Property guides

Finding and choosing a mortgage

Finding and choosing a mortgage can seem overwhelming, but there are easy ways to access regulated advice.

The two main options are using a mortgage broker or going direct to a lender. Knowing the differences between the two is a useful way to decide what’s right for you. 

The mortgage broker route

Mortgage brokers – also known as a mortgage advisers – can help you to find the best deal for you, and they’ll take you through the application process. 

  • Pros

    The reason people choose to use mortgage advisers is because they not only give you guidance tailored to your circumstances, typically they also:

    • Look at a range of mortgage lenders and products that could suit your needs
    • Have access to exclusive deals that aren’t available direct with a lender
    • Know the lenders and their lending criteria, which can help to speed up the process

    In addition, mortgage advisers can also help with the application and necessary paperwork. What’s more, they offer a level of convenience. Whilst many are based with estate agents, they may be available after hours and at weekends. Some advisers are telephone-only, whereas some will even come to your home.

  • Cons

    • Mortgage advice isn’t free – some advisers charge fees and all of them receive commission from lenders. They should always let you know how they’re paid 
    • 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

If you choose to approach a lender directly, their representative will help you find the mortgage that’s best for you within their range of products. They can also help you submit your application.

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 with the lender, whether that’s face-to-face, or over the phone.

However, as mortgages are a big commitment and can be tricky to navigate, you should be sure you know all the options available to you before choosing this route.

  • Pros

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

    • They know their range of products  
    • Have access to exclusive deals that arent available via mortgage brokers 
    • Know their lending criteria, which can help to speed up the process
  • Cons

    • Going direct to a lender means you’ll only get access to their range of mortgages which may not always meet your needs and circumstances.
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