Banks or brokers? Which to choose when applying for a mortgage

In applying for a mortgage, there is always the question of whether to go directly to a bank or to go through a broker. There could be advantages and drawbacks to either approach; the former could be faster and/or less expensive, but brokers can provide valuable assistance before and during the application process that make them a viable alternative. Ultimately, which of the two is the better option is based on the individual, and they should consider personal knowledge, experience, and preference when applying.

Firstly, going straight to a bank allows one to avoid paying a broker’s fee. Additionally, there may be an added level of trust associated with conducting negotiations directly. Assuming one has a high credit score, healthy income, and otherwise checks all of the boxes banks are looking for, it could prove to be faster than going through a broker. However, failing to do so might lead to one’s application being rejected out of hand. If an applicant is aware of such complicating factors, they should consider going to a broker instead.

If an applicant isn’t aware …

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The Gender Gap is still Prevalent

The Bank Of Ireland has recently reported that there has been a slight decrease in the gap between the pay received by their male and female employees. However, the bank is still working to reach a 50:50 balance for its workers.  Currently, the bank of Ireland is reporting a gender pay gap of 23.8% across all their departs, which is a 0.4% improvement from the last year. The bank has stated that a large proportion of this comes from the under-payment of their female employees at senior levels and junior grades.

The system that the Bank of Ireland uses to calculate the pay-gap difference is by working out the average pay of all women in the company and comparing then to the average pay of all the men in the company. The Bank of Ireland is currently introducing more flexible ways of working with all employees, as well as pulling career development and leadership programs for their female employees.

It was reported last year that nearly 41% of all senior appointments in 2020 were female, which is an improvement from …

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Tips to Switching Your Mortgage

Changing your mortgage plan may very well be the best or worst decision you can ever make. If done well, it could relieve you of a lot of financial stress and help save you a large amount of money. This seems like such a big task, so we have broken it down and listed a few tips on how to get started!

First, understand your current situation. What are your scheduled payment amounts and how does that affect your budget? What type of mortgage do you have right now? Do you have an interest-only mortgage, a pension mortgage, an annuity mortgage, or a different type of mortgage? Most importantly would be the current interest rate you are paying. And all these factors can make a difference when changing mortgages and if that transition is for you. For example, with a standard variable rate (the rate you will be charged at the end of your fixed interest rate), switching can save a lot of money.

Second, make sure to do your own research and speak to multiple banks and mortgage brokers. …

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Independent Newspaper mentions Irish Mortgage Brokers

In an article today about mortgages by John Cradden of the Irish Independent we were quoted extensively regarding our thoughts on loans, extracts are below:

Last month saw the official launch of a new mortgage lender here in the form of Australian firm Pepper, who will be lending to the self-employed and those who got into arrears during the downturn but are now back on track.

“Up to now, if you had credit issues you were virtually unbankable, that is set to change,” said Karl Deeter of Irish Mortgage Brokers. “Equally, as banks add bells and whistles to their product suite, you’ll see some will be about flexibility rather than price and that’s a sign of competition in product differentiation coming through.”

He adds that rates will improve with the new competition. “This was what happened in the last credit cycle and will happen again so time will take care of that, but Ireland also has unusually high risk associated with our loans so that has to be factored in.”

The cashback offers are another popular incentive, with …

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Fixed rate comparison Ireland

When it comes to fixed mortgage rates in Ireland there is a little confusion, the first being about ‘whether to fix or not’ and secondly, if by doing so will you lose out should Irish lenders choose to lower their mortgage rates.

The simple answer is that if you fix your mortgage you may win or lose depending on what rates do, but that is missing the point of why you fix to begin with. It provides you with certainty of payments and often there is a premium due because of this, in simple terms, you pay a bit more for the ‘fixed’ assurance.

Below is a list of some of the best fixed rates in Ireland as well as who offers them.

Best 3yr fixed rate: 3.6% offered by PTsb and Bank of Ireland

(note: you can get better again by going with KBC and opening an account which gets you 3.55%)

Best 5yr fixed rate: 3.8% offered by Ulsterbank, BOI and Haven/AIB

These are ‘tiered variable rates’ meanining you have to have a low loan to value or …

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RTE Drivetime: ‘Talking Money’ on mortgage rates, 20th April 2015

On talking money we looked at mortgage rates, where they are, where they are headed and what the best choice might be for people who are trying to decide what is best for their personal situation.

It’s a tricky question, rates can and do go up and down, but we believe the long term trend is for rates to go lower, in fact, that trend has already been occurring and there isn’t anything that seems in a position to stop it from happening. This is good news for borrowers (not so good for deposit savers!).

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Best mortgage rates September 2012

Mortgage rates are constantly under review and even though we might be expecting an ECB rate cut this week to 0.5% (which will be a historic low) it is highly likely that rates will sit still or even rise. The conundrum for consumers is about the rate choice, banks have just upped rates prior to any rate cut and by doing this then not passing on a rate cut they actually increase their margin significantly.

The best mortgage rates at present are below:

<50% LTV: AIB 3.34% >80% LTV: AIB 3.79% 1yr fixed: AIB 4.15% 2yr fixed: BOI 4.49% 5yr fixed: PTsb 3.7%*

*The PTsb 5 year fixed rate is a good example of a pricing discrepancy that is related to the PTsb loan book, this rate is excellent, lower than the standard AIB variable and fixed for 5 years! The reason for this is that by lending on this type of property PTsb will increase their assets (to fix the loan to deposit ratio that is too high) quicker and in return they will give up some margin.

If …

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