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What did Martin Lewis say about Mortgages?

In this guide, our mortgage experts will look at the Martin Lewis ‘Cheap mortgage finding’ guide on MoneySavingExpert, and help to explain more about the guidance it offers. In this step-by-step guide, Martin Lewis talks about things like which brokers to speak to and what to check to get the ‘best deal for you’.

A photo of Daniel Sharpe-Szunko, the author

By Daniel Sharpe-Szunko

Published on: 3 June 2024

9 min read

What did Martin Lewis say about Mortgages?

One of the main personal finance topics that Martin Lewis talks about on MoneySavingExpert.com is mortgage rates and mortgage deals. We know that Martin Lewis recommends several UK mortgage brokers on MSE but he does not offer mortgage advice or mortgage services.

Mortgage rates are extremely volatile in the UK at the moment, which is similar to many other countries around the world. Martin Lewis also claims that mortgage interest rates are ‘high right now’, but this is probably likely to continue for at least the next couple of years, if not longer.

According to a recent survey from one of the main highstreet banks, Santander, One in Five (20%) first time buyers in the UK is a parent. This figure has doubled in the past 10 years and the average age of first time buyers has also increased from 32 to 36 years old.

In this guide, our mortgage experts will look at the Martin Lewis ‘Cheap mortgage finding’ guide on MoneySavingExpert, and help to explain more about the guidance it offers. In this step-by-step guide, Martin Lewis talks about things like which brokers to speak to and what to check to get the ‘best deal for you’.

We must stress that while we appreciate the financial guidance that Martin Lewis gives to UK households, he is not a qualified mortgage advisor and nor does he provide any mortgage advice.

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60-Second Summary – What does Martin Lewis say about cheap mortgage deals?

MoneySavingExpert.com and Martin Lewis provides several guides about what to do to get the best or cheapest mortgage deals. The guidance provided in the ‘Cheap mortgage finding’ article provides information about general tips to help borrowers to potentially save money on their mortgage.

Mortgages are a difficult topic for many and they can be extremely complicated or confusing, especially if you don’t get proper advice.

  • The Martin Lewis ‘Cheap mortgage finding’ article summarises several top tips to help mortgage borrowers to potentially save money on their new mortgage.
  • MoneySavingExpert.com works with several mortgage brokers in the UK to provide mortgage advice for millions MSE readers and users around the UK.
  • Martin Lewis also talks about mortgage rates and mortgage news on his television appearances on Good Morning Britain, This Morning, and The Martin Lewis Money Show Live.
  • Mortgage rates are currently extremely volatile and can be more difficult to get than previous years, simply because of instability in the economy and housing market.

Martin Lewis and MoneySavingExpert.com talk about how to get the right mortgage or remortgage deals to save you £100’s every month. We know that mortgage rates have increased dramatically over the past several years since the pandemic and record low interest rates for the past 15 years.

Martin Lewis often talks about mortgages in television interviews on shows like Good Morning Britain, as seen in the clip below.

Martin Lewis Shares His Advice on Mortgages | Good Morning Britain

In his step-by-step guide on MSE, Martin Lewis provides several tips to help mortgage borrowers to ‘find the best mortgage deal for you’. The guidance in this article is aimed at new and existing mortgage borrowers who are looking for a new mortgage deal for their home.

We’ve looked at his advice for our parents to explain how it works and what to think about. According to Martin Lewis’s money saving mortgage advice on MoneySavingExpert, there are several Steps you can take to find a cheaper mortgage deal.

This might work for some people but it isn’t an easy option for lots of people for lots of reasons, the main reason is that most online mortgage searches take longer than 10 minutes.

Mortgage searches can be very complicated and extremely time consuming, which rules out a lot of people before they’ve even started. If you feel confident that you’ll be able to navigate the complicated online systems that most mortgage brokers offer then it’s worth a go… but don’t expect to get more than one search done in ten minutes.

Also, the potential suggestions that you’ll see on the broker website might not be suitable for you as well. These searches can work for simple mortgage applications, but if there’s something more complicated (e.g. self-employed, bad credit, complex income, etc.) then you might not get any results or the results might not apply.

