My Story – David Ham, founder of Mortgage Australia.

Let me tell you a little about myself and how I got started. You will quickly see that if I was able to do this, you certainly will be able to.

To take you back a fair way, my mother raised me and my two older sisters on her own. Being a single mother, it was very tough for her. While I was going to school, she worked as a cleaning lady to make ends meet for us while at the same time she attended university. It was a real financial struggle for her, but she did her best for all of us, and I couldn’t be more grateful or inspired by her.

And it certainly taught me that I wanted to avoid that horrible feeling that comes with the bill that arrives that you just don’t know how you’ll pay and wondering how my family would make ends meet. I also wanted to be able to look after my mother later in life, so she didn’t have to worry about these things anymore.

While I was at University, I completed work experience with the global accounting firm Ernst & Young. It was there that I learned about the developing field of Mortgage Broking, which looked like a great opportunity.

On a shoestring budget, three of the senior staff from Ernst & Young and I started a mortgage broking business. This meant borrowing money on my credit card to pay my way and support myself in the early days.

Fresh out of University, I didn’t have any money or assets to my name; in fact, I owed money on my car loan and on my credit card, and I had tens of thousands of dollars in University ‘HECS’ fees and Austudy loan fees to repay.

Several months after starting the company, it seemed we didn’t have a clear direction; it was a typical case of too many decision makers and not enough people actually doing the work. So, I decided to buy out my original partners and continued to run my fledgling business as a one- man-band.

While being very stressful at the time, this turned out to be the best decision, as I was able to push ahead much faster with my own ideas.

As things began to move in the right direction, my wife and I bought our first home with the help of the First Home Owners Grant. A tiny, two- bedroom flat in Maylands, Western Australia, was all we could afford, but we loved it. It was over the next couple of years, living in that house and working on my own as a Mortgage Broker that I learned everything I have since applied to make myself and many of my client’s mortgage free.

… to be continued very soon in Part 2.