A local morning “news” show frequently has a financial guru talking about some aspect of personal finances. It helps the average consumer make more informed financial decisions. And promotes his business.

Most times, I think he’s right on.

This morning he was only half right. He was dead wrong on the other half.

In comparing “A” and “B” mortgages, he advised always trying to get an “A” mortgage first. In that, he is absolutely correct. “B” mortgages are more expensive, less flexible, and only a secondary option for those who fail to land an “A” mortgage.

Where he was dead wrong was in advising to go to “A” lenders to get an “A” mortgage, and that, if you can’t, then go to a mortgage broker because they deal in “B” mortgages.

True, they do. But they also deal in “A” mortgages. And, in fact, they are far better at dealing in “A” mortgages than you or any of the “A” lenders are.

I advise that you always go to a mortgage broker for an “A” mortgage, not directly to a lender.

There are three reasons. One, no two mortgages are identical. The product from one bank will not be identical to that from another. Nor will their interest rates. Nor their ease of qualifying. If you go to your bank, they can offer you only their product. But is that the one that best fits your circumstances? And is it the best rate available?

A mortgage broker not only knows the differences between all the options—that’s their job—but also shops around for the best fit for your circumstances.

Second, if you go to one “A” lender and they turn you down, you have to start all over again with another one. (Note that, at any given time, one lender may be tough to get approved with while another may be much easier, a situation that could be reversed a few months down the road, when their bottom lines change.)

Not only is that a waste of time, but you’ll get your credit score pulled a second time (or third, or fourth), each time possibly hurting your credit rating, as each hard hit can cost you up to 6 points.

A mortgage broker not only saves you all the time you’d waste, but also pulls your score only once and then shops around for you.

Third, should a mortgage broker not be able to land you an “A” mortgage from any of the many options, they can simply pivot to shopping for a “B” mortgage. They have connections just a phone call away.

And, contrary to some misunderstanding, a mortgage broker does not cost you a penny to get an “A” mortgage (though you will for a “B” mortgage). The lenders pay them to get them the mortgage.

So why would you ever go directly to an “A” lender when you get better service from a mortgage broker and it’s free?

The guy was wrong. You don’t go to a mortgage broker only for a “B” mortgage; you go to a mortgage broker for all mortgages.

Now there are a couple of banks that refuse to deal with mortgage brokers. They evidently believe they are powerful enough to attract sufficient uninformed consumers (none of you–now). I say, “Boycott them!”

Full disclosure: I am not a mortgage broker. And I get no commission for dealing with them or promoting their service.

I do so just because it makes sense. And because I’m also in the financial education business.

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