A mortgage broker is the advisor assigned to a customer in order to find the right mortgage product. It is mostly an advisory role, explaining complex mortgage options and products to an existing client or a first time buyer. The job also requires a mortgage broker to deal with estate agents, surveyors and mortgage lenders. This means that a mortgage broker needs to be constantly up to date with new or changing guidelines set out by the Financial Standards Agency (FSA) as they would need to communicate these changes to their clients. The mortgage broker job is often pressurised to meet sales targets but this is rewarded with high bonuses called ‘On Target Earnings’. A mortgage broker job can also come with a company car as well as special pension and insurance benefits.
As mortgages are offered in nearly all high street banks and building societies, they are the most obvious place to look for a mortgage broker job. Often mortgage brokers have worked their way up through the company, most often starting in customer services. This form of training will be tailor made to the company that is doing the training as they will only be able to offer in depth teaching on their own way of offering particular mortgage packages, so it is important to consider how you, as a trainee, understands other lender’s packages. However, there are other ways to train for the mortgage broker job. Employers usually run apprentice training schemes where on the job learning is paid for. On the job training schemes also start new employees on different jobs in areas such as insurance to learn all aspects of the mortgage market. Online learning is also becoming an increasingly popular way to study for qualifications and there are several accredited schemes available on the web. As the FSA’s standards on qualifications have become more stringent, it is important that new trainees quickly establish themselves in a particular area of mortgages to specialise in as this will increase employment opportunities.
To train as a mortgage broker, you will need to have gained industry recognised qualifications such as a CeFA (School of Finance Certificate for Financial Advisors) or Certificate and Diploma in Financial Planning. Once these qualifications are gained then a trainee mortgage advisor has an averaging basic salary of £18,000 per year, without commission or bonuses. To be classed as a fully trained mortgage broker, the trainee will need to have undergone further on the job training with supervised meetings with clients in order for employers to assess the progress of the trainee. Once the trainee has successfully underwritten the desired amount of mortgages and tasks, they will then be fully trained and offered promotion or a higher salary. In mortgage broker jobs employers do not select new recruits based on ‘A’ level or degree results, often it is personal motivation, previous customer service experience and most importantly on people skills as the job requires a lot of one on one meetings with a broad range of clients. As the mortgage broker job is people orientated, like any sales related work, the hours are often long with shift work at weekends as well as some evening work (especially if you take an independent, self employed mortgage broker job). Further qualifications are available as the mortgage broker job can lead on to becoming a financial advisor.