How does a Mortgage work?

A Bank or Lender loans money with interest. In return their loan is secured against the value of a person’s property. The details of the loan agreement are registered against the Title of that property- this is known as a mortgage.

What is a mortgage broker?

Mortgage brokers are specialist mortgage providers who will look for a suitable mortgage product on a client’s behalf in order to ensure they get the best possible deal. Fees and success rates vary from one broker to the next, so it is sensible to use the services of a number of brokers to get the most attractive quote.

I’m a first time buyer, can you arrange my mortgage?

Yes Absolutely.  It can be quite daunting when you first start looking for a property, we understand that. Our advisors will help you understand the process and you can ask as many questions as you want. All without having to make an appointment. It can all be done by online chat.

Can you help me remortgage?

Yes of course. We can help you remortgage up to four months before you current mortgage deal expires. We would look to get the mortgage set up for the day that your current deal ends.

Can you provide mortgages for buy-to-let properties?

Yes we do. Our advisors are experienced with all types of mortgages. We can help if you are an experienced buy to let landlord, or if you want to buy your very first investment property.

Do I need to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on a buy to let property?

If you buy a second property that is not your main residence, you will have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on it. The amount you will pay is dependent on the purchase price of the property as detailed below:

  • Less than £125,000: 0%
  • £125,001 – £250,000: 2%
  • £250,001 – £925,000: 5%
  • £925,001 – £1.5 million: 10%
  • £1.5 million+: 12%


If you buy a house for £275,000, the SDLT you owe is calculated as follows:

0% on the first £125,000 = £0

2% on the next £125,000 = £2,500

5% on the final £25,000 = £1,250

Total SDLT = £3,750

Information correct as of March 2019 – Source: www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax/residential-property-rates

How can I get a right to buy mortgage?

If you are looking to purchase your home under the right to buy scheme, you are in safe hands with us. As expert right to buy mortgage brokers, we can help advise you on your eligibility, the level of discount you will receive on your property, the amount you can afford to borrow, and the right mortgage product to suit your individual needs and circumstances.

When you are ready to process your right to buy mortgage application, we will manage the entire process for you; completing all the necessary paperwork, liaising with your lender and solicitors and keeping your regularly informed on the status of your application, so that everything runs smoothly from start to finish.

What different types of Mortgages are there?

There are two main types of mortgages;

Fixed Rate Mortgage and Variable Rate Mortgage. A Fixed Rate Mortgage means that your interest amount is fixed for a period of time (usually two to five years) therefore your repayments don’t change.

A Variable Rate Mortgage means the amount of interest you pay can change, and therefore so do your repayments.

How long does it take to get a mortgage?

Getting a mortgage application approved is dependent on you, your mortgage broker, solicitor and lender. At Cortex, we handle the entire process for you through to completion, communicating with your solicitor and lender, to remove the stress and hassle from you and ensure that your application is a success. Having all the relevant mortgage documentation to hand ready for your mortgage advisor, will also help speed up the process.

How much deposit will I need?

To buy a home with a mortgage, you will need to save a deposit of at least 5%. The more you can save, the better your mortgage rate will be. There are a few exceptions to this however as follows:

  • If you already own a home, you can use the equity from your property for the deposit
  • If you are a council tenant and are looking to buy your current home under the Right to Buy scheme, most mortgage lenders will now accept your Right to Buy discount as a deposit.

With property prices increasing, first time buyers are struggling to save enough money to buy a home. The government has therefore introduced ‘Help to Buy’ to enable first time buyers to get on the property ladder.

Our professional mortgage advisors are experts on all the various mortgage deals available and can help you decide which mortgage deal best fits your needs.

How much can I borrow?

Generally speaking, banks will aim to lend up to 4.5x your salary.  Some banks can lend more than this, depending on the deposit amount and various other factors, but our mortgage advisors will be able to go through an affordability assessment that is unique to you.

You can use our quick Mortgage Calculator to get an estimate, but we will need to carry out a full affordability assessment if you have regular commitments such as loans and credit cards to determine how much you could borrow. Also, if you have dependents this will reduce the maximum figure.

For a more detailed mortgage calculator, we recommend you try the Money Advice Service. This is an independent mortgage advice service set up by the government.

I have bad credit, will this be a problem?

This will not prevent you from getting a mortgage. Our advisors have great success in helping clients with adverse credit. There are a number of lenders that we work closely with who are more favourable to clients who have previously had trouble sourcing finance. Talk to one of our advisors today for further information.

How can i improve my poor credit rating?

To improve your bad credit rating, there are a few things you can do to possibly increase your chances of being approved for a bad credit mortgage:

  • Check that you are on the electoral roll
  • Always pay your bills on time and in full
  • Close any credit accounts you have for stores or catalogues and no longer use
  • Consider applying for a credit builder credit card, to help show lenders that you can manage money responsibly
  • Guarantor loans can also improve your credit score, if you keep on top of your repayments
  • Regularly check your credit report to make sure that all the information is correct. If any of the details are incorrect, contact the relevant lender and ask for these to be amended.

Is the Mortgage advice independent?

Yes, our advice is always independent and impartial, our advisors don’t work on commission, this means they will recommend what they consider to be the best mortgage to meet your needs. They have no affiliation with a particular lender or panel. Our advisors are CeMap qualified, FCA regulated and offer professional advice.

What is LTV?

Lenders often talk about the LTV requirement. LTV is an acronym for Loan to Value Ratio. This is a term used to describe the ratio of a loan to the value of the property purchased. For eg if you borrow £170,000 to purchase a property valued at £200,000 the LTV is 170,000/200,000 or 85%, the remaining 15% is your equity.

What documents do you need from me?

Initially, we won’t need any documents. However, if you are looking to proceed with a quote or if we need to carry out an affordability assessment to get you a quote this is what we would need:

 Affordability Assessment

  • Latest 3 months payslips or latest 3 years tax returns
  • An up-to-date credit report dated within the same month
  • Latest 3 months bank statements showing daily expenditure and income (salary credit if employed)

Agreement in Principle

  • Below is a list of the minimum documents we will need to get you moving forward with an Agreement in Principle:
  • Passport to confirm your legal name (Must be valid and in date) or Drivers Licence (Must be valid and in date)
  • Income proof that matches your application (either your latest 3 months payslip or your latest 3 years tax return)
  • Latest 3 months bank statements showing daily expenditure and income (salary credit if employed)
  • Proof of Deposit
  • Memorandum of Sale (or Rightmove / Zoopla link to the property details if no sale agreed)
  • An up-to-date credit report dated within the same month

Mortgage Application

  • The lender may require further documents to this list, but for now, these are the standard document requirements:
  • Latest Mortgage statement (Remortgage only)
  • Passport (Must be valid and in date) or Drivers Licence (Must be valid and in date)
  • Income proof that matches your application (either your latest 3 months payslip or your latest 3 years tax return)
  • Latest 3 months bank statements (the bank statements provided must show your income being credited and general expenditure going out)
  • Latest Council Tax Statement or Utility Bill dated within the last three months
  • Memorandum of Sale (or full details of property, your solicitors and estate agents)
  • Proof of Deposit
  • An up-to-date credit report dated within the same month.