From office-less to paperless, this virtual mortgage broker is in full swing

Sunday, 3rd May, 2020
virtual mortgage broker

You may know by now that Complete Mortgages is currently a Guildford mortgage broker with a twist; the twist being that our team of Guildford mortgage experts is not, in fact, based in Guildford at all, as COVID-19 measures mean that they – much like the majority of the UK workforce – are working from home.

In fact, given the various locations of our team at the moment, I guess it now makes us a Surrey mortgage broker. Irrespective, we’ve taken another step to further eradicate our physical footprint* – this time by doing away with paper, too.

Yes, Complete Mortgages has made Eversign – the e-signature technology platform that allows people to sign, act on and manage agreements from anywhere in the world and without relying on someone to physically sign a single sheet of paper – part of our business.

We’ve been thinking of implementing this for some time. After all, it makes applying for a mortgage with a mortgage broker even quicker; even less of our clients’ time is wasted by either waiting for – and then sending back – envelopes containing important mortgage documents, and there’s no pressure to come into our offices (in ‘normal’ times, that is) to sign anything.

Furthermore, it’s a sustainable way of doing business – something that we’re looking to improve on all the time.

However, the current pandemic has undoubtedly made us refocus on Eversign for its ability to help facilitate quick and easy mortgage applications during COVID-19.

So, not only do our clients now have the ability to arrange a video mortgage broker consultation with any member of the team at a time and day that suits them (and using their preferred video platform), but they can also finalise the paperwork in a secure and immediate manner, too.

COVID-19 is understandably weighing heavy on people’s minds at the moment, but our advice is don’t let it stop you from doing everything, particularly as technology means that you really don’t need to let it – certainly when it comes to getting a mortgage, anyway.

*Note: we would, in fact, prefer to be in our offices right now but we can’t, so we’re making the best of the situation in order to continue helping our clients apply for a mortgage

Apply for a mortgage with our team of Guildford mortgage advisers any time – and from anywhere. Simply call us on 01483 238280 or email sam@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Sam Man at Complete Mortgages


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 calli@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Calli Sanfilippo at Complete Mortgages


Cheap mortgages and flat property growth

Monday, 27th January, 2020
cheap mortgages

You’ll be pleased to know that despite the ominous title, this article is not a dreary take on the UK’s bleak property outlook. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

According to Nationwide, weak property price growth in 2019 coupled with rising wages and employment played a driving factor in helping first time buyers get a mortgage. In fact, in the 12 months to October 2019, 354,400 got a foot on the property ladder – more than double the lows of 2009.

As a Guildford mortgage broker, the team at Complete Mortgages believes that there is also a third factor at play: the ability to get a cheap mortgage.

We covered this in a recent article about remortgaging, which touched on the number of great mortgage deals currently on the market. However, we didn’t examine cheap mortgage deals against the backdrop of flat property prices, so let’s do that now.

1. Now is the time to apply for a cheap mortgage

Huge competition amongst mortgage lenders is driving down mortgage rates. But just remember: nothing lasts forever. Maybe you’re a first time buyer searching for a first time buyer mortgage. Or maybe you’re simply ready to upsize. Either way, mortgages don’t come much cheaper than what they are right now, so if you’re ready to arrange a mortgage, then now is the time to do it.

2. Cheap mortgages + flat property price growth = a good deal

Take point one and add the fact that property prices are not currently skyrocketing, and you might find that you have more purchasing power than you thought (or certainly more than you did a couple of years ago). However, the ‘nothing lasts forever’ point stands here, too, as the same Nationwide survey stated how prices moved up 0.1% in December. Now, if they continue to move up then this is, effectively, eroding the value of your mortgage deposit.

3. Don’t hang around

We’ve covered how now’s the time to take advantage of the best mortgage deals. We’ve also looked at this in tandem with flat lining property prices, which may not be flat lining for long. And let’s not forget that the ambiguity around Brexit, which has been instrumental in the stalling of property price growth, seems to be over. Finally then, with employment and wage growth, you might want to ask yourself whether or not interest rate rises will follow. In which case, the three things currently working in your favour may switch to become the three things that ultimately work against you.

We can’t predict what is going to happen with property prices, employment growth and interest rates – and this article certainly doesn’t represent any advice on our part – however, they are certainly three points to consider if you’re contemplating getting a mortgage in 2020.

Ready to apply for a mortgage and in need of good mortgage advice? Look no further as our team of Guildford mortgage advisers will be able to help guide you through the process and make getting a mortgage as seamless as possible. Call us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.


Reasons to use a mortgage broker

Friday, 17th January, 2020
REASONS TO USE A MORTGAGE BROKER

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 info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.


