Debbie Worthington felt the sting of not being able to get a home loan when she was a young mother in the nineties. Nowadays the broker is an owner manager of Warners Bay Mortgage Choice and gets plenty of joy by helping young families buy their first home. MPA spoke with the NSW broker about how she got started in the industry and why no problem is ever too complex for her to take a crack at it.
A drive to help families
Worthington became a broker in 2003 after her sister recommended the profession as the perfect fit.
“I had been looking for something to do to get out of the hospitality industry, which I’d been in for 20 years prior.”
“My sister became a broker with Mortgage Choice and she said to me you’d really enjoy doing this and you’d probably be really good at it too.”
After researching the industry, Worthington decided to give it a go, choosing Mortgage Choice as her aggregator.
Previously finding it hard to get a home loan herself, Worthington knew all too well the struggle families experienced when they didn’t have a good broker on their side.
“I called one broker once and he never showed up.”
“I really felt that it was the type of industry where I was able to help more families get into their homes.”
She says this has been a driving force in the way she delivers customer service.
“We set up the business so that everybody got treated the same regardless of income, loan size and location.”
“I strive to always make them feel that there was no stress to the process and that we could help them in many different ways to make sure they got into their home.”
The victory of being approved
Her favourite part of the job is when clients find out their loan application has gone through.
“There’s nothing like having a first home owner cheer with joy when they’re told that it’s approved.”
Thriving off the ability to solve problems for her clients, Worthington has helped a vast number of customers with complex situations over the past 17 years. One that stands out was a client who had a loan with a sub-prime lender.
The house was in need of some renovation to make it liveable while also being on a block of land that could be subdivided.
“These clients wanted to finish renovating their house and they wanted to do that by selling the other half of the land that they could subdivide off.”
“The current lender, who was a subprime lender, didn’t want to release the land because they felt they were going to end up with less security for the debt they had.”
“We put together a plan of action for the lender to be able to release the land and then we were able to renovate and refinance.”
Part of this involved the client getting quotes for all the work that needed doing as well as submitting an application for the property being split so that the lender could release that portion as security.
“We worked really hard to get to that point where they could do a non-completion valuation.”
She says it took about six months before the clients could sell, renovate and refinance to a traditional lender, which then saved them about $800-900 per month in repayments.
A passion for travel
When Worthington isn’t helping clients achieve their property ownership goals, she enjoys travelling the world; arriving back from Antarctica in December last year.
“I’ve done more than 44 countries and all seven continents.”
While her travel plans are now on hold due to the pandemic, Worthington says she feels blessed that her business has allowed to her enjoy this passion for so many years.