Reasons to use a mortgage broker

Friday, 17th January, 2020

Is technology about to make the mortgage broker redundant? Will robots and AI replace the traditional role of your local mortgage adviser?

The answer is ‘yes’, according to news reports from the start of the year, which claim how mortgage applications may be as simple as car insurance in the next 10 years due to advancements in finance-led technological processes.

Does Complete Mortgages agree? No, and here’s why.

1. Power to the people

There are some professions that simply need people; those in the fire service, police and surgeons all spring to mind.  But even it when it comes to the services industry, people generally tend to want to deal with people. Not screens. Or robots. The nuances that dealing with a real person allows (body language, asking questions that would be hard to articulate or communicate when not face to face) play a huge role. And when it comes to getting a mortgage, there is never any shortage of questions. So, from my perspective, applying for a mortgage isn’t an area that’s going to be entirely automated any time soon.

2. Experience is everything

As a Guildford mortgage broker, we’ve arranged mortgages for the widest spectrum of customers, from first time buyers through to equity release mortgage applicants, for many years. As a result, we’ve encountered scenarios and overcome obstructions and situations which, when added together, have a built up a high level of experience, knowledge and understanding of the mortgage sector that technology would find hard to match. Unlike the binary, black or white nature of machines, real mortgage brokers can deal with the shades of grey in-between.

3. Mortgage brokers not machines have relationships with lenders

Similar to point 1, people-based relationships enable a good mortgage broker to pick up the phone and chase the lender (who they may have known for years through working together) about Mr Smith’s mortgage application. This level of personal service, which doesn’t rely on flow diagrams and computer code, is what ultimately speeds up the mortgage application process and gets mortgages approved.

4. The perfect match

Mortgage brokers match specific lenders and specific mortgage deals with specific people. This follows a consultative approach that enables a mortgage broker to fully understand the intricacies of individual applicants’ lives, their financial limitations and personal circumstances. Without fully understanding and appraising someone prior to their mortgage application (a process that can take time), the person trying to get a mortgage may never be presented with the most suitable option.

If you’re looking to arrange a mortgage (with a real person), then contact our team of Guildford mortgage advisers on 01483 238280 or email

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

The Bournemouth property market isn’t the only thing that’s booming

Thursday, 23rd February, 2017

A recent report* has revealed how Bournemouth is among the UK’s destinations that saw the highest rise in property prices in 2016, with the average price of a home in the area growing by 5.7%.

For those of us who own a property in this wonderful part of the world then this is great news.

However, for those with an equal affinity for Bournemouth yet who aren’t in a position to buy, then this report will no doubt be greeted with a degree of discomfort. After all, a 5.7% increase is not insignificant and, for some, could place applying for a mortgage and, ultimately, homeownership, even more out of reach.

The good news is that the current mortgage market is littered with a variety of mortgage products that aim to target a huge cross section of people – from first time buyer mortgages through to buy to let mortgages – to ensure that everyone has a fair chance of getting on (or in some cases, keeping on) the property ladder.

And on the topic of mortgage selection and availability, it isn’t just Bournemouth that’s booming. Adverse mortgages, or what were referred to as subprime mortgages prior to the financial crisis in 2007/8, are back – albeit in a different and thankfully much safer guise, and this time they are operating to a much tighter framework.

In contrast to the years leading up to the financial crisis, where sub-prime mortgages were awarded to people without necessarily understanding their ability to make repayments, the new generation of adverse mortgage lending is very different.

Unlike the prime market, for instance, whereby decisions are made, in part, by computers, mortgage brokers providing subprime mortgages, such as Complete Mortgages, now spend more time listening to an individual’s circumstances in order to understand the bigger picture before approaching lenders.

Applicants still need to be financially robust enough to show that they can meet mortgage repayments; it’s just that the decision to grant a subprime mortgage takes into account a wider pool of variables that a binary ‘black and white’ approach afforded by algorithms and automated software cannot.

Complete Mortgages, for example, even works with insolvency practitioners to help applicants build a case for being granted a mortgage around existing financial commitments and debts.

Moreover, the ever-growing portfolio of adverse mortgage products is aimed at those who may have unfortunately experienced difficulty in recent months, whether that’s through a separation, business difficulties or redundancy, as opposed to pre-2007 when sub-prime products were available to those looking to take out a mortgage – or multiple mortgages – based on a self-certification model.

So, for those who might fall within the adverse mortgage category and are aware of ‘booming Bournemouth’ and its appreciating property values, then there is no need to panic – but we would advise that those considering applying for a mortgage in Bournemouth act sooner rather than later before continued house price growth really does make homeownership a more exclusive proposition.

If you’re considering applying for a mortgage and feel that an adverse credit mortgage product may best suit your needs, contact Complete Mortgages on 01202 049661 or email

*UK Cities House Price Index

Mark Lucas, Adverse Mortgage Specialist at Complete Mortgages

Is it time for you to think about a remortgage?

Thursday, 23rd July, 2015
best mortgage rates

Mortgage rates are at an all time low, but it isn’t just first time buyers that can benefit from the offers currently available on the market.

