Frequently asked questions

MortgageGym is the new digital mortgage marketplace.

What is MortgageGym?

We thought it was time someone made getting a mortgage more simple. No more trips to the bank, no boring meetings and definitely no messy paperwork.

So we created a digital marketplace to match mortgage borrowers with mortgage lenders, but without taking away real people from the process.

Thanks to a little bit of super-smart technology and a whole lot of data analysis, we can digitally identify you and then search the market to find mortgages from lenders that match your circumstances.

Once you've seen your mortgage matches and created an account, our digital community of MortgageGym Experts are there to help you make the perfect decision and apply for your mortgage.

It's free and always will be. We won't charge you anything. Not now, not ever. No catches. We get paid by the MortgageGym Experts who subscribe to our service so we can connect you with them. Our MortgageGym Experts get paid by a lender but only if you decide to go-ahead with a mortgage product.

It's easy, it's online and it puts you in control. That's MortgageGym.

Is MortgageGym an actual gym?

No, don't sweat - it's just a workout for your finances!

What is a MortgageGym Expert?

Our MortgageGym Experts are real people there to help you with your mortgage application from the moment you make your selection to the time your mortgage completes. So although we're an online business and we're definitely not like a traditional ‘bricks and mortar' mortgage brokerage, we still have real people on hand to help you. MortgageGym has created the brand-new concept of a digital mortgage marketplace. Our digital community of advisors are our MortgageGym Experts. All of our experts are carefully vetted, qualified mortgage brokers. To help you choose, they're all Trustpilot rated so you can read real reviews from real people.

Is it free and will it always be free?

Yes, it really is 100% free and always will be. We won't charge you anything. Not now, not ever. No catches. We get paid by the MortgageGym Experts who subscribe to our service so we can connect you with them.

How do you determine my Mortgage Matches?

We have partnered with Experian to bring you Mortgage Matches in under 60 seconds. To see your initial matches, all you need to do is answer a few simple questions including; who you are, your income and your deposit. Once you've registered with us, we can then quickly produce your tailored Mortgage Matches. We do this by combining the answers you've given us with some extra details about you from your credit file plus your outgoings and employment status.

Why do I need to provide my personal details before even speaking to a MortgageGym Expert?

This is for verification purposes and so that we can find your Mortgage Matches.

Why do you need my bank account details?

We need your bank account details for a few reasons.

One of the most important reasons that we ask for your bank account details is to help us identify you. MortgageGym uses real-time verification technology that enables us to make the connection between you and your bank account details. By confirming that you own your bank account in this way, we can get you into your mortgage faster by removing the need for paper-based verification. It's just one of the things we've done to eliminate paperwork, speed up mortgages and protect you against fraud. We protect against fraud by confirming in near real-time that the bank account details provided belong to you and are linked to your address.

Another reason we need to know who you bank with is that lenders sometimes offer cheaper products to customers who already hold bank accounts with them, so knowing your banks details helps us to match you to those products.

Don't forget that your mortgage lender needs your bank details to collect your payments by direct debit.

Will the joint applicant have access to my personal information?

That's completely down to you. You can easily set your data sharing preferences in your dashboard so you can share as much or as little of your personal data as you want with a joint applicant. They will always be able to see your joint mortgage matches and broker selection, but everything else is down to you.

Why have I been unsuccessful in being matched to a mortgage product?

This can be for a number of reasons but don't worry. Your results page will prompt you to choose a MortgageGym Expert who may still be able to find you the mortgage you need.

Can I have multiple applications at once?

No, not yet but we're building this feature so you will soon be able to run as many mortgage applications as you like at the same time.

Will my employer be contacted?

No, we will not contact your employer.

I am unsure about the mortgage process. What help will I get?

You will receive personal one-to-one support from the moment you select a Mortgage Gym Expert to give you guidance and updates all the way until your new mortgage completes.

Is my data secure?

The security of your data is one of our highest priorities. This is why we have chosen to partner with Rackspace, the largest Managed Cloud Provider in the world. We have world class cyber security to match.

How do I know I can trust you?

MortgageGym is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA is a financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, but operates independently of the UK government, and is financed by charging fees to members of the financial services industry. The FCA regulates financial firms providing services to consumers and maintains the integrity of the UK's financial markets. You can be confident in the knowledge that the FCA have authorised us to conduct our business. For peace of mind or to find out more, you can find us on the Financial Services Register by clicking here https://register.fca.org.uk and searching for our name.

