. She holds a Bachelor of Business through the University of Southern Queensland.

Julie gathers all the information for applications, reviews existing loan accounts and liaises with lenders – she is often found quietly working away in the background. Working in the mortgage broking industry offers Julie an opportunity to work across a vast variety of banks and financial institutions which brings competition to the finance industry, ultimately offering the best options for our clients.

When away from the office, you can find Julie relaxing with her two children, drinking coffee, lounging by the pool or cooking a mean barbeque!

Bec Faulks

Senior Mortgage Advisor

Bec has been with Searle Financial since 2019 & has been working in the mortgage broking industry since 2002. A second-generation mortgage broker, Bec’s father was a pioneer in the industry more than 20 years ago and we think lending is her blood! Bec is proud to be part of an industry that is constantly evolving to keep up with modern financial needs.

Bec enjoys a challenge and prides herself on listening to clients’ needs & goals, providing easy-to-understand solutions specific to them. As a part of her services, she offers ongoing reviews & continual support for the life of their loan as they move through the varied financial stages of their lives.

Bec and her husband are locals raising their two daughters in our beautiful regional city. In her spare time, she loves hiking and having adventures!

Suellen Heyman

Mortgage & Equipment Finance Advisor

Having commenced her career in finance in 1983, Suellen has worked in various roles across the financial industry, ranging from administration, collections, marketing and lending. Her many years within the industry brings an invaluable wealth of experience and understanding to our team. 

Having commenced with Searle Financial Services in 2018 as a mortgage advisor, Suellen is highly valued, working with our clients from the initial meeting, throughout the process of establishing a lending product and throughout the term of the loan. She has completed her Cert IV in finance and mortgage broking management and is a Commissioner for Declarations.

Suellen is often found out-and-about in our beautiful city of Toowoomba walking her two dogs, or relaxing at one of the many coffee spots around our town!

Andrew Searle

Managing Director

The founding member of Searle Financial Services, Andrew Searle first opened the doors of our organisation in 2004, after years of travel and work across the financial industry in both Australia and the UK.

Andrew holds a Master of Commerce with the University of Queensland and a Bachelor’s degree from Griffith University.  In addition, he holds a Diploma in Financial Services, is a full member of the Mortgage Finance Association of Australia and has the distinction of being Australia’s first finance broker to become licenced with ASIC. Just to round things out, Andrew is also a Justice of the Peace.

By far his proudest achievements are his son Hugo, and daughter Xanthe. When Andrew is not in the office, you can find Andrew pursuing his hobbies of mountain bike riding and trying to play golf. 

Andrew’s Australian Credit Licence Number (ACL) is 364362.