Questions to Ask Your Mortgage Broker

illustration of Questions to Ask Your Mortgage Broker

The mortgage world can be confusing, so it’s a great idea to use a mortgage broker who can help you through the process.

Buying a home is probably the biggest purchase that you’ll ever make, so it’s important to fully understand your options, get the right advice and feel confident you’re getting the best mortgage for you.

We’ve listed the top questions you should ask a broker before you commit.

Question 1: How much will I pay for your services?

Nearly all brokers will charge for their services. They’ll usually let you know straight away how much they charge, and when you’ll need to pay. While it can seem like another cost on top of an already expensive process, using a broker really will save you money in the long run.

When going through a platform like Haysto, how much your broker will cost depends on your unique situation. Your broker will explain their fee when you speak to them. If they can’t help you, you won’t pay a penny to your broker. Brokers charge different fees depending on how complex your situation is, their expertise, and how many hours they work on your application.

After you’ve spoken to your mortgage broker, you’ll be asked if you want to continue with them, so they can start work on your mortgage application. At this point, you might be asked to pay a commitment fee to secure their help. The maximum commitment fee you could pay will be £299. This fee will then be deducted from the overall fee you’ll pay your broker.

If for some reason your broker fails to get a mortgage for you, you’ll get this money back.

You don’t pay Haysto a penny. We only get paid when your mortgage is approved. So it’s in our interest to match you with a broker who’ll make a mortgage possible for you. See how it works

Question 2: Are you FCA regulated?

Brokers usually have many years of experience in the finance industry, and have to achieve a mortgage advice qualification certified by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It’s important to check an advisor’s qualifications before they get to work. 

The brokers we work with are all qualified and regulated by the FCA. Make an enquiry. 

Question 3: How many mortgage lenders do you work with?

Some mortgage brokers only work with specific lenders, meaning you have a limited choice of mortgage options if you use them. It’s best to work with a ‘whole of market’ broker - someone who’s free to find a mortgage for you from any lender. Going this route means your broker isn’t loyal to a lender, they’re loyal to you.

Question 4: Do you deal with complex situations?

If your application isn’t straightforward, you want to know if your broker has experience with people in your circumstances. If you have a bad credit history or complex income such as self-employed, it’s best to be upfront about it. A broker can then fill you in on how they’ve helped people similar to you.

Lenders prefer people who are really easy to deal with because they don’t have to try as hard to organise a mortgage for the person. It’s harsh, but sadly true. If you go directly to a bank for a mortgage, they might not have the right experience, but a good broker will have the knowledge and the contacts to know how best to deal with your unique situation.

Question 5: How much can I borrow?

This is the big question. How much you’ll be able to borrow on a mortgage will be decided by a few factors, not just how much you earn. Your mortgage advisor will carry out an affordability questionnaire to check how you might handle your monthly repayments, and what would happen if your situation suddenly changed. 

They’ll also look at your credit history, employment situation, how much you’re already borrowing on credit cards or loans, and what deposit you’re able to put down.

Want a rough idea of how much you could borrow? Use our Mortgage Affordability Calculator.

Question 6: What deposit will I need?

How much deposit you’ll need to put down will depend on a few things. You tend to unlock the better deals the more money you can put down up front. 

Generally, at least 10% of a property's value is a good deposit for a mortgage. It's possible to buy a home with a 5% using government schemes, but many lenders have put their low deposit deals on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, some lenders might ask you to put down a larger deposit if you have bad credit issues or are self-employed. Your mortgage broker will work to find you the best deal with a deposit that won’t break the bank. Read more in our Guide: How Much Deposit Do I Need to Buy a House in the UK?

Question 7: What type of mortgage is best for me?

It’s in your broker’s interest to find the right mortgage deal for you. Your broker has a duty of care to ensure that you get the best deal possible and that you don’t get a mortgage you can’t afford. This is a legal requirement. 

If your broker doesn’t recommend a suitable mortgage and can’t justify why they’ve recommended that particular mortgage to you, then you can complain and claim compensation. So it’s very much in their interest to find you the right mortgage for you, at the best rate. 

Question 8: What documents do you need?

A good broker will guide you through the entire mortgage process. That includes helping you put together an application that looks great to mortgage lenders. You should get ahead of the game by finding out what documents you need and gathering the paperwork ahead of time.

Typically, you’ll need:

  • Three months of payslips, or accounts if self-employed

  • Three months of bank statements

  • Your last P60

  • Proof of ID such as passport or driving license

  • Utility bills from the last three months to prove your address (your name will need to be on them). Also ensure you’re on the electoral roll

  • Details of all outgoings and financial commitments, including credit card and loan repayments

  • Proof of your deposit (a gifted deposit will need a bank statement and letter of confirmation from the person giving it to you)

  • Your solicitor’s details

  • The estate agent’s details

You should be prepared to wait around a month from submitting your application to getting a mortgage offer. Mortgages can take a long time because they involve so many thorough checks and processing of information. It's best to be as prepared as possible so that you're ready to go when the time comes. Read more in our Guide: What Do Mortgage Lenders Look For in Mortgage Applicants?

Question 9: What are all the costs involved?

Buying a property can be an expensive time. Along with saving for a deposit, you’ll need to budget for:

  • Building survey fee

  • Solicitor's fee

  • Removal company costs

  • Building and contents insurance

  • Mortgage arrangement and valuation fees; and

  • Stamp Duty if applicable

  • Mortgage broker’s fee

Not all of these fees will be due at the same time, so you may have some wiggle room over a few months. You can ask your broker for advice and recommendations.

Question 10: What else can you help me with?

The primary purpose of a mortgage broker is to match you with the right mortgage deal. They’ll also take into account some of your wider mortgage needs too.

For example, they can help you when it comes to arranging life insurance, payment protection, income protection and other things which you may not realise would be useful. 

If you build up a good relationship with your broker, they’ll always be able to help you in the future for any questions, or if you end up renegotiating your mortgage, remortgaging or buying another property. They’ll already know you and your unique situation, so you save time by using the same broker again.

Ready to meet your match? Our platform uses a clever algorithm to match you to the perfect mortgage broker for your unique situation. Someone who’s up for the challenge, and has a proven track record of making mortgages possible for people like you. Get started.

WE MAKE MORTGAGES POSSIBLE

50% of mortgages for people who are self-employed or have bad credit aren’t available directly to you. They’re only available through specialist brokers. Using our platform guarantees you’ll be matched with a broker who has a proven track record of making mortgages possible for people like you. Less processing, more understanding.

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Our guides

Applying for a mortgage or understanding your options shouldn't be confusing, yet there are just so many myths doing the rounds and it's not easy to know where to turn to get the right advice.

Our Calculators

Our calculators give you an idea of what you might be able to borrow, what's affordable and a rough estimate of the kind of property prices you can start to look at.

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