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By Michael Sterios
Becoming a mortgage broker and helping people with their home loans is one of the most intrinsically rewarding finance careers in Australia. In addition to the buzz of helping people buy their homes, successful brokers also enjoy a high income and the lifestyle it affords.
While the profession isn’t for everyone, mortgage brokers come from many different backgrounds. This is partly because the entry requirements into the profession are not as stringent as other careers, such as medicine or accounting, for which a university degree is required. There are, however, some entry requirements that must be met before an individual can begin a career as a mortgage broker, and there is also a requirement for ongoing professional development that must be maintained in order to remain qualified.
The minimum academic requirement that must be completed by any individual wishing to become a mortgage broker is the Certificate 4 in Financial Services (Finance/Mortgage lending FNS40804). This course is offered by many different institutions and can be conducted either face to face or by distance learning depending on the institution. Although distance learning is an option it is recommended that prospective brokers with no industry experience undergo the training in person. This will allow the student to ask questions of their instructor and receive extra attention on any concepts that are difficult to grasp.
Once the Certificate is completed the individual will be required to join an industry association. There are two options available; the MFAA (Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia) and the FBAA (Finance Brokers Association of Australia). The MFAA was previously called the MIAA. Brokers are only required to join one association and both require the Certificate 4 to be completed before joining. Additionally, there is Federal legislation currently being introduced that will make it a legal requirement for all mortgage brokers in Australia to complete the Certificate.
In addition to the minimum academic requirements it is recommended that prospective brokers contain several personal qualities that will help them succeed in the industry. A basic grasp of mathematics is required to accurately assess the suitability of the finance products that the broker will advise their clients on. A basic grasp of the English language is also required as legal documents are involved in property transactions.
As mortgage broking is essentially a sales job paying commissions, some sales experience is beneficial, although this can be learned from franchisors or mentors. It is also essential to be self-motivated and well organised, especially if conducting business in a self-employed capacity. It is likely that the mortgage broker will deal with multiple applications from several different clients at any one time so good organisational skills are a must to stay ahead of the game.
Once a broker has completed their initial training and gained some experience they will be required to complete further education. This is known as CPD (Continued Professional Development). Various training institutions offer courses that count towards CPD requirements. Some of these courses can also be used to gain new marketable skills such as the ability to offer clients commercial mortgages and other finance products.
*article also submitted at ezinearticles*
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