How to Find a Mortgage Broker You Can Trust

Understand the role mortgage brokers play in securing you a favourable deal.

Updated: November 21, 2023
Matt Crabtree

Written By

Matt Crabtree

 

You don't need us to remind you how complicated mortgages can be to fully sort out — whether that's understanding a lot of the jargon or generally just trying to find a good deal.

Having said that, though, you'll often find that mortgage advisers simplify the bulk of this overall process, as they're naturally able to provide quite a good amount of advice and hold your hand through the entire mortgage application process so you can find the best one.

Still, there are a bunch of different mortgage brokers out there, and if you don't really know enough about what it is you should be looking for in one, you'll probably come out with slightly less favourable terms than you could find if you had a better understanding.

So, throughout this guide, we'll be focusing on a bunch of different factors that are worth considering when you start searching for a mortgage broker.

Understanding the Role of Mortgage Brokers

First off, let's walk through a few of the fundamentals behind mortgage brokers before we get into how you can find a good one.

Put simply, these people play a pretty pivotal role in the mortgage market as they essentially act as a kind of intermediary between mortgage borrowers and lenders.

Ultimately, whether it's through the expert mortgage advice they come with or just the ability to help you find the best mortgage deals possible, a good broker is potentially going to save you quite a lot of time and money.

The Mortgage Application Process

Again, before we dive straight into how you can find the right mortgage broker, let's talk a little bit about how the mortgage application process actually tends to work because it's usually kind of complicated.

Just to go through it in a nutshell, though, the overall process usually involves a few different stages, from some of the more simple things like gathering all the right documents to the closing stages where you need to finalise the mortgage agreement.

Usually, this would take a decent amount of effort on your behalf to ensure everything has been done properly and without any mistakes, but a mortgage broker's job is basically to streamline all of this for you so that it's a bit more manageable — that's the main purpose of them.

Benefits of Using a Mortgage Broker

In this next section, we'll walk you through some of the main reasons you'd want to consider having a mortgage broker by your side:

Access to a Whole-of-Market Broker

This is probably one of the more obvious advantages of using a mortgage broker, but it's worth mentioning that the fact that you're gaining access to the whole mortgage market is definitely one of the major pull factors.

You'll generally find that individual lenders only ever offer a few different products, so it's obviously a better deal to be using a whole-of-market broker instead who has access to a much broader range of mortgage deals.

Obviously, you want the best possible deal that's available, so all this is doing is giving you a bigger selection of options/deals to consider before you commit to something.

Expert Mortgage Advice

Aside from this, though, you're also just going to what might be the best source of expert advice available for your specific financial situation.

You'd be forgiven for not knowing literally every single one of the ins and outs involved when securing a mortgage deal — the best option here is always to work with a professional who'll help you come to terms with all the different mortgage deals, interest rates, and even terms that are available, as that'll help you make a more informed decision.

Saving Time and Effort

Lastly, and we've covered this in a little bit of detail already, navigating the mortgage market can obviously be pretty time-consuming and confusing if you're just an average person without any kind of experience in this niche sector.

Think of it like taking your car to the mechanics when you've damaged it — you wouldn't try and sort it out by yourself if you didn't have the first clue on what you were doing, so bring the same energy when it comes to securing a mortgage deal and go to a broker that'll do all of the legwork for you.

Finding a Mortgage Broker

To get back to the main theme of the article, let's go through some of our most effective tips that you can use to find the best mortgage broker for your particular needs:

Recommendations and Referrals

Ultimately, you'll find that your best start would most likely be through word-of-mouth conversations — recommendations from people like your friends, family, or even any colleagues who might have had to go through a similar mortgage application process fairly recently.

Online Reviews and Testimonials

Given that we're living in a modern era with plenty of available sources to find online reviews/testimonials about a broker, it's generally easier than ever to separate a quality mortgage lender from a poor one.

Just look out for any good reviews from an independent review website that'll give some kind of insight into how the potential broker that you've found communicates — as well as things like how responsive they were and their overall ability to secure a favourable mortgage deal.

Check Credentials and Qualifications

Moving forward, and this may sound like an obvious one, but don't forget to cover your basics and ensure that whichever mortgage broker you choose is actually qualified and accredited in the UK.

There are plenty of things you can look out for here, so start with making sure they're following all the various regulations that professional bodies like the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) set — good quality brokers should obviously always adhere to these kinds of industry standards and regulations in order to do their job.

Meet in Person

Generally speaking, although there are plenty of people who are willing to chat with you in person, you'll find that the majority of potential mortgage brokers tend to prefer arranging a Zoom chat or something along those lines when you have your first chat with them.

The fact that this was such a common practice during the Covid-19 era hasn't helped this from becoming the standard way of doing things, either.

In reality, though, you'd normally always rather have a face-to-face meeting with your potential mortgage broker if it's possible to do things this way. Not only does this generally give you a gauge of how well they understand your specific financial goals, but it also gives you a much better inkling of their professionalism and communication skills.

Just keep in mind that a good broker will always do whatever it takes to understand your unique circumstances so that they're able to tailor their advice more accordingly — don't settle for someone who appears only half interested in helping you and can only be contacted online.

Assessing Mortgage Broker Fees

If you think that you might have found a good broker to help secure a mortgage for you, don't forget to consider a couple of key points before sealing the deal:

Transparent Fee Structure

Naturally, you'd never want to dive into any kind of contract/partnership with someone or some entity without having a clear understanding of how their fee structure works, so apply this same principle to any mortgage broker that you're weighing up.

Remember, any good broker will always be transparent when it comes to discussing their fees and detailing any of the upfront costs or explaining how they're actually earned — try to be vigilant for any broker that's either hesitant to talk about their fees openly or just generally tries to beat around the bush regarding their finances.

Consideration of The Financial Ombudsman Service

Just in case you're unfamiliar, The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is an independent and impartial organisation in the UK that can be pretty useful if you ever had any kind of dispute between you and your mortgage broker.

Obviously, there tends to be fairly lengthy — not to mention expensive — legal proceedings whenever you need to settle some kind of disagreement you might have between each other, so the FOS was established in order to give any small businesses and customers a fair way of settling them.

Keep in mind that the best brokers out there will be looking to prioritise customer satisfaction at all costs, so they should be willing to address any possible concerns that you have if you need to make a complaint.

Making the Final Decision

In this final section of the article, we'll wrap up by covering what you should be thinking before fully committing to your broker of choice.

Comparison of Offers

When you're at the point where you've received mortgage offers from multiple different lenders, your broker should help you compare the terms and conditions and generally keep an eye out for anything important — helping you understand the overall implications of every offer (including things like the monthly payments, repayment terms, and if there could be any potential future adjustments).

Clear Communication

This goes for every kind of partnership you get into, but being able to communicate effectively is naturally one of the main hallmarks of any good mortgage broker out there.

They shouldn't ever have any problems or qualms with keeping you informed during every part of the mortgage application process — always promptly responding if you had any sort of query or simply just wanted an update on the progress.

Finalising the Mortgage Agreement

Lastly, once you've finally selected a mortgage deal and are ready to wrap things up, your broker will guide you through closing the deal and explain all the terms and conditions to you so that you're comfortable with the commitment you are making.

Related Guides:

How to Find a Mortgage Broker You Can Trust — Guide: FAQs

Should I Be Concerned About Potential Interest Rate Rises During the Mortgage Term?

What Role Do Interest Rates Play in the Mortgage Application Process?

Can a Mortgage Broker Help With Non-Standard Property Purchases?

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