Welcome to our new FAQ section, please click on one of the questions below to go directly to the answers. We will be adding more questions soon but if you don't see your question listed please contact us and we will respond to your query as soon as possible.
A mortgage is a specific type of loan which is secured on property. Mortgages are usually taken over a long period of time such as 25 to 30 years to keep the repayments affordable. Most people need a mortgage loan to help fund the cost of buying a new home. The mortgage being secured against the property means that, if borrower is not able to meet the monthly payments, the lender may take possession of the property and sell it in order to repay the debt.
Each person's ability to successfully apply for a mortgage depends on their own individual cicrumstances. While a lot of people have many things in common there are still plenty of financial circumstances that make us all different. Most mortgage lenders rely on a credit score before making a decision to lend; the mortgage credit score can be affected by things such as age, income, previous credit history, time at current address, time in current job, how much debt you have, if you never had debt - this list goes on and it's impossible to know how much each lender weighs on each item (if at all).
As a general guidline - if you have an income, some deposit and a clear credit score then you should be able to get a mortgage of some sort. The best thing you can do is speak to one of our qualified mortgage brokers for free advice. We will be able to talk through the process and explain in clear English what steps you will need to take to get a mortgage.
The most common mortgage question we're asked is "How much can I borrow?". Unfortunately there isn't a simple answer to this question, or a simple formula for you to work it out. If you wish to find out this information online the only way to do it is to work through the website of every lender and complete their mortgage "affordability" forms.
Let us do all that for you!. If you contact us one of our qualified mortgage brokers will be happy to assess your circumstances and give you an indication on how much mortgage you might be able to borrow and how much it will cost you to pay it back.
The deposit requirements have changed over the last few years. Long gone are the days when we could provide 100% mortgages (or even 125% mortgages in some cases!). There are now mortgage products available with as little as 5% deposit needed but it's still widely regarded that 10% is needed to give you a wide choice of mortgages. It's also worth noting that the mortagage rates tend to get better for every 5% (up to 25%) that you can put down, so 15% is better than 10% and so on.
Other than the price of the house itself there are still some significant costs to be accounted for. You will need extra money for solicitors fees, mortgage fees and stamp duty land tax (if buying at over £125,000). The fees will vary from one solicitor to another as will the mortgage costs from one lender to another. Please contact us and one of our experienced mortgage brokers can advise you more specifically based on your individual circumstances.
Most mortgage lenders will require documentation to substantiate the information provided in the application forms. They (or your mortgage broker) will also need to identification documents to fulfil the UK anti money laundering regulations. Although not all lenders will ask for all documents the following list will you and idea of what might be asked for:
- Proof of ID (passport or drivers license)
- Proof of income (last 3 month pay slips or 3 years accounts if self employed)
- Proof of address (bank or credit card statement, utility bill, recent council tax bill etc)
- Last 3 months bank statements
Mortgage lenders will always retain the right to ask for any more documents as they deem necessary, they or your broker will advise you of anything extra as it is required.
While having a poor or bad credit history can hinder your chances of getting a mortgage it does not automatically rule you out. Because this is much more individually specific the best can advise is to contact us and our mortgage advisers can look at your specific credit history problems and advise you how to get a copy of your credit report.
Firstly you have to decide which mortgage lender you would like to apply to. The easiest way to find the most suitable mortgage for you is to speak to a whole of market mortgage adviser. You can also do you own online research but be aware that all the information you need to make an informed decision is not usually readily available in one place.
Once you have chosen your preferred mortgage provider, with or without the help of a mortgage broker, you (or your broker) will need to submit and application that will involve a credit score. If you pass the credit score and affordability requirements of the mortgage lender you will then be asked to provide supporting documents to back up your application. See What documents do I need? for more detailed information.
There is a long standing debate in the industry over whether a client should use a mortgage broker or go directly to the bank. While there are many different opinions on this we, as mortgage brokers ourselves, obviously feel that using a professional mortgage adviser has many advantages over going directly to your bank.
The most important advantage is that a good mortgage broker will have access to the whole market and be able to offer you advise as to which mortgage is best for you based on your individual criteria. Most branch and call centre mortgage staff are not qualified to give advice and will only offer you basic information on their own products - leaving you to make all the decisions yourself.
A broker will also have knowledge of all lenders criteria so if your situation is a little unusual we will be able to offer you advice about how best to obtain a mortgage that suits you. The only real way you can find this information yourself is to spend many hours in front of bank-based advisers of all the different banks. How much is your time worth to you?
Finally, a broker will also take care of all the application process including sending your documents to the lender and progressing the application on your behalf. Leaving you to spend your time on the more enjoyable aspects of moving home such as what colour to paint the living room!
Every mortgage application is different and also timescales can depend on how competitive your chosen lender is at the time of application. As a rough guide most lenders will take between 2-4 weeks from application to mortgage offer - providing there are no complications along the way.
It's very much a personal preference. Our experienced mortgage brokers have arranged hundreds (if not thousands) of mortgage applications so whether you prefer to have a face to face meeting or do everything by telephone and e-mail we will be able to offer you the same high standard of service and advice.
Most people will start investigating their mortgage options before finding a house so it's not common that a full application is submitted in the first appointment. However, if you have found the house you want to buy already but have not yet taken advice on the mortgage then contact us and one of our qualified whole of market mortgage advisers will be more than happy to talk you through the application process.