Q. What services does AscentiaUK provide?
A. AscentiaUK is able to offer an unrestricted range of first charge mortgages, but we do not offer second charge lending or bridging finance. We will advise and make a recommendation for you after we have assessed your needs.
In respect of insurances we are able to offer products from a limited number of insurers for Buildings and Contents, Life Assurance and Critical Illness Insurance. We can provide you with a list of insurers we are able to offer insurance from upon request. We will advise and make a recommendation for you after we have assessed your needs for non-investment contracts.
We are also able to provide quotes for conveyancing and will-writing.
Q. Are you Independent?
The implementation of recent changes in regulation has meant that the term ‘independent’ can only be used in certain circumstances. Please see below.
The technical explanation: The EU-wide Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD) was implemented on 21st March 2016. The MCD does not make any distinction between first and second charge mortgages and unless a broker offers both of these within their scope of service they will not be able to call themselves ‘independent’. The regulator explained that there are limitations on the range of products an MCD intermediary can offer, with the relevant market for any firm’s scope of disclosure consisting of all regulated mortgage contracts, whether first or second charge. So a firm only offering products from one part of the relevant market (such as first charge only) should not disclose their services as unlimited. It also follows that in respect of sales to which the MCD applies, an intermediary can only describe its scope as ‘independent’ if its consideration of mortgages is unlimited.
In simple terms: As AscentiaUK does not offer second charge lending we do not provide unlimited services – as we do not provide unlimited services within our service scope we are not, under MCD rules able to class ourselves as ‘independent’.
Whilst we may not be able to class ourselves as independent we are able to offer an unrestricted range of first charge mortgages, which is what most people require.
Q. Are you regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority?
A. Yes. AscentiaUK is a trading style of Ascentia Mortgage Solutions Limited. Ascentia Mortgage Solutions Limited is an Appointed Representative of Stonebridge Mortgage Solutions Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority Under Number 5601592. Our Registered Office address is Ascentia Mortgage Solutions Limited, Belmont Place, Belmont Road, Maidenhead, SL6 6TB. We are Registered in England and Wales and our Registered Number is 10115845
Q. Do you charge a broker fee?
A. Yes we do and this will be confirmed to you at the outset. A fee of £95 is payable at the time of advice and a fee of £199 is payable on receipt of your mortgage offer. We have structured our fees this way so that if (for whatever reason) you are unable to obtain a mortgage or decide to withdraw your application prior to the mortgage offer being received you will only have paid £95.
Q. Why do you charge fees?
A. Mortgages are a lot more difficult to understand and arrange than they may first appear. Knowing what rate, what term, what lender, what features and what insurance to get are all time-consuming and complex matters. Choosing a mortgage is a far more complicated process than simply opting for the lowest rate or the best incentives.
Here at AscentiaUK we take the time to understand your situation and take all your circumstances into account to be able to recommend the most suitable product for you. We undertake a thorough, professional look at your finances and it’s this approach that makes advice well worth paying for. We will go the extra mile to ensure your mortgage journey is as uncomplicated as possible.
Advice tailored to your situation is a service and in order for us to be able to offer this service we need to charge a fee. You are paying for our professional services and, therefore, we are not ashamed to charge a fee. We feel this is right.
In the UK a typical mortgage broker fee is around £500, but can be as high as £1,000 or 1% of the loan size so we feel the fees we charge are very reasonable.
These are all reasons why you should not be put off by paying a fee.
Q. What are your opening hours?
A. We have not advertised any set business hours as we understand that people lead busy lives and are not always able to call during traditional office opening hours. If you have an enquiry, whether it be night or day, please do get in touch – we are unlikely to answer your call in the middle of the night (you might be lucky though!) but we will certainly return your call as soon as possible.
Q. Do I need to visit your offices to talk through my circumstances?
A. No. These days everything can be done by phone and email. Again, we understand that many of you lead extremely busy lives and it is not always possible to take time out to discuss your requirements face to face in an office environment. You can call us on our freephone (landline) number, mobile and standard normal rate office number to discuss your requirements without the need to set foot outside your front door. Of course, we understand that some people do, however, prefer to discuss their requirements face to face and this is something we can consider.
