COVID-19 remortgage advice

Monday, 27th April, 2020
covid-19 remortgage

By now I imagine that we’ve all seen the economic devastation that COVID-19 continues to leave in its wake – and even the comparisons being made between its impact and that of The Great Depression of 1929.

This is clearly not good news for anyone. In the context of mortgages, experts are already suggesting that house prices may fall 13% (or an average of £38,000) by the end of the year.

This could, unfortunately, place a number of people into the dreaded realm of negative equity, whereby the property asset they own is worth less than what they borrowed.

Those with high loan to value mortgages are most at risk. However, it’s important to remember that negative equity doesn’t equate to repossession. As long as you can afford mortgage repayments in the interim then there isn’t really an issue. And for those who can afford to continue paying their mortgage repayments and plan to sit tight in their current property for the foreseeable future – or at least until property prices rise again – then it’s even less of a concern.

However, just because you’re not in a precarious situation doesn’t mean that there’s nothing further you can do. In fact, if you have the opportunity to remortgage during COVID-19 then you could use this period to get a better mortgage deal before (and if) your loan to value ratio increases due to a drop in property prices.

As a Guildford mortgage broker that proactively reaches out to its clients to let them know when they’re due to default to the standard variable rate (SVR) – and there are many of them that we’re contacting right now – our existing clients are currently securing the best mortgage deals in the UK.

However, if you’re not an existing Complete Mortgages client, have an inkling that you’re mortgage deal is coming to an end but are reluctant to change your mortgage during COVID-19 the pandemic, then don’t worry. Not only can we access the most competitive mortgage deals available right now, but we’re also offering a ‘mortgage application over video’ service – so there’s no need to physically come to our offices.

Despite lockdown, we can help you stay clear of the SVR and get you locked into a preferable mortgage rate for life post-COVID-19 – whenever that may be.

However, if you are in a situation whereby you have to sell your property and there’s no way you can hold on until the crisis passes, then contact us on 01483 238280 and I will be able to help you navigate the options open to you.

It’s a really challenging time for everyone right now. However, if one of your challenges relates to getting a mortgage (or changing your current mortgage), then I can help. Find out more by calling me on 01483 238280 or emailing

By Calli Sanfilippo at Complete Mortgages

Guildford mortgage broker wins national mortgage award

Thursday, 11th April, 2019

Mark Finnegan, director at Complete Mortgages, the rapidly growing mortgage brokerage in Guildford, has scooped the prestigious Top Mortgage Adviser Award at the 2019 Mortgage Intelligence Awards – the seventh time he has been presented with the national accolade.

The firm narrowly missed out on a mortgage award hat trick after fellow mortgage broker, Lee Cousens (pictured below left), was named finalist in the Top Newcomer category and Complete Mortgages left the ceremony as finalist in the Top Medium-Sized Firm category.

The ceremony, which took place at Twickenham Stadium on 28 March, welcomed 256 mortgage advisers from across the UK, many of whom were vying for an award, and saw iconic former rugby union player – and now actor and broadcaster – Martin Bayfield present the awards before giving a rousing keynote speech.

On collecting the award, Mark Finnegan comments: “I’m delighted, once again, to receive this award and proud that colleagues from Complete Mortgages continue to be recognised for their commitment to delivering excellence across this dynamic and hugely important industry. The team and myself have worked hard over the last 12 months to provide a first-class service and awards such as these only motivate us to continue upholding the quality standards that Complete Mortgages has become renowned for.”

Mortgage Intelligence, which is based in Dorset, is a mortgage and insurance network and club that aims to help brokers achieve more by providing tailored solutions, support and training. It has been supporting the mortgage and insurance brokerage industry for over two decades.

Sharon Mawby, Head of Sales and Marketing at Mortgage Intelligence, adds: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who attended the Mortgage Intelligence Awards or helped make our Conference so special. A huge thank you to our advisers, lenders and providers, and the Mortgage Intelligence team for making it one to remember!”

For Complete Mortgages news, tips and advice on getting a mortgage, visit our news section.

Notes to editors

Main image caption: Mark Finnegan collects the Top Adviser Award from ex-rugby pro Martin Bayfield at the 2019 Mortgage Intelligence Awards.

Media enquiries For more information please contact Stuart Pearson at The PR Farm on 01483 892301 / 07812 086211 or at

Complete Mortgages appointed as preferred brokers for prestigious Surrey development

Wednesday, 11th April, 2018

Guildford Mortgage brokerage, Complete Mortgages, has been appointed to handle mortgage applications and enquires for Shanly Homes’ Oak Meadows site – a new development in Woking’s West End area containing 84 properties ranging from £525,000 to £890,000.

The decision builds on the Guildford mortgage adviser’s successful partnership with Seymours, which is exclusively selling all 84 properties on behalf of Shanly Homes under its Land & New Homes division.

The development, which officially launches on 14 April, offers private parking to all 84 homes, spacious internal layouts, professionally designed kitchens and landscaped gardens.

A number of the units are available under the Help to Buy Scheme, a government initiative that makes new build properties accessible to all home buyers by providing a loan to increase the overall size of the borrower’s deposit.

