Find answers below to the most common questions asked about UK mortgage advisers. Please note, this article refers to residential mortgage advisers. For commercial mortgage brokers we have written a separate article to answer your questions:
These are the most common questions asked by customers looking for a residential mortgage adviser:
- What is the difference between a mortgage adviser and a mortgage broker?
- Are mortgage advisers regulated?
- Do mortgage advisers need to be qualified?
- Do mortgage advisers need a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS)?
- How many mortgage advisers are there in the UK?
- Do mortgage advisers charge a fee?
- What can mortgage advisers do?
- Should I use a mortgage broker or go to the lender direct?
- Do you really need a mortgage adviser?
- Do mortgage advisers specialise in different types of mortgages?
- When should I see a mortgage adviser?
- What do mortgage advisers ask?
- Can mortgage advisers do credit checks?
- Do mortgage advisers specialise in different types of mortgages?
- How to find the right mortgage adviser?
- How do I find a mortgage adviser near me?
What is the difference between a mortgage adviser and a mortgage broker?
There are so many different names for the experts who offer mortgage advice that it can be confusing. For example, you can obtain mortgage advice from a:
- Mortgage Adviser
- Mortgage Advisor
- Mortgage Broker
- Mortgage Consultant
- Mortgage Intermediary
- Financial Adviser
Don’t panic though, we’ll clear this all up for you. First of all, there is no difference between a mortgage adviser (also spelt mortgage advisor) or a mortgage consultant. They are different terms for the same role, and both offer mortgage advice to customers. Mortgage advisers and mortgage consultants can work directly for a lender or as a mortgage broker.
Mortgage advisers who work for a mortgage lender, such as a bank or building society, may be based in a bank or building society branch or a call centre, and just give advice on the mortgage products of that one lender.
Mortgage brokers, sometimes referred to as mortgage intermediaries, are also mortgage advisers and consultants, but they are not tied to one lender, they are able to recommend mortgages from multiple lenders. Some mortgage brokers are tied to a panel of lenders, whilst others are whole of market.
Mortgage brokers can be based in estate agent’s offices, have their own office or work from home. They may offer face-to-face meetings at their office, their home, your home or a public place such as a coffee shop, restaurant or hotel lobby. Many mortgage brokers also offer online or telephone meetings.
All of the above mortgage advisers are able to recommend the best mortgage for your needs from the lenders they have access to, and apply for the mortgage on your behalf.
Financial advisers are also able to provide advice on mortgages, as well as other financial products such as pensions and investments. Not all financial advisers choose to offer mortgage advice though. Any financial advisers listed in our directory do advise on mortgages.
For the rest of this article, the terms mortgage adviser and mortgage broker will be used interchangeably.
Are mortgage advisers regulated?
Yes, UK residential mortgage advisers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Please note, the FCA do not regulate buy-to-Let mortgages.
Do mortgage advisers need to be qualified?
Yes, mortgage advisers are required to have a Level 3 mortgage advice qualification recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The two most common qualifications are:
- Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP) – London Institute of Banking and Finance
- Certificate in Mortgage Advice – Chartered Institute of Insurance
Do mortgage advisers need a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS)?
No. Advisers who only advise on mortgages do not require an SPS.
How many mortgage advisers are there in the UK?
The FCA estimates there are more than 36,000 mortgage advisers in the UK (made up of more than 14,100 mortgage brokers, more than 14,200 financial advisers who advise on mortgages and more than 5,700 bank and building society advisers).
Do mortgage advisers charge a fee?
Usually mortgage advisers who work for lenders directly, e.g. in a bank or building society branch or call centre, do not charge a fee for their advice. They receive an annual salary and a performance-based bonus or commission from their employer.
Mortgage brokers (mortgage intermediaries) who deal with multiple lenders are usually paid a commission, known as a procuration fee, by the lender once your mortgage completes. This fee is detailed on the mortgage illustration they present to you when making their recommendation.
