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The latest in our guest blog series, we speak with Anthony Hall, New Business Director for independent financial services company Censeo. With the mortgage application process seeming confusing for many, Anthony runs through the ‘need to knows’ and how to best prepare for a meeting with a mortgage advisor.



Mortgage Broker vs Financial Advisor – Who should I speak to, and what information can they give me?

This is a question we’re asked a lot as it can seem quite confusing. Usually, a financial advisor guides you through the whole spectrum of long-term financial planning, such as investments and pension planning, while a mortgage broker has very specialist knowledge on mortgage products and processes. Mortgage brokers not only help you determine how much money you can borrow to buy a house, they’ll also help you find the best mortgage for your personal circumstances, and guide you through the financial process from start to finish.


Both are well placed to help you with the financial element of your home buying journey – a financial advisor can help you plan ahead, but a mortgage broker will usually have access to more information and lending options, which could get you a better deal.


Variety and Choice 

When you’re purchasing a home, you have the option of either going directly to a lender, such as a bank or a building society, or going through a mortgage broker. Working with a bank or building society may seem easier if you are an existing customer, however you are limited to only using the products they can offer and you are subject to their specific criteria. By working with a mortgage broker, you will have a wider choice of lenders on the market. We will look at everything on offer and see which could suit you best, depending on your personal circumstances. Additionally, mortgage brokers will often be able to get exclusive products with lenders, that might not be available if you go directly to the bank.


Knowledge of Government Schemes 
If you choose to work with a mortgage broker, it is important to choose the right one, especially if you’re buying a home through an affordable scheme, like Help to Buy or Shared Ownership. All mortgage brokers should have a general understanding of Help to Buy and Shared Ownership, but their knowledge may not necessarily be to the extent you need to help you choose a specific scheme.


Working to Deadlines

Typically, you will have a deadline to exchange contracts and complete on your home purchase, so it is helpful to have a specialist mortgage advisor who is used to working to those deadlines. Using a specialist solicitor which the mortgage advisor has a relationship with will also help.


How should I prepare for meeting my mortgage broker?

Both a mortgage broker and a financial advisor can help you understand what you can afford before you start looking, so it’s a good idea to meet with one as soon as you can.


Statements, payslips and budgets

You should do as much research as possible before buying your first home and there are a few things you can prepare ahead of starting your search. When you first meet with your broker or advisor, it’s best to bring bank statements from the previous six months as well as payslips from the previous three months, and proof of a deposit. A budget planner – just a simple spreadsheet of your monthly outgoings – and your checklist of things that you want in your first home are also useful to have to hand.


Check your Credit 

It’s also a good idea to have a recent credit report when you meet your broker. Lenders will run these checks when you apply for a mortgage with them, so it’s good to be ahead of the game. There are plenty of companies allow you to check your score online, such as Experian and Clearscore, who will check your credit score and issue a report for free.


For more information or to speak to one of Censeo’s impartial mortgage advisors directly, visit

 L&Q’s Sales Team are on hand to help you at every step of your home buying journey. Click here to see a full list of currently available homes, and to get in touch with a member of the team.