Do you need a mortgage broker?

Do you really need a mortgage broker? Can you go it alone? Or should you use a professional?

While you might think that a DIY mortgage application will save you money, it could end up costing you more in the long run. In this guide, we explain why and discuss the benefits of going with a broker. We’ll also discuss the best time to speak to a mortgage adviser.

What is a mortgage adviser or mortgage broker?

A mortgage broker can be an independent professional or work for a company. Your broker will arrange a mortgage between you and a lender, whether you’re buying a new property, remortgaging your existing home, or are a first-time buyer.

They work with you to understand your mortgage needs and personal situation and will explain the different types of mortgages available. A mortgage adviser will help you choose the right mortgage for you. They will find you a deal by searching the market for suitable available mortgages to fit your requirements. And they will also help you with the mortgage application.

What are the benefits of using a mortgage broker?

Firstly, you don’t have to use a mortgage broker; you can instead directly apply with a lender.

However, here are the benefits of using a mortgage broker like

  • Expertise - Mortgage brokers have a wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge of the mortgage industry, lenders and their different criteria. They can provide valuable advice and guidance to help you make an informed decision.

  • Access to deals - Brokers have access to various mortgage deals, saving you time and effort in researching and approaching multiple lenders.

  • Easy comparison - A mortgage broker will provide you with multiple mortgage options from lenders they think will be most suitable for you. This means you can more easily compare interest rates, terms, fees, and features.

  • Simplified process - Mortgage applications can be complicated and require a lot of paperwork. A broker can streamline the process and ensure all necessary documentation is submitted accurately and on time.

  • Tailored recommendations - A mortgage broker can recommend mortgage products that align with your financial goals and needs.

When contemplating the choice of using a mortgage broker, several factors warrant consideration, including any costs associated with their services and the extent to which they conduct thorough lender comparisons. It's important to ascertain whether a broker impartially assesses a wide array of lenders or if their affiliations limit them to particular lenders or a specific network. If you’re not sure, don’t hesitate to ask—brokers have a responsibility to be transparent about this aspect.

If a broker is fee-free, ask them to explain how they make money. Typically, brokers earn their income through commissions paid by the lenders. Researching and asking about this helps ensure that your mortgage recommendation is unbiased and well-suited to your needs.

Mortgage brokers at have access to over 12,000 mortgage deals from 100+ lenders across the market by being part of a dedicated mortgage panel. Our advisers also have detailed knowledge of the different mortgage products available from different lenders and government homebuying schemes that you could take advantage of. It’s what they do every day. Doing this by yourself will take a lot of research.

They will also support you on your application and guide you through the paperwork, which can often be confusing and stressful. A good mortgage adviser will also advise you on improving your chances of being accepted for the mortgage; this is crucial for first-time buyers with a small deposit or if you’re self-employed

Risks of not getting advice

First and foremost, if you don’t get mortgage advice, you could miss out on the right deal by not tapping into the insight of an experienced broker. You could end up applying for a mortgage that doesn’t suit you. Or you could apply for a mortgage where you don’t meet the lender’s criteria.

Secondly, if your mortgage later turns out to be unsuitable, you have more rights if you take mortgage advice. You can file a complaint and even take this to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

If you don’t take advice, you must take responsibility for your mortgage decision. 

Do mortgage brokers get better rates?

Working with an online mortgage broker like means you should get access to the most suitable rates for your situation. We have working relationships with lenders and know when new deals may become available.

Yes, you can do your research across multiple lenders, but without industry experience, there’s no guarantee your final choice will be the right fit. Or the most suitable rate.

Should you use a mortgage broker or go directly to a bank?

So, mortgage adviser or bank? What do you think?

If you go directly to a bank, you can only apply for their available deals. You may be missing out on more suitable mortgages elsewhere. Crucially, you may also have picked a lender that isn’t always suitable for your circumstances. For example, certain banks are more willing to lend to self-employed people or first-time buyers.

By working with a broker, you’re trusting that they understand the lending approach of different banks.

How to find a mortgage broker

The mortgage broker you choose will significantly impact your mortgage application process. A good one will make the process smooth and could save you time and money by finding you the right deal.

Here are some steps you can take to help you find the right mortgage broker:

1. Check broker reviews from previous and existing customers. Testimonials can provide insights into a broker's reputation and customer service. You should also ask friends and family for recommendations, ask about their experience, and ask whether they’d use the broker again.

2. Remember to check that the mortgage broker you choose is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

3. Compare the fees associated with each broker on your shortlist; some may come with large fees, whereas other mortgage brokers, like us, won’t charge you anything. All mortgage brokers must be upfront with you and clearly outline any charges and their commission before entering into a contract on your behalf.

4. Find out how quickly they can start working on your application. Ask for a suggested timeframe for the completed mortgage to evaluate this against your expected timeline to complete your purchase. Remember, they can control when they start working on your case but can’t necessarily control how long the application takes. This will depend on the lender, but your broker should be able to advise on potential timescales.