Many mortgage advisers, but not all, also charge a fee for their advice. This fee can either be requested up-front, upon application or when your mortgage is offered. It is usually a fixed fee, but could be charged as a percentage of your loan amount or even an hourly fee. The mortgage broker’s fee covers the costs of their time, expertise and administration expenses and ensures they receive some form of payment in case your mortgage doesn’t complete, e.g. if you decide not to buy a property, your purchase falls through, you find a better deal elsewhere or your application is declined by the lender.
Typically, mortgage broker fees range from £0-£1,000, but they can be considerably more.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) insist that your mortgage adviser confirms their charges with you during your first conversation with them. If they don’t volunteer this information, make sure you ask before proceeding any further.
What can mortgage advisers do?
Taking out a mortgage can seem complicated, but your mortgage adviser will be able to guide you through the process and make it as simple as possible. Your adviser’s job is to:
- understand what you’re looking to achieve by taking out a mortgage
- explain to you what types of mortgages are available and what the process is for obtaining one
- calculate how much is affordable for you to borrow
- recommend the best mortgage for you based on your individual needs and circumstances
- complete and package your mortgage application
- liaise with the lender until your mortgage is offered
To understand what type of mortgage is best for you, your adviser will need to ask you about your current circumstances and future aspirations. They’ll need to know about your income and expenditure, who will live in the property, your credit history, your age, how much the property is worth, how much you’re looking to borrow, your budget for the mortgage payments and how long you’d like to borrow the money for.
Mortgage brokers use a sourcing system to rank the available mortgage products in order of the rate or cost over the product term or mortgage term. They may have access to exclusive deals. The broker will filter the mortgage products based on your needs and circumstances, use their knowledge of lenders’ criteria and their experience of whether you’re likely to be accepted, and recommend the best overall mortgage to suit you.
Mortgage advisers must be able to justify why they recommended the mortgage they recommended.
Should I use a mortgage broker or go to the lender direct?
When it comes to deciding on whether to arrange your mortgage direct with a lender or by using a mortgage broker, there is no right or wrong answer and there are advantages and disadvantages of both options.
Advantages of arranging your mortgage with a mortgage broker:
- Your broker will be able to use a sourcing system to find the most competitive rates from all the lenders they are able to deal with. Some lenders only offer their products through mortgage brokers, or offer some brokers exclusive products. Some lenders also offer different mortgage rates through their direct channels to what they offer through mortgage brokers. This is called “dual-pricing”. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage, as sometimes the rate can be better through the mortgage broker and other times it could be better direct with the lender. It isn’t always one way or the other.
- Every lender’s criteria is different. Mortgage brokers will use their experience to start at the top of the sourcing system and, if your profile or the property you’re buying don’t fit the criteria of the lender with the best rate, they can work their way down until they find a lender that’s likely to offer you the mortgage. This can save you a lot of time compared to going to each lender individually. If you have specialist requirements, this becomes even more important.
- Every lender’s credit-scoring model is different. Some lenders are stricter than others and their attitude to risk tends to be reflected in their mortgage rates. Lenders willing to take on more risk usually offer higher interest rates. It’s important to be honest with your mortgage adviser about your credit commitments and whether you’ve had any late or missed payments, entered into any arrangements with your creditors, defaulted on any commitments or received any County Court Judgments (CCJs) so they can match you with a suitable lender.
- Every lender’s affordability calculation is different. It can change depending on your income and expenditure, the source of your income, how big your deposit is in relation to the value of the property, your age, how many children or dependant relatives you have, how long your mortgage term is and your credit score. Mortgage brokers will be aware of the lenders that offer the highest income multiples and often have access to tools that will tell the maximum likely loan with all the lenders they have access to.
- Mortgage brokers often work more flexible hours than mortgage advisers at banks and building societies, sometimes working evenings and weekends.
