Mortgages  

Mystery Shopper: Crawley

This week, the mystery shopper visits Crawley. He is 25 years old and earns £27,000 with commission capped at £5,000. He is seeking advice on whether he should use £30,000 he has inherited from a late uncle as a deposit for a mortgage on a two-bedroom house priced at approximately £250,000. The other option would be to pay off his £20,000 student debt and put the rest of the sum into an Isa.

Adviser (Independent):
MJH – The Independent Financial Adviser, Ley Lodge, Old Hollow, Worth, Crawley, RH10 4TA

Speed of response:
Time of call: 12.09pm. Call answered after two rings. 5/5

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Telephone manner:
Very polite and friendly. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:
Level four diploma. 5/5

Payment method:
Payment would depend on individual circumstances. 3/5

Guidance given:
The adviser said that the shopper should not necessarily rush to pay off his student debt because of the low interest rate on it. He added that the shopper might find it difficult to secure a mortgage for a home valued at £250,000 or more because of the value of his annual earnings. The adviser said that the current rate of interest made cash Isas unattractive, while stocks and shares could yield high returns but were subject to volatility. 3/5

Knowledge: The adviser displayed comprehensive knowledge of mortgages, as well as Isas – although he said that these are not his areas of specialism. 3/5

Email/web presence: NA.0/5

Verdict: The adviser said that he would not be able to advise the shopper because his query did not fall within his remit and because he only dealt with higher net-worth clients. However, the shopper appreciated the comprehensive guidance he had given.

24/35

Adviser (Independent):
Aspect8, Copthorne Way, Copthorne, RH10 3PG

Speed of response:
Time of call: 12.19pm. Call answered after two rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:
Friendly yet professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:
Level six diploma. 5/5

Payment method:
Dependent on individual circumstances. 3/5

Guidance given:
The adviser said that the shopper could afford to keep his student debt because of the minimal interest on the repayments. She also suggested he might open a stocks and shares Isa; a proposition subject to market volatility and the shopper’s attitude to risk. While cash Isas lacked the risk factor, the current low rate of interest made them unattractive. She said that putting the inheritance toward a deposit for a mortgage could be a good option, although she would need to gauge whether the shopper could afford it. 4/5

Knowledge:
The adviser seemed very knowledgeable, particularly in mortgage and Isa propositions. 4/5

Email/web presence:
katherine@aspect8.co.uk
www.aspect8.co.uk 5/5

Verdict:
Very good. The adviser was willing to answers all of the shopper’s many questions, and did so in an endearing manner.

31/35

Adviser (Independent):
Paramount Financial Planning, 4 Moorhead Road, Horsham, RH12 4ND

Speed of response:
Time of call: 12.30pm. Call answered after three rings. 5/5

Telephone manner:
Friendly yet professional. 5/5

Relevant qualifications:
Level four diploma. 5/5

Payment method:
Dependent on individual circumstances. 3/5

Guidance given:
The adviser said he would need to meet the shopper first to better gauge his circumstances before offering any guidance, because of issues relating to compliance and regulation. 2/5

Knowledge:
The shopper was unable to gauge the adviser’s knowledge level on the mortgages, Isas or investments because he was not willing to offer guidance. 2/5