I am looking at two main categories for this week’s column.
First off, it’s product transfers. These are the options the lender will give you to stay with them. So, you’ve been with your current lender through the term of your deal – normally a two year tracker ends after twenty four months, or your five year fixed rate might end on a specific end date. Either way, the lender will normally write out to you three months in advance to offer you the next ‘big deal’. Or is it? I’ve had one high street lender offer a client of ours a deal 0.3% higher. To put the boot in, they are also actively offering rates 0.5% lower to new clients. So, a client on 1.6% and wants to remain with their lender, who are offering them 1.9% to stay. The same lender is offering new customers 1.4%! So much for loyalty. We had another recently where the lender wrote out and offered the clients a great deal to stay. The client spoke to one of our mortgage advisers, who could offer a rate 0.1% lower, to stay with the SAME LENDER! It really pays to look around and double check that you are being offered the best deal. Plus, although the lender may not mention mortgage brokers in their renewal letter to you, nearly all lenders now offer product transfers through brokers.
Which brings me on to my second point, choice. It is still tough to get a mortgage in the current climate and now, more than ever, you should do your homework and speak to a ‘whole of market’ mortgage adviser and compare all mortgages available. If the person you are speaking to is not offering whole of market advice, i.e. they just review a panel of selected lenders, you may not be getting the best product for your needs and/or requirements. For some of the larger brokers, lenders may even put one of their own underwriters in-house, so that your application can be processed within their offices. This helps with speed, instructing valuations and dealing with queries quickly.
And remember, you can place your mortgage with whoever you like. You are under no obligation to anyone, despite what some may say! Everyone covets your business and there appears that there may be some unusual and possibly non-compliant tactics being used to gain your signature. Bedside manner counts! If you don’t like their stance, or they’re ‘forcing’ you to use them, walk away….