Self-employed friendly mortgages

Monday, 5th March, 2018

Sometimes, it’s as though those who take the most risks are penalised the most.

At least that seems to be the sentiment of 71% of self employed people who feel that they are discriminated against when it comes to getting a mortgage, according to new research from The Mortgage Lender.

Yes, mortgages for self-employed people seem to be that little bit harder to come by, which is a huge shame – particularly when it’s this demographic who play key roles in growing the UK economy and given how, according to new research by Data Line for Business, there are now record numbers of self-employed people in the UK.

Data Line for Business’s research highlighted how:

  • One in seven people now work for themselves
  • The number of self-employed people have grown by a million since a decade ago
  • Self employed women have grown 24% to 300,000 since Q2 2013

Whilst this is great news when it comes to the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit, it’s very much at odds with the barriers – and the perceived barriers – to self-employed mortgages.

What’s the problem with getting a mortgage if you’re self-employed? 

We often get self-employed people asking, ‘Why is it hard to get a mortgage, even when my monthly mortgage repayments would be significantly less than my current rental outgoings?’.

The truth is that lenders find it hard to assess self-employed people as they might pay themselves different amounts at different times. Some may choose not to pay themselves much at all in order to keep cash in the business.

Prior to the financial crash, self-certification mortgages enabled business owners to get a mortgage relatively easy. After the crash, lenders became less inclined to lend on the basis of what the applicant claimed they earned.

However, there are a number of accessible self-employed mortgages on the market right now. Also, as a Guildford mortgage broker that specialises in contractor mortgages and mortgages for the self-employed, we are well placed to help all business owners – from sole traders to owners of limited companies – get a mortgage.

Our advice would be to get in touch on 01483 238280 or email us on info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. Also, in advance of speaking – or meeting – with a member of the Complete Mortgages team, we would recommend that you gather the following documentation in readiness: –

1. Two years’ accounts (if you have a Limited Company or Partnership)

2. SA302 forms and Tax Year Overviews for the two past two years. Here’s a link for more information on how to obtain them

3. Proof of a deposit (or equity in your property, if remortgaging) of at least 5%

Getting a mortgage if you’re self-employed isn’t unachievable. It just requires a little more work. However, as a mortgage adviser in Guildford, we’ll handle the legwork on your behalf.

Remember, Complete Mortgages doesn’t just specialise in mortgages for self-employed people. We also specialise in mortgages for teachers, adverse credit mortgages, buy to let mortgages and limited company buy to let mortgages.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Why the sudden interest in interest only mortgages?

Friday, 23rd February, 2018
interest only mortgages

First it was the interest rate rise. Now it’s the interest only mortgage. So, what’s with the sudden interest in all things interest-related?

Well, an interest rate increase is always enough to create debate (and keep an eye out for more articles from us on this topic as we watch – with interest – to see whether another interest rate rise happens in spring), however the debate around interest-only mortgages is a reoccurring one.

It wasn’t until the financial crash of 2007/8 that interest rates found themselves under scrutiny. Up until that point it was assumed that property prices – and therefore equity – was going to continue growing, leaving the homeowner with a pot of gold when they sold their property.

Now, with property prices beginning to slow, it would seem that the opportunity to make money on property like days of old is no longer a sure thing and this has the potential to leave homeowners exposed. On that basis, it’s no doubt one of the reasons why the Financial Conduct Authority has brought the interest-only mortgage back into focus.

According to Which?, new research has revealed that there are three points over the next decade-and-a-half whereby a large number of the UK’s interest-only mortgages will reach maturity, with more recent borrowers most at risk of a shortfall.

If you are currently on an interest only mortgage deal and concerned by the recent media coverage surrounding them, then our advice would be to contact a good mortgage adviser, who will be able to go through the pros and cons of interest only deals in relation to your own circumstances. However, for now, here are a few things you will need to consider.

1. Place your head in the future – not the sand

Will you be able to repay your mortgage at the point of maturation based on your current circumstances and income? If the answer’s ‘no’, then maybe it’s time to switch to a repayment mortgage. There really is little point in ignoring the issue or putting it off until tomorrow. Besides, the sooner you address it the sooner you can apply for a repayment mortgage or remortgage.

