Get a good mortgage deal (while you still can)

Monday, 7th September, 2020

We’re revisiting the benefits of remortgaging this week. For good reason, too, as finding a great mortgage deal is becoming increasingly difficult.

It’s no surprise that the UK economy is under strain given the current crisis. However, one of its knock-on effects has been an increase in mortgage rates in tandem with a decrease in the number of mortgage products available from lenders.

In fact, getting a good mortgage deal isn’t as easy as it was only a couple of weeks ago – both in terms of mortgage rates and mortgage product choice. According to Moneyfacts, mortgage products dropped by 202 – or from 2,728 to 2,526 – from the beginning of July to the beginning of August.

In particular, those applying for a fixed rate mortgage and who require anything above 75% loan to value are likely to be wondering what’s happened, particularly given how mortgage rates have sat at historic lows over recent months.

Whether you’re looking to remortgage, or simply want to apply for a first time buyer mortgage, the good news is that all is not lost. After all, good UK mortgage deals haven’t disappeared altogether.

Yes, there are fewer mortgages available. And yes, mortgages that only required a 5% deposit are likely to remain absent until the economy is in a much stronger position. But there are options, and Complete Mortgages is able to assist mortgage applicants at every end of the spectrum.

Furthermore, as an award-winning mortgage broker in Guildford that’s part of the Mortgage Intelligence Network, our team of Guildford mortgage brokers are able to source the very best mortgage deals available at any given time. So, where there are good deals to be had, Complete Mortgages has ready access to them.

Don’t be disheartened by the shrinking pool of mortgage products. However, do take it as a sign that you should act quickly if you want to get a mortgage before the recession worsens and leads to further restricted availability.

If you want to remortgage or apply for any of the specialist mortgages we offer, such as buy to let mortgages, commercial mortgages and adverse credit mortgages, then get in touch on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan at Complete Mortgages


Reduce mortgage uncertainty by remortgaging

Wednesday, 29th July, 2020
Reduce mortgage uncertainty by remortgaging

We imagine that by now, there’s a little COVID fatigue amongst the majority of you. After all, there are only so many news reports – all of which generally point to economic uncertainty – that one person can stand.

So, we’ll keep this as brief and upbeat as possible.

Amid all the uncertainty the UK’s currently faced with, there is one thing that you can be certain of, and it’s that finding yourself on a standard variable mortgage will significantly increase your mortgage payments. Another certainty is that by remortaging – ideally before you default to the standard variable rate (SVR) – you will save money on your mortgage.

Despite the impact of COVID-19, there are still great mortgage deals available on the market, so there’s really no excuse to settle for the SVR – ever.

According to research from comparethemarket.com, those about to fall onto the SVR could face paying an additional £2,000 a year – or just under £170 per month – in interest. The same research also suggests that up to 850,000 homes could be impacted by this within the next six months.

Our team of Guildford mortgage brokers are really hot on this, and we always ensure that all of our existing clients are made aware of when their current mortgage deal ends and the SVR mortgage begins. However, if you’re not one of our clients and aren’t aware of when you’ll enter SVR territory, then you’re unlikely to know until you spot an increase in your monthly mortgage payments.

The way to address this is easy. All you need to do is call Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk and we’ll quickly establish where you are with your current mortgage, and offer you some options as to where you could be by remortgaging.

In these uncertain times we’d encourage you to fix certainty wherever you can – and getting a better mortgage is one way in which to do this, particularly as we don’t know what’s around the corner when it comes to interest rates.

Whether you’re looking to remortgage, get a first time buyer mortgage or arrange a buy to let mortgage, our team of experienced mortgage brokers in Guildford are here to help.

By Mark Finnegan at Complete Mortgages


Getting a mortgage after lockdown

Tuesday, 26th May, 2020
getting a mortgage after lockdown

The last few articles have covered getting a mortgage during lockdown (and demonstrated that despite this strange time, you can still apply for a mortgage from the comfort of your home using our video mortgage broker service).

So, looking ahead to life after lockdown, we thought we’d help you get ready when it comes to applying for a mortgage – in person!

Although we’re a Guildford mortgage broker we have a national base of customers, many of whom have always preferred to conduct their mortgage application remotely. However, whether you’re applying for a mortgage from afar, or seeing our team of award-winning Guildford mortgage brokers in the flesh, you still need the same documentation in order to get the process moving.

If you’re someone who’s getting a mortgage after COVID-19 has cleared, then here’s a mortgage application checklist that will help you to get organised and ensure that your application goes as smoothly as possible. If you plan to take advantage of our mortgage advice over video and apply for a mortgage during lockdown anyway, then this will still be a useful guide.

What’s even more useful is that we’ve broken it down into two parts: one for employed mortgage applicants and the other for self-employed mortgage applicants.

