How To Qualify As A Mortgage Broker

Mortgage Brokers and the FSA

In order to qualify as a mortgage broker in the UK an individual must pass a series of exams offered by one of two training institutions. In addition, the prospective broker will be required to receive a satisfactory level of on-the-job training and experience within the financial services industry.

The financial services industry in the UK is regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). A mortgage broker who wishes to advise their clients on mortgages for residential properties will fall under the stewardship of the regulator. The FSA has determined that mortgage brokers who practice within this area of financial services must first complete an approved qualification and receive training and guidance from other qualified advisors before being signed off as a competent mortgage broker.

Once a mortgage broker is authorized, they may advise their clients in all matters relating to mortgages. The mortgage broker may then work within a bank or building society, a mortgage brokerage, an estate agency, or they may establish their own practice and work on a self-employed basis.

Studying to become a Mortgage Broker

The first step to becoming a mortgage broker is to pass one of several qualifications which are recognised by the FSA. They include the Certificate in Mortgage Advice (Cert CII (MP)) from the Chartered Insurance Institute, the Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP) from the Institute of Financial Services, or the Mortgage Advice and Practice Certificate (MAPC) from the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland (Scotland only).

There are no entry requirements for undertaking the mortgage broker qualifications. Therefore a finance related degree is not necessary. While some employers may consider industry experience beneficial, people skills and a high level of motivation will be highly regarded.

If the individual is already working for a financial institution their employer may cover the costs of the qualification. If the individual does not yet work in the industry it is likely they will be required to pay for the study materials and exams by themselves.

While the study material is designed for distance learning, there are courses provided by several private training institutions which are designed to help people pass the exams required to become a mortgage broker who may struggle to do so on their own. These courses may be especially useful to people who do not have any prior knowledge of the financial services industry or general UK finance matters. While the courses can be costly, they are deigned to help students pass their exams quickly so they can begin working in the industry as soon as possible.

Becoming a Qualified Mortgage Broker

After completing their exams, a trainee mortgage broker will be required complete a satisfactory level of supervised work. Depending on the structure of the business the trainee is working for, they may also be required to complete several in-house exams. Once the employer is satisfied that the trainee is able to work unsupervised, they will make an application to the FSA for the individual to become a competent mortgage broker.

In order to maintain their qualification, the mortgage broker will be required to participate in continuing professional development. This usually involves keeping up with the mortgage industry through some form of structured, ongoing learning.

Further Studies and Qualifications

There are also several post-graduate courses available that can bolster the credentials of qualified mortgage brokers. These courses are provided by the Chartered Insurance Institute and the Institute of Financial Services. They include the Advanced Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (Adv CeMAP) and qualifications regarding special types of mortgage products such as lifetime mortgages and commercial mortgages.

Additionally, mortgage brokers can use their qualifications and experience to launch a career in financial advising. This will involve passing several more exams and gaining some supervised experience as a trainee financial advisor. Financial advisors help their clients with a range of issues including insurance, investments, and retirement planning.

Gaining further qualifications is not compulsory, however, and many mortgage brokers enjoy long and rewarding careers specializing in mortgage advice.

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