• Zest Mortgage Brokers | Specialist Mortgage Advice

The complete guide to preparing for your first consultation with a mortgage broker

Seeing a mortgage adviser for the first time might feel a bit daunting. Here's everything you need to know so you can ensure you receive the best mortgage advice.

A first time buyer sought mortgage advice in Weston-super-Mare. Here's their house

When working with a Mortgage Broker for the first time, you can get a step ahead by preparing some of the information you'll be asked for in advance. Here we'll tell you how to be ready and armed for your appointment. This can help you get the ball rolling on your mortgage offer more quickly and obtain the most suitable deal for your circumstances.

Collate all the information you need, and appoint a great mortgage broker and you are on your way towards home ownership.

The basics - what is a mortgage broker, and why do I need one?

Getting ready - How to be as prepared as possible for your appointment with a mortgage broker

Next steps - after appointing your mortgage advisor, what you need to do next


What is a mortgage broker, and why do I need one?

A mortgage broker works as an intermediary to help match applicants to the best mortgage lender, offering the best deal for their clients' circumstances.

Once appointed, a mortgage adviser will use their expert knowledge to obtain the best result for their client. Good mortgage brokers will search the whole market, and will have access to special mortgage rates and deals not available on the High Street. In fact, some lenders will only work with intermediaries, so, specialist mortgage brokers. The broker's expert advice will also be useful if you have special circumstances that require the specialist advice that a mainstream lender will be unable to provide.

The mortgage broker will have in-depth knowledge of the market, and a large benefit to their expertise is that they can quickly identify suitable mortgage deals. This can save you a lot of time and energy if you're researching rates and offers yourself, and trying to speak to multiple lenders.

Why should you use a mortgage broker?

It's actually quite simple. The difference in cost between mortgage offers can be enormous. A good mortgage adviser will find the deal that offers you the best financial outcome by using their market knowledge for your advantage.

Borrowers with special circumstances, for example 'bad' credit (we call it adverse credit in the industry), or those with complex income as part of their mortgage requirements can get the best results from an expert mortgage broker who understands their situation - meaning they know exactly which lender will be able to provide a mortgage offer. This should result in fewer declined applications for their client.

The self-employed, especially those unable to prove their income with payslips like an applicant on PAYE, can benefit massively from expert mortgage advice from a broker. Many lenders specialise in providing mortgage to the self-employed worker and brokers can introduce these.

Because brokers work with such a wide panel of lenders, they learn to understand the criteria and preferred client profile of each one - again, helping find the right mortgage for the client.

Using a mortgage broker has another great benefit. Speed. Using a mortgage advisor speeds the entire process along. Buying a property can take a long time, sometimes several months, and takes a lot of work. If you're trying to secure a mortgage yourself, you could run the risk of losing out on the property you want if the process drags and the mortgage takes too long to get approved.

Mortgage brokers have specialist software that will search across their entire panel of lenders, allowing them to quickly find deals matching the borrowers criteria. This is a lot quicker than individual searches for mortgage deals across multiple banks' websites. The hassle is taken out of the process, with far less paperwork.

How to be as prepared as possible for your appointment with a mortgage broker

You've done your research and found the broker you want to use. You've got your appointment set. What next?

Firstly, remember your chosen mortgage advisor is the expert. Go to the appointment with an open mind, and be ready to listen. Their job is to find the best deal for your circumstances, regardless of how they'll be rewarded at the end.

Have your supporting documentation prepared in advance. This will speed up the application process, and allow your mortgage broker to act in the most efficient manner, ensuring a mortgage offer comes sooner rather than later!

Supporting documentation

Proof of your identity and address

Mortgage Brokers support the Proceeds of Crime Act, and all efforts to eliminate Money Laundering. As part of this they need to verify the identity of their clients. Bring along original documents containing your full name and address.

You'll need to provide at least:

  • One proof of identity document - e.g. Passport or Drivers Licence

  • One proof of address document - e.g. Utility Bill from the last 3 months

To support your mortgage application

You will need to provide:

  • Last 3 months consecutive bank statements

  • You may be asked to complete a budget planner - showing income and expenditure

  • Deposit evidence - this is evidence of the source of your deposit. For example, if from your own savings, then your last 12 months savings account statements.

if you're employed you'll need:

  • Last 3 months payslips (or last 13 weeks payslips if paid weekly)

  • Most recent P60

If you're self-employed, you'll need:

  • Last 2 years SA302s, or last 2 years online SA302s with tax year overview

Further documentation

A copy of your latest credit report is really useful for your mortgage adviser. With an increase in identity theft, obtaining a copy of your credit report in advance ensures your application is not delayed by uncovering surprises later on in the process. It also means any credit issues uncovered can be addressed. This doesn't mean you won't be able to get a mortgage - you're using an expert mortgage broker, and they'll have access to lenders who have provision for this type of business.

They are available from agencies such as Experian, Equifax, Callcredit and CheckMyFile.

In addition to your credit report, where appropriate, you'll also need:

  • Your last mortgage statement

  • Evidence of any state benefits you may receive

  • Evidence of any pension income

  • Insurance/Assurance - details of your current provisions (e.g. provided as a work benefit, or private plans) to cover short-term illness, accident, redundancy, serious illness (e.g. cancer), death, buildings & contents

If you're lucky enough to have been gifted a deposit, you'll need to show your broker the following:

  • If under £5,000 - a gifted deposit letter

  • If over £5,000 - a gifted deposit letter, and evidence of the lump sum

Next steps - after appointing your mortgage advisor, what you need to do next.

So you know what a mortgage broker is, and how they can help secure the most suitable mortgage deal for you. You've made your appointment and collated the documentation they'll ask for. You're on the right track, so that's great! Next, just make sure you reply in a timely way to any further requests from your broker and don't hide anything from them financially and before you know it, you've rescued the cat from the sitter, unpacked the kettle and made your first cuppa in your new house.

If you've read this, and haven't yet found the right mortgage broker, then please give us a try. Email us at enquiries@zestmortgagebrokers.co.uk, phone 0800 228 9715, or contact us here.

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