Mortgage blog: Why you might have to wait a month for your mortgage appointment
If you're thinking of taking out a mortgage in the next few months then it may pay to book your appointment now. New rules set to come into force this April will increase the demand for mortgage advice meaning you could be forced to wait weeks for a meeting with your lender's mortgage adviser.
With many High Street lenders racing to get qualified staff in place to deal with mortgage applications, you could be forced to wait weeks to see a member of staff. And, once you get there, you could face a mammoth three-hour appointment.
A business manager at one of the UK's largest lenders has issued a warning that customers could expect waiting times of up to a month to see a lender's in-branch mortgage advisor.
Speaking at a Sesame Live conference, the manager also told brokers that a face-to-face mortgage appointment at a High Street lender could take between three and three-and-a-half hours from 26 April, when the new rules come into place.
The lender in question has tried to play down the concerns, saying: "Over the last year we have increased the number of mortgage consultants available in branch. Availability of mortgage appointments is in line with demand and we expect no material change to this."
However, many experts believe that lenders will struggle to cope with demand when the new rules - which ban sales of mortgages without advice - come into force. In addition, lenders will be required to capture more information about a borrower and to take more steps than ever before to prove they can afford the mortgage.
Keith Osborne, editor of Whathouse.com, says: "There is a very real chance that you will face a lengthy wait for an appointment at your local bank or building society as they get used to the new rules. If you're looking to move fast it may well pay to speak to a mortgage broker instead. As well as getting advice much more quickly a broker can help push along your mortgage application to speed up the process."
Association of Mortgage Intermediaries chief executive Robert Sinclair says: "I don't anticipate any issues in the intermediary world in that we have already been taking in the kind of detail required under the MMR for some time. The big change is in the direct world, because of the requirement to take more detail than they have in the past. There will be delays - that may be in getting an appointment or how long those appointments take."
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