The Pros & Cons Of Using A Mortgage Broker in Bristol

Making an initial step onto the property ladder for the first time, or taking the next step once your fixed term ends, can make you feel a little nervous from time to time.

There are lots of different routes that homeowners and home buyers can take, but if you can help it, it would be ideal to get it right the first time, especially when you’re dealing with a large amount of money.

Of course, we are strongly in the belief that our service as an open and honest mortgage broker in Bristol, will be beneficial to anyone who is going through their mortgage process, especially if you are a first-time buyer in Bristol.

Whilst we have confidence in our ability to help out our customers, we are also fully aware that it is not necessarily for everyone. Some may even be unsure of how exactly we can help.

With this in mind, we have compiled a balanced overview of why in some cases you might be better off getting in touch with a mortgage broker in Bristol, and how in some other cases, going direct might be your best choice.

What are the pros & cons of using a mortgage broker in Bristol?

Cost-Effectiveness

It is the opinion of many, that you are a lot more likely to save some money by going directly to the bank and finding a mortgage deal yourself. There is indeed merit to this, as a mortgage broker in Bristol may charge you a fee, though this is circumstantial and depends on who you speak to.

If you are already experienced in finding your own mortgage, have a pretty simple case and have a knowledge of lender criteria, going it alone will probably be easier and more cost-effective.

Where a mortgage broker stands out, is the ability to help people with complex cases or those who don’t understand lender criteria.

Without the correct, up-to-date knowledge, you could possibly end up with a bad deal, or even being unable to successfully apply for a mortgage deal. In any case, this could cost you a lot of money or damage your credit score. The latter would in turn hinder your chances of applying for a mortgage at any point in the future.

A dedicated mortgage advisor in Bristol will always make sure that they get their recommendation right the first time, at the cheapest deal that is available to you. Again, this may entail you having to pay a service fee, though it will likely save you a lot more money in the long term.

Local Bank Branch Relationships

Another point of view that customers who are older may think is a benefit of going to the bank directly, is the way you used to be able to get a mortgage. Prior to technology and online banking becoming a big deal, generally you would be a loyal customer of a local branch, typically speaking with the same members of staff.

When you wanted to apply for a mortgage, you would converse with the bank manager themselves. They would “know your finances like the back of their hand”, and would be the ones to personally approve a mortgage for you. Times have changed though, and credit scoring is now done via digital means.

The bank manager will no longer personally go through your case. Instead, your information will be put against a complex online system, to find out if you qualify for that mortgage. Nowadays, everyone gets the same chance as each other, no matter who your bank is.

Exclusive Mortgage Products

Relating to the previous point, many are in the belief that there are better, exclusive deals only by going to the lender direct. Once again, there is an element of truth to this, but it is only part of the story. See, a lender can indeed offer great deals, but only deals that are from their own company.

One of the main problems here is that not all mortgage lenders are actually banks, meaning there are lots of options outside of what you are familiar with. The best deal you could get with your bank, might not be the best deal overall that you could’ve had access to.

That’s another benefit of enquiring for mortgage advice in Bristol. A trusted and experienced mortgage advisor will be able to take a look at your case, and have you matched up with a suitable deal from one of our panel of lenders, rather than one place.

It’s also worth mentioning that there may also be deals that can only be found with a mortgage broker in Bristol. Regardless of if you’re a first-time buyer, are considering your options for a remortgage in Bristol or have a complex case, a mortgage broker will have more options for you.

Changes to Regulation & Consumer Protection

Following on from the 2007-08 credit crunch, the mortgage market was in dire need of a change. As was outlined in the 2014 Mortgage Market Review, lenders no longer had the ability to sell mortgages to customers on a non-advised basis.

This meant that you couldn’t just approach the bank, tell them you want a mortgage and be approved without any prior checks. You also couldn’t obtain a mortgage from any member of staff, as this used to happen regularly, whether they were qualified or not.

Further to this, these changes also introduced consumer protection, that you otherwise wouldn’t have gotten from the bank.

You now had the right to make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman if you felt mis-advised for one reason or another. You also have the ability to make a claim via the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

This is positive thing for both mortgage brokers and mortgage lender alike, as this means no matter who you choose to speak to or what your circumstances are, you’ll be safe, secure and advised professionally.

