Mortgage advice – Should you get a mortgage adviser?

Money Advice Service

Getting a mortgage is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make, so it’s important to get it right. This guide will help you work out whether you should get a mortgage adviser, where to get free advice, how your bank might be able to help and which comparison websites you can check.

How to choose a mortgage

Use the Mortgage Affordability Calculator to work out how much you might be able to borrow.

The mortgage market is incredibly competitive and it can be hard to understand what exactly is on offer.

There are many different providers and a wide range of products and rates available.

So it’s a good idea to talk to your bank, as well as a number of independent mortgage advisors, before making up your mind.

This guide will take you through the routes to getting a mortgage and the importance of studying your options before making a decision.

Why it’s usually a good idea to get mortgage advice

Lenders (usually banks) and brokers must offer advice when they recommend a mortgage for you.

They’ll assess the level of mortgage repayments you can afford, by looking at your income as well as your debt repayments and day-to-day spending.

This means you should end up with a mortgage that suits your needs.

Although lenders and brokers must offer advice in almost all cases, you might be able choose to reject the advice and find your own mortgage deal based on your own research.

If you choose your own mortgage without advice it’s called an “execution-only” application.

Risks of not getting advice

Gather your financial information before you talk to lenders or brokers. Use our Mortgage paperwork checklist (PDF 2.34MB).

Getting advice, rather than doing research on your own, means that if the mortgage turns out to be unsuitable for you later on, you’ll have more rights when you make a complaint.

For example, you could make a complaint of financial mis-selling if the advice you were given turned out to be unsuitable for you.

Not taking any advice means you have to take full responsibility for your mortgage decision.

If you don’t take advice, you could end up:

  • With the wrong mortgage for your situation, which would be a costly mistake in the long run.
  • Being rejected by your chosen lender, because you didn’t understand the restrictions clearly or what circumstances the mortgage was designed for.

Speak to your bank or building society

This is a good starting point, as they know you and your financial situation.

They’ll tell you about their own mortgages, so do see how their products stack up against the competition before making a final choice.

Their advice is typically free.

When to see a mortgage adviser

A mortgage adviser, also known as an independent mortgage broker, is a specialist with in-depth knowledge of the market.

They’re able to look at a range of mortgage products which suit your needs.

It’s a good idea to speak to a few of them to see what’s on offer.

There are three main types of mortgage adviser:

  • Some are tied to a specific lender
  • Some look at deals from a limited list of lenders, and
  • Some check the whole market for a wide range of products

Even ‘whole of market’ advisers don’t cover everything.

They can’t advise you on mortgages that are only available if you go to the lender directly.

All mortgage advisers must offer you advice when recommending the most suitable mortgage for you.

This means you’re protected and you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman if things go wrong.

Read our Who’s Who guide (PDF 3MB) for a list of questions to ask your adviser.

Other reasons to use an adviser

  • They’ll check your finances to make sure you can afford a mortgage
  • They might have exclusive deals with lenders, not otherwise available
  • They often complete the paperwork for you, so your application should be dealt with faster
  • They’ll help you take all the costs and features of the mortgage into account, beyond the interest rate
  • They should only recommend a mortgage that is suitable for you and will tell you which ones you’re likely to get

Finding a mortgage adviser

We recommend using these websites to find a mortgage adviser:

Fees

Mortgage brokers might charge you for their service depending on the product you choose or the value of the mortgage.

Others will be free to you but they’ll receive commission from the lender.

They should tell you up-front how much you will pay for their services. You should also be told if an adviser is paid commission.

Once your broker makes a product recommendation they must give you a mortgage illustration document(s).

This document is usually called a keyfacts illustration.

European Standard Information Sheet

By 2019, the European Standard Information Sheet (ESIS) will replace the current KFI.

The ESIS document is similar to the KFI but with some additional details about the mortgage they’re offering you.

Some mortgage advisers and lenders might give you the ESIS when they recommend a mortgage or make a mortgage offer.

While others might continue to give you an enhanced version of the existing KFI document or provide additional supplements containing the additional information as needed until then.

Look at comparison websites

Comparison websites are a good starting point if you’re trying to see what sort of deals are available on the market.

We recommend the following websites for comparing mortgages:

Remember:

  • Comparison websites won’t all give you the same results, so make sure you use more than one site before making a decision.
  • It’s also important to do some research into the type of product and features you need before making a purchase or changing supplier.

What to look for in a mortgage

It’s important to not just look for the lowest interest rate when choosing a mortgage.

There are other factors, which also contribute to the whole amount you pay back over time.

Look out for:

  • APRC: (Annual Percentage Rate of Change) takes some mortgage fees into account as well as the interest rate and expresses it as a percentage.
  • Deposit size: the higher the deposit, the lower the interest rate you are likely to get.
  • The standard rate: which your mortgage will switch to once your fixed rate deal ends.
  • How often is interest charged?: will it be paid daily, monthly or annually? Daily interest works out cheaper.
  • Flexibility: can you overpay your mortgage without being charged and can you take a break from making payments?
  • Length of fixed or variable rate deal: do you want to be locked in for a long period. or have more flexibility? There will be charges if you switch out of a deal before it ends.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

Some important information about Rest Less Money

We want you to understand the positives, but also the limitations of using our site. We operate in a journalistic manner and therefore all information, guidance or suggestions provided are intended to be general in nature, and you should not rely on any of the information on the site in connection with the making of any financial decision.

When we set out to build Rest Less Money, we wanted to be a trusted place where you could find helpful information about financial matters affecting the over 50s. As a free to use resource, we try hard to provide the best information we can, but we cannot guarantee that we won’t occasionally make mistakes. So please note that you use the information on our site at your own risk, and we can’t accept liability if things go wrong.

Key things to remember when using Rest Less Money:

We do not offer financial advice – As a journalistic site, it’s important to know that we do not provide financial advice. You should always do your own research before choosing any financial product so that you can be certain it is right for you and your specific circumstances. If you are in any doubt, please seek professional financial advice from a regulated financial advisor.

No Liability – please note that you use the information on Rest Less Money at your own risk and we can’t accept liability for how you choose to use the information given on our site. We will often provide links to content or products and services available on other third-party websites. These are provided purely for your convenience and we cannot be held responsible for any content, or any of the products and services offered on any website that we link to.

 

Accuracy of Information – We try to make sure that all the information provided on Rest Less Money is correct at the time of publishing as we want it to be the most helpful resource possible. Sadly, we are not perfect however, and so we can make no guarantees as to the completeness, accuracy, adequacy or suitability of the information available on the site.
Whilst we work hard to try and provide accurate information, deals and prices can change, so whilst they may be correct at the time of writing, providers may subsequently decide to alter them later – so always double check first.

A final note on the Rest Less Community Forums – always remember that anyone can post their opinion on the Rest Less Community Forums, so it can be very different from our own opinion and may not be factual or well researched. Always be wary of any content posted on the forums and be sure to do your own research and due diligence on anything suggested. 

We hope you find Rest Less Money a useful resource and we would welcome your feedback at [email protected] on how to make it even better. For more information on any of the above you can read our full terms and conditions.

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