More than just a Guildford mortgage broker

Thursday, 20th June, 2019

Don’t you just hate it when a company, say for instance a sweet shop, has a slogan that reads ‘more than just sweets’. Or a stationer that claims to offer ‘more than just stationery’. What does it even mean? And what more would you want from a stationer other than stationery?

Those who share my sentiments may well have rolled their eyes at reading the headline for this article. However, there is a reason for it.

It was recently reported that a teacher was refused a mortgage on the basis that she had unknowingly been issued a County Court Judgement (CCJ) for a parking ticket she was advised had been cancelled. Unfortunately, what turned out to be a mistake left a negative imprint on the teacher’s credit rating and resulted in her being unable to get a mortgage.

As a mortgage broker in Guildford – and a specialist mortgage broker for teachers – I know that this could have been avoided. And this is where my point about being ‘more than just a mortgage broker’ comes in.

There are many reasons to use a mortgage broker over and above simply managing the mortgage application process. Making sure the right paperwork is ready at the right time is, of course, essential. However, there really is more to being a mortgage broker than administrative duties. It’s the advice, mortgage product navigation and recommendations, as well as the professional mortgage guidance that really adds value when it comes to using a mortgage broker.

Had Complete Mortgages encountered a mortgage applicant with a CCJ for a small amount, we would have presented it to a lender for what it was rather than letting it become a barrier. Failing that, we would have made the client aware of the options available under the adverse mortgage range – mortgages available to those with poor credit ratings.

Of course, in this case, the teacher wasn’t aware of the CCJ to begin with. However, there are many people who are aware of their credit misdemeanours and adopt a ‘head in the sand’ approach to getting a mortgage.

Despite what people may think, lenders are keen to lend money. Whilst CCJs can represent a problem, particularly if they relate to considerable amounts, smaller CCJs that are nothing more than a ‘blip’ in an applicant’s otherwise unblemished credit report can be justified over a conversation between broker and lender.

A good mortgage broker – that’s one that does have regular dialogue with lenders – sits closer to those who make lending decisions than mortgage applicants. So, why not let the mortgage broker do the talking on your behalf.

Applying for a mortgage yourself can be a bit like cutting your own hair; the result might turn out okay, but it probably won’t reflect the work of a professional, who is paid to get it right first time.

So, if you’re about to apply for a mortgage and have a CCJ, or if you’re concerned about your credit rating, then rather than throw caution to the wind and hope it turns out okay, apply for a mortgage in confidence by going through a mortgage broker.

We are specialists in first time buyer mortgages, adverse credit mortgages and mortgage for teachers. We also have a high customer satisfaction rating, so get it right fist time by contacting the team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


When is the right time to remortgage?

Wednesday, 5th June, 2019
when is the right time to remortgage

Before I answer that question, if you’re still at the stage where you’re wondering ‘is remortgaging right for me?’ then you might want to read our article entitled should I remortgage?

If you’re fully up to speed on the potential benefits of remortgaging, then read on.

Complete Mortgages is a mortgage broker in Guildford, which not only has clients in and around Guildford (the whole of Surrey, in fact), but also those situated throughout the UK.

Yet regardless of where our clients live, they ALL have something in common, which is that they will be contacted around four months before their current mortgage deal ends and alerted to the fact that they are about to fall onto the standard variable rate mortgage.

We do this not because we’re a team of pushy mortgage brokers, but because if we can save our clients money by helping them to get a better mortgage deal as a result of simply offering a good mortgage brokerage service, then a) we will be partly responsible for making a customer happy, and b) good service helps retain good clients. Other excellent mortgage brokers do it – many don’t.  If you’re in the process of finding a good mortgage broker, then always make sure to ask them if that’s a service they provide as standard.

However, if you’ve come upon this article and you’re not one of our customers, the title of this article may well resonate with you – and the answer is, give or take, four months.

Why four months? Firstly, because getting a new mortgage can sometimes take longer than you think and secondly, why put yourself through all that last minute stress and panic by leaving it to the last minute.

