You'll be guaranteed the best mortgage deal for you and they’ll take care of everything – it's stress free and you'll save time.
Find and apply for a mortgage yourself. You probably won't get the best deal and there's lots of paperwork.
Whether you're a first time buyer, or moving home, get the best deal for you.
Comparing mortgage deals can save you £100s per month.
Make the most of your investment with the best mortgage deal.
To help you decide, we’ve put together the average rating from Trustpilot and Nuts About Money.
Ready to find your next property? Or maybe you’re buying your first home and not quite sure how to get started. You might even be a mortgage pro and just looking to find a new deal. We’ve got you covered. Here’s the best way to compare mortgages and find the best mortgage deal for you.
We’ll cover everything you need to know in 7 easy steps (don’t worry, they’re all super quick), and the best part is, you don’t need to do much – you can leave it to the experts to handle everything.
This bit is super important, but also super easy. You’ll need to have some idea of how much you can borrow for a mortgage, firstly so you’ll know what your budget actually is if you’re shopping for a new home, but also, so you can find the best deal for you when comparing mortgages.
If you’re switching deals, which is called remortgaging, and not looking to borrow more cash, you can skip this step – as you’ll simply be looking for a mortgage for the same amount (although a bit less than you originally got as you’ve probably been paying it off).
Here’s the easy bit, to find a very rough estimate of how much you can borrow, multiply your income (e.g. your salary) by 4.5. So, if your salary is currently £30,000, you’ll be able to borrow £135,000 (4.5x).
However, to get a real indication of how much you can borrow, you’ll need to factor in things such as your household bills and any debt you might have. That’s why it’s best to speak to a mortgage broker. They’ll be able to do this all for you.
If you’re not sure where to find a great mortgage broker, we’ve done the research, here’s the best mortgage brokers (some are free too).
Nuts About Money tip: when you apply for a mortgage your credit score will also be checked. So make sure it’s in good shape. If you have a bad credit score, here’s a guide on bad credit mortgages.
How much you can borrow will also be affected by how much deposit you have. If you have a low deposit, you likely won’t be able to borrow as much as you could. That’s because often you’ll need at least 5% of the property value as a deposit, but sometimes 10% (as a minimum).
So, if you had a low deposit, let’s say £5,000, the most you’d be able to borrow is enough to buy a £100,000 property, as that’s 5% (so you could borrow £95,000). Even though you could actually borrow £135,000 if you had a £30,000 salary. Make sense?
Sometimes, it’s better to save a bit more so you can buy the property you’re after (although easier said that done – it’s pretty difficult to get on the property ladder these days).
If you can't save anymore, you could look at guarantor mortgages or a joint borrower sole proprietor mortgage (where your family can help out). Check out Tembo¹ – they have some great options to boost your deposit and borrow more.
There’s also a government scheme called the mortgage guarantee scheme which encourages mortgage lenders (the people who give out mortgages) to lend to people with just a 5% deposit.
To make things even easier, you could simply use a mortgage calculator – this is slightly more accurate, although it won’t take into account your own personal circumstances, such as your day-to-day bills. So, it’s great for a quick indication, but you won’t get a totally accurate number until you speak with a mortgage broker.
Once you’ve got a good idea how much you can borrow, you’ll be able to work out your loan-to-value, or LTV. This is key to determining what sort of mortgage interest rate you’ll be able to get.
LTV sounds complicated, but really it’s quite simple – it’s how much of the property is covered by the mortgage. For instance, if you buy a property with a 5% deposit, you’ll be getting a mortgage for the remaining 95%, and therefore your LTV is 95%. Simple right?
If you’re looking to upgrade your home to a bigger, more expensive pad, you might be able to use your equity (the difference between the property price and the mortgage) as a deposit for the next home – and if your home has increased in value, you’ll have more equity to play with.
If you’re remortgaging, you’ll need to work out how much your house is worth now. Hopefully it’s gone up in value, and therefore your LTV has reduced.
