What is a Mortgage Advisor and What Do They Do?
A mortgage advisor guides home buyers on the best mortgage deal available to them. This helps buyers decide how much money they can borrow relative to their salary and other circumstances. You may be advising individuals, for example, first-time home buyers, or you may be advising businesses.
There are many different types of mortgages, such as fixed rate and variable, so you’ll need to understand the market. What’s more, you’ll need to be able to pick the best mortgage based on your clients’ circumstances. Bear in mind that economic factors may make a difference, too. For example, if the Bank of England’s interest rate has been fluctuating in recent years, buyers may be hesitant to choose a fixed rate.
On any given day, your duties could include:
• Analysing current market conditions
• Weighing up the pros and cons relative to your client
• Explaining the rules and benefits of each type of mortgage
• Processing financial paperwork such as wage slips
• Filling out forms on behalf of a client
• Liaising with all parties involved in a house sale: solicitors, conveyancers and estate agents.
Typically, mortgage advisors work between 36 and 38 hours per week. This may be shift work including evenings, weekends and bank holidays. However, some of this may vary depending on whether you’re employed or freelance.
You may have heard the term “mortgage broker” before. This is essentially the same as a mortgage advisor. The key difference is that some advisors are “tied” whereas others are independent. If you choose to become a tied mortgage advisor, you can only recommend your employer’s products, such as a bank’s mortgages. If you’re independent, you can recommend anything – but you may not have access to exclusive deals.
This may affect how clients choose you, so you should think about this before you start training.
What Qualifications Do You Need to Become a Mortgage Advisor?
To become a qualified mortgage advisor, you need to complete a CeMAP Mortgage Advisor course. This is a Level 3 course, which means it’s equivalent to an A-level. As such, you don’t need a degree to become a mortgage advisor, but the transferable skills from degrees in finance or business could prove useful.
The course is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority. It teaches skills such as understanding mortgage policies and applying them to customers’ needs.
As this is an A-level equivalent, you’ll need to have passed at least five GCSEs and be at least 17 years of age to enrol. You should have pass grades in maths and English at grades 9-4 (A* to C in the old grading system) as this course will involve both written and arithmetic skills.
You can achieve the CeMAP Mortgage Advisor qualification in a few ways:
• Training through an apprenticeship scheme
• Training as part of an employee development programme
• Taking a distance learning course.
Some banks and building societies offer this course as part of their employee development. Once you’ve passed the CeMAP, you might want to consider an advanced course such as a Certificate in Advanced Mortgage Advice.
The CeMap course has three modules:
1. Introduction to financial services and regulations
2. Mortgage law, policy, applications, payments and completion
3. Assessment of mortgage advice and knowledge.
You will need to take an exam for each module – the first two of which are multiple choice and the final of which is a case study. The course typically takes six months to a year to complete, depending on your chosen study programme and other commitments. If you’d like to broaden your skillset, you might also consider preliminary courses in finance, business or economics, for example, A-level Economics or Business.
How Much do Mortgage Advisors Earn?
The average mortgage advisor salary in the UK ranges from £22,000 to £70,000 per year, depending on your experience. This may also vary depending on your employer and the region in which you’re based. For example:
• A junior mortgage advisor may start on £16,000 per year
• A mortgage advisor may earn £35,000 per year
• A financial advisor may earn £50-70,000 per year.
It’s worth noting that the above figures are based on “tied” mortgage advisors, which means you’re paid a salary by an employer. These salaries are a standard rate and do not account for commissions. Your employer may choose to pay you an additional commission based on the number of mortgages you sell.
So, what’s the story if you’re self-employed? Typically, a self-employed or non “tied” mortgage advisor can expect to earn around £1,000 per mortgage. This is based on your broker fees and commissions from the lender. Some of this will be relative to the size of the mortgage you sell. For example, securing a deal for a £250,000 mortgage will earn you a larger commission bonus than £200,000.
The route you take depends on how risk-averse you are. Some advisors may prefer the freedom of being independent and working with any lenders. Others may prefer the security of a base salary.
In both cases, you can charge more based on your experience. So, it’s worth investing in mortgage advisor courses to start earning higher commissions.
How much does a Mortgage Advisor earn?
What Type of Person Would Suit Being a Mortgage Advisor?
Mortgage advisor jobs understandably come with a lot of customer-facing activities, so it’s important to be friendly and approachable. If you’re a people person who loves to help others, you’ll love being a mortgage advisor.
Strong personal skills that would suit a mortgage advisor role include:
• Speaking and listening
• Putting complex information in layman’s terms
• Proficiency with numbers
• Punctuality and time management
• Strong customer service
• Motivation to meet targets.
Bear in mind that your role may be home-based or office-based, but you may also need to travel. This is where organisation and time management are key! A clean driving licence would be beneficial. You’ll also need a strong knowledge of computer programs including word processing and spreadsheets.
Remember that being a mortgage advisor can open you up to all sorts of situations. People may become distressed or frustrated if they don’t qualify for the mortgage they wanted. You should be prepared to comfort people and offer alternatives – which may require some quick thinking.
You’re also dealing with some very large numbers and personal information. Discretion is paramount, while clients will expect you to know what you’re talking about. You need to be able to show knowledge and confidence, which will encourage clients to trust you.
What Are the Benefits of Becoming a Mortgage Advisor?
Becoming a mortgage advisor opens you up to a whole world of opportunities in the financial sector. You may want to progress to a senior role, or branch out into other areas of finance. As such, it’s a great choice for people-oriented professionals who want to get ahead.
If you’re motivated by money, the average salary for a mortgage advisor is very attractive. With the prospect of earning up to £70,000 per year, there’s every incentive to develop your skills. What’s more, if you’re self-employed, there’s no limit to your earning potential.
Mortgage advisor roles do offer a degree of flexibility that some other roles cannot. For one, you may be able to build on your contacts and go freelance, following on from the security of an employed role. You can also work in shifts and take time off during the week or at weekends, depending on your schedule.
You’ll get to meet people from all walks of life. Everybody needs a roof over their head, while many business owners seek property, too. Old, young, frugal or wealthy – you’ll certainly meet some characters and this is all part of the fun.
Above all, the job security of the property sector is a huge incentive. There will always be demand for housing, so the further you develop yourself professionally, the more opportunities you’ll have. You can get your foot in the door with an approved distance learning course.
What Career Progression Can You Expect as a Mortgage Advisor?
From the moment you start your mortgage advisor qualifications, you should expect fantastic career development. The route you take will depend on where you land your first role.
For example, you may start out within an agency – perhaps earning your CeMap through an apprenticeship course. With a “tied” mortgage advisor position, you’ll have potential to build your skills with on-the-job training and command a higher salary.
However, mortgage advisor roles are also about building relationships. You might start with an employer, for example, before moving on to go freelance. That means it’s not always about climbing the corporate ladder. Of course, you can build your skillset with courses like a Certificate in Advance Mortgage advice, but you can also “go it alone”.
Once you’ve built these skills and developed a reputation, more customers will recommend you. This can give you untapped earning potential – not just from satisfying customers, but from becoming a household name to local lenders.
A background as a mortgage advisor may also open doors for you in other roles. For example, you may wish to gain financial advisor qualifications and go freelance with this. The average UK financial advisor salary stands at £63,197, and can be as high as £76,123!
Whatever your career path, you can rely on job security and excellent future prospects. It all starts with that first qualification.
Inspired to start your career as a mortgage advisor? There’s no need to wait! Enrol on our CeMap Mortgage Advisor course and become qualified in just 120 hours! Alternatively, give our friendly, experienced learning advisers a call on 0121 630 3000.