Tackling the affordability conundrum

Stuart Phillips (pictured) is director at BrokerSense

People want very different things from a mortgage broker, and they have very different circumstances and needs, but affordability is at or near the top of the list for most clients.

They want to buy the best place they can – either because it will be their own home or because they want to maximise the rental income from a buy-to-let property.

So, it stands to reason that the conundrum most clients want the answer to is ‘how much can I borrow?’.

The problem is, clients all have different expectations that need to be carefully managed. Some will expect to be able to borrow very high multiples of their income, only to be disappointed that the high watermark for that sort of thing was some years ago, while others are much more realistic.

Our job is to give them the best advice and to get them the best deal. So how to do that when there are so many lenders out there offering widely varying deals to different types of customers?

Some brokers will respond to this challenge by having a smaller panel of lenders they use regularly – but does this really enable them to get the best deal for the client?

It’s sometimes surprising what deals are available with a broader view of the market, so by just going with the same ‘tried and trusted’ lenders again and again, brokers risk selling their clients short.

Needless to say, there is a better way.

By using straightforward and easy-to-use affordability tools, brokers can scan a large number of lenders to give a clear indication of what level of borrowing is achievable.

The BrokerSense tools include fifty residential and 75 buy-to-let lenders and generates instant affordability reports.

It plugs in to your existing systems – so no need to re-enter data – and produces outputs in a format that can easily be presented to clients or filed for compliance.

Tools like ours can take the guesswork out of affordability reports and also remove a lot of the administrative burden, leaving brokers free to do what they do best – advising their clients.

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