Will this leave a record on my credit file?

The good news is that MortgageGym only does what's called a ‘soft search' of your credit file. This type of credit check is not visible to lenders and can only be seen by you. Our search won't be seen by anyone if you make any applications for mortgages, loans, credit cards or other credit agreements and it won't affect their decision.

What is my Experian Credit Score?

Your credit score acts as a straightforward way of showing how good you are at managing your finances. Banks and lenders will calculate their own score and use it to decide on whether they should or shouldn't lend you money. We have partnered with Experian to bring you a score, and they calculate your Experian Credit Score by using what's on your Experian Credit Report, giving you a number between 0 and 999. Different companies have different ways of making a credit score so it won't be the same everywhere but the Experian Credit Score can give you a good idea of how you may be viewed by a lender.

So how does my Experian Credit Score work?

As your credit score tells banks and other lenders how likely you are to repay money you've borrowed, the better it is the better your chances are of getting a credit card, a loan or even a mortgage, along with great rates for each. That means that having a high score usually shows you are able to pay back what you borrow on time and so you're more likely to get accepted when you apply for credit.

How do I get a better score?

There are many ways of improving your credit score, some as simple as registering on the electoral register. Making payments on time and not making too many credit applications in a short space of time will also make a big difference.

How much deposit do I need for a mortgage?

This depends on the mortgage lender and your circumstances. Typically, the minimum deposit required to obtain a mortgage is 5% of a property value. A lender will then lend you 95% of the property value. Government schemes like Help to Buy, Right to Buy or shared ownership and can also help you access a mortgage with lower upfront costs.

Many lenders ask for a 10% deposit or more, and save the best rates for borrowers with a deposit of 25% or more.

A basic principle to keep in mind is that the bigger the deposit you have, the cheaper the mortgage deals you will be able to get. This is because lenders can afford to offer cheaper rates to borrowers with larger deposits as big deposits reduce their risk of losing money if you don't keep up your repayments.

How old do I have to be to obtain a mortgage?

The minimum age for taking out a mortgage is 18 and for buy-to-let mortgages it's 21. There is no legal upper age limit for starting or finishing a mortgage but lenders set their own rules. For residential mortgages, the upper age limit for starting out on a mortgage is normally between 65 and 75 and the upper age limit for when the mortgage ends is typically up to 85 but can be a higher with some lenders.

What is Stamp Duty?

It's a government tax payable by the buyer every time a property is bought. Stamp Duty Land Tax (sometimes known as SDLT for short) is a tax that you have to pay if you buy a property or land over a certain price in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The current threshold is £125,000 for residential properties and £150,000 for non-residential land and properties.

The good news is that if you're buying a residential property for under £125,000 you don't have to pay any Stamp Duty. The bad news is that if you're looking to buy a residential property for over £125,000 you will have to pay Stamp Duty. The amount you'll have to pay is determined on a sliding scale of the price being paid for the property. The tax starts at 2% and rises to whopping 12% at the upper end. But don't worry as you'll only fall into the higher percentage band if you're paying £1.5m or more. There is a handy calculator you can use to see how much Stamp Duty you will pay.

https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/calculate-stamp-duty-land-tax

Your Stamp Duty needs to be paid to HMRC within 30 days of the purchase completing and can't be included in your mortgage so you'll need to make sure you have enough money to pay this on top of your deposit.

I have had problems with credit in the past, can I still get a mortgage?

MortgageGym has access to a wide range of products from lenders across the market. This includes products specifically for people that may have had issues with credit in the past. We can't guarantee you'll always get what you're looking for, but we'll do our best to help.

Do I have to have a survey?

If you are buying with a mortgage, you will normally need what's known as a mortgage valuation survey as a minimum. The basic mortgage valuation is what a lender does to check the value of the house.

But there are a few kinds of survey. The other types of survey are more detailed. You may not be required to have a survey but it's generally advisable.

Your MortgageGym Expert can help explain the different types of surveys available.

What's the difference between a mortgage valuation and a survey?

A mortgage valuation is done for the benefit of your mortgage lender so they can check that the value or price that's been agreed is realistic and they're happy with it.

