In a nutshell
We highly recommend using a mortgage advisor to find the best mortgage deal for you. However we don’t recommend Mortgage Advice Bureau, it’s super expensive and the customer service isn’t great. There’s much better alternatives out there. It’s a disappointing 1 star from us.
Mortgage Advice Bureau
cracked open 🥥
Found your dream home and ready to get a mortgage? Or, maybe you want to know how much you can borrow first? Or, perhaps you’re just trying to find a better deal. Well, using a mortgage advisor is definitely the right decision. But is Mortgage Advice Bureau the right mortgage advisor to use? Let’s find out.
The main benefit of using a mortgage broker is that they can search every mortgage deal out there to find the best deal for you (well the good ones can), and you can’t normally do this yourself – there’s over 20,000 mortgages out there! As a mortgage is such a big expense, being on the best deal can save you £100s per month.
Mortgage Advice Bureau can indeed search the whole market (that’s every deal), so you’re in good hands there. However, they can’t search direct-only deals (so deals mortgage brokers can’t get for you) – only Habito mortgages can search the whole market including direct-only deals.
But there’s also the fees to think about (and in mortgages and home-buying, these soon stack up), and of course there's customer service too – getting a mortgage can be super stressful, and you want to know your advisor is there with you, giving you the best service possible.
We’ll get into the details in a bit, but let’s first start by saying Mortgage Advice Bureau is very expensive! It’s crazy expensive actually. Especially these days when free mortgage advice comes as standard. What’s more, the customer service isn’t the best either.
Not sure where to find a good broker? Check out Habito¹, a great free online broker. Or, if you'd prefer to speak to an advisor, check out Tembo¹, you could be chatting to an expert it just 10 minutes.
If not, let’s run through Mortgage Advice Bureau in detail.
How Mortgage Advice Bureau works
Let’s first start by saying Mortgage Advice Bureau is not online. It’s an old-fashioned mortgage broker, so you’ll speak to them over the phone and via email. Although you’ll first have to call them up before you can continue over email.
Next, you'll provide all your personal information, things like your salary, age etc. When it comes to mortgages, everything is important (this will happen with all mortgage brokers). You’ll then have to give some details on what the property is you’re trying to buy, or the sort of property you are looking for, to get an idea of what type of mortgage you’ll need.
Or if you have a mortgage already, be prepared to have all the details of your current property to hand before you call them up.
Then, once your mortgage advisor has all your personal details and what you’re looking for, they can get to work. They’ll spend some time looking for the right mortgage deal for you and get back to you when they think they’ve found the right one.
This could take a few days, or it could take a few weeks – it’s all up to the mortgage advisor who handles your ‘case’. If they’re about to go on holiday, you might be waiting a while!
However, once you’ve got the mortgage quote, which should be one of the best deals out there for you, you can either choose to go ahead with the mortgage or try to find another one.
If you are happy to apply, they’ll handle all the paperwork on your behalf. Pretty great right? (All good mortgage brokers do this though).
And then it’s all up to the actual mortgage lender (the people who are giving you a mortgage) to do their own checks and get back to you with a real mortgage offer! That’s everything sorted mortgage wise!
By the way, if you’re buying a home, you’ll need to sort out a conveyancer (a property solicitor), to handle all the legal work, and a building survey to check the property is all in order. With all mortgage advisors you’ll need to do this yourself.
Well, everyone except Habito¹ (there's a reason why we love them so much). They will do all this for you, with their home-buying service, everything is all under one roof – it’s a big stress-reliever and time saver!
How much is Mortgage Advice Bureau?
Here’s where Mortgage Advice Bureau falls down big time compared to other brokers.
The standard fee is 0.3% of the mortgage amount. Ouch! So if you had a £300,000 mortgage it would cost you £900!
What's worse this, the fee can go all the way up to 1%, so £3,000 on a £300,000 mortgage! It all depends on what type of mortgage you’re after, and if you’re a more ‘complicated’ customer. For instance, first time buyers and customers with a bad credit rating can often take a bit more work and guidance, and so they charge more.
For the average traditional advisor elsewhere, you’re normally looking in the region of £500 for advice. Some are cheaper and some are more expensive, but it’s normally a fixed fee, rather than a fee linked to your mortgage amount, and you’ll be told beforehand.
If you're not sure what broker to use, we’ve got our own find a mortgage advisor service to find a local advisor for you – who will be cheaper, is whole-of-market and provide excellent service.
As we've mentioned, you can use an online mortgage broker for free. Their customer service is great, and they all work to your schedule (you fill out your details online), rather than arranging calls when the advisor has time in his schedule.
You can sort everything while you’re curled up on the TV watching the latest drama on Netflix. A big shout out to Habito, our recommended broker, Habito¹.
If you are wondering how some brokers can give away their service for free, mortgage advisors also get paid by the mortgage lender (they get commission), so they don’t actually need to charge the customer to make money.
As Mortgage Advice Bureau are very traditional, they only offer service over the phone. And often this is directly with your appointed mortgage advisor.
So it can be a bit hit or miss. You could be lucky and have a great mortgage advisor, the customer service and the support they provide could be excellent. Or, on the other hand, you might get a rubbish one, and their service be terrible.
Is Mortgage Advice Bureau safe?
Yep! It’s perfectly safe to get a mortgage with Mortgage Advice Bureau.
They are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which means they’ve been reviewed and approved to get you a mortgage.
It also means if they recommend you the wrong mortgage you are entitled to compensation.
Mortgage Advice Bureau customer reviews
For a mortgage broker the customer reviews are about average.
On the popular reviews website, Trustpilot, Mortgage Advice Bureau has a rating of 3.3 out of 5, and from over 280 reviews. That's pretty bad compared to their competitors.
Typical online mortgage brokers have ratings well above that. For instance Habito has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 from 1,000s of reviews – did we mention they were super popular?
If it wasn’t quite obvious, we’re not the biggest fans of Mortgage Advice Bureau.
We highly recommend using a mortgage advisor to get your mortgage, so you can be sure you’re getting the best mortgage for you. And Mortgage Advice Bureau does search the whole market (excluding direct deals).
However, their fees are hugely excessive, you’re looking at least 0.3% of your mortgage as a base fee, and it’s likely to be much more if you need more support or your circumstances are a bit more complicated.
These days, fee free mortgage advice is the norm, and typically the free ones are online mortgage brokers. Our favourite is Habito¹, as not only do you get the best mortgage deal, but they can handle all the legal work and surveys too. You don’t need to do a thing!
Plus with online brokers, everything works to your schedule rather than the advisors, and their customer service is excellent. With Mortgage Advice Bureau, everything depends on which advisor you get given, it’s very hit and miss, and a lot of customers are not impressed.
And so for those reasons, we’re giving Mortgage Advice Bureau 1 star. They’ll find you a mortgage but there’s much better options out there such as Habito¹ (here’s our Habito review too), and if you want more options, here’s the best mortgage brokers.
However, if you want to learn more about Mortgage Advice Bureau, here’s their website.