As long as you know what type of mortgage you want (e.g. fixed, discount, tracker, etc.) then you might be comfortable with using these systems. You will also need to know things like:

You will be asked a lot of questions to get your mortgage results and these will still only be an approximate table of results.

“NEVER just go to your bank for a cheap deal”.

This is a bold statement and not always the case because many banks do offer good mortgage rates, and it can be far easier to get a mortgage with your bank where you’ve got history. Sometimes the hassle free approach of going to your bank to see what they can offer is by far the quickest, easiest, and sometimes the cheapest option.

Is the Martin Lewis Mortgage Best Buy tool any good?

Yes, it’s a quick reference that you can use to find out what rates ‘might’ be available to you based on your circumstances. This is a very rough tool though and it doesn’t take all of the potential variables in to account which means that you’ll only get a very rough idea from this, much like any other mortgage best buy tool.

Here are some other potential mortgage best buy tools to check out:

Best buy tools for mortgages are designed to give you a rough estimate of mortgage rates based on your general circumstances.

Martin Lewis says ‘Don’t use the APRC to compare – it’s mostly meaningless’.

Firstly, most people have never heard of an APRC (Annual Percentage Rate Charge) and you might be more familiar with APR (Annual Percentage Rate). The difference is that an APR applies to any ‘unsecured credit’ (e.g. credit cards, loans, store cards, etc.) and an APRC applies to ‘secured loans’ (e.g. mortgages and second charges).

Mortgage lenders have a regulatory obligation to disclose their APRC on every mortgage deal that they offer to customers. This figure gives an overall percentage for interest and charges over the full term of the loan, so most mortgage borrowers will only ever have the deal until the fixed or discount rate runs out.

It’s true that this isn’t totally relevant because you’ll more than likely remortgage before the end of the full mortgage term, but it does help to compare mortgage deals more quickly. We’d suggest that you only use this as a rough comparison because it does include mortgage fees, reversion rates (Standard Variable Rates), and other charges.

There’s loads of information in this section and it seems quite confusing when you think about it. Ultimately, all you need to think about really is how you feel about the mortgage broker and are you happy with them.

Lots of mortgage brokers get business through repeat business and recommendations, which Martin Lewis does mention. He also says that the aim is to find you the best broker for the lowest possible price, which can be a dangerous game to play.

‘Most mortgage brokers charge a fee’ (all solicitors and accountants charge a fee!)

If you’re getting a new mortgage or applying for a remortgage then in reality you are very likely to pay a fee. A mortgage broker is a qualified and experienced person that will help you to save time, stress, and money.

There are some mortgage brokers that don’t charge a fee and they generate their income through other means, usually from commission and selling insurance products. Some fee free mortgage brokers are great and they do a good job, so if you’re happy and comfortable with that then go for it.

What is the average mortgage broker fee?

There are several different types of mortgage broker and several different levels of them as well, but most will charge a similar fee. The average mortgage broker fee in the UK in 2024 based on our extensive research is between £395-595 (depending on where you live).

Some mortgage brokers will charge a percentage of the sale price or the mortgage amount which is usually 1%. More complex mortgage loans such as bad credit mortgages may charge a higher fee (e.g. £995).

Why should you get advice from a mortgage broker?

As it says on the Martin Lewis mortgage guide, “Qualified mortgage brokers are also worth their weight in gold”, which is absolutely spot on. There’s actually no such thing as an ‘unqualified mortgage adviser’, because you can’t sell mortgages or give mortgage advice legally without a proper qualification.

All mortgage advisers in the UK are required by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to have a relevant qualification (e.g. Certification in Mortgage Advice and Practice or ‘CeMAP’).

Has your mortgage broker got good reviews and feedback?

Martin Lewis doesn’t mention this which is strange, we think that one of the most important thing about finding a good mortgage broker is good reviews. There’s no better guide than what other customers think and say about a company or individual (e.g. Feefo, TrustPilot, Google, etc.).

Make sure that the reviews are on a proper platform that is certified and independent, not a dodgy review platform. Check reviews carefully to make sure that they’re recent and that they look real (not made up).

This is incredibly difficult to do in reality, and there could be a very good reason why your deal on the Mortgage Best Buy tools is not available (e.g. credit score, credit history, employment type, income, affordability).