- You can usually find a mortgage broker offering the method of advice that is most convenient to you, whether that’s meeting face-to-face in their office, your home or a public place such as a coffee shop or hotel lobby, online or over the telephone.
- Mortgage brokers receive their procuration fee (commission) from the lender after the mortgage completes. They will often assist you by liaising with your lender, conveyancer, estate agent or property developer to make sure your transaction goes through smoothly and as quickly as you need.
- Most mortgage brokers will also be able to advise on your home insurance, life cover, critical illness cover and income protection needs. It’s important to treat this similar to choosing a mortgage adviser by checking how many insurers they have access to.
- Mortgage brokers tend to be very good at keeping in touch with you and reminding you when it’s time to shop around for another deal.
Disadvantages of arranging your mortgage with a mortgage broker:
- Some brokers may charge you a fee for their services, but depending on how much this is, it is usually well worth the expert advice and savings they can find you in terms of time and money.
- Some lenders don’t offer their products through mortgage brokers.
- In theory, some brokers could advise you to go with the lender that suits them more than it suits you, e.g. by paying higher procuration fees or being easier to deal with. It’s important to reiterate that mortgage brokers are regulated and, if they’ve not recommended the cheapest mortgage product to you, they must be able to demonstrate why. They also rely heavily on recommendations, so it’s not in their interest in the long run to look after themselves at the expense of their customers. By reading their reviews on websites like ours, you should also be able to separate the good brokers from the bad. Our directory lists the highest-rated brokers first.
Advantages of arranging your mortgage directly with a lender:
- As mentioned above, some lenders don’t offer their mortgage products through mortgage brokers, or “dual-price” so the rates can sometimes be better direct than with a mortgage broker.
- Some banks and building societies offer preferential rates for existing customers that have other types of accounts with them.
- Mortgage advisers who work directly for a lender usually don’t charge a fee for their advice.
Disadvantages of arranging your mortgage directly with a lender:
- Mortgage Advisers who work for a lender will only be able to advise you on their own lender’s products. Although they’ll recommend the best product available to you from their lender, there may be more competitive ones out there with other lenders.
- Some lenders only offer their products through mortgage brokers.
- As mentioned above, with “dual pricing” the mortgage rate could be better through mortgage brokers some of the time.
- Some mortgage advisers may be targeted to cross-sell other products their organisation offers, such as bank accounts or insurance products. These products could also be useful to you, but again they may only be that lender’s products.
- The longer you stay with the same lender, the more money that lender makes. Although the lender has to tell you by law when your initial interest rate reverts back to their standard variable rate (SVR), they may not be as quick to recommend you change onto another product as a mortgage broker might be.
Do you really need a mortgage adviser?
In the previous section, we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of using a mortgage broker versus approaching a lender directly. What we didn’t cover, is whether you need a mortgage adviser at all. It is possible to apply for a mortgage directly with a lender without advice and this is known as an “execution only” application. Unless you are very experienced in mortgages though, this is not recommended and could mean that you miss out on some of the best deals. It could also be very time consuming to do all the research on your own.
Taking advice from a mortgage adviser that does this for a living means that you will benefit from their experience, and are protected if their advice is unsuitable for any reason.
Do mortgage advisers specialise in different types of mortgages?
Yes, there are four main types of mortgage advisers which require different qualifications and experience to be able to give the best advice:
- Residential Mortgage Advisers
- Commercial Mortgage Brokers
- Bridging Loan Brokers
- Equity Release Advisers, also know as Lifetime Mortgage Advisers
This post focuses on residential mortgage advisers, but the links above will take you to similar posts about the other type of advisers.
Some residential mortgage advisers may specialise in advising on mortgages for certain types of customers. These are some of the common specialisms:
- BTL Mortgage Broker
- Green Mortgage Specialists
- Mortgage advisors for adverse credit
- Mortgage advisors for bad credit
- Mortgage advisors for poor credit
- Mortgage advisors for contractors
- Mortgage advisors for first time buyers
- Mortgage advisors for self employed
- Mortgage advisors for doctors
- Mortgage advisors for shared ownership
- Mortgage advisors for teachers
When should I see a mortgage adviser?
