Mortgage wars: a battle that shouldn’t be fought on price alone

Wednesday, 13th September, 2017

The Telegraph recently published a story that focused on the ‘battle for mortgage customers’ and the intensification of a war that is seeing lenders cut both their rates and penalty fees.

As a Guildford mortgage broker, Complete Mortgages feels and acts on the launch of each and every new mortgage product and the fluctuation of rates associated with those that already exist on a daily basis; indeed, it is our job to do so.

However, our view on the language used by the national media that places home buying in the context of a war – and the portrayal that the mortgage market is an arena in which only the cheapest product and lender will win – is bad not only for the mortgage industry, but also those applying for a mortgage.

Firstly, it’s important to highlight that the cheapest mortgage isn’t necessarily the best mortgage.

Evidence suggests that the average rate of two and five-year fixed mortgages has significantly decreased over the last seven years, and that’s undoubtedly a good thing. The more competitive lenders are, the more attractive their mortgage products become.

However – and this is very important – not everyone’s circumstances are the same. So, whilst a five-year fixed mortgage may be ideal for candidate A, it may not be so effective for candidate B.

Simply distilling mortgages and the mortgage application process down to a price war – something more akin to inexpensive consumer products such as bread and milk – doesn’t take into account the nuances surrounding each individual’s lifestyle and financial position.

It could also panic those looking for a mortgage into running headlong into a mortgage deal that may not necessarily suit their needs in the long (or even short) term.

The same Telegraph article suggests that lenders are already braced for a surge in new applications as a wave of existing fixed-term deals come to an end this autumn.

If this surge of applications originates from mortgage applicants who are well informed then we fully support that – but finding a mortgage broker who can guide you through the process and establish the right mortgage for you before you commit to anything should be your first port of call.

As an award-winning mortgage broker, our recommendation to those looking to secure a mortgage – or remortgage – is to seek professional mortgage advice; advice that treats a mortgage for what it is, which is a long-term commitment and not a simple day-to-day purchase.

If you’re looking at getting a mortgage – or remortgaging – this autumn then don’t get caught up in the bottleneck. From specialist self-employed mortgages and commercial mortgages through to first time buyer mortgages and adverse credit mortgages, Complete Mortgages can recommend a mortgage to match your own personal circumstances.

Contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk for an insightful, thoughtful and expert view on the current mortgage market – and a professional opinion on where you might fit within it.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Revisit, remortgage and save money

Thursday, 29th June, 2017

It’s funny. Everyone is always looking for a deal (myself included) and yet sometimes, even when the deal is right in front of him or her, they just can’t see it.

What’s even more ironic is that people can expend huge amounts of energy collecting loyalty points here and ‘50p off your next box of tea bags’ vouchers there, all the while missing out on the most important deal – and one that could save them hundreds of pounds each month.

The deal I’m referring to in this case is the often-overlooked remortgage.

As a Guildford mortgage broker I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve seen as many instances where there is such a gulf between the mortgage our clients signed up for (call it point A) and the mortgage that they could have now, even with the same lender (call it point B).

Naturally, it is the Complete Mortgages team’s job to make our clients aware of how they could save money on a mortgage – or, to put it another way, how much they are overpaying on a mortgage. And that’s what we’re in the process of doing right now, much to our clients’ delight.

However, for many people – namely those who either don’t use a mortgage broker or don’t have a proactive mortgage broker, they might never know.

Whilst there’s lots to be said for the proverb ‘ignorance is bliss’, or ‘what you don’t know can’t hurt you’, I’m pretty sure that people would rather have the opportunity to change mortgage – or at least be alerted to the prospect of changing their mortgage – and that’s the purpose of this article.

If you’re one of those people who applied for a mortgage two or three years ago, when deals were great and seemed as though they couldn’t get any better, then this is for you.

Essentially, mortgage deals have got better and you could quite easily be saving hundreds of pounds each month as a result.

In some cases you could simply switch your mortgage to a different deal on offer through the same lender. Not only can we handle ALL the paperwork and application process on your behalf, but also our service is completely FREE for you.

Our usual fee is £399 however in the case of a simple mortgage switch with your existing lender, we wouldn’t charge you a penny.

Even in cases where a fee may be chargeable, the process of remortgaging could still work out financially beneficial for you in the long run.

Our advice is to contact a trusted mortgage broker to explore your options and discover how easy it is to save money on your mortgage. You may or may not want to use Complete Mortgages – or even a mortgage broker in general – but at least you can’t say that we never told you.

