Finding and choosing a mortgage

Know your options

When you’re looking to get a mortgage, you can go one of two ways. One route is through a mortgage adviser, also known as a mortgage broker, the second is direct with a lender of your choice, such a bank or building society.

Before making contact with a mortgage adviser or a lender, it’s worth getting an idea of what mortgage deals are out there. Price comparison sites are a good starting point, but remember to use more than one site and personalise the information for your property price and deposit. Also look out for “sponsored links” which may mean the best deals aren’t shown first.

The mortgage adviser route

A mortgage adviser, whether a mortgage broker or a financial adviser, will find the mortgage most suitable for you and take you through the application process.

Did you know that over 60% of mortgage loans are arranged through mortgage advisers? The reason they are so popular is because mortgage advisers not only give you guidance tailored to your circumstances, they also typically:

  • Look at a range of mortgage lenders and products that could suit your needs
  • Get access to exclusive deals that are not available direct with a lender
  • Know the lenders and their lending criteria – and therefore can really speed up the process

In addition to all of the points above, mortgage advisers can also help with the application and all the necessary paperwork. What’s more, they offer a level of convenience – they may be available after hours and at weekends, some advisers are telephone-only, whereas some will even come to your house.

  • Mortgage advice isn’t “free” – some advisers charge fees and all of them receive commission from lenders
  • Some mortgage advisers only look at a limited range of lenders
  • You may not have access to products and rates that are only available direct with the lender
  • Some people may prefer dealing direct with the lender

The lender route

Approach a lender directly, and their representative will help you find the mortgage that’s best for you and help you submit your application.

Or if you’re confident about the type of mortgage you want, what you can afford, the term and the deal, you can sometimes choose not to receive any advice and do it yourself. This is called ‘execution only’ and involves applying online, without any interaction either face to face or on the phone with the lender. But since mortgages are such a big commitment and sometimes a minefield, it’s not really the route to go down – unless you’re absolutely sure you know what you’re doing.

Just like a mortgage adviser, a lender’s adviser needs to be qualified and isn’t allowed to recommend mortgages without assessing a customer first. Here are some of the benefits:

  • They have to give you advice and recommend a product (although they will only choose from their own mortgage products)
  • They typically won’t charge a fee for advice
  • You can get exclusive deals not always available through mortgages advisers
  • Going directly with a lender means that you will only get access to their range of mortgages which may not always meet your needs and circumstances.