Booking an Appointment with a Mortgage Advisor in Bristol

An area where a mortgage lender has the disadvantage, is that oftentimes it can quite literally take months to speak book an appointment. Once you can eventually speak to someone and kickstart your journey, you’re not always guaranteed to be kept up-to-date about your case progression.

A unique selling point here at Bristolmoneyman, is that we are able to speak with customers at a time that is convenient to them. Our mortgage advisors in Bristol work from early until late, 7 days a week, including weekends. We may also work on some bank holidays too!

If you’re quick enough and lucky enough, you might find that you can book an appointment on the same day, though you don’t always have to do that. If you would like to speak with someone in a few days time, you have the freedom to book a slot in advance!

We are here at time slots that best suit your lifestyle. If you work 9-5 and want to speak with someone in the evening, we can do that too! Using our online booking feature, it has truly never been easier to get in touch with a qualified mortgage advisor!

In addition to this, we are proud of our ability to be responsive with our customers. No matter what stage of your mortgage journey you’re in, we will always make sure you’re up-to-date. If your case changes at any point, your advisor will inform you as soon as they can.

It’s because of expert mortgage brokers in Bristol like us, who are able to offer a high level of customer service, that the public opinion of mortgage brokers has differed over the years. This has led to more and more people getting in touch with a local mortgage expert, instead of going to a big high street bank.

Handling of Complex Scenarios

Sometimes a mortgage case may be a little more complex than the average case. Common examples of this that we have come across over the years, include (but are not limited to);

In the past, mortgage lenders were able to easily compete, by offering better deals than the others. Times have changed though, and now the main difference in choosing a deal, is whether or not you match their strict criteria.

A deal could be cheaper, but you may not qualify for it. The mortgage lender will perform either a hard credit search (leaves a footprint on your credit file) or soft credit search ( this leaves less of a footprint on your credit file), to see if you pass eligibility checks for that mortgage.

If you apply for a mortgage with a lender and are declined an agreement in principle, this will likely cause harm to your credit file. Worst of all, you probably will not be given a reason for why you were declined, which can be understandably disappointing and frustrating.

On the other hand, a trusted mortgage broker in Bristol will be able to take a look at your case beforehand, making sure everything is correct and prepared, informing you of any other steps you should take to better your chances of being accepted for the mortgage.

Using the lenders that we have on panel, you’ll be matched up with deals that you could be eligible for and we’ll look to get you agreed in principle. Obtaining your agreement in principle through Bristolmoneyman typically takes no more than 24 hours of your free mortgage appointment with one of our advisors.

Of course, this still doesn’t mean you are certain to receive an AIP, nor does it guarantee that you will get a mortgage, but it is a lot better for your credit file to have an expert analyse it beforehand. As expert mortgage advisors in Bristol, we always look to make the right recommendation first time.

In Conclusion; Should I use a mortgage broker in Bristol?

At the end of the day , it’s your choice. As you can tell from the information above, there are both pros and cons to choosing a mortgage broker in Bristol. Conversely, there are also a lot of pros and cons to going direct with a lender. It all comes down to how quick of a service you would like, and how secure you want to be on your journey.

As a trusted mortgage broker in Bristol, led by 20+ year industry expert Malcolm Davidson, we have helped thousands of customers to achieve their mortgage goals. From first time buyers in Bristol taking a step onto the property ladder, to people reaching the end of their initial fixed period, looking to remortgage in Bristol, it’s safe to say we’ve seen it all.

To get in touch with a responsive, open & honest, FCA regulated mortgage team of experts, feel free to book yourself in for a free mortgage appointment or remortgage review, with a member of our amazing mortgage advice team. We’re here to help with all your concerns and queries during your process, with time slots that are convenient to you, subject to availability.

If you would like to learn more about our service, take a look at our genuine customer reviews. They are an amazing reflection of the service levels we provide our customers regularly. If you would like to learn more about the mortgage world, take a look at our YouTube Channel, MoneymanTV.

Why Use Our Mortgage Advice Service in Bristol?

We Specialists in Different Types of Mortgages

As a dedicated mortgage broker in Bristol, our job is to support you through your mortgage process from beginning to end, making it a stress-free and easy-going experience. We aim to find you the most suitable mortgage product tailored to your specific financial and personal circumstances.

We feel the customer should know exactly how our service works and what different order parts of the process come in. So, to give you an insight into our process and how it works, we have put together a handy guide that we think you will find helpful.

