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What is a Mortgage Broker?

When you’re hunting around for the best mortgage deal, you’ll be doing a lot of work – and when we say a lot, we mean it. That’s because finding the best mortgage deal is never easy, which is why searching for the best (and most suitable) one on your own is confusing, stressful and time-consuming.

Why? Simply because there are thousands of mortgages out there and sifting through every single one will take a long time. Probably a good full week of your own time (if you’re looking for most of the day). That’s no fun, which is why mortgage brokers exist.

What’s a mortgage broker we hear you ask? Well, we’re going to tell you all about them in this article. Everything from what they do, to why you should use them – and more! So, sit back, relax and get ready for another article from the Mortgages.Online team!

What do mortgage brokers actually do?

Mortgage brokers are essentially the middle man between you and lenders. They operate solely to present all the best mortgage options available, tailored specifically to your needs. Not only that, but they help and advise you fully whilst they submit your mortgage application. They scour the market to find the best rates, whilst fully understanding your financial situation, to ensure that your new mortgage meets your personal needs and is affordable month on month.

A mortgage is probably the biggest investment you’ll ever make throughout your lifetime, so it’s crucial to make sure you get it right. This is why mortgage brokers are ideal; they will help you find the best rates and deals – so you’re not needlessly overpaying throughout the lifetime of your mortgage.

When you’re sold a mortgage from a broker, there’s a guarantee that you’re not getting a bad deal. Why? Because there are principles in place that ensure mortgages are not mis-sold by brokers which protect you and ensure you get the best mortgage possible – win-win for you!

House silhouette in a field

Why use a mortgage broker?

Let's be honest, mortgages aren't fun (for most people anyway!). Unfortunately there's no fancy showrooms to walk into to view your mortgage possibilities and they can be stressful, complex and daunting even for those who have had one for years. Buying a home is exciting, getting a mortgage to pay for it however is not, it's just something most of us have to do to get what we actually want, the home.

Like we’ve said, your mortgage broker is the middle-man, which means they’re doing all of the legwork. You just have to compare the rates on offer. Other than taking all the hard work out of finding a mortgage (as if that’s not a reason enough on its own), we’ve got 3 other key benefits of using a broker below.

  1. You’ll save time

If you’ve got hours and hours to spend searching through the thousands of mortgages out there, then great – however, we understand that not everyone has the luxury of having spare time. Life and work can take over, so searching for a great deal gets put on the back burner. With a mortgage broker, they do the work for you. They’ll find you a great deal, one that is right for you, and help you through the application – saving you a lot of time. You’ll never know all the hours you’ll save by using a broker, but trust us, it’s a lot.

  1. You'll receive professional advice

When you look at properties, the property itself was built by a builder; a professional. Before you move into the property, legal searches and enquiries will be looked at by a solicitor; a professional. Even the value of your home will be determined by a qualified surveyor; you guessed it, another professional. So why should your mortgage be any different? To be able to recommend and supply mortgages, Mortgage Brokers have to be FCA regulated, satisfy rigorous compliance checks to demonstrate competency and have must hold a minimum industry recognised qualification. By using a Mortgage Broker, you can be rest assured knowing you are not signing up for a mortgage that does not fully meet your requirements.

  1. You'll save money

One of the trickiest things about finding your own mortgage is constantly finding one that seems good, then seeing another one that looks even better. In most people’s eyes, a good mortgage is simply one that’s affordable and either enables them to purchase their dream home (purchases) or is going to potentially save them money (re-mortgages). Mortgage brokers sort through all the mortgages available, ensuring you are getting the absolute best deal available which you may not have had access to, or found, yourself. A mortgage broker will also keep an eye on your mortgage after completion, so that when the incentive period ends (and you switch from a fixed/tracker mortgage to your lender's Standard Variable rate) your broker will know it's time to review your circumstances. They’ll contact you and let you know the best options going forward, such as re-mortgaging for a better deal. Another win-win in our eyes.

The Different Kinds of Mortgage Brokers

‘What there’s more than one type of mortgage broker?’ – Yes, there is. Why are we telling you about it? Because we want you to know the differences, because it can be the difference between getting a great mortgage or missing out on one.

Firstly, there are Independent Mortgage Brokers

These guys are set away from banks and other lenders, they’re not tied to them in any way, shape or form. Which means these Independent Brokers can present you with all your options, because they have deals from the whole market, instead of select lenders.

Then there are Tied Mortgage Brokers

Brokers like this are tied to specific banks and lenders – which means you’re only seeing the deals on offer from these lenders. It’s not ideal, because you need to see every mortgage out there instead of ones from select lenders to be assured you're getting the best deal possible.

Luckily, whatever kind of broker they are, they will always and only recommend the best mortgage option for you (out of the ones they have to offer). It’s their professional duty to make sure you’ve been taken through the documentation of the mortgage and all the details surrounding it – including costs, fees, mortgage amount, mortgage term and so on. We’d always recommend having a wider selection, which puts Independent Brokers at an advantage over tied ones.

Do I need a broker?

Do you want the short answer or the long one? We’ll give you both…

  • Short: Yes.
  • Long: If you want to ensure you’re getting the full range of mortgage deals out there on the market, then it’s ideal. It’s got the added benefit of saving time and money too, but you’ll be helped throughout your application, so there’s a lot less stress involved.

The Costs

This is the one bit we can’t help you with – every mortgage broker is different. They’ll charge you either based on fees, an hourly rate or based on a percentage of your applied mortgage. There’s really no telling how much they charge unless you speak to them. Although, there are some brokers that will charge nothing – as every broker will usually receive some commission from the lender who has provided the mortgage. Be sure to ask about fees from your broker.

Bank or Broker?

Whilst it may be tempting to get your mortgage through your bank, it isn’t always ideal. Because again, you won’t get a full range of options as you would with an Independent Broker. For those that want to know every deal there is, it’s essential to use a broker.


Most mortgage brokers will have in-house advisors, to provide you with mortgage advice. Mortgage advisors are great for helping you understand everything to do with mortgages - from stamp duty, dealing with estate agents, your credit score and more. They're pretty much walking mortgage-knowledge machines...

Looking for a feefree mortgage broker? You're in the right place.


There is a way to avoid paying any form of broker fee. How we here you ask? Go online. Yes, MO is an independent online mortgage broker, and the service you get from us is free! We’ll outline all your options clearly, and quickly, so you can find a mortgage that’s right for you. You won’t even have to leave your house – you can do it all, with Mortgages Online. For a hassle-free mortgage experience, simply begin filling in our quick and easy form to see what mortgage you could get. It’s quick, it’s easy and most of all, it’s secure!


Laura Waller

Laura Waller has been working in the mortgages industry since 2013, joining an independent brokerage in Essex. Laura has CeMAP 2 & 3 – Certificates in Mortgages Advice and Practice. Since then Laura oversees marketing for Mortgages Online, using her experience and expertise to write articles and blogs about mortgages and related topics.

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