This happens because the mortgage amount stays the same (well, slightly reduces as you pay it off), but the property price increases, so you have more ‘equity’ (that’s the bit of the property you own, rather than covered by a mortgage). So, you might be able to get cheaper rates!
When you switch deals, your new mortgage lender will value the property for you too, so a rough idea for now is fine.
Note: mortgage lenders only work in 5% intervals, so even if you have an LTV of say 66%, you’ll still have to get a mortgage with 70% LTV.
To get a very rough idea of what sort of mortgage interest rate you could get, you can use a mortgage comparison table¹. They’re super simple to use, and will show real mortgages that are based on how much you can borrow and your LTV (although the deals are often slightly out of date by the time you apply).
Alongside the interest rate of the mortgage, it’s also good to look at:
Why look at all the extra stuff rather than the interest rate? Well, it all comes down to the overall cost of the initial period. Here’s where it might get a bit confusing, that's the cost of the mortgage during the period of time at the beginning where you get the lower mortgage rate (called initial rate period or a fixed-rate period). Let’s run through that quickly first.
With most mortgages, at the start of the mortgage, there’s normally a period of time where the interest is fixed (stays the same) at a lower rate, and this is normally 2 or 5 years, but can be as long as 10, and sometimes even longer.
Mortgage lenders (the people who give out mortgages) normally do this to compete for your business, so the mortgage rate looks lower, and the shorter the fixed rate period, the lower the interest rate can be. But they can be sneaky and offset this discount with fees (we’ll cover that below).
After this fixed rate period, the interest rate will normally increase to what’s called the lender’s standard variable rate (SVR), this is their ‘default’ mortgage rate, and it’s normally a lot more expensive. At this point, for most people, it’s the best time to switch mortgages (remortgage) to a newer, better one with a lower interest rate (another fixed rate deal).
Back to overall cost, this is the total cost of the mortgage over the fixed rate period, so the 2 or 5 years we mentioned (or more). And includes all the fees the mortgage lender might add in, plus all the monthly mortgage payments added together.
Using this number is a great way of comparing mortgages rather than just using the interest rate – as often with lower interest rate mortgages there’s more fees – mortgage lenders are trying to game the system and think you’ll just be looking for the cheapest mortgage rate (and a lot of people do!).
Note: there’s also something called APRC (Annual Percentage Rate of Charge). This calculates the interest rate on the whole length of the mortgage (the mortgage term), e.g. 25 years. This isn’t really useful these days, and you’ll most likely be remortgaging at the end of your fixed rate period to a much cheaper new deal.
Working out the overall cost yourself can get quite complicated, a mortgage comparison table¹ should give you a good indication and will do it for you, but you could also skip this step and speak with a mortgage broker who will work this all out for you.
If you’re not sure where to find a good mortgage broker for you, check out the best mortgage brokers. We also recommend Habito¹ – they’re fee free, have great service and you’re guaranteed to get the best mortgage deal because they search every mortgage in the UK.
There’s a few different types of mortgages – they’re not all the same! All suited to different people and their individual circumstances. This is another reason why getting expert advice from a mortgage broker is super important. Here’s a few of the most common types:
And within those types of mortgages, there’s different types of interest rates you can get:
Pretty confusing isn’t it? Don’t worry, you’ll often just get a regular repayment mortgage, but it’s worth going through all of your options with a mortgage broker as you might benefit from a different type in certain situations.
We recommend that you don’t speak to your bank or building society about getting a mortgage. They can only offer the mortgages that they have, so very few. You need to compare all the mortgages available out there to find the right one for you, and that's over 20,000! It’s unlikely your current bank will have the best mortgage for you, and the difference can be £1,000s in savings every year.
We recommend using a mortgage broker to do this, and better yet, your bank or building society’s mortgages will show up when your broker searches, so there really is no need to speak to them.
If you haven’t already, now’s the time to speak to a mortgage broker (also called a mortgage advisor). We call these the superheroes of mortgages – and using a good one can save you a lot of time, stress and money.