Homeowners at every stage of ownership, from first time buyers through to buy to let investors, can benefit from these lower rates, too, yet many people rarely consider remortgaging or are unaware of the benefits of doing so.

Simply put, remortgaging means moving your mortgage from one mortgage provider to another without necessarily moving home. Whilst it isn’t an option we would recommend to everyone it’s certainly one to consider and we can talk you through the options.

As an independent mortgage broker with whole of market knowledge, Complete Mortgages will work with you to make sure you get the best mortgage deal and the best mortgage advice – whether you’re a first time buyer looking for your first mortgage or you’re looking into remortgaging.

There seems to be a misconception that remortgaging is a process that homeowners undergo when wanting to free up equity in their property. This simply isn’t the case. Similar to changing to the energy provider with the most competitive tariffs, remortgaging involves switching to the lender with the most competitive mortgage deals.

The days of staying with one lender for the duration of a mortgage are over. Homeowners are now savvier when it comes to choosing how they pay back their loan. And who can blame them when the monthly savings can be in the region of hundreds of pounds.

Remortgaging offers a range of benefits, particularly if you are on a Standard Variable Rate mortgage (SVR) and your introductory mortgage rate is about to come to and end (when you’ll more often than not be automatically put on a higher rate).

According to research undertaken by Virgin Money, remortgaging to a 1.59% 2-year fixed rate mortgage could save you £417 a month if you are looking to borrow £250,000. That’s an annual saving of £5,005.

The good news is that there’s no need to wait until your current mortgage deal comes to an end to think about remortgaging. In some cases it will benefit you to switch mid-way through your current mortgage term. Either way, we will assess your situation, establish the best option for you and ensure that your decision will generate an overall saving. More importantly, we’ll take on all the administration and the legwork so that you don’t have to.

By remortgaging and switching to a better deal you might be able to pay off your mortgage sooner, use the savings to invest in improving your property or even free up enough funds to arrange a buy to let mortgage and purchase an investment property.

Are you ready to remortgage? If so, get in touch and find out how we can take the strain whilst saving you money on a monthly basis on 01483 238280 or email

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages

First time buyers at a seven-year high

Thursday, 8th January, 2015

First time buyers were up by 22 per cent in 2014 – the highest since 2007 – according to a recent report by Halifax.

And when you consider that this equates to 326,500 properties, it’s clear that we’re moving further away from the property market’s nadir of 2007/8 and that the entry barriers to property ownership are getting smaller and smaller.

This freer movement also comes in the wake of a 9 per cent increase in the average cost of property bought by first time buyers (currently £171,870), which points to the fact that the key driver behind this ‘first time buyer boom’ is better access to mortgages.

However, with property values expected to increase by a further 5 per cent in 2015, we would advise those who are looking to find a mortgage to move now before the gap between mortgage availability and property prices increases even further.

As a whole of market independent mortgage adviser, Complete Mortgages welcomes the growth of first time buyers. After all, having the opportunity to enter the realms of home ownership is important for most people.

So, if you’re a first time buyer and need mortgage advice, then we’ve prepared a brief guide on what to think about if you’re thinking of seeing in the New Year with a New Home.

1. Credit cards aren’t necessarily as bad as you think

Credit cards are often the source of negative debate – but they are a useful tool when it comes to securing a mortgage, as long as you pay them back. Not only that, but also buying on credit and demonstrating that you can pay it back only strengthens your overall credit score.

2. Run your own credit check

Running a simple check to ensure you fit the criteria and are made aware of anything that could affect your mortgage application six months prior to house hunting isn’t a bad thing. It’s much better to know where you stand and have the opportunity to fix any issues in advance of starting the buying process than finding out when you’ve already invested time, energy and emotion in finding your first property. You can access your credit file for free at

3. Be ready for estate agents

Let’s face it; nobody wants to have their time wasted. Estate agents need buyers who are ready to go and know what they want. So, before you enter an estate agent’s door, try and get confirmation that the finance is in place and establish exactly what it is you’re looking for. These are things that can be done well in advance and are down to you and not the estate agent. By doing this, you’ll make sure that you’re the first port of call when a new property comes on to the market.

4.  Moving can be expensive – make sure you factor everything in

When establishing your budget you need to factor in EVERYTHING. Whilst the property itself will be the highest cost, don’t forget to factor in stamp duty, legal checks and surveys. Your solicitor (another cost) will handle this for you but make sure you’ve budgeted for all the costs before you get too far down line only to realise that what you thought was affordable no longer is. We can give you guidance on these costs to make the whole process simpler for you.

5. Find a reputable mortgage broker

Mortgage broker advice is invaluable – particularly advice from a whole of market mortgage brokerage. Firstly, their advice is impartial as they have access to every lender and every deal on the market. Secondly, it’s their job! As a result, they know what they’re doing and this means that they are likely to find a mortgage that ticks all your boxes quicker than you can. Our only advice when it comes to mortgage brokers (although hopefully you’ll choose to work with us) is to make sure that they are FCA regulated and on the FCA register, which Complete Mortgages is.

If you’re a first time buyer planning to apply for a mortgage, get in touch with a member of the Complete Mortgages team to find out how we can help get you on the property ladder as quickly and as seamlessly as possible.

