With the fast evolving ‘online shopping’ experience, you might ask yourself ‘why would I bother using a mortgage broker when I can compare deals myself on the internet?’

Since April 2014, following the Mortgage Market Review, getting a mortgage has become rather more complex. Lenders are required to be extra vigilant when assessing new applications and are asking detailed questions as part of their underwriting process. Affordability remains a crucial factor.

Meeting lenders criteria is also something often overlooked by borrowers. Not understanding certain requirements could sometimes result in an application being declined. However, a decline doesn’t necessarily mean that you are not eligible for a mortgage – it could simply mean you don’t meet that lenders criteria. A qualified mortgage broker should be able to tell you before an application is submitted whether you are likely to fall outside of a certain lenders criteria.

A lot of reputable, qualified mortgage brokers will have access to the comprehensive market – or ‘whole of market’ – meaning that they can compare hundreds of products at the same time. As the broker will not be tied to a specific mortgage lender, you can be confident that they will recommend the best deal for your personal circumstances (although you should be aware that there are some mortgage brokers who are tied to certain lenders). Their systems will usually allow them to filter out certain products too dependent on the requirements of the individual borrower. For example, some people like to ask for mortgages with free valuations or free legal packages. These searches can be done within a matter of minutes (once the broker has collected certain important pieces of information about you) saving you a lot of time and effort!

One of the main things a good mortgage broker can offer is a vast knowledge of the industry. This can be especially beneficial for borrowers who are struggling to find a suitable mortgage due to their personal circumstances. This could be poor credit, self-employment, offshore working, age, large personal loans and other constraints. It is also great for borrowers who know exactly what they want but just don’t know how to find it or simply don’t have the time!

Mortgage brokers are also being recognised by lenders, with some lenders offering products that are exclusively available through a mortgage broker. Borrowers will not see these products when making comparisons on the internet and they will probably not be told about them when visiting their local bank. At the same time though, there are some banks who offer ‘direct only’ deals which are only available if you go directly to your bank.

In conclusion, a mortgage broker can be an excellent source of information and invaluable when applying for a mortgage. With up to date market knowledge, good relationships with lenders, familiarity with lender criteria and access to hundreds of different mortgage deals you can be confident you are in good hands. And what’s more, a broker will find the time to chase cases on behalf of borrowers where necessary.