Ideally it’s best to meet with a mortgage adviser as soon as possible before you look to purchase a property and around 3-6 months before your existing product comes to an end if you’re remortgaging. This will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.
If you’re buying a property, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t see a mortgage adviser before starting your search, but there’s nothing worse than finding your dream home, only to find out later that you can’t afford it.
By meeting with your mortgage adviser earlier, they’ll be able to give you an idea of how much you can potentially borrow, how much deposit you’ll need and what the monthly payments are likely to be. This will help to narrow down your property search in terms of the maximum property value. They can also arrange an Agreement in Principle (AIP), also know as a Decision in Principle (DIP), with a lender to confirm you’re eligible for a mortgage in principle. This will usually mean a lender has completed a credit search on you and deemed you credit-worthy. Your mortgage adviser should be able to provide you with a certificate to confirm this. Many estate agents and property developers will want to see this before taking you out to see properties.
Your mortgage adviser will also be able to tell you what documents you’ll need to complete your application, so you can start to get them ready, e.g. proof of identification, proof of address, proof of income and proof of your deposit.
There’s really no downside to speaking to a mortgage adviser first.
What do mortgage advisers ask?
To understand what you’re looking to achieve by taking out a mortgage and provide you with the best possible advice, mortgage advisers are likely to ask you the following kinds of questions:
About your property
- Who owns the property you currently live in?
- How long have you lived at your current address?
- What kind of property do you own or are you looking to buy?
- Are you intending to live in the property or will you let it out?
- Who will live in the property with you?
- Do you own any other properties?
- Will this property be your main residence?
About your deposit
- How much deposit do you have?
- How did you accumulate your deposit?
- Where is your deposit now?
About your mortgage requirements
- How much are you looking to borrow?
- What term are you looking to borrow it over?
- If you’re looking to raise capital, what will it be used for?
About your age
- How old are you?
- What age are you planning to retire?
About your income
- What is the source of your income?
- If you’re employed, what type of contract are you on, e.g. permanent, fixed-term, agency, zero hours?
- How long have you been employed for?
- What were you doing prior to this job?
- If you’re self employed, are you a sole trader, partner or limited company director?
- How much do you earn?
- Do you receive any benefit income?
- Do you receive any additional sources of income?
- Are you aware of any upcoming changes to your income?
- Do you earn any of your income in a foreign currency?
About your outgoings
- What regular outgoings do you have?
- Do have any credit commitments?
- When are your credit commitments due to end?
- Will your credit commitments be repaid at completion of your mortgage?
- What are the monthly payments and balances of your loans, credit cards, mail order accounts, hire purchase agreements, etc?
- Do you have any student loans?
- Do you have any other mortgages?
- Do you have any children? If so how many and how old are they?
- Do you have any dependent relatives?
About your credit score
- How good is your credit score?
- Are you registered on the voter’s roll at your current address?
- Have you ever had any arrears on any credit commitments?
- Have you ever defaulted on any credit commitments?
- Have you ever received any county court judgments (CCJs)?
- Have you ever made any arrangements with any creditors?
- Have you ever entered into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)?
- Have you ever been declared bankrupt?
About your nationality, residency and right to live and work in the UK
- What is your nationality?
- Where are you currently resident?
- Do you have permanent right to remain or are you on a visa?
Obviously this is not an exhaustive list of the questions a mortgage adviser could ask you. There may be more based on your individual circumstances or the kind of property you’re looking to mortgage. The above list doesn’t include questions your mortgage adviser may ask you to determine what kind of mortgage product is best for you.
Can mortgage advisers do credit checks?
Most, but not all, lenders will do a credit check when assessing your application. The three main credit reference agencies that lenders use to perform a credit check, also know as a credit search, are Experian, Equifax and Transunion. In fact, some lenders will use more than one and cross-reference the information.
