A stress-free mortgage zone

Tuesday, 27th November, 2018
mortgage advice

It’s always bittersweet on reading research that indicates that the mortgage sector – and those working within it – could be doing better.

It’s bitter in the sense that as a mortgage professional, I would like to see the sector working as efficiently and as proactively as possible. When it appears that in some quarters this isn’t the case, then I can’t help but feel disappointed.

However, it’s also sweet as whilst it may reveal failings by others, it also reinforces my view that Complete Mortgages, as a Guildford Mortgage Broker, is amongst the mortgage brokers who are operating at the highest level when it comes to standard setting.

Research recently published by a UK mortgage broker* revealed that stressful mortgage applications are not only causing homeowners anxiety, but also putting them off remortgaging – something that can save homeowners money in the long-term.

It also revealed that approximately 2.5 million people suffered stress during their mortgage application, that 14% of homeowners said they rarely understood where they were in the mortgage application process and that 13% claimed that the way deals were advertised was confusing.

Whilst the research has been commissioned by a mortgage broker to reveal findings that no doubt support their own objectives, we can’t overlook the fact that it’s revealed that there are a phenomenal number of people suffering from mortgage stress when they simply don’t need to.

For those who read Complete Mortgages’ news pages, then you’ll know that we’re not ones to blow our own trumpet, opting instead for guides, mortgage tips and general content that we feel adds value to those who read it. However, in light of this research, we feel that it’s important that brokers who pride themselves on excellent communication and delivering an impeccable service should also be heard.

So, by way of a response to the findings, here’s Complete Mortgages’ own mortgage promise.

Whether you’re looking to apply for a residential mortgage, a buy to let mortgage, equity release mortgage, or even if you want to apply for bridging loans and commercial mortgages, Complete Mortgages will:

  1. Handle 100% of the mortgage paperwork on your behalf
  2. Proactively chase ALL mortgage applications and update you at every step of the way
  3. Talk you through the process at every stage of the mortgage application

Our customer satisfaction survey, based on the feedback of over 250 clients during the past 12 months, has given us an average customer satisfaction score of 98.82%.

Not only are we really proud of it, but it also demonstrates that there are excellent mortgage brokers out there – and that you really shouldn’t need to settle for second best, nor put up with mortgage stress at any point.

For stress-free mortgage advice contact the experienced Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. Remember, we also specialise in specialist mortgages in Guildford and the surrounding areas such as self-employed mortgages, adverse credit mortgages and limited company buy to let mortgages, too.

*Trussle

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Are you a mortgage prisoner?

Tuesday, 14th August, 2018
remortgage guildford

It’s now over 10 years since the financial crisis hit. And, whilst most of us have been able to put it behind us, there are a large number of people – an estimated 15,000 – who are still affected by its fallout in the context of mortgage applications.

These people, often referred to as ‘mortgage prisoners’, are those who were unlucky enough to apply for a mortgage before the crash and who were subsequently affected by the Mortgage Credit Directive – a post-crash EU ruling that subjects those applying for a mortgage to strict affordability checks.

As a result of the directive’s introduction, many people who would benefit from remortgaging are now stuck on lenders’ standard variable rate mortgages, which can have an interest rate of up to five per cent.

New standards

The good news is that a large proportion of mortgage prisoners now have the opportunity to be ‘set free’ following new industry common standards that have been adopted by 59 mortgage lenders, all of which represent 90 per cent of the residential mortgage market.

The new standards, which are the result of efforts between UK Finance, the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) and the Building Societies Association (BSA), mean that many mortgage prisoners will now be able to switch to better mortgage deals.

The standards, which apply to first-charge mortgage borrowers, stipulate that qualifying mortgage prisoners that wish to switch mortgage must:

  1. Be up to date on mortgage repayments
  2. Have a minimum term of two years left
  3. Have a minimum outstanding mortgage balance of £10,000

Sadly, the new standards excludes 20,000 people who have mortgages with inactive lenders and around 120,000 people who are currently with unregulated mortgage providers that are not members of UK Finance, the BSA or the IMLA.

However, at least a significant number of people now have the chance to arrange a mortgage that works for them and sees them saving money year on year.

