Knowledge Centre2017-01-06T15:30:41+00:00

Knowledge Centre

Improve your general knowledge about the key areas of advice you may need

Welcome to Knowledge Centre! Here we give you additional background information to help build you understanding of the various areas of advice that may be pertinent to your needs, should you need financial service and in particular, mortgage and other borrowing advice.

This information is designed to improve your general knowledge about these areas of advice. However, Frog Financial Management always recommend you contact us to arrange, a no-obligation, face-to-face meeting with our adviser.

Any questions you may have can be fully discussed and advice provided.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
Our broker fee is £395, payable should you ask us to arrange your mortgage, payable on application.
This fee will be fully refunded if the mortgage application is declined and we are not able to source a suitable alternative lender.

Satisfy your thirst for knowledge, so you can make informed choices

Refers to services provided by the financial services industry. Financial services encompass a broad range of organisations that deal with the management of money. Among these organisations are banks, building societies, credit card companies, insurances companies, consumer finance companies, etc.

Financial services is an all-encompassing phrase for any kind money management product, all have a unique end provision. It is important to get appropriate mortgage and insurance advice.

When you are shopping around for financial services products, it’s important to know whose offering what and what financial services will suit your needs. Therefore, you may need to consult an adviser who works in the financial services industry.

You can gather financial services information yourself (available from advertisements or online), or get financial services advice from an adviser.

When you collect financial services information this way it will be ‘off the shelf’ and it won’t be personalised – so your individual circumstances are not considered.

Financial services businesses will provide professional advice using an adviser who reviews your personal circumstances and then recommends financial services products, which are suitable for your needs. Businesses that offer financial services on certain products in the UK must be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Alternatively, they can be an appointed representative(s) of a regulated business. Regulated businesses and their appointed representative(s) are included on the Financial Conduct Authority Register and have to meet a range of professional standards.

The Financial Conduct Authority sets standards for how businesses should give you financial services advice for products including:
• Life, critical illness and family income protection assurance.
• General Insurances; such as buildings and contents.
• Mortgages and remortgages.
• Investments; such as personal pensions.

You don’t have to see an adviser when you’re buying financial services products, but if you don’t you may choose something that’s not suitable for your needs and you’ll have fewer grounds to make a complaint.

You may decide you want financial services advice if for example, you:
• Are considering protecting your family in the event of accident, sickness or death.
• You inherit a lump sum of money.*
• Are looking to purchase your first property and need mortgage advice.
• Want to start saving for a pension.

The service you may be offered
Make sure the service the business is offering you meets your needs – decide if you just want to buy a particular product or if you want the financial services adviser to provide you with an ongoing service.

Financial services businesses may either:
• Offer both advice and product information.
• Provide information about financial services products.
• Give advice.

Check that the adviser can offer advice on financial services products you’re interested in. Some businesses offer advice on mortgages, insurance and investments, etc. Others may only offer advice on a couple of these.

The financial services products you may be offered
The financial services products advisers offer will vary. For example, some offer products from:
• Whole-of-market.
• A limited number of providers.
• The firm they work for or firms within that group of companies.

The extent of financial services advice a firm offers may vary from product to product. For example, a business could offer mortgages from the whole-of-market, but life assurance from a limited number of providers. So think about the type of financial services products you think you need and ask a financial services adviser what products they offer. Frog Financial Management source products from a comprehensive panel of providers.

What you will have to pay
In some instances you will have to pay for the advice you are given (this is commonly referred to as a broker fee) and the financial services business may charge a fee for arranging and advising on some products, such as a processing and application fee for arranging a mortgage.

In a lot of instances, the financial services business won’t charge any fee, as they are paid commissions from the provider of the product or financial services they recommend.

Ask the financial services adviser to explain what you may have to pay for and how you can pay.

Frog Financial Management can provide advice on mortgages, life, critical illness and income protection insurance, buildings, contents and accident, sickness and unemployment insurance and business assurance. Should you have a need for any of the following: Will writing*, inheritance tax planning*, secured and unsecured loans*, commercial mortgages* and investment advice you will be referred to a third party provider. Neither Frog Financial Management nor First Complete Ltd accepts responsible for the advice provided by the third party.