How does our process work?

Step 1 – Get in touch

First of all, once you have contact and speak to one of our responsive teams or book yourself in for a free mortgage appointment, they will take some details from you. This is to help build a profile to get a picture of who you are and what you’re looking to do. All this information will help us, partner, you up with a suitable mortgage advisor in Bristol.

Step 2 – Free mortgage consultation

During your free consultation with your dedicated advisor, they will ask you a few more questions. This will give them a closer look into your mortgage needs. From here on out, this advisor will help you find the ideal mortgage deal for you!

If they manage to find you a great deal that benefits both your personal and financial situation and you’re happy to take it up, we are ready to continue to step 3.

Step 3 – Agreement in principle

This step continues right after your consultation. Your advisor will arrange a mortgage agreement in principle (AIP) for you within 24-hours of your consultation.

Having an agreement in principle in place early on in the process is crucial. It shows a seller that a lender is willing to let you borrow from them. Of course, this can provide evidential documents to back up your income and credit score.

During this part of the process, if you haven’t already found a home to make an offer on. You can start hunting for houses with your agreement in principle to back up any offers.

After your agreement in principle is in place, we’ll begin collecting evidential documents from you to back up your mortgage application. This will include things like payslips, bank statements, photographic ID. These documents and the amount that you need to supply do vary if you are a self-employed applicant.

Step 4 – Submission

As soon as everything looks good on our end, we can move to the mortgage application submission stage!

We will only submit your mortgage application if we know that you’ll pass your lender’s credit scoring criteria; we don’t want it to be declined. Once your application is with your potential lender, it’s just a waiting game now. During this time, we’ll be regularly informing you on the progress of your mortgage application.

As soon as we get the green light, we will be in touch straight away to give you the confirmation that you’ve had your mortgage application accepted. Congratulations, you’re now on the road to moving into your new home!

Specialist situations

At Bristolmoneyman, we want you to have the most straightforward mortgage process possible and come out with a great mortgage deal. However, we also deal with complex cases, so if you are struggling to get a mortgage through the traditional mortgage route, our service is in place to offer help when needed. 

Our mortgage advisors in Bristol have been helping customers overcome complex cases for over 20 years now. We have had customers in the past who been turned away from their bank, and we’ve still been able to get them a mortgage offer. We love a good challenge, and our team would love to help anyone struggling with a complicated mortgage situation.

Speak to a Mortgage Advisor in Bristol Today

Now that you’ve learnt more about our service, it’s your job to get in touch. We are available 7 days a week. Book your free mortgage appointment today to speak to an experienced Mortgage Advisor in Bristol today.

Customer service means everything to us, and we want to ensure that you’re delighted with every part of our service. But, of course, it would help if you took advantage of our free consultation. So whether you’re a first time buyer in Bristol or moving home in Bristol, we recommend getting in touch now.

Why Use a Mortgage Broker in Bristol?

Aiming to Take Your Stress Away

One of the primary factors in why home movers & first time buyers in Bristol use a Mortgage Broker in Bristol, is to help the process of buying a home go as quickly and as smoothly as it can go. For many, the home buying process can be a very stressful experience and for our customers, it’s a comforting relief to know they have got someone on their side to deal with the hard parts, with availability to answer any questions they may have.

Your dedicated Mortgage Advisor will work incredibly hard to try and ensure that you obtain the cheapest or at least most favourable mortgage outcome for your personal needs. This level of dedication and passion for our work applies no matter the mortgage type. Whether you’re making your first purchase, a second purchase or you wish to Remortgage, we put everything we have into our service, to ensure our customers have the best outcome available to them.

When Should I Get Mortgage Advice in Bristol?

If you’re looking at taking out mortgage advice when buying a home, we would personally recommend talking to a Mortgage Advisor in Bristol as early on in the process as you can. Your trusted member of the Moneyman team will be able to help you work out roughly how much you’ll be able to pay per month, as well as how much you may be able to borrow.

Different lenders each have different criteria, so speaking to an expert in the field, with a wealth of knowledge surrounding these criteria, will be of a great benefit to you. If you know what you are able afford well in advance of making an application, it may help you avoid any potential future disappointment. 

Communication and responsiveness are also a large part of what we do. We aim to ensure all of our customers are kept informed about the progress of their mortgage application by email, so you are fully aware of what is going on and where the process is headed next. If something ever goes wrong or you have any questions, we are always available at the end of the telephone, ready to help you out in any way we can.