If you feel that you are a mortgage prisoner and are wondering if you meet the standards recently announced, then Complete Mortgages can help.

Contact a member of the team on 01483 238280, who will be able to advise, guide and apply for a new mortgage on your behalf. Alternatively, for more information email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.


How to increase your chances of getting a mortgage

Saturday, 28th July, 2018
guildford mortgage broker

Firstly, this isn’t a cheat or a piece that advocates – or even encourages – you to try and pull the wool over a mortgage lender or broker’s eyes, and that’s for the very simple reason that it’s impossible and won’t work.

You will not be able to trick a lender into giving you a mortgage or awarding you with the best mortgage deal.

However, just as an athlete prepares for an event, there are a number of things that you can do to help get you mortgage fit. Here are a few pointers to get you started.

1. Score points with your credit score

One way a lender can check if you have what it takes to repay your mortgage and honour your commitment is to check if you have good credit history.

In general, your credit report is what it is and made up of a number of sources including credit card history, loans taken and overdrafts used.

Before you apply for a mortgage it’s worth checking to make sure it’s a) up to date and b) correct.

If you spot anything glaringly inaccurate then at least you have the opportunity to fix it in the short term before it scuppers your chances long-term.

2. No vote, no chance

If you’re not registered to vote than you’re unlikely to get a mortgage. This one’s really easy to prepare for, too. If you’re going to fall down at one of the hurdles then don’t let it be this one. Click here to register to vote.

3. Don’t let the past affect your future

Joint current accounts, loans and other commitments carry joint responsibility. If you’re linked to any of these via an ex-partner – and the ex-partner has defaulted on a payment or done something that would have a negative consequence – then you’re going to be affected, too.

The best way forward in this instance is to check if you’re still linked in any way and, if you are, get yourself disassociated.

4. Be careful with your credit

Just because you have a credit limit of £12,000 doesn’t mean you need to spend £12,000 on credit. At least that’s the view of lenders, who would typically prefer your overall credit card debt to be no more than 50 per cent of the amount available (the lower the better).

When it comes to credit card debt, then it’s better to pay it off – however don’t leave yourself with zero debt and huge credit limits; lenders worry that you may one day go one a huge spending spree!

5. Be diligent with your admin

We’ve all had accounts that we don’t use and rather than close them down, we’ve simply cut the associated cards up and thought that that was it.

Having multiple bank accounts open with nothing in them isn’t advisable, especially if the details attributable to those accounts are out of date and could be disadvantageous to you.

6. Don’t apply for credit just before you apply for a mortgage

The more credit searches you have on your file in a short space of time, the more chance a lender has of thinking you’re in desperate need of credit – even if you’re not.

We would advise that you get a mortgage before you get the new car!

7. Bills don’t pay themselves

So make sure you pay yours – on time.

Not paying a bill on time stays on your records for six years, so don’t let an innocently missed payment result in a missed mortgage offer.

8. Use a mortgage broker

This one really is simple.

As a Guildford mortgage broker, we see people battling with mortgage applications on their own day in, day out, all when they could let us do the legwork on their behalf. As mortgage brokers do this every day and know what’s required (and, importantly, what’s not) they can simply fast-track the process.

Why waste your time when you can hand it over to a professional!

If you’re thinking of applying for a mortgage, or if you’ve been struggling to get a mortgage, contact the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. We can help with first time buyer mortgages, buy to let mortgages, commercial mortgages and adverse credit mortgages.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Five reasons to use a mortgage broker

Tuesday, 22nd August, 2017
mortgage broker

Regular readers will know that we tackle pretty much every topic related to applying for a mortgage; from the actual mortgage products themselves (buy to let mortgages, commercial mortgages, residential mortgages etc.) to the legislation and changes in rules that either hinders or facilitates access to them.

However, on this occasion, I’ve decided to place the spotlight not just on the team of mortgage brokers at Complete Mortgages, but mortgage brokers as a whole.

Not because mortgage brokers have come under fire, or that that there is any particular reason to defend the work of a mortgage broker. It’s just that there are now a number of elements such as regulation, new rules, and restrictions that affects those wishing to apply for a mortgage.

