Mortgage advice

Top ten questions about using a mortgage broker

Freddie Lewis Sales Operations Manager
DATE 30.07.21

Mortgage brokers are specialists who posses in-depth knowledge of the mortgage market and are aware of all the latest mortgage products and deals available.

Why use a mortgage broker?

Using a mortgage broker can save you time searching for a deal yourself as brokers can tell you who is likely to lend to you. They are also on hand to help you fill in and process your application. Moreover, mortgage brokers will be able to find loans for applicants with freelance or contract jobs, or more complex circumstances.

They also offer expert advice on how much you can borrow, which can be particularly useful for first-time buyers.

 

Do I have to pay fees?

Some brokers will charge you a fee, which will either be a flat rate or a percentage based on the amount you want to borrow. Others can offer mortgage-broking for free if they receive a commission from the lender. You should ask for a full breakdown of any fees and commission they receive before you enter into an agreement.

How do I find the best broker?

Ask friends, family or colleagues for recommendations. Compare any fees quoted and find out what this includes. Brokers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and must have a CeMAP or CertMA qualification. Check their reviews to see what the public thinks about their service.

How do I know they are offering me the best deal?

Often brokers can access mortgage deals that are only available to them. A whole of market broker should have access to all mortgages on the market, so they will be able to suggest the best one for you.

However, some brokers are tied to certain lenders, or if they work for a bank or a building society they will only tell you about their own product range.

Some lenders will only deal directly with the borrower so it’s worth doing your own research too to compare the results; starting with where you have a personal bank account to see what they can offer.

Should I get my mortgage through an estate agent?

You may be asked to speak to the agent’s mortgage broker to confirm your financial position when you start looking for a property or when you make an offer. You are under no obligation to use this service but you can compare any offers with others you have found.

What is included in the service?

A mortgage broker should ask you in detail about your finances and explain the different types of mortgages and interest deals on offer. They should advise which ones suit your circumstances and give you clear reasons why they have suggested a particular mortgage to you.

Check if they will take responsibility for all the administration and chasing lenders and when they will be available to discuss your case. Do they work out of office hours and at weekends?

What documents will I need to provide?

You will need to prove who you are with your passport or photo driving license, give proof of where you live and how much you earn, and have proof of your deposit.

You may also be required to show evidence of a right to reside in the UK and any additional income (eg bonuses) plus any non-earned income (maintenance payments, child benefits).

If you are self-employed you will be asked for two to three years’ of accounts.

And finally, if you already have a mortgage you will need to show your most recent mortgage statement.

Should I use an online mortgage broker?

Most brokers will like to see you in person or at least speak to you over the phone but you can use a web-based company that processes your application mostly online.

What if I have a complaint over the service?

Firstly, ask the company to resolve the situation. If you need to take your complaint further you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (0800 023 4567) or www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk for help.