In a challenging economy like the one we find ourselves in today, the help and support of an experienced and dedicated mortgage broker is invaluable. Going it alone in the mortgage world at this moment in time is dangerous as rates increase left right and centre, mortgage affordability tightens, lender stress test rates increase, and lenders pull mortgage products from their websites before you can say ‘recession’.
If you aren’t using a mortgage broker to help you navigate the minefield of the current mortgage market, good luck! But we strongly recommend you at least speak to an advisor first before making any rash decisions. We might have a bias yes, but we also want everyone to get the best deal possible on their mortgages, remortgages, and protection policies…because that’s what why we are mortgage advisors!
If you are looking to use a mortgage advisor to give you help with finding the best deal, there are a few things you should consider and a few questions you need to ask your broker. In this blog, we will discuss the top questions you should be asking your mortgage broker.
Are You A Regulated Mortgage Broker?
This is a BIG deal. Making sure that your mortgage broker is financially regulated is something that everyone needs to do. The last thing that you want is to get financial advice from someone who can’t be monitored and held responsible for the advice that they are giving. By UK law, all mortgage advisors must be regulated by the financial conduct authority (FCA). The FCA regulates the financial services industry. Its role is to protect consumers, keep the financial industries stable, and to promote healthy competition between financial service providers.
If your mortgage broker is not financially regulated, they can offer bad advice without any repercussions, they can break rules put in place by the FCA that could be seen as dishonest or possibly not the right approach ethically. By ensuring your advisor is FCA regulated, you can have the reassurance that your broker will follow industry shared rules and values that benefit everyone involved. If you are unsure of your broker’s regulation status, you can search on the FCA’s register of regulated people or organisations.
How Much Do You Charge?
This is very important on both ends of the spectrum. You want to make sure that if your advisor charges a fee, that they are not over charging and if they don’t charge a fee, you want to make sure that the quality of advice and processing is good and not sub-par. With either one, you should always ask your advisor how much they charge before you agree to use their services.
In the case of Oportfolio, we have experienced mortgage advisors who help you to choose the best mortgage for your own circumstances. We also have a team of expert mortgage administrators who assist the advisor in submitting your application, collating and uploading your documents to the lender’s portal, chasing the lender daily to make sure that your application goes through smoothly, and also liaising with solicitors on your behalf to make sure the legal side of your mortgage is completed in a timely manner.
Because of the high level of service that we provide, our fees are set and accurately reflect the input that all of our team has. Our advisor will always make you aware of the specific fees for your application before we proceed with anything for you so that you can decide how you want to proceed without feeling pressured.
What Documents Do You Need From Me And How Long Will It Take For You To Process My Mortgage Application?
With most mortgage, the speed in which they go through to mortgage offer is down to three things. The speed of the advisor and their admin team with getting your application compiled, positioned and submitted. The speed of the client with getting the necessary documents over to their advisor to assess and submit and the speed of the lender with processing the application.
When you start talking to a new mortgage broker, it’s important that you are both clear and realistic about what you expect in terms of time frames and what the mortgage advisor will need from you to ensure that everything goes through quickly. With Oportfolio, when you agree to the advice provided to you by your advisor and they will send you a list of the documents that the mortgage lender will need for your application. Everything that the advisor asks for will need to be provided as soon as you can so that nothing gets held up.
As soon as your documents have all been received and checked by the advisor, they will submit your full mortgage application. So, the sooner you send your documents, the quicker the application can be submitted. If along the way, the lender asks for any more documents to support the application, your advisor will message you immediately to request the extra documents. Again, the sooner you can get these documents over to the advisor, the sooner the application can progress.
How Many Mortgage Lenders Do You Work With?
Having a mortgage advisor with lots of different lender options is a blessing. You don’t want a broker who only has access to a select number of lenders or products because the lenders they have access to might not be the best for your circumstances! Also, if for whatever reason your application doesn’t get accepted with the few lenders, they have access to, your broker won’t have any other options for you, and you will be back to square one.
At Oportfolio we have access to over 90 different mortgage lenders. That means that we can search over 90 mortgage lenders entire product offerings and help you craft a bespoke and unique mortgage deal that suits you and your property. We have the ability to compare and contrast mortgages on a level that other lenders don’t and will be able to get you the best mortgage deal.
What Other Things Can You Help Me With?
A quality financial advisor will be able to help you in different aspects of your finances, not just your mortgage. And if they can’t, they will have contacts at other financial organisations that can help you. At Oportfolio we not only provide advice and guidance with mortgages, we also offer insurances and a will writing service. Being qualified financial advisors in lots of different fields allows us to offer an all-round service for all our clients. We want to make sure that our clients are secure and comfortable financially, as every good mortgage broker should.
It is always worth asking your advisor if they can help with any other aspect of your finances as well as mortgages. You might find some help with something that you weren’t aware you needed help with!
We hope that you found this blog helpful, and you can use some of these questions to help you get to know your mortgage broker! If you like the sound of what Oportfolio has to offer, please feel free to give our team a call today to speak with a mortgage and protection advisor.