Allowing yourself enough time to move comfortably from your existing mortgage to a new one will have a huge psychological benefit and help you on your path towards getting a stress free mortgage.

Of course, if you really want stress free mortgages then my advice is to use a trusted mortgage broker, who will not only let you know when it’s time to start looking for another mortgage, but also do the looking (and the applying) for you.

Complete Mortgages’ proactive remortgage approach doesn’t just apply to one type of mortgage, but all mortgages – from first time buyer mortgages and buy to let mortgages to limited company buy to let mortgages and even commercial mortgages. If you’re a customer of ours and are coming to the end of your mortgage term, then expect a call. If you’re not, but you like the idea of us – and not you – doing the hard work when it comes to applying for a mortgage, then call a member of the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Getting a mortgage with bad credit

Saturday, 9th March, 2019

Do you remember the heady days of pre-2007; a time (for a decade or so leading up to the ‘credit crunch’) when there was unfettered access to mortgages and mortgages were granted on the basis of what the applicant stated they earned?

I do, as it was only 2006 when I launched Complete Mortgages as a mortgage broker in Guildford, so I was able to witness the pre-crunch and post-crunch scenarios in a very short space of time.

Pre-2007, those who wanted to buy into homeownership could do so with relative ease. Post-2007, mortgage lending dried up and a more forensic approach was taken when it came to analysing the affordability levels of those applying for a mortgage. So much so, in fact, that adverse credit mortgages, formerly known as sub-prime mortgages, all but dried up completely.

However, after mortgage lending reform, the introduction of tighter legislation and a deeper understanding of how to avoid ending up in a similar situation again, the subprime mortgage is no longer frowned upon. In fact, adverse credit mortgages have quickly become a mainstay amongst mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers UK-wide.

Importantly, those applying for an adverse credit mortgage will need to be able to fully evidence their earnings. The days of self-certification mortgages really are over. Instead, adverse credit mortgages have been designed to help the following groups of people:

1.Those with a history of defaulting on payments

It’s no secret that failing to pay your bills on time is generally frowned upon. However, as we all know, it’s very easy to do. Overlooking payment dates is a common occurrence for many – but should they really be locked out of home ownership because of it.

2. Those who have had County Court Judgments (CCJs)

A CCJ is a type of court order that can be filed against those who owe money yet have failed to pay it back. If you receive a CCJ but fail to pay the amount stated back within 30 days, it is entered on your credit record for six years and is regarded as a serious black mark.

3. Those who have arranged Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs)

Whilst not quite bankruptcy, it is a form of insolvency that’s based on a formal, legally binding agreement to pay off your debts over a period of time. As the courts and the creditors have agreed it, you have to stick to it.

4. Those who have declared themselves bankrupt

The big ‘B’. This one is generally viewed as the end of the line and taken very seriously by mortgage lenders. After all, if someone has been declared bankrupt then they are often viewed as high risk.

5. Those with a thin credit file

If you are new to borrowing – regardless of your age – then there can be little (or zero) history available to enable lenders to build up an accurate financial picture of those looking to borrow. This factor is assessed on a case-by-case basis, but it can have a negative impact on your ability to apply for a mortgage.

If you are hoping to get a mortgage but fall under one of the five areas above, then the good news is that all is not lost. However, you may have to consider applying for a subprime mortgage.

Our team of adverse credit mortgage specialists are on hand to discuss any concerns you may have and help you overcome any mortgage obstacles you’re currently facing. Simply contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. We can also help with standard mortgages, buy to let mortgages, mortgages for self employed people and commercial mortgages, too.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


A guide to commercial mortgages

Tuesday, 8th January, 2019

There’s never a shortage of debate around residential mortgages and buy to let mortgages. Even equity release mortgages are currently basking in the sunlight after the amount of equity released from the properties of UK homeowners hit over £1bn. However, one type of mortgage that often gets overlooked is the commercial mortgage.

