A mortgage broker – also known as a mortgage adviser – acts as an intermediary between you and the lender, in order to arrange your mortgage.
Some mortgage brokers are “tied agents” – this means they only provide mortgages from one lender, or a small group of lenders (known as a “panel”). This can sometimes work in your favour, as due to their close relationship with a specific lender, a tied agent can offer you exclusive deals. However, a tied agent won’t be able to offer you anything that’s not on their panel, even if those mortgages are better – which means you could miss out on some great products.
Other mortgage brokers are “whole of market” – this means they can find mortgages from a wide range of lenders across the UK. Because their panel of lenders is larger, a whole of market broker has a much greater selection of mortgage products to offer you. This means more choice for you, and more chance of finding a product that suits you, your circumstances and your needs.
All mortgage advisers, whether they are tied agents or whole of market, must hold a recognised qualification and be authorised by the UK’s financial services regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority.
Whenever you go to a mortgage broker, always check that they are qualified and authorised. You can do this by checking the Financial Services Register at: https://register.fca.org.uk/s/
2. What does a mortgage broker do?
One of the first things a mortgage broker will do is complete what is known as a “fact find.” This is either a face-to-face or telephone appointment to discuss your needs and what you’re looking for when it comes to a mortgage.
Some of the things they will ask you about include your employment history, your income, your monthly expenses, as well as your preferences, your long-term goals, and the things that might change for you in the future.
A fact find with a professional mortgage broker should feel like a relaxed conversation with a trusted friend. The reason these questions are asked, is so the broker can fully understand you, your situation and what matters to you most, so they can recommend a mortgage that is perfect for you.
Equipped with this information and understanding, the broker will then search the market for a product that best suits your needs. They’ll then come back to you with their recommendation. This is where they’ll explain the mortgage in detail – the rate, the term, the monthly payment, and any specific product features you might have asked for, such as overpayments. They’ll also answer any questions you might have.
Once you’re happy, they’ll send out the details of the mortgage for you to look over and the paperwork you need to fill in and return. At this point, many brokers will hand you over to a member of their administrative team, who will manage your application and liaise with the lender to make sure your mortgage completes as quickly as possible.
And that’s it, you’re on your way to getting your mortgage.
3. Why go to a mortgage broker?
You’ll save time;
Rather than spending your valuable time searching online, or ringing round to speak to different banks and building societies, once you’ve spoken to your mortgage broker, they’ll do all that for you. Using the latest computer systems, a mortgage broker will be able to compare hundreds of different products and lenders in minutes, to find you the best deal.
You’ll be offered exclusive products;
Some lenders don’t deal directly with the customer, so their products are only available through intermediaries. Using a broker means you can access these exclusive products and benefit from some of the most competitive deals on the market.
You’ll have more choice;
A whole of market mortgage broker has access to more lenders. As they’re not tied to just one bank or building society, they have a much better range of products. Greater choice means that whatever your individual circumstances, your broker will be able to find a product that’s right for you.
You’ll benefit from experience and expertise;
As well as working with a wide range of lenders, brokers work with a wide range of customers, all with different circumstances. Some customers have specialist needs – getting the right mortgage if you don’t have a perfect credit profile or if you have sizable debts can be difficult, and finding solutions to these challenges is where a broker can help.
Brokers understand the market and will know which lender is the best match for your application – which means it’s more likely to be accepted. Getting your mortgage approved first time means a smoother, quicker, stress-free process. It will also help to protect your credit profile, as multiple, failed mortgage applications can damage your credit score.
You’ll get the advice that’s right for you;
A broker will consider your specific needs and circumstances, such as your budget, your income and outgoings, your credit history and your preferences and plans for the future. As a result, the advice and recommendation they give you will be tailored to you, and you alone.
As well as mortgages, many brokers offer associated financial products, like insurance. If you speak to a broker who also offers protection products, they can give you advice on how to improve your financial well-being in other areas besides getting a mortgage.
You’ll be supported from start to finish;
Speaking to a broker means you’ll have someone to guide you and support you on every step of the way, which can take the stress and uncertainty out of the process.
4. Why go to a mortgage broker instead of a bank?
If you don’t mind shopping around, then there are times when going to your bank or building society might make more sense. There are some products and deals that are only available directly to the customer.
However, one thing to keep in mind is that banks and building societies only offer their products, to customers who meet their lending criteria.
This means that you have a limited choice compared to a whole of market broker – and maybe even a limited chance of success if your credit profile, employment situation, or personal circumstances are not a straight-forward, easy fit for that particular lender.
It can be a big investment in time and effort in going directly to the bank. And if you’re unsuccessful, you may have to start all over again somewhere else.
For the most amount of choice when it comes to mortgage products – and for a greater chance of being accepted – you’re better off going with a whole of market broker.
5. I want to speak with a mortgage broker – how do I find one?
When it comes to making one of the most important financial decisions of your life, you owe it to yourself to get the best advice, so contact us at Dragon Finance.
Whether you’re a first-time buyer looking to get on the property ladder, or if you’re a home mover setting up in a new house, whether you’re an experienced buy-to-let investor adding another property to your portfolio or if you’re coming to the end of your current deal and looking to re-mortgage onto a better rate, we can help you get the right mortgage.
We’re a whole of market broker, and with our experience, leading technology and access to a wide range of banks, building societies and specialist lenders, we can find solutions that other brokers can’t.
Fill in our simple online application, and one of our fully qualified and authorised advisers will be in touch to help you get what you need.