5. You must also trust your broker. Remember, you’ll be sharing personal information and financial details with them. Do you like the way they talk to you? Do you find the advice they’re giving you helpful? Does it feel like they’re doing everything they can? And is their advice tailored to your needs? If yes, then great. If not, you may want to consider looking elsewhere.

When should I speak to a mortgage broker?

You should speak to a mortgage advisor right at the start of the process. It might be your first mortgage, a move to a new property, or a remortgage. Whatever your circumstances, getting professional help immediately will save you time and effort in the long run. A good broker will understand the mortgage process, explain everything you need to know, and help you with your application.

Choosing the right broker should also save you money on your mortgage. With the right knowledge, experience and access to deals, they should find you the most suitable mortgage rates and terms for your needs. 

Mortgage broker fees explained

Mortgage broker fees are the fees that are paid to a mortgage broker when they arrange a mortgage with a lender on your behalf. Whether you’re applying for a mortgage on a new property or remortgaging your existing home, mortgage broker fees usually consist of:

  • broker fee paid by you

  • procuration fee (or proc fee) paid by the lender

In many cases, you will pay the broker fee once you’ve agreed to go ahead with a specific mortgage deal. In other cases, you will pay this fee when your mortgage application is successful. The procuration fee is paid by the lender once the mortgage is completed.

There can be huge variances in mortgage broker fees. Some brokers will charge hundreds of pounds, whereas others, like us, won’t charge any fees at all. 

Brokers that charge fees will either do so as a flat fee or as a percentage of the mortgage, typically between 0.5 and 1%. You may find that if your mortgage needs are more complicated, your fee will be higher.

We don’t charge any broker fees; instead, we receive a commission from the lender when you complete your mortgage. Before we apply on your behalf, we’re transparent about how much we’ll earn in commission from the lender.

You can expect to pay between £350 and £500 for a flat mortgage broker fee. For fees that are paid as a percentage of the mortgage deal, on average this can range from 0.3% to 1%.

So, how much will you pay? Let’s take the example of borrowing £135,000. If your broker has a mortgage fee set at 0.3% you would pay £405.

If your mortgage deal falls through, you may still have to pay a broker fee depending on the fee structure of your chosen broker. It’s essential to have absolute clarity on this before going ahead with an application.

Make sure you get a written quote from your chosen mortgage broker. At this stage, you can also ask your broker how their fee is justified. For example, using a broker should secure you the right deal, which means you spend less money on your mortgage over the long term.

If your mortgage broker charges a broker fee for securing your mortgage, you will need to pay this fee. They will also likely charge a procuration fee to the mortgage lender, as a percentage of the amount borrowed.

The procuration fee will be paid by the lender and not by you.

Mortgage broker fee structures are all unique and will depend on the individual broker.

Whilst all will charge a procuration fee paid by the lender, some will also charge you a broker fee. Others won’t charge a broker fee and will simply get paid via the procuration fee. These are referred to as fee-free brokers.

Just remember, that this differs from fee-free advice. The latter means they will provide initial advice at no charge, but may well charge you a fee if they can find you a mortgage. Transparency on this is key.

For either a remortgage or a new mortgage, you need absolute clarity on how your broker gets paid. They must be upfront with you on their fee structure and clearly outline their charges and commission before they enter into a contract on your behalf.

You might have read that you can apply for a mortgage directly with a lender. Which is true. So is a mortgage broker worth it? The short answer is yes. Mortgage brokers have direct relationships with lenders and can look at all the available deals right across the market (if they are whole-of-market). They will also likely have access to deals that individual people can’t get.

If you opt for a mortgage broker, you should get the most suitable deal possible. This in turn can save you money on your monthly repayments and on the full amount you have to pay over the term of the mortgage. By cutting costs in this way, the broker fee should more than pay for itself.

A good mortgage broker doesn’t just save you money. They have existing relationships with lenders and assist during the mortgage application by:

  • Ensuring mortgage underwriters have all the information they need

  • Answering quick questions from mortgage underwriters

  • Liaising with your conveyancing solicitor

  • Keeping you updated at each stage 

Nothing! are a fee-free mortgage broker.

At, we get paid by the mortgage lender when you complete your mortgage or remortgage. We’re a fee-free mortgage broker for most customers, so we only take the procuration fee from the lender.

Before we apply on your behalf, we will provide you with the full product information, breaking down all the fees we earn from the lender. We can also arrange insurance.

Again the insurer pays us when you complete your home purchase and your insurance coverage starts. We will also be upfront with these fees.

Important info & marketing claims

You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage. Your savings will depend on personal circumstances.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

*The savings figure of £656 is based on remortgage customers in April 2024. Read more on our marketing claims page.

We can't always guarantee we will be able to help you with your mortgage application depending on your credit history and circumstances.

Average mortgage decision and approval times are based on's historic data for lenders we submit applications to.

Tracker rates are identified after comparing over 12,000 mortgage products from over 100 mortgage lenders.

As of January 2023, has access to over 100 lenders. This number is subject to change.

For buy-to-let landlords, there's no guarantee that it will be possible to arrange continuous letting of a property, nor that rental income will be sufficient to meet the cost of the mortgage.