They’ll simply handle the whole mortgage for you, compare mortgage rates, even all the application paperwork, and you’ll be guaranteed to find the best deal out there for you.
They’re not just perfect for first time buyers, but everyone looking for a new mortgage. That’s remortgagers and next home buyers too!
There’s only one golden rule – as that is you must use a mortgage broker that’s ‘whole-of-market’. That means they have the ability to search every mortgage deal out there to find the best deal for you (sometimes called searching the whole mortgage market).
If they don’t search the whole mortgage market, you can’t be sure you’re getting the best deal and could end up paying £100s more per month on your mortgage when you don’t need to.
They’ll also give you general mortgage advice, and make sure your finances are in the best shape to successfully get the mortgage.
On top of that, they know the in-and-outs of all of the different mortgage lenders, and will know which lenders are right for you – ones with the highest chance of approving you for your mortgage.
Using a mortgage broker is really a no-brainer, and there’s a lot out there – but they’re not all great. Lucky for you, we’ve done the research to find the best ones, and here they are:
Tembo is an all-round amazing mortgage broker, in fact, they're award-winning, and not just online.
They can help with pretty much every mortgage out there, from buying a home to switching deals, and on top of that, have unique options to increase your borrowing such as an Income Boost¹ and Deposit Boost¹.
They'll handle the whole mortgage for you too, and the service is great.
Habito will find the best mortgage for you, all for free, and with great service. But better than that, if you’re buying a home, they’ll handle the whole process for you – that’s the legal work and survey, and everything else. It’s a huge stress and time saver, and comes at a great price.
Although good mortgage brokers will check the whole market for the best deal for you, some mortgage lenders don’t actually share their mortgage rates with most mortgage brokers (although there’s only a couple), and so to get a full view of what deals are out there for you, you could look at these mortgage lenders too – and these are called direct-only deals (as you have to apply direct to the lender).
There is one mortgage broker who checks these for you too, and that’s Habito¹ – one of the many reasons we love them so much (they’re also fee free).
Once, you’ve worked out how much you can borrow and are all set up with a mortgage broker who’s found you a great mortgage deal – now’s the time to make things real with a mortgage agreement in principle.
A mortgage agreement in principle (or simply a mortgage in principle), is an offer from a mortgage lender saying they’re happy to give you a mortgage. Whoop!
The ‘in principle’ bit means that providing nothing changes, such as changing your job, or your bills suddenly increase a lot, or you take out any debt (such as buying a new car), they’ll give you the mortgage. So, don’t do anything until you’ve got the property!
They normally last between 3 to 6 months, after that you’ll have to reapply. But don't worry if this happens, your mortgage broker has all your details, so it won't take long.
The mortgage agreement will show the interest rate they’re happy to give you, the monthly repayments, overall cost, and everything else you need to know about your mortgage. If you have any questions your mortgage broker will be able to help.
And now the exciting bit, you can now officially make an offer on your dream home! Good luck!
Note: if you’re house hunting early on, some estate agents will ask for a mortgage in principle before they show you properties. You can either get a mortgage agreement in principle from a mortgage lender, or if you’re early on in your search, you can get a quick and easy one online with Habito’s mortgage in principle¹ tool (it’s just not from a mortgage lender).
If you’re switching deals, you can simply progress onto a ‘full mortgage application’, this is where you apply for the actual mortgage. Just let your mortgage broker know you’re happy with the mortgage deal and they’ll apply and arrange it all for you.
Made your offer on your dream home and it’s been accepted? Congratulations!
Now’s the time to get the ball moving and apply for the mortgage.
This bit is super easy too – again you don’t need to do anything, simply let your mortgage advisor know you’ve had your offer accepted and you’re ready to apply! They’ll handle everything for you, and chase the lender if things start to slow down.
This bit can take a while, and it’s normally up to the mortgage lender how long it takes – they’ll want to do some checks and make sure the property is valued at the right price for the mortgage.
