Getting advice

When looking for a mortgage, it is important for you to seek professional advice, which can help tailor a mortgage to your individual situation and circumstances.

Fortunately, rules instigated in 2014 mean that lenders and brokers legally have to offer the most suitable advice, and help people to choose the correct mortgage.

However, you can simply reject their advice and follow your own decision based on your own research of the current market, or advice from a third party professional, namely, an independent mortgage broker.

It isn’t highly recommended to avoid advice and decide by yourself. Should the mortgage proved unsuitable for you later on, you will have more of a case to make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman, and even claim mis-selling, if you bought into that mortgage following professional advice.

When receiving advice from a third party mortgage broker, you need to check several things.

  • Are they regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)? You should only make use of regulated brokers.
  • Are they a “whole-of-market” broker? (This is a broker who has access to all of the current deals on the market.) Brokers who aren’t often claim to cover a “wide range” of the market.
  • Whether they charge a fee to you for the advice that they give, or whether they receive a commission from the lender for any mortgage deals they help to create. They should be upfront with you about any charges.

Mortgage comparison sites

Mortgage comparison sites are very useful in giving you an idea of the market and for selecting the mortgage that is right for you. However, you must be careful. Comparatively, a mortgage may look good, but it might not be right for your household.

Educating yourself is the best way to empower yourself and make sure that you choose the right mortgage. Knowing the difference between a fixed interest rate and a variable interest rate, and being able to tell what an equity loan is and how it works into a the loan to value of a mortgage can really help you to choose a mortgage which suits you.

When using comparison websites, make sure you use several. Not every comparison site will have every mortgage deal, some may have exclusive deals, and some deals may only be available directly from the lender.

This makes it very difficult to get a full picture of the market, but it is worth it to make sure you find the most suitable mortgage for you.

Banks and lenders

If you want to take a mortgage out with a particular bank, some may only offer specific mortgage deals to people who are already customers with them. You may have to have an account open with them already, or you may be able to take one out simultaneous to your mortgage. It depends on the bank.

This is more common for first time buyer mortgages, as banks can be more willing to lend out to more risky customers if they already hold a current or savings account with them.

Similarly, you could talk to your current bank, and see if they can offer you a good mortgage deal in line with the accounts that you already have.