2. Seek mortgage advice

As a Guildford mortgage broker, helping people to establish the right mortgage for them is what we do well. And given how it’s our job, we know the mortgage landscape inside out as well as the best alternatives to interest only mortgages currently available.

3. Equity release mortgages may be an option

Even if you’ve come to the conclusion that you’ve gone too far and for too long on an interest only mortgage to be able to pay the balance, there are still options. Applying for an equity release mortgage is one of those – and one that may mean you don’t have to compromise your current standard of living. As an equity release mortgage specialist Complete Mortgages can guide you through this process.

Regardless of mortgage type, we always recommend that you speak with a reputable and trusted mortgage adviser – even if it’s not us. By doing so, you will be able to shortcut the process, save time and energy on researching the market and get professional guidance and advice when it comes to making a decision that’s right for you.

If you’d like to discuss your options when it comes to switching from an interest only mortgage to a repayment mortgage, contact Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


How to remortgage

Tuesday, 13th February, 2018

2018 is the year of the remortgage.

If you didn’t read my last piece and are wondering why 2018 is any different to 2017 – or any other year for that matter – then read on.

Going up? 

Nobody knows when or even if interest rates will go up in 2018, however there is much talk and speculation that the Bank of England could raise the Base Rate of interest by up to 0.50% at some point this year.

To put this into context, it would mean that someone on a variable rate mortgage borrowing £200,000 would face up to a £600-a-year increase.

Getting the most from your mortgage 

First of all, and despite what you may think, arranging a new mortgage is really straightforward – particularly if your mortgage broker is handling it on your behalf.

As a Guildford mortgage broker we see it all the time; people resisting remortgaging due to the perceived ‘hassle’, only to be pleasantly surprised when it’s all done and dusted without much effort on their part.

Here are Complete Mortgages’ top tips on remortgaging to get you started:

1. Dig out your paperwork 

Having an understanding of how much is outstanding on your mortgage, the mortgage term and any fees attributable with changing your mortgage will make it easier to navigate any questions that you will inevitably have to answer.

2. Know what you spend 

The process of getting a mortgage has changed over recent years, in as much as lenders now want to see clear evidence of your outgoings and, more importantly, your ability to comfortably make the mortgage repayments. Having some idea of what you spend on a monthly basis in advance will save time to-ing and fro-ing.

3. Do your homework

It may sound obvious, but take some time to find out what mortgage products are out there. New mortgage products are entering the market all the time, so make sure you pick the right mortgage for you and your lifestyle. More importantly, make sure that you’re set to benefit from a mortgage switch and that any financial gain from a new mortgage isn’t wiped out with exit fees from your existing mortgage.

Is there an easier way of doing this?

Of course there is. Using a trusted mortgage broker, such as Complete Mortgages, will save you a lot of legwork, time and possibly a bit of heartache, too.

If you let us handle your remortgage we’ll not only manage the entire mortgage application process on your behalf, but we’ll also spend the time finding the right mortgage for you, from the hundreds available (including the many broker exclusives that we have access to). What’s more, depending on the product chosen, there may not even be a fee for you to pay at all.

See, remortgaging really isn’t as difficult as you might think.

Contact the team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to find out more. Even if you’re not looking to remortgage, don’t forget we’re also specialists in buy to let mortgages, limited company buy to let mortgages, adverse credit mortgages and commercial mortgages, too.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


New Year, New Mortgage (but don’t leave it too late)

Monday, 29th January, 2018

Now that the New Year is fully underway, we’re urging our clients to start taking steps towards getting a new mortgage.

Whilst there are still a few lenders that are yet to increase their rates in line with the recent interest rate rise, the majority have already done so. Now, if you’re on a fixed rate mortgage then this won’t affect you.

However, if you’re currently on the standard variable rate (SVR) – or are about to enter the realms of the SVR – then this may be of interest.

1. Some lenders still haven’t raised their rates

For those who haven’t been thinking about their mortgage and what the interest rate rise means for them over the last few weeks, there’s still time to switch to a pre-interest rate rise mortgage deal – but you’d better be quick.

