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 Have you got a question about mortgages or re-mortgaging? We’ve put some of your more common mortgage queries to Sharon, our Mortgage and Protection Specialist at Danbro Financial Planning. Here’s what she had to say…


What types of mortgages are there?

SHARON SAYS: “There are a wide range of mortgages available to suit all circumstances. This includes ‘fixed’, ‘tracker’ and ‘offset’ mortgages, all of which we have access to, including exclusive ranges unavailable on the direct market.

We can also access different types of lending, such as ‘secured charges’, ‘bridging’ and ‘commercial lending’ as alternatives to mainstream lending, if required.”


Can I get a mortgage / re-mortgage if I'm self-employed? 

SHARON SAYS: “Yes, you can. However, most lenders’ self-employed criteria requires at least two or three years’ accounts – which some of you may not have.

There are also lenders in the market who can assist contractors too. They tend to be a bit different depending on factors like:

o   The length of time you’ve been contracting

o   Your professional history

o   How you operate (i.e. via an umbrella company, your own Ltd Company, self-employment, or on a fixed term employment contract).

So, speak to DFP, and allow us to help you find the right lender for your situation.”


How much can i borrow? 

SHARON SAYS: “The amount you’re entitled to borrow depends on factors such as:

o   Your acceptable  income

o   Your age

o   Your dependents and how many you have

o   How much deposit / equity you have, as well as your other monthly commitments

o   How you plan to structure your borrowing

Most lenders will employ an ‘affordability calculator’ approach, rather than income multiples, to determine how much they’re willing to lend you. DFP can quickly assess this for you across a range of lenders.”


How much deposit do I need to save for a mortgage?  

SHARON SAYS: “In the current climate, the bigger the deposit, the more access you have to available lenders. When the markets fully return it’s usually a 5% or 10% deposit that’s the minimum. However, at present, these are limited.

There are also many lenders who will accept a gifted deposit from a close family member too.”


What's the process; how does it work? 

SHARON SAYS: “First things first, I’ll invite you for a free, informal, no obligation chat. We can meet face-to-face, over the phone, or by video link – whatever you prefer. It’s the perfect opportunity, in a relaxed environment, to get to know each other and for us to build a clear picture of your budget, your mortgage needs, and your overall circumstances. I’ll talk you through the mortgaging / re-mortgaging process, as well as our services and the costs associated.

Once you’re happy with what we’ve outlined, I’ll research the latest mortgage deals in accordance with your specifications, and narrow down the most appropriate lenders that meet your circumstances. They all vary with what criteria they’re willing to accept. With DFP, you’ll be spared the time and trouble of shopping around to find the lender that best meets your requirements.

Next, we’ll talk through the potential deals and repayment methods before discussing my recommendations and agreeing a way forward. I can also look at suitable insurance and protection options here too.

If you’re happy with what’s on offer, we’ll focus on your application. I can arrange your agreement in principle and seek a formal quotation from your chosen lender. This will involve a ‘mini-application’ and a ‘soft’ credit search, and will give us a good idea of whether your mortgage is likely to get approved.

When you’re finally ready to move, DFP will take care of all the formalities for you too. Providing your application is a success, which I’d expect it to be after our robust research, the lender will conduct their remaining checks, including surveys and valuations, etc. They’ll then issue your formal mortgage offer. As soon as your solicitor completes the necessary legal checks, and arranges your exchange of contracts and formal completion, you’ll finally get your hands on the keys (or re-mortgage funds) to YOUR home!”


Fixed rate mortgage or variable rate mortgage; which is right for me?? 

SHARON SAYS: “Fixed rates are better for borrowers who like a degree of certainty. They’re great for those on tighter budgets, who need to know their repayments will not rise for a set period of time. While variable rates and ‘tracker’ style deals are often less secure, they can afford greater flexibility for those who need it. 

The best option for you, though, will depend on your personal circumstances. Fortunately, DFP are here to compare, contrast, and provide advice.”


When I get a mortgage, should I take out insurance too? 

SHARON SAYS: “This is an important area to discuss as many clients don’t know what’s available to them to ensure that their mortgage is affordable long-term.

At DFP, we discuss protecting your income and lifestyle in the event of any unforeseen impacts to ensure there’s no financial strain.

We have access to a wide range of reputable insurers for personal, home and business protection. The advantage of using DFP is the surety that you’ll have the right type of cover, with all your arrangements in one place. So, in a time of particular distress or urgency, it’s simply one phone call to me and I can contact the companies regarding a claim.”


I've had complex credit problems in the past, will this affect my mortgage / re-mortgage application?

SHARON SAYS: “The truthful answer is yes, it almost certainly will. Many lenders do not offer mortgages to anyone who’s missed, or has a record of:

o   Late credit payments

o   Arrears

o   Defaults

o   Pay day loans

o   County court judgements (CCJs)

o   Bankruptcies/IVAs

o   Debt management plans

The good news, though, is that there are lenders who may take a different view based on your circumstances and the reasons behind your credit problems. While you may have to pay a higher interest rate, or pay arrangement fees to get your mortgage, DFP will help you assess your options in these scenarios."


Is Danbro Financial Planning's mortgage advice independent?

SHARON SAYS: “Yes, it is. We have access to the whole market and a solid knowledge and experience of lender criteria to narrow down your requirements in a short space of time.”


Why shouldn't I just get a mortgage myself?

SHARON SAYS: “If you’re…

o   Confident you’ll get a good deal

o   Have enough time to do the extensive research

o   Are able to ensure that you’ll qualify

o   Can make and track your application

…then the option to go it alone is there.

However, if you’d rather save yourself the time and hassle, and get the best deal possible, then why not see what we can do for you instead.  After all, your time is your most precious commodity. So, use it wisely.”


Your Mortgage & Protection Specialists

At Danbro Financial Planning, we’re experts in mortgages, re-mortgages, insurance and protection. Our specialist team have a unique knowledge of the market, as well as longstanding relationships with a host of existing lenders. This means they’re able to access the best deals for you quickly, efficiently and with more care and information than you’d likely receive on a price comparison site.

What’s more, we’re a key part of the Danbro Family. So, we’re able to liaise with our partners in both accountancy and umbrella employment to provide holistic financial planning advice all under one roof. We’ll ensure your mortgage and protection plans complement your overall financial targets.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayment on your mortgage or other debts secured against it.

Blog written by
contractor mortgages
Sharon Kennedy
Mortgage & Protection Specialist at Danbro Financial Planning | Website

Sharon Kennedy is a Mortgage and Protection Specialist with over 25 years’ experience in the industry.

Her principal focus is on helping our diverse client base secure mortgages, re-mortgages, insurance arrangements, and second charge loans – regardless of their personal circumstances. ‘Complex cases’ are her norm and she specialises in helping those who may have struggled to get what they want elsewhere, such as contractors, first-time buyers, self-employed workers, and those with adverse credit histories or unusual incomes.

Despite her passion for her job – and her clients – Sharon has a busy home life too. She lives near Preston with her husband and two sons.


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