Q. Can you only help me with my mortgage?
A. Although mortgages are our core business we are able to advise on various insurances to protect your mortgage and your family. We can also provide quotes for home insurance, conveyancing and will-writing services.
Q. Why should I use you to find me the best mortgage?
A. Here at AscentiaUK we take the time to understand your situation and take all your circumstances into account to be able recommend the most suitable product for you. We undertake a thorough, professional look at your finances and it’s this approach that makes advice well worth paying for. We will go the extra mile to ensure your mortgage journey is as uncomplicated as possible.
Reasons to use AscentiaUK:
– We are qualified! We have a great deal of experience and have vast knowledge of the mortgage industry, therefore you can be confident that you will receive the best advice when it comes to providing mortgage and protection advice.
– We are on your side! We will look for the most suitable mortgage for you. We have access to far more products than if you went to a lender directly. By using our services you will receive friendly and impartial advice and you will be able to choose from a range of lenders and subsequent products, rather than being restricted to the single range that a lender may be able to offer.
– We know the industry! Mortgage criteria has tightened massively over the past few years, with the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) and Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD) being the latest, and arguably widest-ranging, developments in the mortgage industry. Recent MMR Changes have been designed to ensure borrowers can prove affordability, even in the event of a rate rise, and those extra checks have understandably increased application times.
– We understand lending criteria and lender application requirements! In AscentiaUK, you have a qualified mortgage broker on your side from start to finish who understands it all. We can guide you through the complex maze of lender criteria and application requirements – we deal with lenders on a day-to-day basis, so we know what the application process is like for each lender and can tell you which lenders can process your application with minimal delays. .
– We have a good relationship with lenders! – Because we deal with lenders directly on a day to day basis we can can often exert influence and chase things in a way you just can’t do by yourself – and that can be invaluable should things get held up.
– We respect you! Here at AscentiaUK you will be treated with utmost professional courtesy and at the same time we will deliver a friendly approach.
– You will deal with the same person from start to finish! At AscentiaUK you will deal with the same person from outset to completion of your mortgage, guaranteeing you a friendly, efficient and professional service throughout your journey.
– We don’t just advise on mortgages! Of course, we understand that one of the principle reasons you may have approached us (or are thinking of approaching us) is because you wish to arrange a mortgage. And we can certainly help you with that – but we are not just a mortgage broker! We can also look at any related life insurance, buildings and contents insurance you may have. In addition should you need a will we can provide you with a quote and then refer you to an appropriate solicitor who will help you arrange your will.
Q. I haven’t found a property yet – when do I need to start talking to you?
A. We understand that you need to be confident in your ability to be able to obtain a mortgage before you start looking at potential properties. We very often speak to clients at an early stage to provide a realistic idea of how much they might be able to borrow and address any concerns they have and potential problems that we might face. By talking to us at an early stage we can help you understand your options and give you confidence going forward.
Q. Can you provide me with a decision in principle?
A. To begin with we will discuss your situation and precise requirements with you. We will then proceed to take down the required information so that we can properly assess which lenders may be most appropriate.
With certain details we will be able to provide you with an AscentiaUK Mortgage In Principle (MIP) certificate which will confirm you are able to borrow the amount you are looking to borrow (or the maximum amount if not) and also the maximum you could expect to borrow if you needed to. It will not detail lenders at this stage as you will appreciate lenders change their rates on a regular basis and what might be the best rate on one day may not be the best on another.
The key thing to note is that we do not carry out a credit score in order to produce your personalised MIP – we are simply using the details you have provided and using the lenders affordability calculators to work out your potential borrowing. Of course, once you have had your your offer accepted by the vendor and you are ready to apply for a mortgage we will undertake further research to narrow down the most suitable lender/rate and we will then present this to you, and provide all the details associated with our recommendation in writing.