As a Help to Buy mortgage specialist Complete Mortgages provide its clients with a comprehensive mortgage brokerage service, which means that it can manage all aspects of the Help to Buy mortgage application process – from the initial enquiry through to securing an offer from the lender.

Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages, comments: “This is yet another positive step forward for the business and one that reflects our commitment to providing nothing but good service, as well as ensuring that our clients are able to achieve their desired goals when it comes to finding their next home. We’re proud to have been appointed as an approved mortgage broker at the Shanly Homes site and now look forward to helping our clients and those of Seymours find their next home.”

Nationally recognised for its high service levels and sustained growth, Complete Mortgages continues to win awards year after year at the Mortgage Intelligence Awards event. The awards programme is run by Mortgage Intelligence, a mortgage and insurance network and club that helps brokers achieve more by providing tailored solutions, support and training.

To attend the launch of Oak Meadows or for all mortgage enquiries relating to the development contact Seymours Land & New Homes in Horsley on 01483 355444.

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 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

Mortgage rules have changed again, but don’t stress

Thursday, 20th July, 2017

Mortgage affordability has, once again, come under the spotlight following the Bank of England’s (BoE) decision to ‘tighten’ the UK’s mortgage lending criteria.

Essentially, the affordability test, or ‘stress test’, which those looking to apply for a mortgage need to undergo, is changing.

Until now, those applying for a mortgage had to prove that they could afford to make mortgage repayments of 3% above the BoE’s base rate. However, the new rules state that the 3% stress test now tests mortgage affordability on 3% above the lender’s standard variable rate (SVR).

By now, you’re probably thinking ‘will this make it harder for me to get a mortgage?’, and we’re pleased to say that, in the main, the answer is ‘no’. And here’s the reason why.

Affordability vs. unaffordability

This is similar to the idea of need vs. want. As is often the case, what we want isn’t necessarily what we need. Likewise, with the new rules (albeit reversed), those applying to get a mortgage may not want to have to pay a mortgage that is 3% more expensive than the SVR, but the majority can if they need to.

Of course, there will be a section of the public who, when faced with this test, may be unable to prove that they could afford the repayments, however professional advice from a mortgage broker will often help applicants reassess their financial situation with positive results.

However, there is another solution.

Don’t rethink, remortgage

As we covered in our last article, the often-overlooked remortgage is a way in which to avoid the SVR altogether. Simply by taking advantage of new mortgage deals you could maintain your same mortgage rate or, as is more often the case, improve on it.

So, rather than rethink in response to the new rules, simply think about remortgaging.

The team at Complete Mortgages always makes contact with its clients three to four months before they’re due to begin the SVR, to a) alert them to this fact and b) present them with new mortgage deals.

All good mortgage brokers should be doing this. If yours doesn’t, then you need to be asking them why. If you don’t use a mortgage broker, then maybe its time to look into finding one that can proactively ensure that you’re not missing a trick.

Back to the new mortgage stress test rules, then. Whilst the BoE has introduced tougher lending rules that stress test at 3% above the lender’s SVR, the reality is that if you proactively manage your mortgage you may never even have to face the SVR – let alone consider paying 3% above it.

For more in-depth information on what the new rules mean for you and how Complete Mortgages can guide you through the process, contact 01483 238280 or email Don’t forget, we also specialise 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

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 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

Calling all Bournemouth first time buyers

Thursday, 25th May, 2017

It’s great to see how the UK mortgage market is still proving to be buoyant, with research by the Council of Mortgage Lenders showing that there was a 27% increase in the number of mortgages granted in March.

However the Bournemouth property market, particularly for first time buyers, has become a bit of a game of cat and mouse.

No sooner have would-be homeowners saved a deposit (the chase) does the property (the mouse) escape – usually in the form of escalating property prices which, similar to the effects of inflation, chips away at the relative value of the savings pot.

Let’s not forget that back in January the Bournemouth Echo reported how Bournemouth had joined the ranks of Hong Kong, Sydney and San Francisco as one of the least affordable places to live.

Great news if you already own a home. Not so great if you’re one of the many still holding out hope of home ownership. After all, if you’re a Bournemouth resident shouldn’t buying a property in Bournemouth be a right and not a privilege?

The story*, which was based on an annual survey by Demographica, revealed that the price of a home in Bournemouth is 8.9 times higher than the median annual household income of the area.

Given the scale of this imbalance it’s highly likely that the CML’s recent figures, which illustrated how UK first time buyer mortgages granted in March 2017 stood at 31,500 compared with 28,100 in March 2016, doesn’t reflect Bournemouth’s first time buyer demographic.

The question now, therefore, is what do we do about this gulf between property prices and what most people – first time buyers in particular – can afford?

The good news for those looking for a first time buyer mortgage in Bournemouth is that as property prices increase, so too does the competitive nature of the mortgage market.

There are currently 85% loan to value mortgages on 4.5 x earnings now available, which will provide the Bournemouth first time buyer with a better chance of accessing the property market without having to place all their hope in saving a sizeable deposit.