A more detailed survey can help you find out more about the property, such as if there are any structural problems, subsidence or damp, as well as any other unwelcome hidden issues inside and outside.

RICS (the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) has some good guides about surveys that can be found by clicking here: http://www.rics.org/uk/knowledge/consumer-guides/home-surveys/

Don't forget, your MortgageGym Expert can help explain the different types of surveys.

How much will a mortgage cost each month?

The monthly cost of the mortgage is determined by three things: the amount borrowed, the term of the mortgage and the interest rate being charged. It's therefore specific to each mortgage or individual. As a general rule of thumb, about one third of your total take home pay would be the maximum payment that most lenders would allow you to commit.

Can I have more than one mortgage?

You can normally only have one residential mortgage at a time, but you might be able to buy other properties to let out using a Buy-to-Let mortgage.

What different types of mortgages are there?

Repayment - also known as a Repayment or Capital and Interest mortgage. Your repayments pay off the interest and part of the capital borrowed each month. There is a set term in which you will clear the entire mortgage amount.

Interest Only - Your repayments only repay the interest on your mortgage. You are responsible for the repayment of the capital when the mortgage reaches the end of the term.

The above are the two different mortgages in the UK. Below are the different product options available for the above mortgages

Standard Variable - Every lender has a standard variable rate (SVR) mortgage. The interest rate can go up and down. The rate is partly influenced by the Bank of England base rate but other factors can have an influence. The interest rate you pay on an SVR mortgage can change even without the base rate moving and is determined by the lender.

Discount Variable - This type of loan is cheaper than the Standard Variable Rate at the start of your mortgage and allows you to take advantage of the discount for a set period of time at the beginning of your mortgage. An early repayment charge may apply if the mortgage is repaid during the discount period.

Fixed Rate - The rate of interest on your mortgage is fixed for a set period of time at the beginning of your mortgage. Fixed rate mortgages are suitable for those who want to budget and prefer to know exactly what their monthly outgoings will be. If interest rates increase the fixed rate will remain the same and if the interest rates increase you are in the knowledge of not worrying about your repayments going up during the period of the fixed rate. An Early Repayment Charge may apply if the mortgage is repaid during the fixed period.

Tracker - Your mortgage interest rate is linked to the Bank of England base rate for a set period. So if the Bank of England rate goes up so will the rate of interest you will have to pay on your mortgage, but if the Bank of England rate falls so will your monthly repayments.

Flexible - This type of mortgage is designed to accommodate your changing financial needs. It may allow you to overpay, underpay or even take payment holidays. You may also be able to make penalty free lump sum repayments.

I am self-employed can you match me to the ideal product?

Yes, MortgageGym has access to a wide range of products from lenders across the market. This includes products specifically for people that are self-employed. We can't guarantee you'll always get what you're looking for, but we'll do our best to help.

Do payday loans improve my credit rating?

Having payday loans can have a detrimental effect if you wish to take out a mortgage. Some mortgage lenders do not accept clients who have had pay day loans particularly if they are recent. MortgageGym has access to a wide range of products from lenders across the market. This includes products specifically for people that may have had issues with credit in the past. We can't guarantee you'll always get what you're looking for, but we'll do our best to help.

How much can I borrow?

In the past, lenders offered mortgage loans amounts that were typically worked out on the basis of multiplying your income between 4 and 6 times. However, since the regulations changed in 2014, all mortgage loan amounts are now are related to individual affordability taking into account your income and outgoings. Lenders will also look at your credit score and any loans or credit cards you currently have. MortgageGym will advise you regarding the proposed lenders affordability figures.

Will past credit problems such as CCJ's or defaults affect my mortgage application?

Yes, unfortunately they will and you may not be able to access products from certain lenders. However, some lenders specialise in higher risk lending and are happy to lend to clients with past credit problems even including past repossessions, IVAs or even bankruptcy. MortgageGym has access to a wide range of products from lenders across the market. This includes products specifically for people that may have had issues with credit in the past. We can't guarantee you'll always get what you're looking for, but we'll do our best to help.

Can Maintenance Payments be counted as income?

Yes, although lenders will usually look to see that the maintenance has actually been received for at least 12 months.

I need to re-mortgage to buy-out a former partner but have had credit issues can you help?

Yes, we have lots of experience of dealing with this type of situation and are fully aware of the sensitive nature of such arrangements. We will guide you every step of the way throughout the transaction.

