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What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan taken out to buy property or land. The loan is 'secured' against the value of your home until it's paid off. If you can't keep up your repayments the lender can repossess (take back) your home and sell it so they get their money back.

How much can I borrow?

This will depend on your income and expenditure. You would need to know your gross basic salary and details of any additional income. If so, what is the source, how much do you receive and the frequency it is paid. You will also need to know your expenditure in relation to financial commitments; personal loans, credit card balances, hire purchase agreements, childcare, maintenance. All lenders will have their own affordability assessment and take into account general household bills and living costs.

Do I need a deposit?

You will need a deposit. The minimum is 5% but this can vary depending on the type of property and your circumstances.

What is Help to Buy?

The Help to Buy equity loan scheme was launched on 1 April 2013 in a bid to help first-time buyers or people finding it hard to move up the property ladder. Both first-time buyers and homemovers are eligible, but it's only available on new-build properties in England and Wales. Learn more and get Help To Buy advice

How do I know what mortgage is right for me?

You probably won’t know, and you shouldn’t be expected to know which mortgage is right for you. Lenders have a range of different products designed to cater to the requirements of different types of borrowers, but it can be difficult to work out which is right for you. We have the expertise and it is our responsibility to help guide you through the options, listening to your requirements, to make a recommendation to you.

What information will I need?

Start collecting all the documents you will need for the mortgage application process. Typically, passport, driving licence, utility bill dated within last three months, latest three months’ bank statements, proof of deposit and evidence of income. If employed; last three months’ payslips and annual P60. If self-employed; latest three years’ tax calculations and three years’ tax overviews.

What fees are involved?

Typically, you will have a valuation fee, product arrangement fee, mortgage administration fee, solicitors and stamp duty. If you are selling a property you will also need to consider estate agency fees and removal costs. We will discuss all costs with you during the consultation and let you know whether lenders offer any incentives or cashback.

How long does an application take?

Depending on your circumstances and the lender you approach, the timescales can vary dramatically. We would recommend you allow at least four weeks for a mortgage offer to be issued, but our dedicated administration team will keep you updated throughout the process.

Can I get a mortgage with bad credit?

Yes, you will be pleased to hear that you can get most types of mortgage with bad credit. Also known as sub prime, credit impaired or adverse credit. We would recommend that we see a copy of your credit report and once we understand your circumstances, we approach the lenders who specialise in this market. It is not uncommon to need a larger deposit and the interest rate and/or mortgage fees may be higher, but we would discuss all aspects with you.

Can I get a mortgage if I am self-employed?

Yes, although you will need to have been self-employed for at least 12 months. Depending on whether you are a sole trader, partnership or Ltd Company could result in extra challenges, but lenders will need evidence of your income to ensure that you can afford the mortgage repayments. We have years of experience and have assisted thousands of clients who are self-employed. During your consultation we will advise what income documentation is most appropriate and the how lenders assess the affordability.

Do I need insurance?

If you have a mortgage, the only mandatory insurance is buildings. However, you should always consider personal protection. If you are single, look at protecting your income should you be unable to work due to an accident or sickness. Protect your independence and make sure you can always continue living in your own home. If you are reliant on a partner or have dependents, ensure you consider life and critical illness cover to provide security and peace of mind for family and loved ones.

Will I have to pay stamp duty?

Only first-time buyers purchasing up to £300,000 are exempt from stamp duty. All other buyers will have to pay stamp duty. How much you will pay depends on the type of purchase/transfer, whether it is your main residence, the property value, whether you own multiple properties and other factors. We recommend checking with your solicitor and refer you to the calculator on the government website.

Do you charge a fee?

We offer a free consultation, but when you are ready to apply for a mortgage, we charge an administration fee. Our standard fee is £495, payable on application and is non-refundable. If you have very complex circumstances or are deemed a portfolio landlord this is £695.

Is insurance mandatory?

If you have a mortgage, the only mandatory insurance is buildings. However, whether you have a mortgage or not, you should always consider personal protection. If you are single, look at protecting your income should you be unable to work due to an accident or sickness. Protect your independence and make sure you can always continue living in your own home. If you are reliant on a partner or have dependents, ensure you consider life and critical illness cover to provide security and peace of mind for family and loved ones.

Can I protect my income?

Yes, you can. An Income Protection Policy is a long-term policy that replaces a percentage of your monthly income should you be unable to work due to injury or illness. The maximum benefit can vary between providers and can be affected if you receive sick pay from your employer. If you take income protection, you will continue to have a monthly income to help maintain your financial commitments.

What types of insurance are there?

Most common types are life cover, critical illness cover, income protection, family protection and home insurance. We will help you understand what type of insurance is right for you, provide a personal protection solution along with the monthly cost involved.

What if I have a medical condition?

Buying the right insurance policy at an affordable price can be tricky if you have a disability or health condition. It is important to disclose all the medical history at the time of application and the underwriter will then assess the risk. You may still be able to obtain the cover for a higher cost, known as a loaded or rated premium. The provider may impose a specific medical exclusion, whereby the policy would not pay out in a certain event. The provider may also choose to postpone or defer acceptance should there be medical tests/investigations outstanding. In some cases they may refuse to offer the cover, but we would always recommend that you try to obtain cover before making an assumption that you can’t get it.

How much will insurance cost?

This will depend on your personal circumstances. There are several factors that will affect your monthly premiums; type of policy, how much cover you need, the term required, your age, your lifestyle, your medical history and occupation.

Which insurance companies do you use?

We use several insurance providers and we are not tied to a panel or a single provider. We offer insurance providers that represent the whole market; Aviva, Royal London, Aegon, AIG, Exeter, L&G, Zurich, LV, Scottish Widows, Vitality, Canada Life, Guardian and Holloway Friendly.

Do you charge a fee?

We offer a free consultation and there is no fee. If you would like to review your insurance provisions or discuss the options available, please call us and speak to one of our advisers.

What is childrens benefit?

Typically, a feature that can be added onto your critical illness insurance. If your child is diagnosed with a critical illness during the term of your policy, a lump sum is paid to help your family through the difficult time. Whether it allows a parent to take time off work, help with transport costs and treatment, purchase specialised medical equipment, or arrange a memorable experience.

What is global treatment?

Global Treatment is an additional feature that can be added to your insurance and is limited to certain providers. If taken it is a medical benefit that gives you more options, if you require specific treatment for one of the serious critical illnesses covered under the policy. Global Treatment gives you access to the latest medical treatments and specialists for treatment in a hospital outside of the UK. It will not only cover the costs, but also help with the organisation of travel arrangements and accommodation for you and a companion.

What is Best Doctors?

Best Doctors is an additional feature that can be added to your insurance and is limited to certain providers. If you include Best Doctors, you and your family will have access to a network of medical experts who can help you make important medical decisions with confidence. You are able to receive a second opinion, an expert medical report and have a team of people to help with any questions you may have at a time of uncertainty.

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  • Unbiased advice with access to the entire mortgage and insurance marketplace
  • We offer a free no obligation consultation over the phone or in person
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Call us on 01780 480600

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Rebecca and Andrew

We have dealt with Nicki and Choice Mortgages for many years, both when we have moved house and when we have wanted to remortgage. She always listens to our needs and offers a fast-efficient service. We have recommended Choice Mortgages to many friends and family already, and will continue to use their services in the future.

We have recommended to many friends and family already and will continue to use in the future.

Rebecca and Andrew with their children

We can help your find your perfect mortgage

Our mortgage brokers have an unbiased view of the whole market

The River Welland running under a bridge in Stamford, Lincolnshire, England

Based in Stamford, Lincolnshire

Choice Mortgages is an independent mortgage broker; having access to thousands of mortgage and protection products on the market. Our office has been located in Stamford for over 20 years and we have a team of professional advisers with a vast amount of experience.

We offer a free no obligation consultation and help you find the most suitable solution. Understanding lenders criteria and how you are eligible for a mortgage is paramount.

We provide a dedicated personal service and work closely with you every step of the way; organising the paperwork and taking care of the entire application process, making the transaction far less stressful for you. We know lives are busy and we can alleviate the time pressure, by offering telephone or face-to-face appointments.

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