What exactly is an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) and do I need one?

You can choose your mortgage yourself, or you can employ an IFA to help you make sense of what's on offer and choose the mortgage that's best for you. This could be money well spent in the long run.

IFAs don't just deal with mortgages, they provide advice on all aspects of finance, from starting a business to planning your retirement, or just checking you're making the best of your savings and investments. So it's worthwhile thinking about whether you'd benefit from a full financial review as well as mortgage advice.

An IFA is going to help you make some important decisions and you need to have confidence in them. Talk to a few before making a decision and check out the following:

  • What costs will there be? Do they charge for initial consultation?
  • What are their qualifications (and what do they mean)? You can look them up on the Financial Services Register which lists firms and individuals who are authorised to carry out certain finance-related functions.
  • How long have they been working as an IFA?
  • Do they speak in 'plain English' or is there a lot of jargon?
  • Do you want one-off advice or a longer-term relationship?
  • Will they come to your home or do you need to visit their office?

There are a few things you'll need when you first meet your IFA:

  • Passport / driving licence and recent utility bills.
  • Details of current salary, mortgage, pension provision and savings.
  • Details of any other regular income/outgoings.

Your IFA will want you to complete a 'fact find' which collects all your relevant personal details and other information the adviser needs to work on your behalf. You might be able to save time (and money) by completing this before you meet.

After your meeting the IFA will take all the information you've provided and produce a report with recommendations for the best products for you.

If you're buying a Shanly Home, we can help you find an IFA. Just speak to your sales adviser, sales manager or give us a call on 01494 671331 to get the ball rolling.

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