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Mortgage Advisor jobs
What's it really like?
James Cameron – Former Mortgage and Financial Advisor at St. James's Place Partnership
How long have you been in this job/ industry?
I've now been working in finance for 5 years. I started out advising clients on mortgages after graduating from university and am now a Business Analyst.
What did you do in a typical day at work?
I used to get to work at 9 a.m and check my e-mails for any developments that might have come in. I would then review the current progress of all our clients' mortgages. I was able to offer products from the whole of market meaning that we could advise our clients on mortgages from every institution.
Most mortgage companies we deal with have incentive periods i.e. periods where the mortgage rate is lower than the lender's Standard Variable Rates. Incentive periods are normally between two years and five years and so in order to ensure that clients were not paying over the odds we used to keep a database of all clients' current deals so we could contact them when their current deal was close to expiry.
Each day I would normally have at least 5 or 6 documents arrive from clients – signed application forms and the like - and around ten pieces of information come in from mortgage providers.
My day was normally split between speaking with clients, sourcing mortgages and doing analysis to see which was the most cost effective or appropriate for the client, preparing application forms and supporting Know Your Client ("KYC") documentation - identification, confirmation of pay, proof of address etc - and speaking with lenders. For new clients the interview process is normally longer than for existing clients as you have to ascertain a range of factors - salary, existing commitments, other assets, financial dependents etc. For new clients we also used to use Letters of Authority, signed by the client, and write to their existing mortgage provider to confirm full details of their mortgage.
What do you like about the job?
I enjoyed speaking with clients. At the end of the day you are facilitating the most important purchase that most people make and it is very fulfilling to help someone buy a house.
What do you dislike about the job?
Paperwork! I spent considerable amounts of time filling in application forms. You also get clients who are rather impatient.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of doing this job?
It's imperative that you have the client's best interests in mind, you need to be thorough and have a keen eye for detail to ensure that a mortgage application runs smoothly.
What job(s) do you think you might do after this role (i.e. career progression)?
I took all of the CII Financial Planning Certificate exams and spent 3 years advising clients on investment, inheritance tax and pension issues. I then moved into the City and now advise large institutional clients on how to invest their assets. I've gone from advising people on £100,000 mortgages to advising investment banks on billions of pounds.
What other inside-information can you give to help people considering this career?
Being a Mortgage Advisor does provide you with a lot of flexibility and you can often build a career around your family. It can be very well paid but you need to be able to source your own clients. It is likely that regulation of financial professionals will increase in the future, especially in light of the recent economic difficulties. Being a self-employed advisor does not always provide a consistent income. For example, during the recent financial crisis the number of people buying houses and re-mortgaging and the capital available from lenders has reduced substantially, meaning that the role of the advisor has become harder.
Mortgage Advisors advise people and companies on which mortgage is most appropriate for them.
Mortgage advisors are responsible for advising their clients on the best mortgage for their particular circumstances. Being a mortgage advisor will involve 'selling' FSA regulated products and, as such, you have a duty of care and obligation to offer the best advice to your clients.
Mortgage advisors can offer products from a single provider (i.e. just one institution), work on a multi-tied basis(where they offer products from several providers) or offer products from the whole of market (meaning that they offer products from all or the majority of providers).
Mortgage advisors may advise on a range of products including buy to let, residential or commercial mortgages. They may also advise on a range of different products including:
Employers may also offer comprehensive benefits packages such as pensions or life insurance.
You will be responsible for:
A Mortgage Advisor needs to pass one of several recognised qualifications in order to sell regulated products. The full list of relevant qualifications is published by the Financial Services Skills Council ("FSSC").
You will be expected to have 5 GCSE's at A to C and employers will often require a B or higher in Maths and English. You will then need to pass one of the following before you can practise:
It is possible to join banks and financial institutions straight after school or university through work or graduate programmes.
Mortgage Advisors will normally work from an office but, unlike other professions, they are likely to spend a lot of time at their clients' homes. Normal office hours will apply but you may be expected to meet with clients after work.
Mortgage Advisors may look to move into offering financial advice in other areas such as insurance, investments or pensions. In order to do so they will need to study for further qualifications such as the CII Diploma in Financial Planning (DipPFS).
Employed advisors may also be promoted to become sales managers or area sales managers looking after a team of mortgage advisers.