How To choose a Remortgage Company

When it comes time to choose a company for your remortgage, there are several options available. First, you can apply directly to a bank or building society for the mortgage product that most closely fits your need. Another option is to go through a mortgage broker, who acts as a middleman between you and the mortgage company to help you land the best deal and ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

A mortgage broker will usually cost more because you have to pay a broker fee on top of the regular costs involved with remortgaging. However, you often recoup that fee by getting a better deal than you can negotiate yourself. On the other hand, banks tend to offer special mortgage deals directly to customers that are not available through mortgage brokers.

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There are pros and cons to using a mortgage lender, and the final decision rests with whether this mortgage advisor will suit your needs better than working directly with a bank or building society.

We will talk more about choosing a mortgage broker in just a moment. First, let's look at three steps to choosing the best lender for your needs:

  • Research a number of lenders to find out what types of rates they are offering, fees they are charging, and services they are providing.
  • Research the quality of service you would receive from the lenders by reading reviews, talking to friends and family who have worked with the company, and perusing the company website.
  • Research the various loan options available so you know which product you are most interested in and can search for the lender that offers that specific product.

These initial steps will help you narrow down your choices in a mortgage lender. Once you have a short list of companies to choose from, it is time to contact the institution and ask a few questions.

7 Questions to Ask Your Remortgage Lender

You may have a relatively good idea of which lender will best meet your unique needs by researching their website and the loan packages they offer. However, it is always a good idea to contact the company directly and ask a few questions of your own before settling on a single bank or building society.

These seven questions will go far in helping you find the best mortgage lender for your needs:

  • What types of mortgage products do you offer?  With so many options to choose from, including fixed and variable rates and newer products like offset mortgages, it is important to find out exactly what the company offers. While you may have perused the website for details, you might get more information or learn about additional products by conversing with a representative from the company live.
  • What fees do you charge?  The fees were discussed above, and they can vary greatly from lender to lender. By talking to a company representative on the phone, you may discover that a particular institution is currently waiving legal fees or offering a break on their arrangement charges. When you talk to someone live, you also have the ability to negotiate for a better deal on loan fees. For example, some banks might take off some of the legal fees involved to make their company more attractive to potential borrowers.
  • How do I apply?  Some banks allow you to apply by phone or online, which is exceedingly more convenient than having to walk into a branch and make an appointment with a mortgage loan representative. However, you will probably need to make an appearance at least once or twice to turn in necessary documentation or sign on the dotted line to close the loan.
  • How long does the remortgage process typically take?  A remortgage can take anywhere from four to eight weeks to complete, depending on the lender’s current backlog.  While you may not get a completely accurate estimate, you will probably get a general idea of how busy a bank might be in their loan processing.
  • What kind of LTV do you require?  The LTV (loan to value ratio) considers the full valuation of the home minus the outstanding mortgage balance on the property. Most banks require an LTV between 75-90% to offer a remortgage on the property. Different products may also require a different LTV, so it is a good idea to know approximately what your current LTV is before you begin calling institutions with this question.
  • What other services do you provide?  If you choose a bank or building society for your remortgage, you may find that the institution also offers good deals on savings and current accounts for their mortgage customers. You may learn that by moving all of your financial business to a single institution, you enjoy serious savings on all of your products.

  • Are you authorized by the Financial Services Authority?  This is an important question to ensure that you are dealing with a legitimate mortgage bank in the UK. The company should be able to supply you with this information, but you can also check on the website of the FSA to ensure the bank you choose is included in their list of authorized lenders.


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