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, there were 5.7 million private sector businesses at the start of 2017 – up 197,000 from 2017 and 2.2 million more than in 2000.

It stands to reason, then, that whilst the process of applying for a commercial mortgage doesn’t get as much airtime as residential mortgages (there are less UK businesses than UK properties, after all), commercial mortgage applications are on the up.

As a mortgage broker in Guildford, an area where there is a high concentration of business owners, we have seen an increase in the number of people interested in getting a commercial mortgage over the years. Yet when comparing applicants’ knowledge of commercial mortgages with residential mortgages, there are huge gaps.

So, here’s our brief guide to the commercial mortgage in the hope that it provides you with enough information to get you started.

1. What is a commercial mortgage?

Commercial mortgages are used to buy land or property for a business. Equally, a commercial mortgage can be used to expand an existing business or for property development. It’s generally a long-term loan spanning 10 to 20 years and lenders are generally willing to lend up to 70% of the total value of the property, although they can consider lending more where they are happy with the overall circumstances. The remaining funds are expected to come from the business.

2. What are the benefits of taking out a commercial mortgage?

If you run a business and want to protect yourself against escalating rental costs, then owning a business premises is a great way of controlling this particular overhead. Also, just like residential properties, commercial property values can increase, the equity of which can give you an added buffer in fallow periods or when cash flow is poor.

3. Are commercial mortgages easy to get?

There are many lenders offering commercial mortgages. The trick is finding the one that works for you and your business. As a commercial mortgage specialist, Complete Mortgages can help you identify a lender from a wide pool of commercial mortgage lenders that we work with and that can support your short and long term objectives.

4. What about commercial mortgage rates?

They are typically higher than residential mortgage rates and tend to vary. A good mortgage broker will help you identify a commercial mortgage that best suits your needs.

5. Is my credit rating still important in order to get a business mortgage?

Yes, it is important. However, rather than just looking at your personal credit rating, a lender will also be able to get a good indication of whether or not you’re a ‘safe bet’ by looking at your business as a whole, which is a good thing.

6. Is there anything I need to be aware of?

The commercial mortgage journey is arguably less predictable than that of a residential mortgage. Residential mortgages are quite linear; you need somewhere to live and once you’re on the property ladder, the chances are you won’t get off. Businesses are different. Many grow, many fail and sometimes businesses owners simply decide to go and do something entirely different. As a result, you need to be aware of the financial commitments of a commercial mortgage and have a good idea of what you’re looking to achieve before taking out a commercial mortgage.

This is only a brief guide to commercial mortgages. If you’re interested in finding out more information then contact the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to find out more.


A boost for first time buyer mortgage seekers

Saturday, 20th October, 2018
first time buyer

Interest rates have gone up, but so too have the chances of first time buyers getting a mortgage with a small deposit.

Data from Moneyfacts has revealed that the average rates for 95% loan to value mortgages – mortgages for those with only 5% deposit to put down on a property – for two and five-year fixed rate terms have reached the lowest levels on record.

Whilst the period of recorded data only dates back to 2007, when Moneyfacts began recording it, 11 years is still a long time and this newfound accessibility for hopeful homeowners with a small mortgage deposit is significant.

Two-year fixed rate mortgages, for example, have fallen from an average of 4.16% in September 2017 to 3.73% today. Likewise, five year fixed rate mortgages have dropped from 4.57% in 2016 to 4.08% today.

You may think that this is at odds with the two recent interest rate rises, and to a degree you’d be right. However, there is speculation that lenders are keen to keep the first time buyer close so that they become the go-to lender at latter stages in the applicant’s property ownership lifecycle.

You could liken this to the motor industry, whereby those buying a car at the lower end of the manufacturer’s price range are nurtured as years go by in the hope that they stay loyal and buy something requiring a bigger budget as they progress in life.

Of course it’s all relative, and we shouldn’t forget that in today’s market, where there is a huge swathe of competitive mortgage deals on offer, 3.73% and 4.08% is still significantly higher than the ‘standard’ mortgage. That said, if you’re someone who’s looking to enter the property market and you only have five% to put down, then at least there are now more attractive first time buyer mortgage deals to get you on the property ladder.

