Finding an independent mortgage broker

Finding an independent mortgage broker

Getting a mortgage is probably one of the most significant financial decisions you are likely to make in your life.

There are any number of reasons why you might be looking for a mortgage:

  • one for the home you want to live in;
  • a holiday let mortgage for the purchase of a second home;
  • a buy to let mortgage to boost your role and livelihood as a landlord;
  • a commercial mortgage for the purchase of business property; or
  • a remortgage on a property you already own.

Each of those reasons calls for a particular type of mortgage – and you must choose the correct type for the purposes you intend. Making a mistake in your application and ending up with the inappropriate mortgage is likely to prove an expensive error.

For example, if you want a mortgage for a holiday let, but instead you apply and get approved for a buy to let mortgage, further down the line your mortgage provider could ask that you repay the outstanding mortgage balance and any interest accrued immediately.

To avoid the risk of such a costly mistake, it may be worth consulting an independent mortgage broker look at your mortgage and lending requirements and also take in to account affordability, your credit history and so on. They can match you to the mortgage lender who is most likely to accept your application whilst offering you an attractive deal.

So, how do you find one?

Finding an independent mortgage broker

You may find an independent mortgage broker, or mortgage advisor, in your area by scanning your local press or by searching online – the publicly-supported Money Advice Service recommends a few search websites you might try.

This is likely to identify a number of different brokers, so you still have the task of choosing the one that is suitable for you – and that means checking a few things:

Regulation

  • any individual or firm holding themselves out as an independent mortgage broker or advisor must be authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – so make sure that they are;
  • authorisation and regulation by the FCA also means that you have recourse to help with any future complaints in the way your mortgage search and application was handled. If the Financial Ombudsman, for example, rules that it was mishandled in any way and you suffered a financial loss as a result, you may be entitled to compensation;

Network

  • you are looking to your mortgage advisor to trawl the market on your behalf, looking for the most appropriate mortgage deals to suit your particular needs and circumstances;
  • so, to broaden that search, you need to ask a prospective advisor whether they deal with only one mortgage lender, in particular, a specific network of selected lenders, or the “whole of the market”;

Deals

  • follow up that question by asking whether your mortgage advisor will also suggest so-called “direct deals” from banks and building societies;
  • one of the great advantages in consulting an independent mortgage advisor is that they often have access to mortgage deals that are not offered to the public at large – so may identify those favourable offers which you are unlikely to unearth in your own searches;

Fees and charges

  • you need to ask whether your chosen mortgage advisor will charge you any fees;
  • in those cases where your independent mortgage broker offers a free service, remember that he is likely to be earning a commission from any lender from whom you eventually secure your mortgage.

Finding an independent mortgage broker may involve some preparation on your part – but having such professional advice by your side in securing a mortgage is likely to be well worth the effort.

David Robertson