If you’re a first time buyer in Bournemouth, simply get in touch to discuss how we can help you get on the property ladder. It may not be Sydney or San Francisco, but if your home is Bournemouth then you should be able to buy a property in Bournemouth.

Contact Complete Mortgages on 01202 049661 or email to discuss our services, from first time buyer mortgages and commercial mortgages to buy to let mortgages and limited company buy to let mortgages.

*Daily Echo

By Jo Frankowski, Complete Mortgages

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 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

Why ‘subprime’ is no longer a dirty word

Wednesday, 25th May, 2016
adverse credit mortgage

Looking back to the crash of 2007/8, when subprime lending was in its prime, it is easy to be scathing of an arrangement that was, arguably, instrumental in the collapse of the economy, the impact of which was felt by many people for many years.

Since then, we’ve seen – and continue to see – the tightening up of the financial services industry and a focus on making the UK economy as robust as possible.

Quite recently, we’ve also seen the resurgence of the subprime lending sector, too.

Is this revival a sign that we haven’t learnt from our mistakes? Is the industry heading once again towards financial irresponsibility? I believe that the answer is ‘no’, and here’s why.

A tight ship

The regulatory work that has been implemented by the Financial Conduct Authority since the financial downturn is unprecedented. Never before have professionals and companies, such as Complete Mortgages, had to adhere to so many rules and guidelines. Put simply, the financial services industry currently works within a much tighter framework and is subject to much more scrutiny. Any products available within this framework, even subprime products, will have faced intense scrutiny before being released to the market.

Niche, not the norm

Unlike the pre-crash period, whereby subprime mortgages were easier to access and where less evidence of affordability was required, subprime 2.0 is aimed at a much smaller demographic. There were cases of multiple subprime mortgage products being granted to one person on the strength of the fact that that person simply stated that they could afford to make their mortgage repayments. This is no longer the case; those applying for a subprime mortgage need to provide evidence that they are financially robust enough to be granted a sub-prime mortgage loan in the first place. In fact, most lenders insist that applicants can only apply if their poor credit rating is a result of what is referred to as an ‘unexpected event’.

Unforeseen circumstances

Nobody can predict the future. Of course, we all make decisions based on the information we have at any given point in time but nothing is guaranteed. Businesses fail, people are made redundant and marriages, sadly, fall apart. In fact 130,473 UK couples divorced in 2013 and whilst it was the lowest level in 40 years, it’s still a significant number and one that is likely to contain a proportion of people whose separation places more pressure on their finances. The unexpected does happen and setbacks do occur. And when they do, isn’t it only right that rather than be excluded from homeownership, those affected are provided with an option that enables them to maintain some sense or order?

The new wave of sub-prime mortgages

It is worth noting that those who need to apply for a subprime mortgage will pay more than those applying for standard mortgage products. However it’s also worth reiterating that the post-crash subprime mortgage has been created to cater for those who have experienced a financial setback and who, as a result, are now classed as having an adverse credit score – even through no fault of their own.

Life is never black and white; there are always shades of grey in-between. The new subprime mortgage acknowledges this. Unlike the prime market, whereby decisions are made, in part, by computers, brokers providing subprime mortgages spend more time listening to an individual’s circumstances before making a decision. And that, from my perspective, can only be a good thing.

Get in touch with Guildford mortgage broker, Complete Mortgages, if you would like to discuss what subprime mortgage products are available to you. Contact 01483 238280 or email

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages

Double award win for Complete Mortgages

Wednesday, 16th March, 2016
Guildford mortgage broker

Award-winning Guildford mortgage broker, Complete Mortgages, has scooped two coveted Mortgage Intelligence Awards at this year’s prestigious national event. It is the fifth consecutive year that the brokerage has received an award at the Mortgage Intelligence Annual Conference, which is now in its tenth year.

Complete Mortgages won the two awards for its on-going commitment to the brokerage industry and for delivering high standards of service throughout the last 12 months.

Mortgage Intelligence Holdings Ltd’s Managing Director, Sally Laker, and BBC Radio 4’s Moneybox presenter, Paul Lewis, presented Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages, with the Top Mortgage Adviser and Top Network Adviser awards.

The ceremony, which took place at Cheltenham Race Course on Thursday 10 March, welcomed over 200 industry professionals who were hoping to leave with what is now regarded as one of the industry’s highest accolades.

On receiving both awards Mark Finnegan comments: “Securing not one but two national awards this year was not only a complete surprise, but also hugely overwhelming, too. The team at Complete Mortgages was worked incredibly hard over the last twelve months, not only in terms of ensuring that our clients continue to receive impeccable service, but also in terms of ensuring that we’re compliant and operate to a robust framework as established by the Financial Conduct Authority. We’re delighted to have been recognised for our efforts and look forward to building on our success over the next twelve months.”

Dorset-based Mortgage Intelligence is a mortgage and insurance network and club, which aims to help brokers achieve more by providing tailored solutions, support and training. It has been supporting the mortgage and insurance brokerage industry for 20 years.

Click here for more information on Complete Mortgages’ award-winning service or to speak with a member of the Complete Mortgages team call 01483 238280.