How can mortgage brokers lead the financial literacy revolution?

As brokers we spend so much of our time educating our clients. Whether it’s the basic concepts of a loan, the actual process of lending, or what’s involved in the purchasing of a property, ultimately we invest a lot of time with clients explaining these concepts. Then we scrape bank statements, educate on living expenses and help clients qualify their financial position, whilst sometimes experiencing their frustrations at all of these “useless” questions. In the end, most clients don’t understand the importance of these questions and just want their loan to obtain their dream property!

Did you know, 1 in 3 adult Australians are financially illiterate?* 

Yup, you read correctly… 1 in 3!  As defined by the HILDA (Household, Income and Labour Dynamics) Survey, financial literacy is a person's ability to answer three main questions on the concepts of interest rates, inflation and diversification, and understand the associated impact to their finances!

So it begs the question, if 1 in 3 clients are financially illiterate, how can we, as Brokers, improve the financial literacy of our clients, the country and the generations to come?

Clever spending habits are not an inherent thought process - they are a learned behaviour. Often our clients have not had fantastic financial role models nor learned the basic fundamentals of financial knowledge. Sometimes they are just lazy. There’s lots of differing factors that impact their knowledge, and perhaps more alarming is the fact that financial literacy is the primary determinant in a range of enriched life outcomes; including wealth accumulation, retirement planning and women’s economic empowerment. In fact when strictly speaking about women, half are defined as financially illiterate. Read that part again.

It's not often a client attends a broker appointment with their living expenses fully documented and easily vetted – meaning Brokers invest vast amounts of time for uncertain outcomes, ultimately this equates to working for free in most cases.

This lack of financial knowledge about spending habits, cash flows and budgets has a significant follow on effect into our business processes. It drives up the time we need to spend with each client, to be comfortable they are knowledgeable enough to be in a position to borrow, and that our file is compliant. If you were to track the additional time spent as a result of full living expenses verification and explanation to clients with a lack of basic financial literacy, to those who arrive fully aware of their spending habits, with documented living expenses and an open position to answering “difficult” questions, you’d likely find the time cost would be double. That was my experience. Then add BID on top, and the resulting time spent on each application prior to lodgement has increased roughly 50-75% in the last 3 years.

With the impact of COVID wreaking havoc on most people’s cash flow, the pathway forward is financial knowledge built by a revolution in Financial Literacy.

Lead the Financial Literacy Revolution

Right now, Brokers can lead this Financial Literacy Revolution, facilitating education for their clients through an online course designed to empower the consumer and reduce the number of hours Brokers spend getting clients fiscally prepared for lending.

The Money Intelligence Course provides both Brokers and their clients with a resource that educates and empowers while reducing hours invested by Brokers, at no cost to them.

This course provides benefits to both the Consumer and the Broker.

Benefit to your client

  • Basic Financial literacy including cash flows, budgets and better knowledge base for decisions.
  • Complete and documented understanding of living expenses
  • Well prepared and positioned to apply for lending
  • Advance opportunity for clients to fix bad spending habits, as consumers work out what is most important to them, like buying a house

Benefit to Broker

  • Clients are more educated and thus able to make faster decisions
  • Reduction in time required by broker to explain basic concepts
  • Client is more prepared and potentially more qualified to apply for their loan
  • Great way to build relationship and show value to your database
  • Client has buy in (as they have paid for the course)
  • Diversify business and earn additional income
  • Commitment in lieu of an upfront fee (or where your aggregator has banned charging)

This innovative financial literacy course provides a win-win for the Broker community and for clients and is built by someone with nearly 20 years of Broker knowledge and experience.

Brokers can now be part of the Financial Literacy Revolution by simply embedding this course into their customer onboarding process, at no financial outlay.

 Broker’s using it have had this to say:

 “What we saw with Sarah’s program and the opportunity to co-brand, was not only a way for us to further diversify our business, but a way for clients who aren’t ready to purchase, engage in a program that will enable them to start a pathway that will almost guarantee the client returns to us when their circumstances change and they are ready to purchase.” Scott Beattie, Cube Home Loans.

“For compliance, we spend an enormous amount of time analysing bank statements and explaining [to clients] actual vs estimated spending, which massively slows down the process of an application. Some lenders require bank statements matched to disclosed living expenses, or the application may get declined! By integrating Sarah’s course into our onboarding process, we’ve noticed clients have greater understanding of the process, and are more comfortable with questions on their spending habits as they now know the answers, feel it’s less intrusive and may have already changed to positive spending behaviour. They are now onboard with the journey rather than fighting us in answering all our required questions” Paul Kusli, Kudos Money 

For more information, head to 

Sarah is an award-winning Finance Broker, Business Strategist, Leadership and Accountability Coach.

Sarah now works solely in the B2B space, and built this course with an understanding of the processes and the challenges Brokers face in a constantly changing financial landscape. Her knowledge of the varied complexities in originating loans, providing quality advice to clients and navigating the loan processes through to settlement ensures this course meets the needs of the both the broker sector and consumers. Through firsthand experience, Sarah recognised the education gap and created the Money Intelligence course to improve the financial literacy of everyday Australians, with tangible outcomes for Brokers, including a non solicitation agreement. Become part of the financial literacy revolution! | 0421 079 415

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