Essential mortgage documentation if you’re employed

  1. Passport. Make sure you have one – and that it’s valid.
  2. Proof of address dated within the last 3 months. Examples include utility bills, bank statements or credit card statements.
  3. Proof of deposit. You need to be able to clearly demonstrate how you intend to fund the deposit using bank or savings account statements that go as far back as 6 months.  If your deposit originates from sources other than savings (for example – a gift from a relative), we will need appropriate evidence of this.
  4. Last 3 months’ bank statements for your main account(s).  These should show all transactions including salary credits and bills being paid (we can accept internet statements as long as they include your name and account number).
  5. Last 3 months’ payslips (13 weeks if paid weekly).
  6. Last 2 P60’s
  7. Proof of bonuses for the past 2 years. If you have received bonuses then this will need to be clear on the payslips.

Essential mortgage documentation if you’re self-employed

  1. Passport. Make sure you have one – and that it’s valid.
  2. Proof of address dated within the last 3 months. Examples include utility bills, bank statements or credit card statements.
  3. Proof of deposit. You need to be able to clearly demonstrate how you intend to fund the deposit using bank or savings account statements that go as far back as 6 months.  If your deposit originates from sources other than savings (for example – a gift from a relative), we will need appropriate evidence of this.
  4. Last 3 months’ bank statements for your main account(s).  These should show all transactions including salary credits and bills being paid (we can accept internet statements as long as they include your name and account number).
  5. Online Tax Calculation and HMRC Tax Year Overview.  We will typically need these for the last 2-3 tax years.
  6. Signed limited company accounts for the last 3 years (Limited Company directors/shareholders only)
  7. Current and previous contract plus CV (contractors only)

Please remember that you can still apply for a mortgage with Complete Mortgages using the telephone, video technology and digital documentation. Simply call us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to arrange a virtual appointment.  But if you’d rather wait, then at least you have some time to pull everything together.

Stay safe in the meantime.

By Mark Finnegan at Complete Mortgages


Guildford mortgage brokers: coming to a screen near you

Wednesday, 8th April, 2020
Guildford Mortgage Brokers

With so many people having so much fun using video conferencing platforms during this period of lockdown, it’s a wonder any of us will ever leave the house again!

Whilst applying for a mortgage probably won’t be the first thing you’ll want to discuss with friends over your Friday night virtual meet up, it’s worth remembering that video is being used to make sure that the cogs of life continue to turn as much as is possible during this very strange time.

And this is exactly what we’re aiming to support following our decision to launch a video mortgage application service until things have returned to normal and those in search of the UK’s best mortgage deals are able to come and visit us in person.

Essentially, what we’re offering are face-to-face mortgage consultations, just as you would ordinarily receive from us, but over video conferencing instead. So, regardless of where you are right now, you can still apply for a mortgage using Skype or any other video platform such as Teams and Facetime. You can even apply for a mortgage with WhatsApp’s video function, too.

As mentioned in our last article, which covered how COVID-19 is affecting the mortgage industry, when the Coronavirus cloud has finally disappeared, there is likely to be an influx of mortgage applications following a prolonged period of pent up demand.

By offering our clients the opportunity to progress their mortgage application now rather than waiting until ‘normality’ has returned, we’re aiming to pre-empt the inevitable bottleneck (and it will happen) and help people make headway when it comes to buying their next property.

To apply for a video mortgage appointment with Complete Mortgages, all you need to do is:

1. Contact us on 01483 238280. The entire team is currently working from home in accordance with government advice, however, you’d never know it, as you’ll be put through to one of the team just as you would normally.

2. Agree a video mortgage appointment time with one of our mortgage advisers. They will provide a selection of times and a date so that you can choose one that best suits you.  If you would prefer an initial telephone chat with an adviser, prior to setting up your video appointment, we will be happy to do that as well.

3. State your preferred video conferencing platform, supply your e-mail address and mobile number, then we’ll do the rest.

The limitations posed by COVID-19 are likely to go on for some time. Our recommendation is that you do as much as you can now, utilising video conferencing technology, so that there’s less work to do (if there’s anything to do at all!) when we can all finally leave our homes.

Who knows, maybe we’ll make video mortgage consultations part of our service even after the dust has settled given how popular it’s proving to be across the UK.

Don’t let COVID-19 stop you from arranging your next mortgage. Whether you’re looking to remortgage, get a first time buyer mortgage or apply for equity release, you can now do so remotely by contacting the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280 or emailing info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.


Coronavirus and mortgages – the facts

Friday, 27th March, 2020
Coronavirus and mortgages

As if all the current panic around Coronavirus wasn’t enough, it seems that a load more has been created in the wake of government’s decision to put the property market on ice by stopping estate agents from marketing new properties and preventing viewings for those already on sale.

