Frequently asked questions

Some of the questions our mortgage experts are asked most often. If you have more questions, get in touch with us today.

When looking for advice on mortgages we understand how difficult it can be to get to the advice you need. Our mortgage FAQ can help you get to the answers you need quickly.

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When should I get mortgage advice when moving house?

It is a well know fact that moving home is one of the most stressful times of life. Speaking to a mortgage advisor early is a great way to reduce stress. You will clearly understand your budget before you begin negotiations and increase the likelihood of successfully securing a property.  

When should I get mortgage advice when separating?

Another life event which we would all rather avoid, is separating from our partner or spouse. In such an event it is unlikely that your mortgage will be high on your list of concerns. However, a call to your mortgage broker will likely help you better understand the next steps and enable you to make important decisions far easier. Your mortgage advisor may even be able to assist with letters, valuations or evidence which could be required if the court needs to be involved. 

Is it harder to get a mortgage if you are self employed?

You may have heard that its harder to get a mortgage if you are self employed. Technically this is not true, however, due to various factors it can often seem to be the case. If you are employed you will receive payslips which will make the evidence gathering process more easy. If you are self employed, you will need to provide different evidence. Speaking to a mortgage advisor prior to setting your heart on a property can help you better understand what will be required and reduce the likelihood of disappointment.

I am a first-time buyer, what advice do I need?

Being a first-time buyer can be an exciting but daunting time. In main, this is because you do not know what to expect and are likely getting advice from friends and family, which can be equally confusing as it can be helpful. Increasing your knowledge on the process can really help alleviate concerns as it will start to clear a path forward in your mind. Writing a list of your key concerns and questions before speaking to your advisor is a good step. Also, downloading our first-time buyer guide will give you a good base understanding. 

I am over 50, can I get a mortgage?

As the retirement age continues to creep up, lenders are constantly launching new products which can accommodate borrowers looking to extend their loan into later years. Ultimately everyone’s situation is unique, so, speaking to a whole-of-market broker is a good way to understand the full spectrum of products which could be available to you.

How much can I borrow?

Possibly the first question which springs to mind is “how much can I borrow?” Of course, this is different for each person and how much you can borrow will be dependent on several factors. Your earnings, credit liabilities and personal situation all play a part in the lenders decision when they work out how much you can borrow. Each lender has different criteria, so speaking to an expert who has whole of market access is a great start.

I am moving house, when should I get mortgage advice?

If you are considering moving house then speaking to your mortgage advisor should be high up on your list of priorities. Your mortgage advisor will be able to help you work out how much the move will cost as well as working out any charges you may be due to pay. If you start to progress a house purchase without speaking to your advisor then you could wind up disappointed from not being able to purchase at the price you first thought. 

What is a mortgage calculator?

Lenders use mortgage calculators to work out how much they may be able to lend you. Whilst lenders design their calculators to give you as accurate an estimate as possible, they are no substitute for speaking to an expert. An expert broker will understand each lenders criteria and be able to give you a more accurate figure based on the evidence you provide. Find out more about Mortgage Calculators here.

When can I remortgage? 

When looking to move to a new mortgage product, it is important to remember that you may be liable to pay an Early Repayment Charge (ERC) if you move before your fixed rate ends. That being said, many lenders will allow you to lock in a product early, and when it’s time to switch, they’ll get it all done for you. Your current lender won’t automatically do this for you, so to avoid paying more, the earlier you enquire, the better. We discuss this further in our blog

Can I borrow more than the house is worth?

Technically, no. Mortgage lenders no longer offer mortgages over 95% loan to value (LTV). However, if you have equity in your property already, you may be able to borrow against this. Most lenders will want to know what you plan to do with it, whether it is consolidating debt, improving your property, or using it as a deposit for another mortgage. 

What is a joint borrower, sole proprietor?

Joint borrower, sole proprietor mortgages are a way of helping First Time Buyers increase the amount that they can afford to borrow by including a parent or guardian into the affordability calculation whilst not diluting the ownership of the child’s first home. Read more about this type of mortgage here.

What is a mortgage valuation?

The mortgage valuation is based on the surveyors knowledge of comparable prices in the local area. It is the most basic type of survey you can instruct and lenders will insist one is carried out before a mortgage offer is produced. The lender will be interested to know if the surveyor believes the property to be “suitable security for the loan”. You can read more about Mortgage valuations here.

What is an agreement in principle?

An agreement in principle or AIP for short is a certificate which shows how much money a lender is happy to hand over so you can buy a home or investment property. Read more about mortgage agreements here.

What are mortgage fees?

Sometimes certain mortgage products will carry a fee for their administration and set-up. Often, these products will be offered at a slightly lower rate to their fee free counterparts. Brokers also may charge a fee for the work that they do.

Can I add fees to my mortgage?

Sometimes! It depends on the nature of the fee. If your broker is charging you a fee for administering the mortgage then you won’t be able to add this on to your loan. Whereas, if the lender is charging a fee, you may be able to add this to the loan. When adding fees to a mortgage you should always consider the interest you will pay on them.