*These products and services are generally not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

When it comes to finding a mortgage, a mortgage broker can be invaluable. How do you find good mortgage brokers and how to make the most of it when you do? Frog Financial Management can drive to wherever you work or live in Hertfordshire, to meet with you. Alternatively, we can meet you at a ‘Starbucks’ in one of Hertfordshire’s larger towns such as Watford, St Albans, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, Borehamwood, Welwyn Garden City, etc. Alternatively, use one of the independent coffee shops found in the smaller towns like Berkhamsted, Rickmansworth, Chorleywood, Radlett, etc.

A mortgage broker is basically an adviser with expert knowledge of the mortgage market. Mortgage brokers identify the mortgage most suited to your needs, talk through the application on your behalf with the lender. It’s worth knowing that some mortgage brokers have access to deals that aren’t available to the public generally.

When it comes to locating a mortgage broker, a personal recommendation from happy clients who has used mortgage brokers is valuable. Alternatively, get the mortgage broker to give you references from their clients.

When you meet up with your mortgage broker, try to be as organised as possible, which will help the mortgage broker. Furthermore, before meeting your mortgage broker, make a note of your circumstances.

Finding the correct mortgage can prove difficult; firstly, with thousands of choices it can be difficult to confirm which is best for you, this is because the mortgage marketplace is something of a minefield currently. A mortgage broker can help you find your way through this.

Secondly, searching for the most suitable mortgage can be laborious and frustrating, and what you don’t want to do is end up with second best, just because you do not have the time to review a range of mortgages from various lenders.

There is good news however; there is help for you in the form of mortgage brokers, who are specialists in their marketplace.

Using a mortgage broker can save you loads of time and hassle, and can help you to overcome the risk of applying for mortgages that are too expensive or incompatible.

Are there advantages to using mortgage adviser ?
There are a range of benefits to using a mortgage broker. You can save a lot of time and aggravation, as the mortgage broker does the research, so you don’t have to. The long-standing relationship a mortgage broker has with mortgage lenders means they are aware which lenders are best suited to your personal demands and needs.

Will I have to fill out loads of forms if I use a mortgage broker?
One of the benefits of using a mortgage broker is that they can help with all paperwork involved in your application.

Why use a mortgage broker?
Taking out a mortgage is a very important financial decision. There are many products to choose from and many won’t suit your personal circumstances. There are a wide number of mortgage brokers who focus on specific areas too. Because of this you should find a mortgage broker who uses to a wide number of mortgage products.

A mortgage broker considers your entire financial situation to ensure your finances are secure going forward, so it’s definitely worth looking for a appropriate mortgage broker .

It may be that a mortgage broker has the use of exclusive products which are not around on the High Streets.

A broker prepares all the paperwork on your behalf and interacts with the lender, solicitors and estate agents where necessary.

A mortgage broker will advise you of the most suitable offer for your requirements. All lenders have various lending criteria. By going directly to a mortgage broker you could save time and money.

Typically, most mortgages have a deal period associated with it. About three to four months before this deal period comes to an end, it’s advisable to start shopping around to find the best remortgage deals available. If you just stay with your current lender after the end of the deal period – say two or three years – will mean your mortgage reverts to the lender’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR). You can stay on your current lenders SVR or possibly remortgage to a new product with your existing lender, you can also remortgage to a completely different deal with a new lender.

When remortgaging, it is advisable to find a mortgage broker that provides appropriate advice. With the current state of the remortgage market, people may well need a broker.

If you switch your mortgage to another mortgage product or lender this is called remortgaging. This process has the potential to bring financial benefits, however if you make the wrong choice it could have opposite effect.

The main reasons for remortgaging
The most usual reason for remortgaging is to find a better rate (especially if you are about to revert to a less competitive SVR). Also people sometimes consolidate debt or release equity when remortgaging.

You may also have to remortgage if you are moving house, even if your lender will allow you to transfer your current mortgage to the new property.

Remortgaging doesn’t only happen when your mortgage deal is finishing. For example, if someone has a fixed rate mortgage, and interest rates plummet, leaving them stranded on a much higher rate, remortgaging to a more competitive rate may make financial sense. However, remortgaging is unlikely to be without costs. The current mortgage may carry penalties or charges if you remortgage early and there may be costs associated with the new remortgage, therefore all these considerations need to be factored in before a decision is made.