This, on one hand, makes the work of a broker more complex and challenging, however on the other it’s allowing brokers throughout the UK to showcase how they can add value to their clients.

As a result, I would simply like to take this opportunity to remind homeowners and investors why using a mortgage broker can help expedite the mortgage application process and save a lot of heartache in the process.

From the recent changes affecting mortgage affordability to the latest set of rules from the Prudential Regulation Authority, which come into play in September and require landlords to provide details of their assets and liabilities, declare future investment property intentions and reveal the property schedule already requested for buy to let mortgage applications, there are now more obstacles to navigate than ever before.

And, as the number of obstacles grow, so too does the number of reasons to outsource your mortgage application requirements to a mortgage professional. Here are five.

1. Knowledge is power

This sub-heading is probably slightly over-egging the pudding, however it’s true that the more you know the more you can control. A good mortgage broker thoroughly knows the industry and, as a result, knows how to present your case in a way that reduces administration time and gets the desired result quicker. This knowledge, which non-mortgage brokers typically wouldn’t know, also enables brokers to sidestep the pitfalls and capitalise on any potential opportunities, thus ensuring you receive the best possible mortgage advice for your particular circumstances.

2. Qualifications count

It goes without saying, but those with formal training and qualifications in anything – from medicine and teaching to hairdressing and car maintenance – are more likely to approach what they do in a more efficient, balanced and professional manner.

3. Duty of care

Professional mortgage brokers are not only morally obliged to act in your best interests, but also the Financial Conduct Authority also heavily regulates them. If your mortgage broker is not acting in your best interest, then you’re covered. Complete Mortgages positively embrace the FCA’s Treating Customers Fairly initiative meaning that you will be treated fairly with the utmost duty of care at all times.

4. Bigger picture

Mortgage brokers assess and evaluate every aspect of your financial situation. Not only does this ensure that you end up with the right mortgage for you, but it also means that they can develop a holistic package covering other aspects of your financial planning such as life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection in one go.

5. No time to lose

If, like most people, you’re incredibly busy, then juggling mortgage applications with your job and family commitments is probably something you could do without. By using a mortgage broker you can offload the burden of finding the right mortgage – and the associated admin – freeing you up to either a) focus on doing what you do best or b) spend time on anything but applying for a mortgage!

As the mortgage lending landscape continues to change and lenders become more careful about whom they lend to, why spend time doing something that mortgage brokers can handle for you

Whether you’re looking to secure a mortgage or simply want to remortgage, then contact the team at Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to find out how we can help you.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Beat the spring rush and use winter to get ‘mortgage-ready’

Tuesday, 7th February, 2017
mortgage ready

After a wet, dreary and (more often than not) cold British winter, the onset of spring is always a welcome relief.

Not only because with it comes the sunshine and a reminder that summer is only around the corner, but it’s also a time when people start to consider their options when it comes to moving home and getting a mortgage.

Let’s face it, applying for a mortgage mid-winter, for most people, isn’t the most alluring prospect.

However, as a result of keeping big decisions to a minimum during the colder months, there is often a rush of people in March, all of whom want to apply for a mortgage at the last minute.

Not only does this bottleneck put pressure on lenders, but it also puts pressure on those applying for a mortgage, too.

The good news is that as a Guildford mortgage broker with a large – and growing – team of advisers on hand to handle mortgage applications on your behalf, we can take that pressure off and make securing a mortgage a seamless process.

Of course, since June last year we are constantly presented with the recurring questions of ‘what about Brexit?’ and ‘how will Brexit affect my mortgage?’

Despite a degree of uncertainty surrounding Brexit, recent figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that gross mortgage lending hit the £20.4 billion mark in December. Whilst this was 4% lower than November, it was also 4% higher than December 2015.

Equally, hugely competitive deals from lenders that began to make an appearance throughout 2016 and are now continuing into 2017 will mean that, for many, applying for a mortgage whilst the option of potentially saving money in the long-term is still there will make the opportunity of getting a good mortgage deal hard to resist.

Whilst some homeowners may be more inclined to wait until there is more clarity around the impact of Brexit – something that we at Complete Mortgages believe will take longer than one or two seasons – Spring is always a time of increased activity when it comes to the property market and mortgage applications. As a result, starting the process earlier will give you that extra advantage.