As a mortgage broker in Guildford that specialises in first time buyer mortgages – including some of the more specialist mortgages such as mortgages for teachers and mortgages for self-employed people – Complete Mortgages is here to help.

If you have a 5% deposit then contact a member of the team on 01483 238280 to discuss your options and find out how you, too, can get two feet on the property ladder. Alternatively, 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 will the second interest rate rise affect my mortgage?

Tuesday, 7th August, 2018
mortgage broker guildford

After much speculation the second interest rate rise has happened.

As of now, the interest rate is 0.75% following only the second rise by the Bank of England in a decade. In fact, the last time the base rate sat around this region was in 2009 – so it’s no surprise that it’s heading on an upward trajectory.

But what everyone wants to know – particularly those on either a standard variable rate mortgage or a tracker mortgage – is how the interest rate rise affects mortgage repayments.

As per our last interest rate rise article, we’re going to keep it simple and say that the increase of 0.25%:

  1. Increases a £100,000 repayment-based tracker mortgage that matches any rise in the base rate by £12 a month
  2. Increases the monthly payments on a £200,000 mortgage loan by £25

For some, a rise of 0.25% may be manageable. For others, this increase and the possibility – or, if we’re honest about it, the probability – of others further down the line may be unsettling. On this basis, many will now be viewing the fixed rate mortgage as a safer bet given the consistency and stability it represents.

The good news is that there is still a raft of competitive fixed rate mortgages on the market.

Inevitably, in the wake of this week’s news, lenders across the nation will be looking to reflect the rate rise in their products, so those considering applying for a new mortgage or remortgaging will need to move relatively quickly if they are to agree a deal before any changes are implemented.

According to the Guardian, the number of people on a variable mortgage has fallen to 35% from 70% in 2001, so there is a clear move towards the security offered via fixed rate mortgages.

As a mortgage broker in Guildford, we’ve seen countless people switch to a fixed rate mortgage since the first interest rate rise in November and we now expect to experience a sharp rise in fixed rate mortgage applications in the coming weeks. And, as a Guildford mortgage broker with access to a comprehensive selection of mortgages that includes some of the most competitive deals on the market, our advice is don’t waste time.

If you’re either about to apply for a mortgage or are thinking of switching your mortgage from variable to fixed, then contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Getting ahead of the game is the key to securing a self-employed mortgage

Tuesday, 6th October, 2015

If you’re like me (and probably the majority of the UK population) then you’ll probably identify with filing your tax return within inches of the 31st January deadline. In fact, hats off to those who do tackle it at the earliest opportunity with the view that once it’s done, it’s done.

However if you’re self-employed and looking to arrange a self-employed mortgage then filing your tax return as soon as you possibly can will not only showcase your organisational skills, but also place you in pole position when it comes to securing a mortgage, too.

Whilst the official deadline for filing your tax return is 31st January, the reality is that lenders want to see that you’ve submitted your accounts within 3-6 months of the end of the tax year. As a result, those making the deadline by a whisker – such as submitting it in January – may get refused a mortgage on the grounds that their accounts are out of date – or, at least they don’t represent their current (and arguably more accurate) status.

As an independent mortgage broker that specialises in contractor mortgages and securing mortgages for the self-employed, our advice is to make your tax return as current as possible.

You don’t necessarily need to have it filed by the 6th April, but in order to give yourself the best chance possible, and have your application considered by as wide a pool of lenders as possible – then certainly make sure you’ve submitted it by early October, otherwise you risk the majority of lenders rejecting your application or requesting more up to date accounts.

Whilst Complete Mortgages provides award-winning mortgage advice and access to the best mortgage deals, we can also compile the best case for self-employed people looking to get their foot on the property ladder.

Whether you’re self-employed and a first time buyer or looking to arrange a buy to let mortgage, we can help. Get in touch to find out how on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


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.