Need a loan? Time to wise up!

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"The lack of knowledge of Australian borrowers is a case in point of mortgage brokers being a useful resource for information, tips and a broader view of the mortgage maze," said Mortgage Choice national manager, corporate affairs, Warren O'Rourke. Of equal concern is numbers of consumers, particularly those in their twenties and early thirties, who have never heard of lenders' mortgage insurance (LMI), and situations when they would be required to take out an LMI policy. A survey by Genworth Financial of those who had graduated university since 2003 found that 68% had never heard of LMI. This is worrisome given that most first-time borrowers would be borrowing over 80% of the property's total value, and would therefore be required to take out LMI. Young people are a dominant force amongst loan consumers, according to the Mortgage Choice research. 64.8 per cent of loan consultants reported that the 25-35 year age bracket accounted for the largest group of their borrowers. 36-45 year olds were the dominant group for 31.9% of loan consultants. The research uncovered interesting trends when it came to gender roles in mortgage lending. Whilst the majority of loan applicants were in a relationship, the female is predominantly the first point of contact. "The results show that women continue to be financially savvy with initiating the process of borrowing for a property. When it comes to the needs of the family, women are generally the primary decision makers in the household," said O'Rourke. With many borrowers 'wising up' during the process of applying for a loan and searching for suitable properties, the lion's share of consumers are exceptionally price sensitive. "Although there is a lack of knowledge upon starting out in the mortgage process, once they get to the stage of applying for a loan then they have a decent idea of what they're looking for - low rates and fees," said O'Rourke.

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