Free From Estate Agents, Banks or Building Societies

A trusted and loyal Mortgage Broker will work for the customer and not the Lender. This is something that is important to remember throughout your process. Our team are firmly in your corner, sometimes having to

The Different Types of Mortgages Explained in Bristol

Mortgage Advice in Bristol for Different Situations

When you start out looking for a mortgage first time buyers in Bristol and home movers will soon realise that there are lots of different options available. Below you will see a list of the most popular types of mortgages available on the market and hopefully.  If you have any questions regarding any of the below mortgage options, then please do not hesitate to contact us.

What is a fixed rate mortgage?

A fixed-rate mortgage means that your mortgage payments are going to stay the same for a set period of time. You can set the length of which you want to fix your payments for, typically this being 2, 3 or 5 years or longer. No matter what happens to inflation, interest rates or the economy you know that your mortgage payment, usually your biggest outgoing, will not change.

What is a tracker mortgage?

A tracker mortgage means that your interest rate will track the Bank of England’s base rate. So in other words, the lender that you are with does not actually set the rate themselves. You will be paying a percentage above the Bank of England base rate. In an example, if the base rate is 1% and you are tracking at 1% above base rate, that means you will be paying a rate of 2%.

What is a repayment mortgage?

When you take out a repayment mortgage this means that each month you are paying capital and interest combined. So as long as you keep your payments going for the full length of the mortgage term, the mortgage balance is guaranteed to be paid off at the end and the property becomes yours.

This is the most risk-free way to pay your capital back to the lender, in the early years it is mainly the interest that you are paying and your balance will reduce very slowly especially if you have taken out a 25, 30 or 35-year term. This situation switches in the last ten years or so of your mortgage, where your payments are paying off more capital than interest and the balance will come down much faster.

What is an interest only mortgage?

Whilst many buy to let mortgages in Bristol are set up on an interest-only basis, it is much more difficult to get a residential property on an interest-only basis.

It is much less likely for lenders to offer an interest-only product now.  However, there are certain circumstances where this can be an option. These include downsizing when you are older or have other investments that you will use to pay the capital back. Lenders are very strict when it comes to offering these products now and the loan to values is a lot lower than back in the day.

What is an offset mortgage?

With an offset mortgage, the lender will set you up a savings account to go alongside your mortgage account. How this works is that let’s say you have a mortgage balance of £100,000 and £20,000 is deposited into your savings account, you only pay interest on the difference, so in this case, £80,000. This can be a very efficient way of managing your money, especially if you are a higher rate taxpayer.

Need a Mortgage Agreement in Principle in Bristol?

An (AIP) Agreement in Principle or as some people call it a Decision in Principle, is where you pass a lenders credit score to qualify for a potential mortgage.

It’s handy for the first time buyer in Bristol to have an Agreement in Principle ready, and this will help support any offer they made.

In some cases, you may be able to negotiate a lower price if you obtain one of these as it gives the seller confidence that you are serious about having the funds to proceed.  

Will obtaining an Agreement in Principle Affect my Credit Score?

We see more Lender choose to go with a soft credit search. However, some may still affect your credit score. Additionally, this can be the case if you decide to go with a hard inquiry, but from our experience, a soft search should leave your credit score unaffected.

Soft searches don’t dig as deeply as hard searches, though you can trust that the Lender made the correct choice either way.

Should I avoid hard credit checks?

As long as you don’t do it regularly, then the odd hard search should not male too much of a difference. It only becomes a problem if you start having multiple hard searches within a small space of time.

In any case, if your credit rating is right and you know it, do not let this put you off, especially if taking a hard search with that Lender is the best deal.

Is an Agreement in Principle a guarantee that I will get the Mortgage?

Sadly there are no guarantees that having an Agreement in Principle will get you a mortgage. The Lender will still need to see all your documents, and only then will an Underwriter make the final decision.

Often customers have gotten in touch getting because they get declined at the application stage, due to missing some small print in their Agreement in Principle.

You will need to provide ID to prove that you are genuine, payslips to prove you earn the amount you claimed, and bank statements to prove you conduct your finances before a lender offers your case.

Can I make an offer without an Agreement in Principle?

