If you are looking for a mortgage, finding the one that suits you is likely to involve an array of choices. Repayment or interest-only? Fixed-term or variable? And that’s before you’ve even considered how much you can borrow or the length of the mortgage.
To cut through any confusion and doubt, you might take the prudent decision to consult a mortgage advisor. But that, too, involves choosing one – so, how do you do it?
When someone is advising you on such a significant financial decision as a mortgage, you need a high degree of trust and confidence in your advisor.
Your advisor will be making recommendations about the mortgages likely to be most suitable for you and, once you’ve given the go-ahead, may help to manage your mortgage application.
To give you confidence in making such an important choice, always ensure that your mortgage advisor has the necessary authorisation, which must be granted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to practice as an independent financial advisor.
Regulation by the FCA helps to ensure that your advisor is fully up to date and properly equipped to offer suggestions and recommendations about your mortgage and that they continue to act in your own best financial interests.
If anything goes wrong with your mortgage application or, the loan that is arranged is unsuitable for your circumstances, you are protected by an ability to complain to the Financial Ombudsman about the advice you received from your mortgage broker. If your complaint is upheld, you may be entitled to compensation.
If you don’t seek advice
If you don’t seek the help of a mortgage advisor – also known as an independent mortgage broker – you are relying upon your own judgment only. That might result in an unsuitable application being rejected by the lender you choose. Meaning you will need to start the whole process again – as well as the lender potentially leaving a credit search on your credit file.
Alternatively, you might arrange a mortgage that is unsuitable for your financial circumstances – and leave you with the expensive, long-term consequences of your decision.
The specialist knowledge of a mortgage advisor
By consulting an independent mortgage broker, you also gain an inside track into the mortgage market.
At the very least, that gives you access to a much wider network of potential lenders than you are likely to identify using your own efforts alone.
Many mortgage advisors are aware of deals which are not generally available directly to the public – this may give you access to favourable terms and conditions which you might not otherwise find for yourself. By taking on a lot of the research and paperwork on your behalf, an independent mortgage broker is also likely to have the expertise and knowledge of knowing just those lenders with the greatest likelihood of accepting and approving your mortgage application.
A mortgage advisor knows whether particular aspects of your circumstances or history might make getting a mortgage more difficult. If you have a poor credit history, for example, if you have previously settled County Court Judgments, if you are self-employed or still completing a probationary period in your job, these might all put off some lenders.
Your independent advisor, however, knows which lenders might still accept your application by matching your particular circumstances to his or her intimate knowledge of the available mortgage market.
Choosing a mortgage advisor is important. And while it may take a little time and effort to select a broker, once you do, you can feel confident that you are working with someone whose aim it is to find you the most appropriate mortgage deal for your own unique financial circumstances.