All of the above credit reference agencies allow you to access your own credit report and often give you their own calculation of your credit score. Each agency will have calculated your credit score differently and should just be used as a guide. In reality, the credit reference agencies’ scores will not be used by the lenders. Each lender has their own way of calculating your credit score based on the information from your credit file, as well as other information from your application and their own attitude to risk.
Unless they work for a lender, mortgage advisers are unable to perform a credit check. They may therefore ask you to obtain a copy of your own credit report so they can see what’s showing prior to making a decision about which lender to approach.
We recommend using checkmyfile.com to access your credit report, as it includes information from all three credit reference agencies as well as Crediva. By obtaining this one report, it should give your mortgage adviser what they need to see, no matter which lender they submit your application to.
How to find the right mortgage adviser?
If you’ve read the rest of this post, you already know about the different types of mortgage advisers, how they can help you, what they’re likely to ask you, and how they get paid. Now it’s time to browse our Mortgage Adviser Directory to find the best mortgage adviser for you.
Our directory includes real customer reviews and ratings. The advisers with the best ratings appear first.
You can filter advisers by:
- their advice methods, e.g. face-to-face, online or telephone
- their specialisms
- the languages they speak
- whether they’re open now
How do I find a mortgage adviser near me?
The easiest way to find the best mortgage advisers near you is using our mortgage adviser directory – Mortgage Advisers Near Me
Click the “Near Me” filter to show the closest mortgage advisers first.
Alternatively, here are links to mortgage advisers in the 50 largest towns and cities in the UK. We’ve listed them in alphabetical order to make them easier to find:
- Mortgage Advisers in Aberdeen
- Mortgage Advisers in Belfast
- Mortgage Advisers in Birmingham
- Mortgage Advisers in Blackpool
- Mortgage Advisers in Bolton
- Mortgage Advisers in Bournemouth
- Mortgage Advisers in Bradford
- Mortgage Advisers in Brighton
- Mortgage Advisers in Bristol
- Mortgage Advisers in Cambridge
- Mortgage Advisers in Cardiff
- Mortgage Advisers in Coventry
- Mortgage Advisers in Derby
- Mortgage Advisers in Dundee
- Mortgage Advisers in Edinburgh
- Mortgage Advisers in Glasgow
- Mortgage Advisers in Gloucester
- Mortgage Advisers in Huddersfield
- Mortgage Advisers in Hull
- Mortgage Advisers in Ipswich
- Mortgage Advisers in Kingston upon Hull
- Mortgage Advisers in Leeds
- Mortgage Advisers in Leicester
- Mortgage Advisers in Liverpool
- Mortgage Advisers in London
- Mortgage Advisers in Luton
- Mortgage Advisers in Manchester
- Mortgage Advisers in Middlesbrough
- Mortgage Advisers in Milton Keynes
- Mortgage Advisers in Newcastle upon Tyne
- Mortgage Advisers in Northampton
- Mortgage Advisers in Norwich
- Mortgage Advisers in Nottingham
- Mortgage Advisers in Oxford
- Mortgage Advisers in Peterborough
- Mortgage Advisers in Plymouth
- Mortgage Advisers in Poole
- Mortgage Advisers in Portsmouth
- Mortgage Advisers in Reading
- Mortgage Advisers in Sheffield
- Mortgage Advisers in Slough
- Mortgage Advisers in Southampton
- Mortgage Advisers in Southend-on-Sea
- Mortgage Advisers in Stoke-on-Trent
- Mortgage Advisers in Sunderland
- Mortgage Advisers in Swansea
- Mortgage Advisers in Swindon
- Mortgage Advisers in Telford
- Mortgage Advisers in Warrington
- Mortgage Advisers in Wolverhampton
- Mortgage Advisers in York
Our directory covers the whole of the UK, so don’t worry if your town or city is not listed above, you can find more mortgage advisers here.