Call 01483 238280 or email for more information.

Five top tips on how first time buyers can boost their credit score

Thursday, 4th July, 2013

At the time of writing, much is being made of how first time buyer mortgages have increased by 50% compared with the same time last year.

This is obviously great news and the mortgage market is certainly freer than it was only six months ago.

However, this doesn’t mean that first time buyers looking to get their feet firmly on the property ladder shouldn’t do all they can to make that crucial mortgage approval all the more achievable – particularly when a few small things can make a huge difference.

Here are five tips to help first time buyers find a mortgage and ensure that every viable range of mortgage is open to them.

1. Roll on

A really simple way to boost your credit score is by ensuring that you’re on the electoral role.

Identity verification is the cornerstone for credit agencies and lenders looking to make sure that the people they are considering lending to really are who they say they are.

If you want to make sure that you’re on it or that your details are correct then get in touch with your local authority. If you know that you’re not registered then you can do so by visiting Directgov.

2. Cut your plastic, not your chances of borrowing

Do you have any unused credit cards sitting at the back of your wallet or purse? Whilst you may feel slightly righteous that you’ve not racked up a balance, lenders may interpret this as you having too much credit at your disposal. If you do have any ‘empty plastic’, we’d suggest that you cut them, cancel them and then check your credit file to make sure that the changes have been logged.

3.  Use your landline

Pretty much everyone now has a mobile phone. In fact, can anyone remember what we did before they became an everyday essential? But do you have a landline, too? When it comes to credit, landlines provide greater reassurance to lenders than mobile phones for obvious reasons. When you apply for credit, simply use your landline on any documentation or application and not your mobile.

4.  Know how credit scoring works

As we touched on in a previous article, the process of credit checking is often misunderstood. Essentially, the more times your credit record is checked over a short space of time, the more imprints are left on your file and the more likely it is that you will be perceived as a) struggling to find credit, or b) finding it difficult to meet your existing arrangements. If you are going to have your file checked then make sure it’s up to date. If there is anything in there that could negatively influence a lender’s decision then ensure that there is a ‘notice of correction’ – a brief explanation as to why a record has been logged – so that your prospective lender has a full picture.

5.  Build your reputation, build your credit

Do you have a strong track record when it comes to credit? If you have a history of missed payments then start building up a good credit history and creating a good financial score for yourself. This doesn’t mean avoiding credit – after all, lenders need something to base a decision on. Equally, applying for multiple products at once will have a negative impact on your score for the reasons outlined in the previous point.

There are many factors that influence a lender’s decision however if you ‘sweat the small stuff’ then you’re helping to build yourself a better credit portfolio and ensure that you’re closer to owning your first property.

Complete Mortgages is a whole of market broker so if you need independent mortgage advice on any aspect of finding a mortgage then contact us on 01483 233014 or email

Think you can’t buy your first home?

Friday, 31st May, 2013

With the average age of a First-time buyer now 37 years old, a number of people are currently renting or living at home with their parents.  However there have been real positive movements in this area of the market. Recent figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders have shown that the number of first time buyers purchasing a new home, is the highest it has been for 5 years. In fact, 42% of all the mortgages in the last quarter of 2012 were for first time buyers.

There have been a number of initiatives from both lenders and the government to help people get their foot on the property ladder, so now might be the right time to start looking for a mortgage. The availability of high loan-to-value (LTV) products has recently increased with some lenders offering up to 95% of the property value, meaning you need a much lower deposit.

The new government Help to Buy scheme was announced in this year’s budget in April. This £3.5bn scheme is designed to help buyers purchase a home with only a 5% deposit and provides either an interest free loan for 5 years of 20% deposit of the property value. This means the borrower can apply for a 75% loan to value (LTV) mortgage. Halifax, Nationwide, Woolwich and NatWest are all supporting the scheme and have launched Help to Buy products with competitive rates.

If you are looking to purchase a property under £250,000, you can also currently get 100% of the stamp duty paid if borrowing from Halifax. This could save you up to £2,500 by not having to pay the 1% stamp duty. This offer is available on selected Halifax products for a limited time only. This includes a choice of different loan-to-values (LTV), affordable housing, Help to Buy, First Buy and New Buy products.

Woolwich mortgages from Barclays have also supported first time buyers by introducing the Family Spring Board mortgage.  The borrower takes out a Family Springboard Mortgage with a 5% deposit at a competitive rate. Their parent or family member opens a Helpful Start Account, into which they put savings equal to 10% of the price.  After 3 years, the Helpful Start Account is closed and the family members get their money back with the interest earned, provided that the borrower has kept up to date with the mortgage repayments.

Buying your first home is a big commitment and there are many things to consider when taking out a mortgage, including your general insurance and protection needs. We can take the hassle out of finding a mortgage and can help find the best deal for you. We are able to provide a full advice service and guide you through all the options available to you. We also offer a full service in insurance and protection.

Looking to buy your first home? Get in touch today on 01483 238280.

Complete Mortgages is open from Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.30pm.  We have representatives based in Guildford, Camberley and North London.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.