Much like a broker can help you find the best companies and finance, etc, a mortgage advisor can also help you find the best option for you. He or she can also help you in the application process, and offers an excellent service for anyone buying a house. The main difference between a mortgage advisor and broker is the training and expertise needed to do each job.
As well as the advice a mortgage advisor can give you when it comes to buying your house, they can also offer:
Different mortgage options for you to choose from
Advice on mortgage protection, repayments, re-financing, etc
Offer building insurance alongside the mortgage itself
Although a mortgage advisor can discuss so many different financial aspects with you, they don’t need to take any specialised training courses or need any professional qualifications initially. This is another aspect that sets them apart from a mortgage broker. They will need to take a basic training course, but this is more in customer service and relations.
The route to becoming an advisor is quite a straightforward one – normally starting off in a bank as a customer service representative, or an administrative role within a financial services company. If they decide to pursue the more dedicated mortgage advisor route, this is when the additional training will come into effect.
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) requires that anyone giving specialist mortgage advice needs to be proficient to a certain level. This means that to be a mortgage advisor, a trainee has to study for either the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) Certificate in Mortgage Advice, or the ifs School of Finance in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP). If you want to use the services of a mortgage advisor, whether through your bank or otherwise, you should look for these qualifications.
Once someone has passed the relevant exams to become a specialist mortgage advisor, they can then take the next step up, and become a financial advisor. The benefit to you is that not only can you then use the same person to handle both your mortgage and other financial details – pensions, life assurance, etc – but you won’t have to explain everything about your current situation to a different person every time.
Another area to consider if you are thinking about using an advisor to help you with your mortgage is whether or not they are being completely unbiased. For example, if you use your bank and they provide an advisor for you to work with, you would only be getting advice on the services that the bank itself offers.
However, if you were to use the estate agent selling the property, or a mortgage broker, then you would be offered a far greater choice and benefits from a much larger range of financial companies. This is definitely something to keep in mind when working with a financial advisor, and will make sure that you eventually get the mortgage and advice that’s right for you.
Remember that all advice received is at no obligation until you sign on the dotted line. You should therefore not feel overwhelmed or pressured when gathering information from a mortgage advisor.