You should always question the deal that has been offered if you’re not sure and you can of course double check against other options. Some brokers might not have access to certain deals because they don’t deal with that lender or because there are special conditions to that deal.

The other point here is that the mortgage deal that you are looking at could have expired or been pulled from the market. Mortgage deals are more volatile than ever before at the moment because of the amount of uncertainty in the mortgage interest rates.

Lenders that don’t operate through brokers

There are some mortgage lenders that are classed as direct only which means that they don’t offer deals or rates to mortgage brokers. Generally, these lenders tend to sell mortgages to their own bank customers and some customers that apply directly (e.g. Yorkshire Bank and First Direct).

Exclusive deals from other brokers

There are some mortgage brokers that have access to exclusive mortgage deals because of how big they are and how many mortgages they write. This is quite rare in reality and there’s no guarantee that these deals will be available to you and may not even be better than your mortgage.

This sounds really simple and you’d naturally expect to do this on anything as big as a new mortgage. In reality and like it says on MoneySavingExpert, these are massive documents that can be extremely confusing or difficult to understand.

Our top tip is to get your mortgage broker to explain these documents in full to you and have a list of questions before you speak to them, such as:

  • What are the mortgage fees?
  • Are there any hidden fees?
  • Is the offer guaranteed?
  • Does it have a cancellation fee (e.g. Early Repayment Charge)?
  • Is this mortgage portable?
  • What happens if I miss a mortgage payment?
  • Can I overpay my mortgage?

These are just some of the standard questions that you should be asking your mortgage broker.

Key Facts Illustration

All regulated mortgage products sold in the UK are required to provide a Key Facts Illustration, which is a regulatory document which MUST provide the customer (you) with certain information. You should check this document to make sure that it is correct and store it in a safe place (e.g. locked filing cabinet).

‘Look out for the Key Facts logo’

Things to check:

  • Your name (spelt correctly and including any middle names)
  • Dates are all correct
  • Broker details
  • Lender details

The mortgage offer

This document will be supplied to you direct from the lender and so you should get an email or letter from them. This document should definitely be discussed and checked with your mortgage broker to make sure that it’s correct, which shouldn’t be too difficult to be fair.

Also, you should store this document with your Key Facts Illustration and cross check both of them to check for any errors.

We absolutely don’t agree with this and it seems foolish to suggest that a good advisor or broker is trying to sell you things. It is actually a regulatory requirement that mortgage advisers ‘have a responsibility’ to make sure that your mortgage is properly protected (e.g. life insurance, critical illness insurance, income protection insurance, buildings insurance, etc.).

In fact, Martin Lewis life insurance advice is clear that you should have life insurance and especially if you have dependents. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t get protection advice from your mortgage broker, and anyone else if you think it’s appropriate.

Mortgage payment protection insurance (MPPI)

This product doesn’t actually exist or it’s nowhere near as popular as it used to be before the financial crash in 2007. You can still get MPPI or ASU (Accident, Sickness and Unemployment) insurance, but in reality these aren’t the same products that they used to be.

You’re better off with Income Protection Insurance which will cover your salary if you’re unable to work because of sickness or an accident. Short term income protection insurance starts from as little as £5/month and you can get cover to protect against most illnesses and accidents.

As the Martin Lewis life insurance guides suggest, these policies are very important and that is especially true for parents. If you’ve got dependent children then you ‘should’ have life insurance and often it’s cheaper than you might think.

It’s true that not all mortgage brokers sell life insurance properly or have the expertise to offer life insurance to everyone. You should definitely compare your life insurance offer with other specialists or experts to make sure that the premiums are reasonable.

There’s an example on MoneySavingExpert that suggests a customer saved over £40 per month by looking at their options. This is not possible and there’s no way that a standard customer would be able to reduce their premiums from £51 to £9 on MoneySavingExpert. This must be a more complicated case and there would have been a complication, such as a pre-existing medical condition.

You can speak to one of our team of friendly mortgage experts to find out what our qualified mortgage specialists can do to help you.

Getting a mortgage is complicated and can be very confusing, so it’s important to make sure that you’re happy with your adviser. If you want to get help then you can contact us on 0800 009 6559 or CLICK HERE for more information.

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