Comparison sites can be handy for research but they may not paint the full picture. Here’s why.
When it comes to something as important as your home loan it pays to shop around. Chances are, you’ve checked out a few comparison sites yourself. Makes sense – after all, it’s good to have an idea of what the market looks like.
The trouble is, there’s plenty a comparison site won’t tell you. We lift the lid on what’s missing from the picture.
1. The loans you see may not match your needs
Comparison sites rely on you to plug in a few basic details like whether you’re interested in a fixed or variable rate home loan. What they don’t take into account is your personal needs or circumstances. So you’re pretty much left to work out yourself the type of loan that’s suitable for you.
With so many different loans and loan features to pick from, it pays to talk to a home loan expert. Your Aussie Broker can help you understand the type of home loans available and find the one that’s right for your lifestyle and budget.
2. You may not qualify for the loans listed
A whole variety of issues can determine whether you tick all the boxes for loan approval with a particular lender. Even the location you buy in can decide whether or not you get the green light.
When you use a comparison site, you may only be asked for a few personal details – if any. So it’s almost impossible for the site to narrow down those loans you actually qualify for.
It can be disappointing to have your heart set on a loan, only to discover you don’t meet the lender’s criteria. It can also mean wasting precious time if you need your home loan in a hurry.
3. The rate you see may not be the rate you pay
What you see may not be what you get with a comparison site.
Yes, you may see a lender’s advertised rate listed, however the standard variable rate can be quite different from the interest rate that a bank offers to you personally.
4. Not all loans are treated the same
Comparison sites often make their money from fees and/or commissions paid by the companies whose products they list. This means they may promote one lender’s products more than another’s – even if it’s not the better deal.
Worst case scenario, it could mean you take out a more expensive home loan when affordable alternative are available.
5. The information may not be unbiased
Consumer watchdog – the ACCC, has noted that comparison sites may not always be unbiased or impartial. In some cases, the comparison site may even be owned by a company that displays its own products on the site.
Comparison sites can be useful. But talk to your Aussie Broker for help choosing the right loan for your needs from over 3,000 different home loans^.
^Not all lenders are available through all brokers.
You may also be interested in Brokers v comparison sites. Why it’s worth chatting to a broker, Dear John – are online comparison sites a good research source? and Dear John – how reliable are online comparison sites?