How to increase your chances of getting a mortgage – part 2

Friday, 10th August, 2018
mortgage broker

Following on from part one, which you can read here, part two continues with some of the more standard tips and pitfalls to be aware of – as well as presenting some of the mistakes which have had negative consequences for those applying for a mortgage in the past.

1. Bad form is to not correctly fill in your form

If you’re using a mortgage broker, then this is less relevant as they should be handling – and checking – the paperwork on your behalf. However, if you do decide to go it alone with your mortgage application, fill everything out in full – including your entire name. Don’t round up income figures, do make sure that your address history is accurate and always give honest answers about your spending habits. More importantly, declare any debts; not doing so could lead to being instantly declined for a mortgage.

2. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do NOW!

When it comes to gathering paperwork, we’re all guilty of a bit of procrastination and hoping that the omission of the odd document here and there won’t be a problem. However, when it comes to getting a mortgage, getting the application right first time is well worth the effort. Our advice is to get everything you need together in one go. Examples include: bank statements for the last three months; last three months’ pay slips, latest P60, any evidence of bonuses, and, if you’re self employed, your last three years’ worth of accounts and tax returns.

3. Stay out of your overdraft

Being in the red creates a black mark – on your credit rating. It also implies that you’re unable to manage your own money and spending. Make every effort to stay within the confines of your own budget and give the lender fewer reasons to say ‘no’ to granting a mortgage.

4. Light-hearted bank statement pranks may lead to heavy consequences

As tempting it as might be when paying a friend back for a set of concert tickets they bought to leave something cheeky or crude in the ‘reference’ field, think twice before you do it. Whilst it may be funny in the heat of the moment, it leaves a record that might not have the same impact on the lender reviewing your case. As funny as it might be at the time, out advice is to save the gags for the pub.

5. Don’t take a gamble on your mortgage

This one probably should be obvious – but it’s often overlooked. A regular transaction made at high street or online gambling companies doesn’t look particularly good and sends alarm bells ringing. Our advice, given how we’re not betting people, would be to put any money you were going to gamble towards a deposit on your property.

6. Big cash deposits can lead to big problems

The odd irregular cash deposit from or to a friend isn’t a problem, however if these payments regularly appear on your statement then it could be flagged and questioned by the lender. If the topic of money laundering isn’t called into question then any payments may be viewed as financial commitments. Either have explanations for each and every significant payment, or try to reduce the amount of irregular payments you either make or receive.

For many, getting a mortgage is a minefield. Why not let Complete Mortgages, a mortgage broker in Guildford, do it on your behalf? From first time buyer mortgages and buy to let mortgages, to commercial mortgages and more specialist mortgages, we can help. Call us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to find out how we can help you.


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


Is the robo-adviser redundant already?

Thursday, 28th June, 2018

At a time when there is continual debate around whether or not the human workforce will eventually be replaced by robots, I have to admit that I experienced a degree of pleasure this week upon reading an article that called into question the efficacy of robo-advisers.

The Financial Conduct Authority has issued a warning that robo-advisers could be misleading customers over fees and the nature of the advice offered – something that those applying for a mortgage should now be taking note of.

In a world where apps are standard fare, automation has become de rigueur and the perception that automation equates to better, this warning shot from the city’s watchdog pulls into focus the delicate – and often complex – nature of mortgage guidance.

It also raises the question of whether or not a service so nuanced and personal, such as that offered by experienced mortgage brokers, can simply be replaced by apps or web-based platforms.

As a Guildford mortgage broker we are all too aware that getting a mortgage is a big decision – and one that is underpinned by many variables, most of which cannot be expressed or picked up on through an automated process. A personal approach, such as that available via face-to-face meetings or even via a telephone call, enables the mortgage adviser to pick up on the small aspects that make up the bigger picture.

It also enables the adviser to ascertain the mortgage applicant’s own understanding of their obligations and commitments with respect to the nature and size of the mortgage they require. An automated platform is a standardised approach and one that doesn’t take into account swathes of people who, for example, may be more vulnerable when it comes to making big financial decisions and who, therefore, would benefit from a conversation with an expert.

I’m not anti-automation. In fact, I wholeheartedly believe that there are many services and aspects of modern life that have improved since becoming automated. However, in my opinion, mortgage advice and mortgage brokerage services do not – and should not – fall within this category.

If you want to speak with actual people when it comes to getting a mortgage in the UK, contact Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. We specialise mortgages for the self-employed, mortgages for teachers, adverse credit mortgages, buy to let mortgages and limited company buy to let mortgages.


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


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


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