2. Beat the New Year rush

Whilst 2018 is in full swing, it can often take a few weeks before people start to really think about their next mortgage move. In fact, sometimes it’s February before the mortgage market really gets going. Put simply, if you act fast we can get you ‘mortgage-ready’ before everybody starts to want to do the same thing.

3. To rise or not to rise

There is already speculation that the next interest rate rise could come as early as May 2018, which means that if you haven’t already noticed the difference to your monthly mortgage repayments, then you may well do if the next interest rate rise comes as early as spring.

As a Guildford mortgage broker that has been in business since 2005, we’re still amazed to see the reaction on our clients’ faces when we explain how easy it is for them to remortgage. It’s even easier if you let a reputable mortgage adviser manage the process on your behalf.

So, if any of the three points raised here are relevant to you and you feel that you’re ready to remortgage – or at least you’re thinking about remortgaging in 2018 – then call us so that we can get your mortgage application underway.

Even if you aren’t looking to remortgage and simply need to arrange a mortgage, either for the first time or on a new property, then call us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

Remember, we also specialise in buy to let mortgages, commercial mortgages, limited company buy to let mortgages, equity release mortgages and adverse credit mortgages.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


The buy to let mortgage goalposts have moved… again

Thursday, 28th September, 2017

Staying on top of the buy-to-let mortgage market has become a job in its own right.

Some changes are small and relatively inconsequential – the inner workings, or behind the scenes details, if you will, that we tackle as part of the mortgage application process and that don’t need to burdened on our clients.

Others, such as the upcoming Prudential Regulation Authority changes, which will be applied by 30 September 2017, do need some light shed on them.

After all, current landlords and those in the process of applying for a buy to let mortgage are coming to us and asking ‘what does it mean for me?’.

In order to make the information accessible to everyone, we’ve prepared our Prudential Regulation Authority changes made simple.

This should clear a few things up, however if you still need clarification then please call a member of the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280, who will be more than happy to help.

So, if you’re a landlord and wondering ‘how will the new buy to let rules affect me?’, then read on.

1. Size matters

As part of what appears to be a crackdown on buy to let landlords who have ‘stockpiled’ mortgaged properties, the new rules really impact those who have four or more properties within their portfolio.

It’s also important to note here that the figure of four doesn’t relate to the number of mortgages you have – but the number of properties. If you own four properties under one mortgage then you will still be treated as a portfolio landlord. If you have two or three mortgaged buy to let properties, the new lending criteria will not affect you.

2. Down to the last detail

If you currently own three buy-to-lets and are looking to buy a fourth, or if you already own four and are looking to buy more, then you will be required to prove that your other properties – or at least your ability to cover the cost of the other properties – won’t be affected by taking on another.

To do this, lenders will:

a. Want to review income from other sources – including that derived from your existing portfolio – to ensure that can cover maintenance and void periods

b. Assess your experience as a landlord

c. Apply an Income Coverage Ratio, which is dependent on a number of factors including all your earned income. Note: this will vary from lender to lender

d. Require full details of the entire portfolio in order to assess the overall risk, potentially including assets/liabilities, cashflow and investment intentions.

Essentially, lenders will want to carry out stringent checks to make sure that taking on an additional property – or properties – will not be too much of a financial stretch.

3. Getting personal

Of course, as part of these checks, lenders will also want to know your personal liabilities and outgoings, too.

Expect the following areas to be explored as part of the review:

a. Credit cards and their balances

b. Vehicle financing agreements

c. Loans

d. General outgoings

The buy to let mortgage market is a constantly evolving sector. As a result, it’s important that you don’t get caught out.

As a Guildford mortgage broker our advice for buy-to-let landlords is to contact a mortgage adviser to find out how the new changes might affect you personally.

Likewise, we recommend that all new and aspiring landlords find a reputable mortgage broker to advise them on how to apply for a buy to let mortgage in the context of the impending new rules.