Typical Remortgaging problems
As a result of the credit squeeze over recent times, most lenders withdrew their larger loan-to-value (LTV – the amount lent as a percentage of the property’s value) remortgage. Although this isn’t good news for first-time buyers, it’s also impacting on borrowers looking to remortgage. A lot of people who borrowed more than 85% some years ago may themselves facing the prospect of having very few remortgage options available. If you find yourself in this situation you may need to build up more equity in your property before you can remortgage, as there are only a few lenders who will offer a LTV of up to 95% currently.

Lenders are being more choosing of who they remortgage to and how much they lend, as a result of current financial situation. So if you had a good mortgage deal a few of years ago, this don’t necessarily mean you will be in a position to do so when you remortgage.

How to remortgage?
Remortgaging should be straightforward if you are staying with your existing lender. Your lender should contact you before your mortgage deal comes to an end, to talk through your options. Alternatively, you can call them. But don’t feel that you have to stay with them; there is a whole range of lenders available in the remortgage market that could have a more suitable remortgage for your needs.

However, if you want to be sure you find the best remortgage product for your needs, then you may want to get the help of a mortgage broker. They can source a wide variety of mortgages and may have access to products not available via the high street lenders. All mortgage brokers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, so must advise you in accordance with treating their customers fairly. They have to find the remortgage deal that is right for each borrower and can’t just recommend a remortgage product that may be lucrative for them.

How long will the whole remortgage process take?
Generally a remortgage can take about four to six weeks and some far less than that. If there are complications, it may take some time to remortgage. Your adviser can give you an idea of the typical timescales involved.

Are there Early Repayment Charges associated with remortgaging? What are they?
It is important to find out if you have any early repayment charges associated to your existing mortgage, before considering remortgaging. Special offers that you may have with your existing mortgage usually last for a set period of time. Early repayment charges are costs that you will have to pay to end your mortgage early. Early repayment charges can be very high within the first year, regardless of whether or not you keep the mortgage. The duration of the penalty period will vary from mortgage to mortgage, although some mortgages have no early repayment charges whatsoever.

If I have Early Repayment Charges, should I remortgage?
The thing to do is to add up the total early repayment charges to see if they offset any potential savings. If they don’t it could still be worth remortgaging, however if they do remortgaging is likely to be futile.

Will there be any valuation fees associated with remortgaging? What are they?

When remortgaging, the new lender may charge you a valuation fee. This is because lenders will not rely on the original survey when assessing the remortgage value of your home. However, most lenders don’t charge a valuation fee when remortgaging.

Are there administration and legal fees associated with remortgaging? What are they?
When remortgaging sometimes administration and legal fees will apply, this could cost you roughly between £300 and £500. Again you need to total up all fees to ensure they don’t offset any potential savings. However, some lenders don’t charge these fees if you agree to use their recommended conveyance solicitor when remortgaging.

Are there any situations when remortgaging is not right for me?
Yes, if you have a small mortgage of £25,000 or less. You may be under the mortgage lender’s minimum remortgage amount.

THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR OTHER DEBT SECURED AGAINST IT.

Securing short term debts against your home could increase the term over which they are paid and therefore increase the overall amount payable.

Some people get into debt at least once in their lifetime and often must consider debt consolidation. While there are many reasons people need debt consolidation, there are only few ways to effectively it.

Paying monthly minimums and the accompanying high interest of credit cards is an inefficient use of your money. It can cause anxiety for many people, uncertain they can meet their monthly obligations. To pay off your debt, it may be beneficial to find a potentially cheaper way to borrow money, which usually involves debt consolidation.

If your combined debts are too large for credit card debt consolidation, it may be worth considering debt consolidation. It is important that you decide about debt consolidation before you fall behind on your payments. A damaged credit score is likely to harm your eligibility for a debt consolidation loan at a reasonable rate.