Regardless of the nature of the application – from residential mortgages and buy to let mortgages, to sub prime mortgages and limited company buy to let mortgages – we will handle 100% of the paperwork on your behalf, proactively chase your application and keep you updated at every step of the process.

So, there really is no need to wait until spring. Our advice is to get the ball rolling by picking up the phone and discussing your options with us sooner rather than later.

Even if you do decide to wait until spring has finally sprung, we can part complete your mortgage application in advance so that you will be ahead of the game when you do make your decision – whether that’s in spring or even summer.

Either way, use winter while it’s still here and ensure that you’re ‘mortgage-ready’ in advance.

Contact a member of the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Complete Mortgages expands team with new mortgage adviser

Friday, 16th December, 2016
Mark Finnegan

Complete Mortgages will kick-start the New Year by welcoming a new mortgage adviser to the team in a move that signals how 2017 is expected to be a busy year for the property and mortgage markets.

Darren Wordsworth, a former HSBC employee who, in his five years with the bank, worked across multiple teams and experienced handling mortgage applications at every stage of the process, joins the Guildford mortgage broker after living in Barcelona for the last six years, during which time he owned a successful estate agency.

Prior to emigrating to Spain Darren carved a successful career as an independent mortgage broker in Scarborough following a period at Scarborough Building Society, where he was a full-time mortgage adviser.

On joining the Complete Mortgages team in the New Year Darren comments: “With a plethora of experience working at every stage of the mortgage application process, I plan to bring a 360-degree approach to Complete Mortgages whereby I can help expedite mortgage applications by having an end-to-end understanding of the framework. Having worked in property, both as an estate agent and a developer, I have first-hand personal experience of managing mortgage applications on both sides of the fence. I look forward to working with the team and contributing to the company’s plans for continued growth.”

Darren, who lives in Godalming, has two children and can be found coaching the under 7s Farncombe Youth FC at weekends. He can be contacted via darren@complete-mortgages.co.uk or by calling 01483 238280 from January.

Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages, adds: “We’re delighted to welcome Darren to Complete Mortgages and his knowledge, coupled with his experience of dealing with a wide variety of mortgages, make him a valuable addition to the team. It’s an exciting time for the mortgage market; competitive deals are in abundance and we anticipate 2017, the first quarter in particular, being exceptionally busy as people take advantage of the New Year mind-set and either look to move home or remortgage. We’re looking forward to the year ahead, proud to be continually growing as a business and pleased that Darren is now part of our team.”

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


Mortgage boom for Bournemouth

Thursday, 18th February, 2016
mortgage broker in bournemouth

It really is boom time for Bournemouth. Not only is lending on the up, which means that more people in the area are arranging a mortgage, but also a survey carried out by a travel brand has revealed how Bournemouth is now one of the top trending hotspots in England.

Kent took the top spot of UK destinations with flight searches up by 602 per cent. Cambridge came second, up 288 per cent, with Bournemouth up a staggering 100 per cent*.

As a Bournemouth mortgage broker Complete Mortgages has witnessed the Bournemouth property market go from strength to strength over recent years. We’ve certainly seen an increase in mortgage applications and the recent swathe of deals to hit the market has only exacerbated this.

Even the Bank of England seems to be surprised by the amount of mortgage lending that took place in December (a period that’s generally quiet) after it was revealed how £18bn was released by banks and building societies during the Christmas month – up £3.3bn from the same period in 2014.

Looking at the increase in people applying for a mortgage in Bournemouth combined with the revelation that Bournemouth is a ‘top trending hotspot’, it would seem that the area is becoming a go-to place for homemakers, holidaymakers and investors alike.

So, if you’re a buy-to-let investor looking for a buy-to-let mortgage, or thinking of jumping on the Bournemouth bandwagon and simply want to move to the area, then get in touch and find out how we can help you secure a mortgage and be part of the Bournemouth boom.

Whether you’re looking to arrange a mortgage in Bournemouth or simply want advice on finding the right mortgage for you, contact me on 01202 049661 or email jo@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Jo Frankowski, Manager at Complete Mortgages’ Bournemouth office

*Momondo