Are you looking to remortgage? Interested in finding out of you could save money on your mortgage by making a simple change to your current mortgage? If so, contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. Remember, we’re also specialists in buy to let mortgages, adverse credit mortgages, limited company buy to let mortgages and first time buyer mortgages.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Robo-mortgage advisers… whatever next?

Thursday, 8th June, 2017

Now, before reading any further I should point out that, like most people, I too use a series of apps to help make my life that little bit easier. From monitoring how active I am to listening to music, apps are now an essential part of my everyday life.

However, on reading a piece in the Telegraph recently with the headline ‘New app promises to sort your mortgage by iPhone as home buying goes digital’*, I have to say that I experienced the first pang of ‘app cynicism’ I’ve felt since I began using them.

Not because, as a mortgage broker, I felt in any way threatened by the advent of digitised mortgage applications, but because my first thought was that some things should genuinely be left alone. Applying for a mortgage, in the context of apps, is one of those things.

Admittedly, claims of being able to complete a mortgage in 15 minutes or begin the mortgage – or remortgaging – process through a mobile app sounds fantastic. However, having been a Guildford mortgage broker for almost two decades, I know that the reality of carrying out a successful mortgage application relies less on software and more on relationships and a personal touch.

Buying a house is, for the majority of people, the biggest financial decision that they will ever make. Now, relying on software to order your coffee so that it’s served to coincide with your arrival, count how many steps you’ve taken in any given day, or alert you when it’s time to drink more water is one thing. But do you really want to place one of life’s larger purchases in the hands of a faceless app?

Not only that but who do you contact when things go wrong or don’t go quite according to plan?

The mortgage application process can be complicated, resource intensive and is often affected by a number of variables and external organisations. Whilst it’s okay to seek a simplified one-button solution to some of the more mundane aspects of modern life, a one-button solution to mortgage applications is, in my view, a false economy.

In fact, let’s compare it now. Complete Mortgages typically spends 15 – 20 minutes to carry out a factfind, which is similar to what some ‘robo-advisers’ claim to take, and from that point onwards everything is handled personally by a dedicated account handler who is able to fast-track the process, carry out those sometimes-sensitive chase up calls with the lender or provide feedback to the estate agent from which the mortgage applicant originated.

We’re proud, for instance, of our high customer service ratings as showcased on our website – all of which are the direct result of real actions of real people, who not only help people secure mortgages day in, day out, but who also do so after having built a strong rapport with the customer.

Yes, there are many services and experiences that have improved through automation, however these are typically services and experiences that are black and white, that have a simple beginning and end point, and that aren’t always reliant on multiple processes in order to reach a successful conclusion. Getting a mortgage isn’t one of them.

That said, I wish those who have launched – or are in the process of launching – automated mortgage apps the very best and I will watch with interest.

In the meantime, I must go. I’m being told that I have a meeting and that I need to purchase a gift online in the next five minutes to make tomorrow’s post – all by my apps, of course.

If you need to apply for a mortgage and would like to speak to a real person, then contact Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. We specialise in first time buyer mortgages, commercial mortgages, buy to let mortgages, adverse credit mortgages – and providing first-class customer service. 

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages

*http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/04/18/new-app-promises-sort-mortgage-iphone-home-buying-goes-digital


How adverse credit mortgages are helping first time buyers

Monday, 22nd May, 2017
Adverse credit mortgages

For those of you that keep up to date with Complete Mortgages’ articles, news and views, you’ll know that we have been proactive in ‘rebranding’ the adverse credit mortgage or, as it was more widely known, the sub prime mortgage.

Importantly, this is not because Complete Mortgages is an irresponsible Guildford mortgage broker. Nor is it because we refuse to accept its role in the 2007/8 financial crisis (unregulated sub prime mortgage lending was undeniably an instrumental factor).

Our reason for supporting the new wave of adverse mortgage lending is twofold. Firstly, lending of this nature no longer represents the sub prime lending of pre-2008, as you can read here. Secondly, it is increasingly becoming a way in which young first time buyers can successfully apply for a mortgage and therefore access the property ladder.

Around this time last year a TransUnion survey revealed that millennials are highly likely to have a bad credit or subprime credit rating, which limits their access to loans and, of course, mortgages. A recent article in the Telegraph also supports this by including ONS figures that suggest that almost 100,000 millennials who live with their parents believe that they will never move out.

