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Find a local mortgage broker to help arrange your next mortgage

Looking for someone to help you arrange your next mortgage? Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’re looking to remortgage, a mortgage broker can help you find the best deal. With interest rates looking to remain high until at least 2025, it’s vital that you find an affordable mortgage that works for you. Use HaMuch to find and compare local mortgage brokers that can help you find the most suitable mortgage for your situation.

What does a mortgage broker do?

A mortgage broker, sometimes called a mortgage advisor, helps arrange mortgages between borrowers and lenders. A good mortgage broker will find the best lender for your financial situation, taking into account factors such as bad credit, self employment and your disposable income, and help you secure the best interest rate.

Mortgage brokers are technically financial advisors that specialise in mortgages. Qualified mortgage brokers have a duty to only recommend mortgages that are suitable for you, so in some rare cases they may advise that there aren’t any available. It also means that they need to be able to justify the recommendations they make, and ensure that you understand their recommendations.

Tied, multi-tied and whole-of-market brokers

Some mortgage brokers are tied to one lender or a group of lenders, meaning that they will only recommend the mortgages that those lenders can offer to you. This can help you get exclusive discounts or incentives like cashback, but they won’t be able to offer you a mortgage with a lender that they’re not tied to, even if it’s a better deal – so it’s worth comparing mortgages with a whole-of-market mortgage broker as well before making your final decision.

Some mortgage brokers aren’t tied to any lenders, so can offer a range of mortgage options. These brokers used to be called ‘whole-of-market’ brokers. They often exclude products that are only offered directly to borrowers from lenders because they don’t receive a commission for these mortgages. However, they still need to cover enough deals to be able to say that they cover most of the market, so you should still get a good idea of what mortgage options are available.

Why would I need a mortgage broker?

Mortgages are complicated. Borrowing money for a home or investment property is probably the biggest loan you’ll ever take out, and it can be stressful trying to arrange everything yourself. Using a mortgage broker ensures that you get the right advice and guidance for your financial situation. They will also do everything they can to increase your chances of getting a mortgage application approved. If you don’t use a broker, you could miss out on using certain information or techniques that help improve your chances. 

It’s up to you whether you think you need a mortgage broker or not. If your mortgage needs are simple, especially if you are remortgaging, you may be able to do it yourself. But using a mortgage broker gives you peace of mind that your application has been done correctly and that you’ve applied for a good mortgage that suits your financial needs.

Do mortgage brokers charge a fee?

Some mortgage brokers charge a fee. Some brokers charge fees for consultations, while others may only charge a fee on making your mortgage application or when your mortgage is arranged. Also, some brokers charge fixed fees, while others charge a percentage of your mortgage amount. Fixed fees average at around £500, while brokers that charge a percentage usually charge between 0.3-1 of the loan amount. This means that you could end up paying more than the average broker fee if you need a large mortgage on a high-value property. Make sure you ask for a mortgage broker’s costs in writing before you go ahead with them to ensure you understand exactly what’s involved.

In almost all cases, mortgage brokers will be paid commission by your lender once your mortgage has been approved. That means that there are many mortgage brokers that will charge you no fees as they’ll collect their payment from your lender. Typically, the commission a mortgage broker is paid is around 0.35 of your loan size, so it could be a sizeable amount. Your mortgage broker should always be upfront about how they receive commission, and it should be on the mortgage illustration they give you when they make your application for you.

How to choose a mortgage broker

1. Decide how you want to work with them

Decide how you want to speak to your mortgage broker. Are you happy to conduct meetings online over services like Zoom or Google Meet, or do you prefer to work face-to-face or over the phone? Some brokers will offer a blend of these services while others will have one particular way of working, so decide what you want to do and then look for brokers that offer what you want.

2. Go whole-of-market

It’s best to find a whole-of-market broker, unless you’ve done your research already and know which lender offers the best deal for you. Whole-of-market brokers will be able to access most mortgages on the market to find you the best rate, rather than tied or multi-tied mortgage brokers that will only be able to find you a mortgage from a select panel of lenders.

3. Compare fees

Compare fees between different mortgage brokers. Remember, some brokers will charge no fees, some will charge a fixed fee, and others will charge a percentage of your loan amount. If you decide to go with a broker that charges a fee, remember to do the maths to work out which fee option is most cost effective for you.

4. Read reviews

Make sure you read reviews of the mortgage brokers you find. You’ll be able to find out how quickly they’ve been able to arrange mortgages for customers in the past, how knowledgable they came across and what their customer service skills were like. Everyone likes to be spoken to in different ways, so reading reviews can help you decide whether the broker is right for you.

5. Use HaMuch to compare

Use HaMuch to get the details of a range of mortgage brokers in your area. You’ll be able to read reviews, see their fees and feel safe in the knowledge that every mortgage broker is FCA-regulated, so are qualified to give you advice on your mortgage.

 

Frequently asked questions

Is it better to go to a mortgage broker or a bank?

In our opinion, it’s better to go to a mortgage broker than a bank, but it’s your choice. If you go to a mortgage broker, particularly a whole-of-market broker, you’ll get a choice of most, if not all, of the mortgage deals available to you. If you go to a bank, they will only offer you their mortgages, so you might not get the best interest rate.

Should first time buyers use a mortgage broker?

As we’ve said, it’s your choice whether to use a mortgage broker, even if you’re a first time buyer. However, if you’ve never bought a property before, you might find the mortgage application process confusing and stressful. A mortgage broker can help improve your chances of getting accepted for your first mortgage and oversee the whole application process, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.

It’s also a good idea to use a mortgage broker if you’re a first-time buyer using a Help to Buy ISA or a Lifetime ISA as they can help make sure you apply for the correct mortgage amount, taking your bonus into account. They can also offer advice and guidance on help to buy mortgages and shared ownership schemes. If you’re looking for a 95 mortgage (one that lets you take out a mortgage with a 5 deposit) or a guarantor mortgage, it can be useful to use a mortgage broker to ensure you get your application right.

Can mortgage brokers get you a bigger mortgage?

Mortgage brokers may be able to get you a bigger mortgage, especially if they’re a whole-of-market broker, as they can search through the market to find all the deals you’re eligible for, including higher lending schemes. However, it’s important to remember that they are bound by the FCA and have a duty of care to only recommend products that are suitable for you, so they won’t advise you to take out a large mortgage if they don’t think you are likely to be accepted or if they don’t think you will be able to afford the monthly payments.

What will a mortgage broker ask me?

A mortgage broker will ask you all the questions that a bank would ask you if you were applying for a mortgage directly with them. Lenders want to assess whether you can afford your mortgage repayments, so your mortgage broker will ask you:

  • What your income is and whether you can prove it (for employed people this is usually with 3 months’ worth of payslips)
  • Whether you have any dependents or pay any child maintenance
  • What your monthly expenditure is (usually proved with 3 months’ worth of bank statements)
  • Whether you expect your financial circumstances to change in the next few months

All of this information will help them find the mortgage deals available to you. They’ll also submit this information to the lender when you agree to make a mortgage application.

Can I apply for a mortgage without a broker?

Yes, you can apply for a mortgage without a broker. If you have a good understanding of the financial market, have applied for a mortgage before and are confident that you’ve found the right deal for you, you can of course apply for it without going through a broker. But if you’re not confident that you know what you’re doing or you’re unsure what the right deal is for you, you might benefit from speaking with a mortgage broker.

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