Should you use a mortgage broker in Ireland?
If you’re on the hunt for a new mortgage, finding the right home loan takes time & effort. Here’s how a mortgage broker could save you time and money.
How can a mortgage broker help?
A mortgage intermediary can not only help you find the best mortgage rates, but can also support you through the application process.
A broker can help you:
Types of mortgage broker
Some brokers are tied to one specific lender, whereas other mortgage brokers have access to a panel of lenders or the whole of the market.
An independent mortgage broker, in order to call themselves independent, can only charge a fee and not take a commission from a lender.
Tied mortgage brokers don’t have access to all the mortgage products in Ireland so you could miss out on deals that are cheaper or more suitable for your circumstances.
Can you use a broker to switch your mortgage?
If you want to go it alone, our Complete guide to mortgages could help you get started on your mortgage journey.
How much does a mortgage broker cost?
Some brokers charge a fee for mortgage advice or to arrange your mortgage application. The fee may be based on a percentage of the mortgage amount or charged at a flat rate.
However, many online brokers are free because they get a commission from the lender so don’t pass on charges to the borrower. Commission from lenders is typically around 1% of the mortgage.
Shop around and find out exactly what each broker will charge you or how they are paid. They should be able to tell you the full cost upfront.
Is it cheaper to get a mortgage through a broker?
Yes, mortgage brokers have access to a wider range of products which could mean you get a cheaper mortgage deal.
Even if you have to pay a broker fee, the savings you could make by getting a cheaper mortgage rate could dwarf the cost of using them.
Choosing a mortgage broker
To get the best mortgage advice, before you sign up with a broker find out:
- If they’re regulated and authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland
- If they have access to the whole of the market, a panel of lenders or are tied to a lender
- Do they earn a commission or charge a fee?
- What (if anything) you will be charged and get it in writing
Finally, check out reviews and recommendations via social media, their website or word of mouth.
How to find a mortgage broker in Ireland
There are several ways to find a mortgage broker, you can use the Brokers Ireland’s website to find a broker nearby.
Your mortgage lender may provide you with a choice of brokers in your area.
Alternatively, you may find a mortgage deal on a comparison website that’s arranged by a broker or you can search for a free online broker.
Remember, some brokers offer a face to face service, whereas others operate purely online.
Mortgage broker FAQs
Can a broker help me get a mortgage with bad credit?
Can I get a mortgage if I'm self-employed?
Yes, and getting your mortgage through a broker can be the best option if you’re self-employed. They can access a wider range of lenders and are more likely to find a mortgage tailored to your financial circumstances.
Read more about how to get a mortgage if your’re self employed in our helpful guide.
Can a mortgage broker help me find a self build mortgage?
Yes, if you’re building your own home, an adviser can help you find the best rate self build mortgage. If you’d like to know more about self build mortgages, our Guide to self build mortgages in Ireland is full of useful tips.
What qualifications does a mortgage broker have?
All individuals who advise on Mortgages are now required to hold a qualification such as the QFA (Qualified Financial Adviser). You can see a full list on the Central Bank of Ireland website.
The QFA is a professional designation that meets the Central Bank’s Minimum Competency Code (MCC) requirements for selling and advising of retail financial products set out in the Code.
Is mortgage advice truly impartial?
Yes, there are restrictions on the use of the terms ‘broker’ and ‘independent’ and mortgage advisers have to comply with a set of rules and standards.
For example, to call themselves independent, a broker can only charge a fee and not take a commission.
How do I check if a mortgage broker is authorised by the Central Bank of Ireland?
You can check the Central Bank of Ireland’s Register of Mortgage Credit Intermediaries. Online brokers will state their authorisation on their website. You will usually find the regulation notice at the bottom of the page.
What is a direct-only mortgage?
It’s a mortgage product that’s only available directly from your bank or lender and is not made available to mortgage intermediaries.
What is an Approval in Principle (AIP)?
It’s an agreement from a lender showing the amount they are willing to lend you, based on information you’ve provided and your credit record. An AIP may also be called a Mortgage in Principle (MIP) or a Decision in Principle (DIP).
An AIP is free and it’s usually valid for six months. Find out more in our guide, How to get a mortgage Approval in Principle in Ireland.
Compare mortgage rates & deals
Find a range of first time buyer and home mover mortgage deals in Ireland using our comparison.