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Questions to Ask Your Mortgage Broker

Paul Coss - Co-founder and Chief Customer Officer 23rd February 2021

The mortgage world can be confusing, so it’s a great idea to use a mortgage broker (like our Mortgage Experts) who can help you through the process.

Buying a home is probably the biggest purchase that you’ll ever make, so it’s important to fully understand your options, get the right advice and feel confident you’re getting the best mortgage for you.

We’ve listed the top questions you should ask a broker before you commit.

Question 1: How much will I pay for your services?

Nearly all brokers will charge for their services. They’ll usually let you know straight away how much they charge, and when you’ll need to pay. While it can seem like another cost on top of an already expensive process, using a broker really will save you money in the long run.

When working with a Haysto Mortgage Expert, how much you'll pay depends on your unique situation. If they can’t help you, you won’t pay a penny. We're not the cheapest, but other brokers can’t do what we do.

When you work with us, you’re paying for your Mortgage Expert's time and expertise. The fee you'll pay reflects the complexity of your situation. Working with a specialist saves you far more money in the long run.

If you don’t work a simple 9-5 or have squeaky clean credit, the odds are never in your favour. Our team has spent years getting to know specialist lenders - the ones that use human underwriters and treat customers as individuals. Our experts have seen it all and have a proven track record of getting mortgages for people who’ve only ever heard "NO".

See how it works

Question 2: Are you FCA regulated?

Brokers usually have many years of experience in the finance industry, and have to achieve a mortgage advice qualification certified by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It’s important to check an advisor’s qualifications before they get to work. 

All Haysto Mortgage Experts are qualified and regulated by the FCA. Make an enquiry. 

Question 3: How many mortgage lenders do you work with?

Some mortgage brokers only work with specific lenders, meaning you have a limited choice of mortgage options if you use them. It’s best to work with a ‘whole of market’ broker - someone who’s free to find a mortgage for you from any lender.

At Haysto, we're not loyal to lenders, we're loyal to you.

Question 4: Do you deal with complex situations?

If your application isn’t straightforward, you need to know if your broker has experience with people in your circumstances. If you have a bad credit history or complex income such as self-employed, it’s best to be upfront about it. A broker can then fill you in on how they’ve helped people similar to you.

A lot of mainstream mortgage brokers and lenders prefer people who fit into boxes - they're just not set up to deal with situations that aren't straightforward. If you go directly to a bank for a mortgage, they might not have the right experience and you could be refused needlessly. A specialist mortgage broker (like us!) will have the knowledge and the contacts to know how best to deal with your unique situation.

Question 5: How much can I borrow?

This is the big question. How much you’ll be able to borrow on a mortgage will be decided by a few factors, not just by how much you earn. Your mortgage advisor will carry out an affordability questionnaire to check how you might handle your monthly repayments, and what would happen if your situation suddenly changed. 

They’ll also look at your credit history, employment situation, how much you’re already borrowing on credit cards or loans, and what deposit you’re able to put down.

Want a rough idea of how much you could borrow? Use our Mortgage Affordability Calculator.

Question 6: What deposit will I need?

How much deposit you’ll need to put down will depend on a few things. You tend to unlock the better deals the more money you can put down up front. 

Generally, at least 10% of a property's value is a good deposit for a mortgage. It's possible to buy a home with a 5% using government schemes, but you may not get the most competitive rates. You can learn about the different help schemes for first time buyers in our Guide.

However, some lenders might ask you to put down a larger deposit if you have bad credit issues or are self-employed. Your mortgage broker will work to find you the best deal with a deposit that won’t break the bank. Read more in our Guide: How Much Deposit Do I Need to Buy a House in the UK?

Question 7: What type of mortgage is best for me?

It’s in your broker’s interest to find the right mortgage deal for you. They have a duty of care to ensure that you get the right deal for you and that you don’t get a mortgage you can’t afford. This is a legal requirement. 

If your broker doesn’t recommend a suitable mortgage and can’t justify why they’ve recommended that particular mortgage to you, then you can complain and claim compensation. So it’s very much in their interest to find you the right mortgage for you, at the right rate. 

Question 8: What documents do you need?

A good broker will guide you through the entire mortgage process. That includes helping you put together an application that looks great to mortgage lenders. You should get ahead of the game by finding out what documents you need and gathering the paperwork ahead of time.

Typically, you’ll need:

  • Three months of payslips, or accounts if self-employed

  • Three months of bank statements

  • Your last P60

  • Proof of ID such as passport or driving license

  • Utility bills from the last three months to prove your address (your name will need to be on them). Also ensure you’re on the electoral roll

  • Details of all outgoings and financial commitments, including credit card and loan repayments

  • Proof of your deposit (a gifted deposit will need a bank statement and letter of confirmation from the person giving it to you)

  • Your solicitor’s details

  • The estate agent’s details

You should be prepared to wait around a month from submitting your application to getting a mortgage offer. Mortgages can take a long time because they involve so many thorough checks and processing of information. It's best to be as prepared as possible so that you're ready to go when the time comes. Read more in our Guide: What Do Mortgage Lenders Look For in Mortgage Applicants?

Question 9: What are all the costs involved?

Buying a property can be an expensive time. Along with saving for a deposit, you’ll need to budget for:

  • Building survey fee

  • Solicitor's fee

  • Removal company costs

  • Building and contents insurance

  • Mortgage arrangement and valuation fees; and

  • Stamp Duty if applicable

  • Mortgage broker’s fee

Not all of these fees will be due at the same time, so you may have some wiggle room over a few months. You can ask your Mortgage Expert for advice and recommendations.

Question 10: What else can you help me with?

The primary purpose of a mortgage broker is to match you with the right mortgage deal. They’ll also take into account some of your wider mortgage needs too.

For example, they can help you protect your income, set up life insurance and other really important things you might not have thought about. 

If you build up a good relationship with your broker, they’ll always be able to help you in the future for any questions, or if you end up renegotiating your mortgage, remortgaging or buying another property. They’ll already know you and your unique situation, so you save time by using the same broker again.

Ready to meet your match? Our Mortgage Experts have a proven track record of making mortgages possible for people like you. Get started.


Our Mortgage Experts are fully-qualified with experience in bad credit, self-employed and complex mortgages. They have a proven track record of getting mortgages for people who’ve been rejected elsewhere.

useful links

Our guides

Applying for a mortgage or understanding your options shouldn't be confusing, yet there are just so many myths doing the rounds and it's not easy to know where to turn to get the right advice.

Our Calculators

Our calculators give you an idea of what you might be able to borrow, what's affordable and a rough estimate of the kind of property prices you can start to look at.

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