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The pros and cons of using a personal loan broker

Written by

Shaun McGowan

If you’re thinking about getting a personal loan, one of your main considerations will be how you choose to apply - this affects your loan more than you think!

Most people will know that you can apply for a personal loan directly with your bank, and many will be aware of online lenders you can apply with online in a few minutes. But there’s a common third option that can be overlooked: using a personal loan broker.

Personal loan brokers explained

A personal loan broker is not a lender. Instead, they work as a combination of advisor, facilitator, and guide between you and the lender with the most suitable personal loan offer.

Brokers help you find the most suitable loan offer by working with a number of different lenders, including the banks and online lenders mentioned earlier, and any other institute that can offer personal loans.

They’ll then use their knowledge of these lenders and what they offer to advise on the most suitable loan for your financial circumstances and needs, then oversee your application to improve your chances of approval.

Reasons to use a personal loan broker

First, let’s look at some of the best reasons to consider using a personal loan broker:

  • A personal loan broker will save you the time and effort of researching different lenders, different loan options, and wondering if you’ve found the best deal - they do this for you.
  • A personal loan broker usually only works on commission. This means you won’t be paying an upfront fee for their services, and they’ll receive payment from the lender for the referral instead.
  • A personal loan broker has your interests at heart. A great broker finds success in the success of their clients; this means using their strong relationships with lenders to not only get you the best offer, but to create unique offers unavailable elsewhere.
  • A personal loan broker can help if you have difficulty qualifying. Brokers are often a solid option if you’re self-employed or have a bad credit history, as they can leverage their relationship with lenders and understanding of the loan market to help find you a loan offer.

Comparing the best ways to get a personal loan

Money Matchmaker™Direct with LenderBroker
Fees$0$0up to $990
CommissionNoNoYes
Impact Credit ScoreNoYesNo
Multiple LendersYesNoYes
Number of QuotesUp to 1111-3
Time to Quote60 seconds1-5 minutes1-2 days
Phone call follow upsNoYesYes
Cost to applyNoYes Yes

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Reasons to not use a personal loan broker

Generally when you’re using a personal loan broker, the pros will outweigh the cons. However, not all brokers are the same, and a little research can help you avoid some common problems when acquiring a personal loan this way.

Two of the most common issues with brokers are:

  • The money they charge for their services
  • Their trustworthiness

Firstly, the best types of personal loan brokers will work on commission; this means they only make money if they find you a loan offer you choose to accept.

Secondly, the amount of money a personal loan broker can charge may vary, and sometimes this can be hidden in your loan agreement in the form of a fee charged by the lender.

At the very worst, brokers have been known to inflate the interest rate on the loan to increase their commission. This leads to the trustworthiness of a broker - always do your research and look for reviews of the person you are dealing with before investing your time and future financial stability with them.

Is a broker for you?

Whether a broker is for you or not will depend on your understanding of the personal loan market, your ability to research your own options, and experience in determining the best deal on offer.

Here’s how you can make sure they’re delivering value to you:

  • Ask for recommendations. A good broker will have plenty of previous experience with clients and an equal number of success stories and recommendations.
  • Ask about their lenders. A broker with too many lenders may only favour certain lenders, using the large number of other lenders as a front.
  • Ask about their commissions. Understanding how they charge for their services and any effect this may have on your final agreement is crucial to getting a good deal.

The right loan can save you $1,000s

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About the Author

Shaun McGowan from money.com.au

Shaun

McGowan

Shaun McGowan

Shaun is the founder of Money.com.au and is determined to help people pay as little as possible for financial products. Through education and building world class technology. Previously Shaun co-founded CarLoans.com.au and Lend.

*Information about comparison rates Comparison rates are designed to allow borrowers to understand the true cost of a loan by taking into account fees and charges, the loan amount and the term of the loan. The comparison rate is based on an unsecured fixed rate personal loan of $30,000 over 5 years. WARNING: Comparison rates are true only for the examples provided and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.

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Money Pty Ltd (trading as Money.com.au) provides information about credit products and is authorised to do so as the holder of Australian Credit Licence 528698. Money.com.au does not compare every Lender in Australia. We are not a broker or credit provider and when we provide information via this website, we are not providing you with a recommendation or suggestion about a particular credit product. When you apply for a credit product via the Money.com.au website, you are not applying with us, you are applying directly with a Lender Partner. Before entering into any credit product from one of our Lender Partners, you should confirm the rates and product information with the Lender. All information on this website is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether this advice is right for you and we encourage you to seek independent financial advice.