This is the question I get asked the most; whether I’m out socialising with friends, on the touchline at my son’s rugby match, or at a business networking event.
All our needs are different and it genuinely depends on your circumstances as to how you should proceed. I’m going to try and put people into categories and guide you that way.
“I’m financially savvy”
Ok so you know what you need and you don’t want advice. In this case you can probably go straight to the comparison sites and find a deal there. Most lenders will have the facility to apply online so there won’t be the hassle of a two hour telephone call to arrange the mortgage. All the fees and charges will be outlined for you online and providing you are confident enough to wade through the numbers and the jargon then there is no reason to not take that route.
The words of caution here are that if you are buying a place then you’re going to want a point of contact to chase things up. Make sure you at least get a telephone number for the mortgage processing department so you can chase things if needed.
If you fall into the financially savvy category then before checking the comparison sites check your existing lender. Often lenders have retention products that they keep up their sleeve for when you get to the end of your current deal. Although the deal you get offered might not be the cheapest there is the low hassle factor that may work in your favour. Often it is just a case of a simple click and you have got yourself a new deal.
Depending on your circumstances though you may need advice. In that case see below.
“I’m sorry I haven’t a clue”
For those of you that need guidance there is help out there. You can start with a comparison site if you like, then approach the lenders individually. The lenders will give advice but only on their own products. Advice is vital if you need guidance though.
Mortgage Brokers have access to a wide range of products but be aware that they do not necessarily have access to the entire market. A mortgage broker will give you advice and is also likely to charge a fee. As with any service it’s worth asking around for a recommendation for a trusted advisor.
“I’m consolidating debts”
The Financial Conduct Authority view those consolidating debts, such as credit cards and unsecured personal loans, as “vulnerable”. This means that you need to seek advice. It is not possible to apply direct with a lender without going through their advice process. Alternatively you can consult a mortgage broker as above, fees may apply.
“What are other people doing?”
Have a trawl through some social media sites to see if any of the industry professionals are beating the drum about good deals that are around. Follow the banks on Twitter as well as they will announce new deals on there. One of my favourites is @thisismoney. You can of course follow me @thesurreybroker.
Hopefully this will give you a bit of guidance as to where to go to find the best mortgage deal. Please bear in mind that in order to check if you are eligible for the “best” deal you will have to go through an application process that will ask your income and outgoings. Make sure you check your eligibility first before applying as you don’t want to have a credit check carried out unnecessarily.
If you have any burning mortgage related questions you would like me to explore in this blog, get in touch! Leave a comment or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org