If you are happy with our recommendation we can then complete a lender’s own decision in principle (DIP) which invariably involves a credit check /score being undertaken by the lender. This credit check will usually leave a footprint on your credit file. If your application is accepted in principle we can then proceed to the full mortgage application with that lender. We will do all of this for you.
Q. What’s the point of having an AscentiaUK MIP?
A. Once we have provided you with your very own personalised Mortgage in Principle (MIP) certificate you can present it to an estate agent, giving them peace of mind that you have been financially qualified by a reputable mortgage adviser. Despite what an estate agent says, you are not legally obliged to discuss your requirements with an in-house mortgage adviser. Indeed, it is against the law to insist on this.
You can provide the agent with our details so that we can also verbally confirm to them that you are able to get the mortgage, as outlined in the MIP.
Remember, no credit check has been completed at this stage so you have nothing to lose by talking to us early on.
Q. Can you help me arrange my buildings insurance?
A. Yes, we can provide you with a competitive quote. You do not need to be arranging a mortgage through us to receive a quote.
Q. What information do I need to have in order for you to start looking at the best mortgage for me?
A. We need to understand your circumstances so we can provide the best advice to you. Therefore we will need to take down certain bits of information including personal details, employment details, existing mortgage details and other financial details.
Therefore it would be helpful if you could have the following to hand for each applicant when we first discuss your situation;
- An up-to-date copy of your credit file – please refer to our Credit Report section
- Your last 3-6 months payslips if you are employed (and employment contract if necessary)
Your last P60
- Proof of any other income you receive (e.g. Notification of child benefit, tax credits etc.)
- Your last 2-3 years accounts if you are self employed, a partner in a partnership or are a director of a limited Company.
- Your last 2-3 years SA302’s if you are self employed, a partner in a partnership or are a director of a limited Company – your accountant should have these.
- An idea of your monthly expenditure – please feel free to use our handy budget planner.
- Your last 3-6 months bank statements for each applicant, plus 3-6 months statement for any jointly held bank accounts.
- Proof of deposit if you are buying
- Any relevant life insurance details (policy schedules etc..)
- A completed pre application pro forma
- I.D. – If advice is provided by way of telephone we require two forms of identification. If advice is provided in person we only require one I.D. Document. Please look at our handy guide to Acceptable ID & AV Documents.
- Address Verification (AV) – Regardless of whether advice is provided in person or by telephone we require 2 pieces of address verification. If you have already provided bank statements then you may only have to provide one additional piece of address verification. Please look at our handy guide to Acceptable ID & AV Documents.
Please note you may be required to provide further information / documentation. The list above gives you a good idea of what will be needed at outset, however, don’t worry if you don’t have all of these to hand to begin with – it is just useful if you do have them. We will be able to confirm which documents are likely to be required when we discuss your situation with you.
To begin with you can scan and email these documents to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. However, we will need to see ORIGINAL versions of all these documents prior to application. These can be sent to us (we would strongly advise you to send any documents by way of Recorded / Guaranteed next day delivery). We will then send these documents back to you in the same way once they have been certified.
Q. Can I refer you on to friends, family and colleagues?
A. Of course, there can be no higher recognition that we have done a great job than if we receive a personal recommendation from someone. We would be extremely grateful, and we will treat any client who has been recommended to us with the same high level of professional respect and friendliness, and provide our usual high level of service.
The truth is we all know someone, whether it be family, friends or work colleagues who could benefit from receiving mortgage advice. Very often people don’t know who to turn to and end up doing nothing. We can help these people and hopefully save them a great deal of money in the process.
We’d like to think that all our clients are really pleased with the service we provide and will come back to us time and time again in the future – this is what we strive for!
Q. You have listed a mortgage under your best buy section but I cannot see that this is available. Why might this be?
A. Lenders sometimes withdraw their rates with little or no notice and it will simply be that we have not been able to update our website. The rates that we include are simply to give you a flavour of what is available and whilst we try to keep these up to date you should not rely on this as confirmation of rate availability. Whilst we may not be able to apply if a rate has already been withdrawn we will always get the most suitable mortgage that is available.