It is possible to make an offer without an Agreement in Principle. However, we strongly would not recommend it. An Estate Agent with credibility will want you to prove you can proceed.

How Long Does it take to get an Agreement in Principle?

It is possible to obtain an Agreement in Principle within 24 hours of speaking with a Mortgage Advisor in Bristol.

How Long Does an Agreement in Principle Last?

Usually, an Agreement in Principle will expire after 30-90 days. You do not need to worry, though as this does not mean you should apply for the first house you find.

If your Agreement in Principle expires, you can quite easily have it refreshed when you are ready to make an offer. Finding a mortgage only to be declined a mortgage can understandably be disappointing. As such, we recommend getting an Agreement in Principle as early as possible.

How to Improve your Credit Score in Bristol

Especially for first time buyers in Bristol the higher your credit score, the more chance you have of your mortgage application will be accepted. No one is guaranteed to get a mortgage though, and Lenders have their internal scoring systems. 

Each Lender has developed its system of scoring over the years. Do not worry if you fail with one Lender. Other mortgage lenders may be more forgiving. It is your Mortgage Advisor’s job to match you to the right Lender, hopefully, the first time, but this is not an exact science. Both you and your Mortgage Advisor want the same thing, which is that you end up with the best deal available to you. 

There are several different credit reference agencies in the UK, including Experian and Equifax. It is a good idea to check as many of these agencies as possible to get a rounded picture of your credit score. Also, one of the agencies may be holding incorrect data. Checking with several agencies will help you identify any such discrepancies. We personally would recommend the use of Check My File as this brings these varying scores under one platform for you to look at.

Avoid Unnecessary Credit Searches

Multiple credit searches can harm your score. Be careful when using price comparison websites which are significant culprits of credit searching on individuals. If you know you want to apply for a mortgage soon, it is wise to avoid using for any other credit. While having some confidence and paying it back is a good thing for your score, in the long run, Lenders do not like to see you increasing your borrowings just before making a mortgage application. 

Check You Are on the Voter’s Roll

Being on the electoral roll adds many points onto your score. It indicates stability and Lenders like that. Ensure your name gets spelled correctly and that it’s your current address is registered, not an old one. If not logged, it is easy to do so online. 

Do not Run Close to Your Maximum Limit 

If you max out your card each month that will reduce your score. Using a credit card and paying off the balance in full each month is preferable. However, this indicates that you are good at managing your money. Worst of all would be exceeding an agreed card limit or overdraft. Lenders want to know that you take your finances seriously. 

Check Your Address History

Quite often it can appear that you are living in two places at the same time on your credit report. In any case, this occurs because you may have forgotten to tell one of your credit providers that you have moved to a new house. Check all addresses gets spelt correctly. If you have lived in a flat, this can be tricky as the flat/apartment number can get formatted in different ways. 

Close Any Unused Credit Accounts

You should contact the providers of store/credit cards you no longer use and get the account closed. In the short term, this can harm your score briefly as the credit reference cannot tell if it’s you are closing the account down or the provider. In any case, this is also a good thing to do to reduce your chance of falling victim for fraud should you not notice you have lost a card you do not use regularly. 

If you have a family member or ex-partner connected to you, then this could be affecting your score. You will not be able to get the financial association removed if the account is still live though. To remove one of these links, you should contact the credit reference agencies and make a request.

Many consumers feel that credit scoring is an unfair way of Lenders assessing applications. Lenders feel differently as it is much cheaper for them to operate this way.

Send an up to date copy of your credit report to your Mortgage Advisor upfront, and you will increase your chances of being accepted the first time. The more your Advisor knows about your finances, the better. Also, there are still some smaller Lenders out there that do not credit score. These Lenders do it the old-fashioned manual way, although they will always have specific rules about the number of defaults and CCJs they will allow. 

Bristolmoneyman.com & Bristolmoneyman are trading styles of UK Moneyman Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

UK Moneyman Limited is Registered in England, No. 6789312 | Registered Address: 10 Consort Court, Hull, HU9 1PU.

Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

We are entered on the Financial Services Register No. 627742 at www.register.fca.org.uk

Equity Release Council LogoSolla Later Life Logo
Facebook Image Twitter Image Instagram Image YouTube Image LinkedIn Image SpotifyImage
Speak to an Advisor - It's Free Speak to an Advisor - It's Free
We use cookies to enhance your customer experience. More detailsGot It