Lenders use a number of criteria to work out how much you can afford – including your income, your regular bills and any existing debt that you have. Major lenders such as RBS and Nationwide have affordability calculators – use these to get an idea of how much you can borrow and contact us to get more detailed advice.
In recent years the mortgage market has been very cautious, and lenders have insisted on deposits of at least 10% or even 20%. Since late 2013 lenders have begun to offer 95% mortgages through various government Help to Buy schemes, meaning you only need a deposit of 5%. But bear in mind that the lower the deposit, the higher the interest rate, so the more you’ll pay each month. Also, there are a number of other up-front costs associated with home buying. See our blog post 5 Home-buying Costs You Need to Know.
Whether you choose a fixed or variable rate mortgage depends on your attitude to risk, and whether you think mortgage rates are likely to rise. Do you need the security of knowing that at least for the next few years, your mortgage payments will not rise? Certainly mortgage rates have never been lower. For more information, read our guide to fixed and variable rates and contact us for the best deals and personalised illustrations of how much each mortgage could cost you.
As an impartial, whole-of-market broker, we have access to all the deals available – including those that are not advertised to the general public. You have absolutely nothing to lose by coming to us, because we only charge a fee if you successfully apply for a mortgage through us. If you think you’ve found a good deal already, why not see if we can beat it?
When you come to us for mortgage advice, we will first arrange a meeting when we can sit down with you and get to know your current situation and what you’re looking for in a mortgage. We can visit you at your home, you can come to us at our central Glasgow offices, or we can do this by phone. Before the appointment, it’s a good idea to get a copy of your credit report, details of your income, any borrowing, and savings. We will explain all this beforehand, so you’re prepared. After the appointment, we’ll research the mortgage market to find the best deal for your specific circumstances. We’ll then contact you to let you know your options and our recommendations. You are under no obligation at all. If you choose to apply for any of the mortgages we recommend, we can deal with all the paperwork for you. We know the criteria for each lender, so we don’t waste your time – and damage your credit rating – by applying for mortgages you are unlikely to qualify for. If and when you successfully complete on a mortgage (that is, the loan is approved and the funds are transferred) we then charge a modest fee for our advice and hard work.
The legal process of transferring ownership of property from one person to another must be carried out by a solicitor or licenced conveyancer, from making the initial offer to completing the sale. Each party in the sale must have their own representation, as the same firm cannot act in the best interest of both. You can search for a conveyancer at the Law Society of Scotland. Your MortgageExpert works with a small number of solicitors whom we recommend to our clients.
There are a number of different government schemes aimed at both first time buyers and home movers. You may even be able to get a Help to Buy mortgage for remortgaging. Each scheme has different eligibility. For clear, simple guides to each scheme, visit the Help to Buy section of Your Mortgage Expert.
Most lenders use credit scoring to make their decisions on whether to lend. A few take a more individual approach, having underwriters check each application, so you may have more of a chance with these specialist lenders. But if your credit rating is less than perfect you will find it much harder to get a mortgage, and if you do succeed, you may pay more as you are viewed as higher risk. If there are any errors on your credit report, it’s important to find these and have them corrected, as these could affect lenders’ decisions. That’s why we recommend you get a copy of your credit rating from Experian (£2), Equifax (£2) or Noddle (free) before talking to us. That way we can give you honest and realistic advice on your chances, and if appropriate, find the best lenders to approach on your behalf.
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Brought to you by Peter Dean
MA CA FCMI FABRP MCIArb MIPA
Peter Dean has helped thousands of people with quality money advice, through his well-known company Your Debt Expert. Peter is now helping even more people by offering quality whole-of-market mortgage advice.