If you decide debt consolidation is right for you, there are a few things to consider. If you can’t make the monthly payments with a debt consolidation loan, you could find yourself in a far worse position than before, especially if your debt consolidation loan was secured against your home. Make sure you choose a loan with monthly payments that are affordable now and in the future too. If you cannot find a debt consolidation loan you can afford, its time to start talking to your creditors to see if you can negotiate an affordable payment plan.

A debt consolidation can be beneficial as it consolidates multiple credit card and other loan payments into one simple monthly bill. It could be that your monthly payments should be less when using debt consolidation than it would be with the individual credit cards. Debt consolidation also offers peace of mind as it could help you keep your credit score intact and you will have a set date in the future when you will finally be free of your debt.

The monthly payment payable will be determined by both the value of the debt consolidation loan and the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). Be careful that you understand what the total cost of the debt consolidation will be and that the monthly payments are within your budget. You should also be certain you understand all the terms of the debt consolidation loan. If there is an early repayment charge on the debt consolidation, make sure you know this before you sign. Settlement charges may also apply.

While you can shop for various lenders online, you should also consider using a professional who can advise you on the best method of debt consolidation. Be sure the provider is licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Follow these debt consolidation guidelines and you could be on your way to debt-free peace of mind.

THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR OTHER DEBT SECURED AGAINST IT. Securing short term debts against your home could increase the term over which they are paid and therefore increase the overall amount payable.

A personal loan is an amount of money that you borrow from a building society, bank or another lender. A personal loan may be the best option if you are thinking of borrowing money for a short period, say up to five years.

Personal loan or Re-Mortgage?
If you already have a mortgage it may be better for you to remortgage, rather than applying for a new personal loan. By remortgaging it may be possible to add to the existing mortgage and often you won’t end up paying the higher interest rate of a personal loan. Your mortgage could have redemption penalties; therefore, the cost of remortgaging could be more than taking out a personal loan.

Credit scoring and eligibility for a personal loan
When applying for a personal loan, the lender will carry out a full credit check on you. If you are declined a personal loan it could be because you have had County Court Judgments registered against you in the past, previous applications for credit declined, defaulted on payments, been in arrears on a mortgage, etc.

Advantages and disadvantages of taking out a personal loan
Unsecured personal loans are available for a range of different amounts and repayment terms. Larger personal loans such as those for over £10,000 can usually be taken over longer terms, for example between seven and 10 years, and the maximum you can borrow this way is about £25,000.

If you are taking out a personal loan with the view to consolidate existing debts, clearly, it’s vital you pay off all your creditors and to close all the old accounts too. If you don’t you could be tempted to run up more debt in the future.

THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR OTHER DEBT SECURED AGAINST IT.

Securing short term debts against your home could increase the term over which they are paid and therefore increase the overall amount payable. 

Personal loans are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Should you have a need for a Personal Loan you will be referred to a third-party provider. Frog Financial Management and First Complete Ltd are not responsible for the advice supplied by the third party, however, through experience, we are confident that the firms we recommend are competent, pro-active and focused on providing a high level of service.

When it is difficult or impossible to get an unsecured loan, the alternative is to offer collateral to a lender in order to get a secured loan.

A secured loan is one that the borrower has pledged property against, i.e. a car, a boat or some other item of value which the lender will put a “lien” on in case the borrower defaults on the loan. In this way, the lender can often offer better terms such as a lower interest rate, loan term and costs when offering secured loans.

Secured loans are generally much easier to acquire than unsecured loans, particularly if you have had credit issues in the past. Even your local bank may decline you for an unsecured loan. So the best way to get the money you need is to be willing to look at all of your valuable, unencumbered assets including your home, car(s), etc and ask what a lender would lend against these. Of course, you retain the assets, unless you fail to make your loan payments whereby the lender will then be entitled to your collateral. So it’s best to do your homework before you decide to put up any of your possessions against a secured loan.

THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR OTHER DEBT SECURED AGAINST IT.

Securing short term debts against your home could increase the term over which they are paid and therefore increase the overall amount payable.

Should you have a need for a Secured Loan you will be referred to a third-party provider. Frog Financial Management and First Complete Ltd are not responsible for the advice supplied by the third party, however, through experience, we are confident that the firms we recommend are competent, pro-active and focused on providing a high level of service.



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