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What scares you more: haunted houses or getting a mortgage?

Written by: Kevin Roberts, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club
The word “mortgage” derives from a French law term meaning “death contract”, so it’s not surprising that people might find the process of applying for a mortgage a daunting prospect. However, the mortgage process doesn’t need to be scary.

Read on as we list the top five things that petrify people about mortgages and peel off the scary mask to reveal what’s underneath – which isn’t that frightening at all.

Raising a deposit

Saving for a deposit will likely be the most frightening part of buying a home. According to Halifax, the average first-time buyer deposit is now £32,841.

Whilst this may seem like an unattainable goal, there are plenty of options in place to assist first-time buyers to build up their deposit. Government schemes such as Help to Buy and Shared Ownership help address affordability issues by loaning a sum of money towards the home.

Additionally, taking a gift or borrowing from the Bank of Mum and Dad can also help towards securing a deposit.

Choosing the right mortgage

There are now many price comparison websites that provide customers with various deals, but it’s easy to get lost in the maze of different percentages, fees, and choices of fixed or variable rates.

Speaking to a mortgage adviser is therefore essential. Not only do advisers have access to thousands more products than going direct to a lender, but as specialists in their field, they’re able to help find a mortgage that matches each borrower’s specific needs.

Navigating the process

Buying a home can be a complex and lengthy process, which scares some people off straight away. The seemingly endless forms, meetings and scrolling through comparison websites can feel like a never-ending feat, but this is changing.

The mortgage industry is embracing new technology and using digitisation to automate a large proportion of the mortgage process. As a result, the time that borrowers need to spend manually filling out forms will be slashed.

Wrangling with remortgaging

For most people, a mortgage repayment is their biggest monthly outgoing, so they may want to think about remortgaging as way to lower their payments. However, many borrowers are scared of the ramifications of remortgaging or don’t really understand the process.

In reality, many older borrowers are actually sitting on fixed standard variable rates (SVR) rates and potentially could save thousands of pounds monthly by remortgaging. However, some customers are afraid that they won’t meet the affordability criteria of another lender.

Our research shows that more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of borrowers who went straight to a lender hadn’t remortgaged in the past five years.

Yet again, advisers can help here, as they are experts in this area. Switching onto a fixed rate deal could save some borrowers as much as £3,200 a year, so it’s definitely an option worth asking about.

The fear of rejection

People with complex financial circumstances often worry that they won’t be able to get a mortgage. Individuals that are self-employed, have a credit blip on their record, or have been rejected from a high street lender tend to be the most spooked in this regard.

In reality, though, there are actually many lending routes available for customers with complex circumstances. By assessing applications on a case-by-case basis, specialist lenders will take each borrower’s unique circumstances into account and identify the most suitable product.

Get advice

Most specialist lenders can only be accessed through a mortgage adviser, though, so anyone interested will need to seek guidance in this area.

No matter what stage a buyer is at, the mortgage process can seem frightening. But just like the monsters lurking under the bed, it’s the not knowing that’s the scary aspect of the mortgage process.

With so many options available, advice is key. Speaking with an independent mortgage adviser can provide a number of spooktacular benefits.

Borrowers will have access to far more products than going direct to a lender, and just as importantly, will receive guidance about which products best suit their particular situation.

An adviser can also help borrowers better understand the costs, criteria and options associated with any product, as well as factors such as life or income protection that will help protect their future – and their family’s too.

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