If speed is an issue for you, mention that to your mortgage advisor early on, they’ll know which lenders are the fastest.
If you haven’t yet told your mortgage broker you’re happy with the mortgage deal they’ve found you, now’s the time. They’ll take care of the application for you.
Normally a remortgage is pretty quick, and you could have the new deal all sorted within a few days. Although it all depends on the mortgage lender.
If you’re remortgaging, the mortgage lender will normally handle the legal side of things too, you won’t need to find your own solicitor. Which is great news, as you won’t have to worry about any extra fees. Here’s the full remortgage cost to learn more.
If you’re buying a home, once you’ve found your dream home and had your offer accepted, in order for you to buy the property, there’s some legal work that needs to be done, and this is called conveyancing.
It’s handled by a conveyancer (a property solicitor), or a general solicitor. A good one will take care of everything and can even speak to the mortgage broker and lender for you.
When buying a home, often, you’ll need to find your own conveyancer. And where do you find a good one of those? It’s a bit of a pain, and a bad one can really slow down the process (and there’s a lot of bad ones out there unfortunately)...
However again, we’ll mention Habito¹ here – they’ll actually handle all the legal work for you too, alongside the mortgage, so everything is all in one single place, making it super easy and much quicker. Check out our Habito review to learn more about this.
Remortgaging is pretty much the same as getting a mortgage in the first place, as it’s often just a mortgage on the same property. However, it’s still worth comparing remortgage deals and finding the best new deal out there, rather than sticking with the same mortgage lender – you'll probably be able to save a lot of cash.
Also, as we’ve mentioned it’s a great idea to remortgage after the fixed rate period of your mortgage deal ends – and you often should. Make sure you set a reminder around 6 months before your current mortgage deal ends, so you have plenty of time to start looking for a great new deal.
Why? Your mortgage rate will normally increase when your fixed rate period ends. Also, if you try and change your mortgage before the fixed rate period ends, you’ll likely have to pay a fee for leaving early. This is called an early repayment charge (ERC).
Early repayment charges are pretty big, normally for a 5 year fixed rate mortgage, they’ll start at 5% of the whole mortgage amount, and go down 1% per year until the 5th year (so 1% in year 5). And with a 2 year mortgage, they might start at 2% for the first year and then 1% the following year. However, this all depends on the mortgage, and you should check this before taking out the mortgage. If you are unsure, ask your mortgage broker.
The good news is that once the fixed rate period ends, there’s no fees! You’re free to remortgage to a new, better deal, for no charge.
If you’re looking for a buy-to-let mortgage, it’s exactly the same process! All that’s different is the type of mortgage you’ll get from the mortgage lender. These are normally interest only mortgages (but can still be fixed rate mortgages or variable rate mortgages) – so make sure you let your mortgage broker know you’re looking for a buy-to-let mortgage.
They’ll have different interest rates and there’s different criteria from the lender in order to get the mortgage. Instead of the mortgage lender assessing your salary and your personal financial circumstances, the property itself will be assessed, such as how much rent it will make per month.
Fairly straightforward isn’t it? The best way to compare mortgages is to follow these easy steps:
If you use a mortgage broker it's super easy to get a mortgage, they will do the heavy lifting for you.
Using a mortgage broker means you’ll be guaranteed to get the best mortgage deal for you, which can be the difference of £100s per month. They’ll also match you with the right mortgage lender for you too – one that’s right for you based on your financial circumstances.
There’s just one rule, and it’s worth repeating, only use a mortgage broker that’s whole-of-market. One that can search every mortgage deal out there to find the best one for you!
If you’re not sure where to find a great mortgage broker, here’s the best mortgage brokers. Our top recommendation is Habito¹, they’re free, online, and have great service. Or, if you’d prefer to speak to an advisor, check out Tembo¹ – they’re just as great (but not free), and you could be speaking to an expert in just 10 minutes.
Good luck finding the best deal for you. We hope these easy to follow steps will help!