If you’re about to apply for a mortgage, in the process of applying for a mortgage or are waiting for a mortgage offer, then you might be concerned.

However, whilst we’re very closely related, estate agents and mortgage brokers are from different families. So much so, in fact, that issues directly impacting estate agents might not necessarily impact mortgage brokers to the same degree, and vice versa.

The currently unfolding Coronavirus property panic is a good example.

Whilst estate agents may be putting viewings on hold for the time being, mortgage brokers such as Complete Mortgages are very much in ‘business as usual’ mode. Not only that, but there’s no need to be overly concerned – and here’s why.

1. Mortgage lenders are still lending

There are countless mortgage applications working their way through the financial institutions at any given time. These need to be effectively managed and processed. Whilst some lenders have reduced application volumes in alignment with their inability to value properties, the wheels of the mortgage sector are still turning. To make the point clear, we’re still working with lenders that are offering mortgages at normal loan to value levels – albeit, where you are looking to borrow above 85% loan to value, then the chances are that there will be a delay with the property valuation.

2. Valuations are being delayed, not dismissed

If you’ve applied for a mortgage and are awaiting a valuation, then it will be on hold until things return to normal. However, just remember that everyone is in the same boat, so you’re not at a disadvantage.

3. Extended mortgage offers are now the norm

Already received an offer, but not yet exchanged? Don’t panic, it’s highly likely that your lender will extend the mortgage offer by up to three months to offset any fallout from Covid-19. This has effectively been rubber-stamped following a joint statement supporting the move by UK Finance and the Building Societies Association, too. These are exceptional times and everyone – even the lender – is doing their best to adapt to them.

4. Get ahead of the curve

And no, we don’t mean the much-debated Coronavirus curve. Many people would have been ready to apply for a mortgage before Coronavirus hit. There will also be many people who have decided to move forward with buying a house during the crisis. When balance has been restored, pent-up demand for mortgages will result in a huge influx of applications.

Whilst property viewings might be on hold, your mortgage application needn’t be. Our view is take advantage of a moving mortgage market now and get your application underway so that when the dust has settled, you don’t have to compete with other people frantically looking to get a post-Coronavirus mortgage deal.

Complete Mortgages is a Guildford mortgage broker that specialises in a wide range of mortgage products, from first time buyer mortgages and buy to let mortgages to adverse credit mortgages and equity release. Whether you have general Coronavirus mortgage concerns or are ready to apply for a mortgage, contact the team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


How is Coronavirus affecting mortgages?

Friday, 13th March, 2020

There’s nothing like an interest rate cut to get people to sit up and take notice (not that people aren’t already on high alert following the daily stream of news surrounding Coronavirus).

However, an interest rate cut does generally signify some kind of issue. Or, at the very least, provides a signal that something isn’t as it should be.

It’s also quite polarising. On the one hand, you have savers – possibly even those who’ve paid their mortgage off – who will have rolled their eyes at the fact that their savings are no longer earning as much money as they were only a few days ago. 

This also applies to those who’ve recently entered fixed rate mortgage deals, who are likely to experience a period whereby they’re potentially paying more than they would have on non-fixed mortgage deals.

On the other hand, there are those on tracker mortgages who will no doubt welcome a period of cheaper monthly mortgage payments.

Either way, the link between Coronavirus and mortgages is certainly being felt – and not just by homeowners, either. As a team of Guildford mortgage brokers, we are adjusting and adapting our approach to mortgage applications on a daily basis, too.

Negative points aside, and without trying to sound too opportunistic, Coronavirus does present an opportunity for those applying for a mortgage or who are thinking about remortgaging.

As the Bank of England’s interest rate has been cut from 0.75% to 0.25%, lenders are now likely to reduce their mortgage rates, too. Complete Mortgages predicts that any reduction by lenders isn’t going to reflect the entire 0.50% base rate cut, but probably somewhere in the region of 0.10% instead. Of course, rates may not drop at all and this, in part, depends on how long the Coronavirus lasts and how widely felt its impact is.

However, just as those keeping a keen eye on the stock market are waiting to buy back in at the right time, our advice would be to keep in touch with your Guildford mortgage adviser (and by that we mean us) to find out just how low fixed rate mortgages go before committing to a 2, 5 or even 10 year fixed rate mortgage.

For the latest mortgage advice and Coronavirus mortgage updates contact the team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

Note: those currently in the mortgage application process with Complete Mortgages should not be concerned about disruption of service. All of the team are ready and fully equipped to work from home should that become necessary.