This is a particularly disheartening scenario and one that, in many cases, stems from high student loans and the rising cost of living. Unfortunately, this can often lead to overdependence on credit, which, if not managed, can result in a bad credit rating.

The cycle is clear. The question now is how do we break it, or at least how do we help young first time buyers shortcut it? And that’s where the new wave of adverse credit mortgage comes into play.

Thankfully, first time buyers are now able to access up to 85% loan to value mortgages at 4.5 times their income with non-high street lenders.

Of course – and as pointed out in a previous Complete Mortgages article on sub-prime mortgages – there needs to be evidence that those applying for an adverse credit mortgage can make the required repayments. Likewise, applicants will need to apply for a mortgage in the knowledge that they will be paying more for the privilege.

However, when faced with living with your parents well into your thirties, a situation that is only compounded (and arguably prolonged) by escalating house prices, the modern day sub prime mortgage could prove to be a helpful springboard for many young people.

Regardless of situation and credit score, I would recommend those who think an adverse credit mortgage could be a viable route for them to get in touch with me or a member of the Complete Mortgages team to discuss their options.

To speak with a credit repair mortgage specialist contact Mark Lucas on 01483 238280 or email lucas@complete-mortgages.co.uk. Complete Mortgages also specialises in commercial mortgages, buy to let mortgages and limited company but to let mortgages.

By Mark Lucas, credit repair mortgage specialist at Complete Mortgages


How do I get a mortgage if I have a bad credit rating?

Friday, 29th July, 2016

So, you want to apply for a mortgage. And if that isn’t tough enough, you also have a poor credit rating to boot. Don’t worry, the doors of home ownership don’t need to close on you and you’ll be pleased to know that there is a way to ensure that you get your foot firmly on the property ladder.

If we cast our memories back to the credit crunch of 2007/8, when adverse credit mortgages (or subprime mortgages) were arguably one of the root causes of the financial crisis, you could be forgiven for thinking that a sub prime mortgage is one to avoid.

However many things within the financial services have changed over the last eight years and, thankfully, the sub-prime mortgage is one of them. For a more informed guide as to what’s changed and how adverse credit mortgages have undergone a facelift, read our article here.

Here, we will deal with the frequently asked questions the Complete Mortgages team receives when it comes to applying for a mortgage with a poor credit rating.

After all that happened, do subprime mortgages still even exist?

Yes, but they are now very different. Firstly, you have to demonstrate that you are able to make repayments. Secondly, sub-prime mortgages aren’t granted with the same reckless abandon they once were. They are very much regarded as a niche product and many lenders will only approve adverse credit mortgages if the applicant can show that they’ve experienced an ‘unexpected event’, such as divorce or business failure.

Where can I get a mortgage with a poor credit history?

Or, more to the point, ‘who will give me a mortgage with my bad credit rating?’. Given how there are more complexities around applying for subprime mortgages, we would recommend that this is one for a mortgage broker to handle. If they’re worth their salt they’ll be able to match your profile, lifestyle and circumstances with a suitable product. And when it comes to products, a reputable mortgage broker will have full access to a comprehensive product portfolio at any given time. Let’s face it, mortgage applications can be an arduous task at the best of times, so why not let your broker do the legwork?

Are subprime mortgages more expensive than prime mortgages?

Yes, they are. The costs vary and this is something to explore with your mortgage broker, however the structure – both in terms of cost and risk – is very different now from those on the market pre-crash. This is where your broker will add value, by presenting a suite of products that will match your needs and being able to discuss your options face to face.

Will the recent EU referendum outcome make it easier or harder for me to apply for an adverse credit home loan?

It’s really is too early to say. There are reports to suggest that the subprime lending industry is growing and that home loan products aimed at people with adverse credit has doubled in the last twelve months*, however the direct impact of the Brexit vote is still unfolding.

I think I need to apply for a subprime mortgage. What shall I do next?

Get in touch with a trusted and reputable mortgage broker, who will be able to guide you through your options and advise you on the best route to take. At Complete Mortgages, a Guildford mortgage broker, we have a specialist sub-prime mortgage team that is well versed in securing mortgages for those with poor credit scores. We will offer a free initial consultation but there would be an application fee (typically £749 to £999) if you want to go ahead.

Not looking for a subprime mortgage? Remember, we also arrange first time buyer mortgages, commercial mortgages and bridging loans, too. Simply contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

*http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/brexit-jitters-could-lead-to-a-resurgence-for-sub-prime-mortgage-markets-1-8025082