Contact Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. Remember, we also offer specialist mortgages including limited company buy to let mortgages, equity release mortgages and adverse credit mortgages.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


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


Complete Mortgages recruits ex-Countrywide highflier

Sunday, 20th August, 2017

Guildford mortgage broker, Complete Mortgages, has bolstered its rapidly expanding team of mortgage experts by recruiting one of Countrywide Mortgage Services’ most successful mortgage brokers.

Lee Cousens, who joined Complete Mortgages at the end of March, was ranked one of Countrywide Mortgage Services’ top 20 brokers from a pool of 700 located nationwide.  He is now working full time out of Seymours Estate Agents’ flagship Woking office.

During his time at Countrywide Mortgage Services, he carved a national reputation for delivering a professional service and expediting the mortgage applications of his first time buyer and second time mover clients.

With a prominent financial services career spanning over 10 years, eight of which were spent at Barclays where he worked with high net worth individuals, and including roles at prominent FTSE 250 companies, Lee has consistently generated first-class results within the residential and buy to let mortgage markets.

On joining the Complete Mortgages team Lee comments: “After a rich and varied career spent working at some of the financial services industry’s most prominent companies, I’m now looking forward to apply the knowledge I’ve accrued during that time with a view to supporting Complete Mortgages’ growth plans. The firm already has a solid UK-wide reputation and it’s an exciting time to the be joining a company that has so much more growth potential.”

Outside of work Lee, who lives in Chertsey, spends his time playing cricket and golf, as well as watching his team Brentford FC. He also ran the 2017 London Marathon on 23 April.

Complete Mortgages’ Director, Mark Finnegan, adds: “We’re delighted to welcome Lee to the team and thrilled to have attracted such an accomplished and well-regarded industry professional away from the UK’s largest property services group. Lee is a great fit for the team and will no doubt help Complete Mortgages continue to expand its customer base and strengthen its 8 year relationship with Seymours Estate Agents, whilst providing exceptional levels of customer service, industry insight and professional advice.”

For more information or to arrange a mortgage with Complete Mortgages contact 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

Image caption: Lee Cousens (centre) with some of the Seymours Woking team.


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


Guildford mortgage lending is on the up… but so are its property prices

Thursday, 1st June, 2017
Guildford mortgage

Let’s start with the universally good news – mortgage lending to homebuyers increased by 27% in March.

The figures, as released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), suggests that even first time buyer mortgages were on the up across the UK, with 31,500 loans granted in March 2017 compared with 28,100 in March 2016.

As a Guildford mortgage broker, Complete Mortgages’ March was particularly busy; so busy in fact that it bucked the national trend by being a staggering 82% up on March 2016.

As a local mortgage broker this is, of course, good news. However, it’s also good news because it highlights that the Guildford mortgage market continues to move apace and suggests that we can expect this trend to continue as we head into summer (a period when home moving and home buying activity typically tends to slow down).

On the flipside, there is the issue of Guildford’s rapidly increasing property prices. And whilst this isn’t bad news for those who already own a home, it is unlikely to be met with positivity by those itching to get their feet on the property ladder.

Research by online estate agents House Simple has shown that outside of London, the UK’s least affordable areas include Bath, Brighton, Crawley, Tunbridge Wells and, of course, Guildford. In fact, less than 7% of Guildford properties are priced lower than the national average.

So, what does this tell us? Well, it confirms what we already know; Guildford is an expensive and desirable place to live. It’s also likely to be met with concern by first time buyers whose chances of buying a property in Guildford are arguably much slimmer than this month’s national averages from the CML would suggest.

However, what Guildford first time buyers must remember is that there are hugely competitive first time buyer mortgage deals entering the market all the time. And with 85% loan to value mortgages on 4.5 x earnings now available, the Guildford first time buyer is now able to enter the market without having to rely solely on putting down an astronomical deposit.

Are you a first time buyer? If so, then our advice is to contact the Complete Mortgages team, which specialises in first time buyer mortgages, to discuss how we can help move you towards homeownership.

Just remember that as Guildford property prices increase, the relative value of your deposit decreases, so taking action sooner rather than later is advised before homeownership really does become out of reach.

Contact Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to discuss our services, from first time buyer mortgages and commercial mortgages to buy to let mortgages and limited company buy to let mortgages.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages