Some frequently asked questions about our mortgage and insurance service

Some frequently asked questions about our mortgage and insurance service

If you cannot find an answer to your question below, please contact us and we’ll give you the information and guidance you need. We also have a glossary of terminology, so if you’ve seen a mortgage term your not familiar with you can find an explanation there.

Who are you?

applyforaloan.org.uk is not an independent mortgage and insurance advisor, in operation on the Internet since 2003, and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. The company is run by Robert Reynolds and Steve Gears. Robert has been involved in arranging mortgages  and insurance for over 15 years and is a fully qualified Mortgage Adviser. Steve has been involved in internet business development and marketing since 1999 and has also spent many years in technology education and training. More Information…

How can I contact you?

You can contact us by following this contact link. However, please make sure you use all the resources on this site to look at our guidance, glossary, information terms and this frequently asked questions ( faq ) page first, to make sure you’ve not asked questions which we’ve already answered here. Otherwise, drop us a line, we’ll be happy to answer your questions!

Do I need experience of the Internet to enquire about a mortgage?

We do much of our work via the Internet so you need to have a reliable email address so we can contact you and send you documents where necessary. You should also be comfortable with using your web browser and filling in forms on screen. Other than that the main thing is to have your personal information to hand that we require to process an enquiry or application. Alternatively if you don’t want to us our online enquiry form, just give us a call on the telephone.

What makes you think you can help me get a better mortgage or insurance?

We are an independent mortgage and insurance broker which means that unlike most well known high street lenders, insurers, or tied brokerswe are not restricted to offering you just a few ‘in-house’ products which may not be the best available from the whole market. As well as all the well known high street lenders, we have access to many lenders and insurers who do not deal directly with the general public, and we can research hundreds of products in order to find the best product which fits your particular circumstances. Even if you’ve been refused a mortgage or insurance from a high street organisation, there is a good chance we can find a product to suit you.

What are your normal Terms and Conditions?

Click here to see the Better-Mortgages.co.uk Limited ‘KeyFacts about our services’ document. This shows key information about our services, fees, refunds etc. We also have a set of Terms and Conditions relating to the use of the facilities and information on this website as well as our Privacy Policy.

How much can I borrow?

The amount you can borrow will depend on your specific circumstances. For example, what is your collateral, is your new house an existing property, a new property, how much is it worth on the open market, how much deposit are you willing to pay, how much you earn and so on. So we can’t give you a specific answer until we gather all the relevant details on an enquiry form, and perform some calculations. However if you want to do some ‘what if’ experimenting and see some ball park figures then visit our Mortgage Calculators page.

How can I tell which mortgage rate is best for me?

Again this depends on your circumstances and your objectives. For example a person who has a bad credit rating will not be able to get the most competitive mortgage rate on offer because lenders view them as higher risk. Also rates vary between types of mortgages such as standard repayment, capped, flexible, fixed and so on. However if you use Better-Mortgages, we can use our knowledge of the mortgage market and in-house research tools to relieve you of the hassle of trying to work out the best product. We know what questions to ask you, and we’ll find try find the best mortgage we can, based on your answers. we can also do this for general non-investment insurance such as buildings and contents insurance, accident sickness and unemployment insurance and others.

What is the best type of mortgage for me?

This depends very much on your individual circumstances. While we try to give some general guidance on this frequently asked questions ( faq ) page and elsewhere on this site, the only way to find out what specific mortgage or insurance is best for you is to use an independent mortgage broker such as ourselves to identify a lender who will make solid commitment with a ‘Decision In Principle’. This can be used to not only find a suitable mortgage to fit your general circumstances, but will also indicate the likely cost, based on the information you supply, and the fact that there is at least one lender willing to lend money to you. It can also be a powerful bargaining tool where you are looking for a new property since you can show you already have finance in hand.

How should I repay my mortgage?

This depends on many things such as the prevailing economy, the general interest rates and whether you think interest rates are going to rise or fall, as well as your specific circumstances such as how much deposit you can afford, whether you are a first time buyer, re-mortgaging, purchasing a buy-to-let and so on. The easy way to find out is to use an independent mortgage broker such as ourselves, to seek out a ‘Decision in Principle’, which will show what kind of mortgage is likely to be most suitable based on the information you supply.

Can I make lump sum payments to reduce the size of my loan?

Some mortgage agreements will allow you to pay lump sums to reduce the size of your mortgage, but not all. Many lenders would much prefer you to pay interest on the largest amount possible for the full term of the mortgage. That’s how they earn their profit! However there are some lenders who have structured mortgage offerings to allow lump sum payments or extra regular payments in order for you to reduce the outstanding loan more quickly. Better-Mortgages can help you to find an appropriate lender to allow you do this, if this is important to you.

What happens if I can’t pay my mortgage?

If you can’t pay the current loan, you have a number of options. You could declare bankruptcy but we do not recommend this. You will find it very difficult if not impossible to take out any kind of credit agreement for the duration of your bankruptcy. Even when your bankruptcy is finally discharged you would be viewed as a higher credit risk and therefore not receive the most favourable lending rates.  Alternatively you could try approaching your current lender to restructure your debt. Most lenders would prefer to continue receiving some interest payments even if they are lower for a period. However you will still be required to pay all that you owe at some time in the future. You could try re-mortgaging. If your mortgage agreement is more than a decade old, you may be surprised at how much you could save on your monthly payments, simply because the interest rate has dropped over the last decade or so. The monthly savings could then be used to either relieve the pressure on your monthly cash flow and/or used to pay down your most expensive debt. Ideally you would have taken out mortgage payment protection insurance at the time of taking out your loan, which would ensure your loan repayments would take place even if under certain circumstances you were unable to work, for example. In any case, you should be seeking ways to reduce your debt, and should seek professional advise before making a decision.

Is it essential to give so much personal data?

This is a question we are frequently asked. In these days of identity theft and other criminal activities more people are nervous about giving financial and personal details to unknown organisations. However, to ensure you are only offered mortgage or insurance products that are suitable for your personal circumstances and financial background, it is essential that we ask you details questions and that the information regarding incomes, outgoings, credit history, and so forth, are as detailed and accurate as possible, otherwise any research and illustration we do for you would be inaccurate and worthless. We are required by our regulators (the FSA) to make sure we treat you fairly and are able to adequately explain our recommendations and we can only do this if we fully understand your financial circumstances and needs. If you are not comfortable with supplying your personal information online you can always telephone us on the number shown. Be assured that we comply with the Data Protection Act and take our responsibilities in this area very seriously.

If I enquire online, what use do you make of our data?

The data you supply is shared with the chosen lender, insurance underwriter, or service provider who will process your enquiry or application for a loan, insurance, or other product. Your data will frequently be used for credit referencing purposes (a normal function within any loan underwriting process) and where an Indemnity insurance requirement exist. Your personal information may also be used by us to notify you of new products and services offered by applyforaloan.org.uk, but it will not be supplied to third parties for marketing or other purposes.

Can my personal enquiry data be intercepted online?

Our enquiry forms are accessed via a Secure Server Link (SSL) which uses industry standard encryption technology to protect your personal data from being viewed by others while being transmitted to our web server. We transfer the data from our web server to our operational centre using encrypted email using a much stronger encryption system than the normal browser SSL standard, and if we send you personal data (e.g. in documents for you to check and sign), we send them to you using a ‘password protected, self encrypting archive’.  Even if intercepted en-route, the data is unable to be viewed without the appropriate decryption codes or passwords. There is probably greater risk of someone overhearing a personal telephone conversation, than intercepting your data online.