I know that I will have to have a mortgage that is a higher rate because of my circumstances but will I be stuck with this for 25 years?

No. We will regularly review your circumstances and look to get you into a better mortgage rate as soon as possible. MortgageGym is building ways to automate this review process to make sure we tell you the moment a better product is available for you.

How long do mortgages normally last?

Typically, mortgages last around 20 years, but this can change according to a whole variety of factors. When you set up your mortgage you will decided the term (i.e. the length of the mortgage) according to your repayment plan. This can change during the life of the mortgage depending on the decisions you make along the way. That means that you might decide to pay off your mortgage sooner, or somethings extend the term and take longer. Lots can change in your life during the term of a mortgage!

How big a mortgage can I take out?

In the past, lenders offered mortgage loans amounts that were typically worked out on the basis of multiplying your income between 4 and 6 times. However, since the regulations changed in 2014, all mortgage loan amounts are now are related to individual affordability taking into account your income and outgoings. Lenders will also look at your credit score and any loans or credit cards you currently have.

If you are using your mortgage to buy a property, then you will need to work out what size deposit you can pay up front before a mortgage lender will lend you the rest.

The size of deposit that you pay will depend on your financial situation and credit history. The difference between the amount borrowed and the actual value of the property is known as the loan-to-value (LTV).

Can I take out a joint mortgage with a partner or friend?

Yes, you can take out a mortgage with a partner or friend. If you do, it's a good idea to draw up an agreement (known as a trust deed) giving both of you power of sale so that you are covered in the event of a dispute.

You should also agree in writing whether you'll be joint tenants (sharing the property on a 50/50 basis) or whether you'll be tenants in common, with each owning a different share dependant on your respective incomes.

Will I be charged for paying off my mortgage early?

That will depend what kind of product you have chosen.

Almost all mortgage providers will normally charge what is known as an ‘early repayment charge' if you decide that you wish to pay the whole balance of your mortgage off early. This will normally because you will have agreed to enter into a product with a lender for a fixed term and agreed that you will stick with them for at least that fixed period of time.

On some repayment mortgage plans, you will be allowed to make overpayments each month, that is, paying more than your usual monthly repayment. Overpayments are typically allowed up to 10% above your standard monthly payment, but again this will depend on each particular mortgage plan.

My house has gone up in value, can I remortgage for more money?

Yes you can, this is known as releasing equity but your lender will need to make sure that you can afford the larger mortgage repayments.

Say you take out a mortgage of £400,000 buying a new house that is worth £450,000. The £50,000 difference between what you've borrowed and the value is your ‘equity', and is likely what you paid as a deposit. Now if, in this same situation, over the course of a few years, your property goes up in value, say by another £50,000. Then the equity in your property has increased and you might decide to remortgage and release some of that equity as cash, while maintaining the same loan to value (LTV) on your loan. If you do decide to remortgage, watch out for early repayment charges that your current lender might charge. If your increase in equity is large enough it might still be worth remortgaging, but don't be caught off-guard by early repayment charges.

Do I have to take out mortgage protection?

It's not a legal requirement to take out mortgage protection insurance, however, we advise this is something to consider because this will protect your asset for the mortgage term and will give you the peace of mind that your family would be able to remain in the property in the event of your death, or should you suffer a critical or long term illness.

My bank is only lending so much, but we need more than they are offering. Can we still buy the house we like?

MortgageGym has access to some mortgage deals that are not available direct from lenders on the high street. Lending policies differ from lender-to-lender, and some may lend more than others; we need to have a chat and discuss affordability to see which lenders criteria you meet and how much you can borrow.

When are the lender fees payable and are they refundable?

Some fees may be payable on application and some when you complete on the property, and some may be refundable. Your MortgageGym Expert will go over all fees that could be payable and explain when they would be due and if they are refundable or not. Your adviser will always provide you with an illustration for any mortgage they talk to you about and this will show you the breakdown of any fees and when they are due.

If I get an Agreement in Principle (AIP) with a lender what will I do if a better product comes up before my application?

An AIP will tell you whether your credit score is good enough for your mortgage application to be accepted by them, and the level of borrowing they may be willing to consider. It does not oblige you to go to a particular lender and does not oblige them to provide you with a mortgage offer, but it does enable you to get an early indication of what value properties you can be looking at.