Taking out a mortgage will be one of the biggest financial commitments you'll ever make, so finding a mortgage broker that understands your needs is essential. We explain how to find a mortgage broker you can trust.
Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it.
Mortgage brokers, or advisers, are mortgage experts who can assess your financial situation and recommend the best mortgage product for you.
Depending on your circumstances, a good mortgage broker can save you time by pinpointing the lenders that are likely to accept you. Your mortgage broker will also make the mortgage application on your behalf.
If you are wondering ‘should I use a mortgage broker’, bear in mind that applying for a mortgage can be a bit of a daunting task.
With hundreds of products available from numerous providers it can be difficult and time-consuming to plough through them all to find the mortgage that suits your needs. If you have suffered from bad credit in the past, this difficulty will be amplified, with few providers willing to lend to you.
A good mortgage broker will carry out the searching for you and be able to recommend suitable mortgage products to suit your situation.
As the UK housing market continues to grow based on new building developments and various government-supported house buying schemes, the number of qualified mortgage advisors has risen to cater for a greater demand. This should make finding a mortgage broker you trust easier as there are so many to choose from.
Firstly, you can use our whole of market mortgage broker which can help you find a fully qualified mortgage broker in your area. This will give you plenty of options, but you will need to look at a few mortgage brokers to see which you will get on with before choosing one.
Alternatively, most high street banks, building societies and estate agents will be able to arrange for you to sit down with one of their own mortgage advisors at a time and date suitable for you, although a bank or building society mortgage broker is unlikely to be whole of market and will only be able to offer you their employer's mortgage products.
If you are concerned about meeting a broker face to face in the current COVID 19 coronavirus pandemic, you may be relieved to find out that it is easy to find a mortgage broker online, and all communications can be done over the phone, email or video call.
It may be that you hit it off with the first broker you speak to, which is fine, but ideally you should speak to a few so you can gauge whether or not that broker really is the one for you.
Some good questions to ask a mortgage broker include:
Are you whole of market? Will they be looking at products across the whole of the mortgage market, or are they tied to one or two providers?
Do you charge a fee? Some mortgage brokers will charge you directly, while others will be paid by the provider when you take out their mortgage.
Are you qualified? Anyone giving advice must be suitably qualified and for mortgage brokers, the most common qualification is the CeMAP (Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice)
You need to be able to trust your broker, to find out exactly what you need to know, and have the ins and outs of your mortgage explained to you in a way you understand.
If you think you have found the best mortgage broker who has swept you off your feet with their charm, take a moment and make sure that they're regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority before you start reeling off all of your personal information.
Take care to check the details of the broker on the FCA register thoroughly, as there have sadly been a number of scammers purporting to be registered advisers and brokers.
If you would like further advice regarding questions you should ask a mortgage advisor to make sure you pick the right one for you, read How To Interview Your Mortgage Broker guide.
If you have friends who have used a mortgage broker recently and had a good experience, then it is worthwhile taking their advice on whether they are a good broker. Having said that, what works for them may not work for you — we are all different — so you will still need to be sure you get what you want from the mortgage broker.
Ultimately, you need to feel comfortable with the mortgage broker you choose, and feel that you can trust them. If you feel that a mortgage broker doesn't explain things properly to you, or drags their heels when it comes to arranging the mortgage then consider finding another mortgage broker.
Finding an efficient mortgage adviser is also vital. You could lose out on a property altogether if they are too slow in dealing with your application.
If you aren't able to find a mortgage broker you trust, read our Mortgage Broker or Direct Deal guide for an alternative approach to taking out a mortgage.