Do I need a mortgage adviser?
First published 25 October 2017 • Updated 14 June 2019
Whether you’re buying a property or just remortgaging, mortgage advice can be a great help. Taking independent advice can make the different between a successful mortgage application and being rejected. It may also lead to a significantly better value deal, potentially saving you thousands of pounds over the mortgage term.
- What is a mortgage adviser or mortgage broker?
- When should I seek mortgage advice?
- Benefits of using a mortgage broker
- Finding a mortgage broker
- What does it cost to use a mortgage broker?
- Your first meeting with your mortgage adviser
What is a mortgage adviser or mortgage broker?
A mortgage adviser is a qualified professional who specialises in finding the most suitable mortgage deal for your circumstances. Often they will be called mortgage brokers, but there is no real difference between an adviser and a broker. The only significant difference you need to consider is between independent mortgage brokers and 'tied' mortgage brokers. An independent broker can source mortgages from the whole UK market, while a tied one will be restricted to certain providers, so may not be able to find such good deals.
A mortgage adviser/broker is usually a dedicated mortgage specialist, though some independent financial advisers (IFAs) also give the same kind of mortgage advice. Typically a mortgage adviser will increase your chances of securing a mortgage, and also of finding the best value mortgage deal for you.
When should I seek mortgage advice?
If you’re a first-time buyer, then you have the most to gain from mortgage advice, as the application tends to be more challenging (and the whole process will be new to you). However, a mortgage broker can be useful for any kind of mortgage application.
Other times when you may need advice include remortgaging, buying your next home or buying a second property, especially if you need to borrow more. An adviser can also find you the special mortgages you’ll need if you buy-to-let, or purchase business premises or a holiday home. Finally, mortgage advice can also help you tap into the value of your home in later life, through equity release.
Before seeing your mortgage broker, you can test the strength of your mortgage application by using our Mortgage Checklist tool. This will give you an idea of how much you may be able to borrow, and the likelihood of your application being accepted.
Benefits of using a mortgage broker
An independent mortgage adviser is not restricted to any particular providers, and will act solely in your best interests. You can therefore be confident that the deal they recommend will be the best available mortgage for your circumstances. A mortgage adviser should also:
- Explain the various mortgages available and the different types of deals
- Advise you on how much you can afford to borrow
- Have access to special mortgage deals that are not available on the open market
- Help you prepare for your application to boost your chances of success
- Be able to save you money overall by finding a mortgage with lower interest rates and fees
Remember that every unsuccessful mortgage application may harm your chances of success next time around, as each refusal will appear on your credit record. Using a mortgage adviser will maximise your chances of being accepted first time.
Finding a mortgage broker
There are two ways to find a mortgage broker on Unbiased.
The first way is to use our Connect tool. Just enter some details about your circumstances and requirements, and our system will match you with the nearest suitable adviser. You should get a match within 48 hours (often it’s much quicker).
The second way is to search and browse. Enter your postcode to see a list of mortgage advisers in order of distance from you. You can then refine your search (e.g. to find advisers with specialist experience or particular qualifications).
What does it cost to use a mortgage broker?
Mortgage brokers charge in a variety of different ways. Some mortgage advisers will charge an up-front flat fee (the average in 2017 was £400), while others will take commission from the bank or lender providing the loan. Be sure to discuss fees at your first meeting with the broker. Ask how they are paid, what it will cost you, and get a written quote. Remember that using a mortgage broker should mean that you spend less money over the long term, so have the adviser explain to you how their fee is justified.
Your first meeting with your mortgage adviser
Before your first meeting with a mortgage broker, you may want to use our online Mortgage Checklist to test the strength of your current mortgage application and find out what questions you may need to ask.
At your first meeting, ask your adviser whether they can source direct deals (these may offer special rates or discounts). If your adviser recommends a particular mortgage to you, ask them to explain in detail why this deal is most suitable for you.
A good mortgage adviser may also offer useful tips and guidance throughout the home-buying process, so be sure to find an adviser with whom you get along well.
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