Mortgage Broker vs Lender: What You Should Know

When it comes to securing a mortgage, prospective homebuyers and those looking to remortgage are often faced with the choice between using a mortgage broker or a traditional lender like a bank. 

Both options have their advantages and considerations, and understanding the differences between them can greatly impact your home financing experience. 

In this article, we’ll delve into the key differences between mortgage brokers and lenders, helping you make an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals and needs.

What is a mortgage broker?

A mortgage broker acts as an intermediary between you and various lending institutions. Their primary role is to help you find suitable mortgage options by assessing your financial situation and matching you with lenders who offer terms that align with your needs. 

Mortgage brokers work with a network of lenders, which could include banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. You can learn more about the benefits of using a mortgage broker here.

What is a lender?

On the other hand, a lender is a financial institution that provides funds directly to borrowers for mortgages or other loans. When you approach a bank or credit union for a mortgage, you’re dealing directly with the lender. They offer their own range of mortgage products, each with its own terms, interest rates, and conditions.

What are the differences between a mortgage broker and lender?

Here are some key differences in the battle of mortgage broker vs banks (lenders):

Options and access to lenders

Mortgage broker: One of the major advantages of working with a mortgage broker is the access they provide to a wide range of lending options. Since brokers collaborate with multiple lenders, they can present you with a variety of mortgage choices, which may include loans from banks, credit unions, and private lenders.

Lender (bank): When you choose to work directly with a bank, you’re limited to the mortgage products that the bank itself offers. While this might be convenient, you might miss out on potentially more favorable options available through other lenders.

Expertise and guidance

Mortgage broker: Mortgage brokers are well-versed in the complexities of mortgage products and the lending landscape. They can offer personalized advice and guidance tailored to your financial situation, helping you navigate the intricate details of various mortgage options.

Lender (bank): While banks certainly have knowledgeable staff, they might not provide the same level of personalised guidance that a mortgage broker can offer. Bank representatives often have to cover a wide range of financial services, which could dilute their expertise in mortgage-specific matters.

Convenience and time

Mortgage broker: Brokers streamline the mortgage application process by handling much of the legwork for you. They can gather the necessary documentation, submit applications, and communicate with lenders on your behalf, saving you time and effort.

Lender (bank): Applying for a mortgage directly through a bank might require you to engage in more of the administrative tasks yourself. This could involve collecting and submitting paperwork, which can be time-consuming.

Negotiation power

Mortgage broker: Experienced mortgage brokers often have established relationships with lenders. This can sometimes give them more leverage to negotiate terms and interest rates on your behalf.

Lender (bank): While banks might have less room for negotiation on their standard mortgage products, having a strong financial history and credit score could influence the terms they offer you.

Costs and fees

Mortgage broker: Mortgage brokers are compensated through commissions paid by the lenders they connect you with. This could mean little to no direct cost to you. However, it’s important to understand the commission structure and ensure transparency. At Sett Mortgages, we are 100% free throughout the entire process, with no hidden costs.

Lender (bank): Banks typically charge various fees associated with mortgage origination, processing, and administration. These fees can vary, so it’s essential to inquire about them upfront.

Are mortgage brokers better than banks?

The question of whether mortgage brokers are superior to banks is a common one among prospective homebuyers and those considering remortgaging. The answer is dependent on your individual needs. 

Mortgage brokers offer access to a wide range of mortgage products from various lenders, enabling you to find one that suits your financial situation. Their specialised expertise is invaluable, especially for first-time buyers or unique financial scenarios. Meanwhile, banks offer convenience through existing relationships and streamlined processes. If you prefer dealing with a single institution for multiple financial needs, a bank might be preferable. 

Ultimately, the decision hinges on your priorities. At Sett Mortgages, we’re dedicated to helping you evaluate your requirements and find the right fit.


In the dynamic world of mortgage financing, understanding the distinction between mortgage brokers and lenders is crucial for making an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals. 

While mortgage brokers offer access to a diverse range of options and personalised guidance, lenders like banks provide convenience and the familiarity of working with an institution you might already trust. By evaluating your priorities and considering the factors discussed in this article, you’ll be better equipped to embark on your homeownership journey or make informed decisions about remortgaging.

Remember, whether you choose a mortgage broker or a lender, the ultimate goal is securing a mortgage that supports your dream of owning a home or managing your existing property with financial ease. If you’re ready to take the next step, Sett Mortgages is here to help you navigate the complexities of the mortgage landscape and guide you toward a solution that suits your needs best. Contact us today to learn more.


  • Elliott Benson

    Meet Elliott, a seasoned mortgage broker with over nine years of experience in property, and the founder of Sett Mortgages. With a background as a sales negotiator and mortgage services manager, he is a trusted professional with extensive knowledge in all things mortgages. Elliott's empathetic approach and clear communication style make him an approachable expert, decoding the complexities of mortgages for clients from diverse backgrounds. He stays up-to-date with the latest trends and regulations, offering cutting-edge solutions tailored to clients' needs. Committed to their financial well-being, he guides them through the mortgage process, ensuring countless successful and satisfied clients. Elliott's passion extends beyond his practice; he's a prolific writer, sharing his knowledge and insights in industry publications and blogs. His mission is to empower others with the information they need to make sound financial decisions.

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