Getting a mortgage if you’re divorced

Thursday, 6th February, 2020
Getting a mortgage if you’re divorced

Interestingly, there appears to a ‘content gap’ when it comes to advice on applying for a mortgage if you’re divorced.

Strange, considering how research from the Office for National Statistics revealed how there were 90,871 divorces in 2018.

Reassuringly, this was down 10.6% when compared with 2017. However, 90,000 is still a large number. And, if you multiply this by two, on the basis that for every divorce there are potentially two people needing a mortgage, then that’s potentially 180,000 newly separated individuals enter the market wondering ‘can I get a mortgage now that I’m divorced?’.

Given the number of mortgage applications for divorcees we’ve prepared over the years, the Complete Mortgages team has become, for want of a better phrase, divorce mortgage specialists. And, considering that January is a notoriously busy time for separation, we thought we’d share a few tips for getting a mortgage if you are divorced.

Will child maintenance payments reduce the amount I can borrow?

Lenders treat child maintenance payments as outgoings, just as they would loan repayments and utilities payments, so it will affect your borrowing capability. Conversely, if you’re receiving child maintenance payments, then some lenders will not consider this income, and therefore you will not be able to use this form of income to borrow more. Thankfully, there are some exceptions to the rule, which a good mortgage broker will be able to source for you.

I’m buying a property to live in, but I still own the marital home. How will this affect my chances of getting a mortgage?

If you plan to continue being named on the mortgage then a second property will be treated as such. This means that from a lender’s perspective, you will need to be able to demonstrate that you can meet payments on both properties – this is something that a reputable mortgage broker will be able to help you with. Similarly, as a second property purchaser, you would be required to pay the additional 3% Stamp Duty as specified by HMRC. You can apply for exemption; however, you would need to provide legal evidence to prove that you are formally separated – your solicitor will be able to provide guidance on this.

I’m currently going through a divorce and have moved out of the marital property. Do I still need to continue paying for the mortgage?

Regardless of your situation, you will need to keep paying for the mortgage if you’re named on it. By not paying on time, you may damage your credit history and therefore your chances of arranging a mortgage after your divorce. If one person refuses to pay, this could spark a long-lasting chain of events. Banks can be sympathetic to divorce, so the sooner you contact them and make them aware of your situation, the easier it will be. In some cases, lenders provide mortgage payment holidays to help remove pressure in the short term.

I’ve just gone through a divorce and am ready to purchase my next property. What do you recommend?

Get good mortgage advice. As a Guildford mortgage adviser that has arranged mortgages for countless people after they’ve gone through divorce, we understand the ins and outs of post-divorce mortgage applications, and the subtleties and difficulties associated with the process. So, if you’re ready to take the next step then contact the Complete Mortgages team.

Whether you’re recently divorced and looking to get a mortgage or ready to move up the property ladder, our team of Guildford mortgage brokers can help. Contact the team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.


How to get the best equity release mortgage advice

Thursday, 24th May, 2018

Equity release mortgages have well and truly arrived.

As recently pointed out in our last equity release article, which includes a five point guide as to what you need to know about equity release loans, it is estimated that the value of UK equity release mortgages increased by £10bn last year.

However, it’s important to note that wherever there’s an opportunity, there are always opportunists, which was my first thought on recently watching a series of equity release adverts on TV.

One advert was proudly selling access to equity release mortgages for a fee of ‘only’ 1.95%. Whilst this doesn’t sound that high, it typically equates to around £1,395 – £1,495, which is, in fact, a relatively high charge.

As a Guildford mortgage brokerage that specialises in helping our clients to get an equity release mortgage, we believe that our fees are much fairer and transparent. For example, our flat fee structure means that we can help you apply for an equity release mortgage for only £699 – regardless of the complexity of the mortgage and value of the loan amount.

What’s more, our team of Guildford mortgage brokers now includes three equity release specialists. All three advisers have secured the highly coveted Certificate in Regulated Equity Release (CeRER) qualification, which ensures that Complete Mortgages can offer a wider selection of equity release mortgages to a wider section of the population.

It also means that we can help those who have traditionally taken out interest-only mortgages – and who are on an interest-only mortgage right now – to transition to an equity release deal without having to refer to a third party.

Whether you’re currently on an interest-only mortgage and thinking of switching over to equity release, or you’re simply considering your options and think that equity release could be a route you’d like to take, the first thing you need to do is contact a trusted – and qualified – mortgage brokerage.

Why not contact us to find out more on 01483 238280 or by emailing info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

Complete Mortgages also specialises in other mortgages over and above equity release mortgages. We can also arrange mortgages for self-employed people, mortgages for teachers, adverse credit mortgages, buy to let mortgages and limited company buy to let mortgages.

By Mark Lucas, Equity Release Adviser at Complete Mortgages