Can a broker get me a better mortgage?

Brokers are here to help you find the best mortgage deals available to you and your circumstances. Whilst lenders usually offer similar rates directly as they do through brokers, a brokers job is to help you find the best rates and offer helpful advice along the way. Not only that but they will do all of the hard work administering the loan on your behalf. Sometimes, brokers will be able to access exclusive rates which are received in volumes through their top lenders.

Do mortgage brokers get the best deals?

A brokers job is to save you money. Prospect Tree Mortgages have access to thousands of mortgage deals and will help you choose the one which is best suited to your individual circumstances. If you have been offered a better deal elsewhere, we will always be honest with you.

Why use a mortgage broker over a bank?

A mortgage broker can offer a wider array of options and help alleviate stress by streamlining the application process. You may be able to do all of the work yourself but it will certainly take up much more of your time. If you have been having trouble qualifying for a mortgage or you appreciate convenience, then a broker may be worthwhile for you.

Can I get a mortgage with a 5% deposit?

Yes is the short answer. 95% LTV (loan to value) mortgages are back. You can apply for a 5% deposit mortgage if you have between 5 – 9.99% deposit to put down on a property.

I don’t have a deposit, can I get mortgage advice?

Yes you can, you don’t need a deposit to start researching what types of mortgage could be available to you. Of course, before you can apply for a mortgage and buy a property, you must have a deposit ready to use.

What does a mortgage broker do for you?

Your mortgage broker will help you research the market and find the best products available to you and your circumstances. They will help you gather your evidence and then package it up for the lender so they can present your case in its best light. They will progress your mortgage whilst liaising with the estate agent, solicitor and accountant to ensure your purchase, sale, or remortgage transaction happens smoothly. A mortgage broker is a great choice if you want help finding the best deals and value convenience.

What should I ask my mortgage advisor?

How much can I borrow?
What evidence/ documents do I need?
What types of mortgage are available?
What are the current interest rates?
What product fees are there?
What valuation options do I have?
Will there be free legals? (remortgage)
What will my repayments be?
Will the product have an Early Repayment Charge?
Can I overpay without a penalty?

Will an AIP (agreement in principle) affect my credit score?

It depends! Many lenders offer a ‘soft footprint’ credit check at AIP stage. This means that only they will be able to see it on your credit report. Other lenders will run a full credit check which will appear to anyone checking your credit. Multiple credit checks could have an adverse effect on your credit.

Can you borrow 5 times your salary for a mortgage?

The majority of lenders will use an income multiple of 4-4.5 times your salary. However, some offer 5 times and a few even offer 6 times. In late 2021 one lender launched a product offering an income multiple of 7 times. This product is specific to certain professions however. Which income multiples you have access to will depend on your circumstance.

Do banks give mortgage advice?

Since the mortgage marketplace review in 2014, banks are no longer able to offer a non-advisory mortgage service. So you can now get mortgage advice directly from a lender, or speak to a broker and get an overview of the entire marketplace.

Do mortgage brokers give advice?

Yes, mortgage brokers are regulated by the FCA and can give you advice on your mortgage needs.

What do mortgage advisors look for on bank statements?

When your broker asks for your bank statements they will be looking to see evidence of your salary and benefits being paid in, as well as looking for on-going commitments such as subscriptions or child maintenance. They need to get an understanding of this before they send your bank statements to the underwriter.

Should you go to your own bank for a mortgage?

Speaking to your own bank is a natural place to start. However, there are such a huge number of mortgage products available that you should definitely shop around to find the best mortgage rates available to you. Independent brokers like ourselves are a great start.

What does a mortgage advisor need to know?

You should come with your proof of address and proof of identity. These will need to be separate documents, like a recent council tax statement, passport, mortgage statement or driving license. The lender will also want to see your proof of income, so you will want to have your most recent payslips, your p60 and bank statements from the past 3 months.

Can I get a mortgage without a job?

You can indeed, although, it may not be easy! Some lenders will look at certain benefit income and pensions will certainly be considered as well. Buy to Let mortgages will be easier to obtain without an earned income as the rent should be enough to make the mortgage payments, hopefully with some change too.

Still have questions? Contact one of our mortgage experts today for advice tailored to you.

Ask an expert

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Prospect Tree Mortgages, Acorn Barn, Wembdon Business Park, Smeeth, Ashford, Kent TN25 6SZ

Telephone0800 8620 840


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A mortgage is a loan secured against your home or property. Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it. Click here to see our fee info. Think carefully before securing debts against your home or property. The financial conduct authority does not regulate most forms of buy to let mortgage. Prospect Tree Mortgages LTD is the appointed representative of TenetConnect Services Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. TenetConnect Services Ltd is entered on the Financial Services Register (www.fca.org.uk/register) under reference 150643. Prospect Tree Mortgages Ltd is registered in England and Wales under reference 10112043. Registered Office Address: Acorn Barn, Wembdon Business Park, Smeeth, Ashford, Kent, TN25 6SZ. The information contained within this website is subject to the UK regulatory regime and is therefore primarily targeted at consumers based in the UK.