Find a mortgage broker

Find a mortgage broker

Finding a mortgage broker can be easy, finding the right mortgage broker for you can be trickier. We explain below more about how mortgage brokers work, where they can help you and how they charge for their services. 

How do mortgage brokers work?

Mortgage brokers are specialist intermediaries that help consumers find the right mortgage for their personal circumstances. They usually have relationships with different mortgage lenders and can analyse these lenders products to see which is best for their clients. They manage the mortgage search, as well as the application process on behalf of their client. They hold the regulatory responsibility for selling the mortgage, so they need to make sure their advice and compliance processes adhere to the latest regulations. If you felt a mortgage had been mis-sold to you and had used a broker to get this, then any complaint would go to the broker and not the mortgage lender. Once your mortgage has started, you are then a customer of the mortgage lender, but any responsibility for how the mortgage was sold to you remains with the mortgage broker. 

Why use a mortgage broker instead of a bank?

There are two main reasons for using a mortgage broker rather than a bank. The first is that high street banks can be limited on what they will accept under their mortgage eligibility criteria, for example preferring stronger credit scores, no credit defaults and salaried careers. The second is that mortgage brokers have access to multiple lenders, including deals not available directly to the public. This means the potential to find better rates and/or products more tailored to your requirements, whereas a bank can only offer its own mortgage product range. 

Do I need a mortgage broker?

A mortgage broker can help you to save time, money and effort when looking for a mortgage. In addition to removing the need for you to search the market, they can use their experience of different lenders’ criteria to find a good match to your circumstances and needs.  A mortgage broker with access to the whole of the market can also help you to find the lowest rate available. They also handle bringing together all elements of your mortgage application and make sure the lender fully understands your situation. 

Can a mortgage broker help you?

In addition to saving you time and effort, a mortgage broker can help you find a product suited to your circumstances. Some specialist mortgage lenders are not available directly, and so a mortgage broker is the only route to their mortgage products. A mortgage broker can help you if you have a variable income, such as sole trader, freelancer or contractor, have multiple sources of income, such as a doctor or lawyer or just generally have a more complicated situation than a regular, monthly salaried occupation. If you need a specialist type of mortgage such as for a self-build mortgage or a buy-to-let limited company mortgage, then a mortgage broker can add value in finding lenders who offer these specific products. 

Are there mortgage brokers for those with bad credit?

Some mortgage brokers can help you find a mortgage or a remortgage if you have experienced bad credit. You will still need to meet the affordability requirements of any lender, but the mortgage broker will know which lenders may accept applications from those who have previously had bad credit. There are some mortgages designed specifically to help repair your credit score and your mortgage broker can guide you on the relevance of these for your situation and how they work. 

Can a mortgage broker get you more money?

A mortgage broker is there to help you get the right mortgage. Lenders have rules in place about how much they can lend to anyone based on their income and outgoings. A mortgage broker could help you to look at your income and outgoings to help make these as healthy as possible ahead of your mortgage application. 

Can mortgage brokers influence underwriting?

Lenders have their set underwriting criteria, which is closely controlled by that bank or building society’s appetite for risk. Mortgage brokers cannot influence these criteria but they can help by making sure they understand your situation, selecting a mortgage lender who most closely matches this and then making sure the lender fully understands your circumstances.  

What will a mortgage broker ask me?

A good mortgage broker will want to understand your current circumstances. In addition to finding out about why and for what purpose you need a mortgage, they will also need to know about your earnings and expenditure.

They will want to know your current income, if you are employed you should be prepared with three months of payslips. If you are self-employed you will need two to three years’ accounts (depending on how long you have been running). In both cases, you will at some point in the process be asked to share potentially up to six months of personal and business bank account statements. Evidence of overtime or regular commission if required to meet affordability may be needed too. 

Mortgage brokers will also want to know your outgoings, including regular monthly payments, such as existing credit obligations, private school fees, nursery fees, in addition to council tax, insurance and utility bills. The cost of living is also included across food, travel and leisure. It’s a good idea to have a list of your standing orders and direct debits available.

Your mortgage broker will also ask you about any dependants, these include those under the age of 18, or older but in full-time education, and any elderly relatives you are supporting. 

And, finally, they will also ask you about any previously missed credit payments. Any lender will conduct a credit score, but identifying this early will help the broker to make sure they find the right match of lender for you. 

Which mortgage broker should I choose?

Generally, mortgage brokers are split into ‘tied’, where they only have one lender’s products, ’limited’, where they work with a fixed panel of lenders, or ‘fully independent’, where they can search the whole mortgage market. 

In addition, you may also want to ensure your mortgage broker has advisers who are qualified with the Financial Conduct Authority and hold the CeMAP (Certificate of Mortgage Advice and Practice; a mandatory qualification to give mortgage advice). They should be registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. 

You can also look for local Google reviews or find a mortgage broker through a trusted source, such as Moneyfacts. 

Can a mortgage broker charge a fee?

Yes, brokers can charge a fee, although some choose not to. There are three charging models: 

All fee income based – in this instance the mortgage broker will usually offer you a free initial consultation and then provide a quote for their fees based upon your circumstances and borrowing requirements. They will only charge you a fee, which fully funds their services. They do not earn any commission from mortgage lenders.

Fee-free mortgage brokers – these do not charge you a fee but will earn a commission from the lender. Usually, this is a percentage of your total mortgage borrowing. They should disclose this to you before proceeding to give you mortgage advice. 

Combination model – some brokers will charge you a fee and earn commission from the lender. Again, they should disclose this before giving you any mortgage advice.

What do mortgage brokers charge?

If you have decided not to use a fee-free mortgage broker, then fees can be fixed or as a percentage of your total required mortgage loan, where the percentage is based on your loan amount, type of mortgage and personal situation. 

Why are some mortgage brokers free?

Some mortgage brokers are free as they choose to only earn their income from commissions from mortgage lenders.