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What does a career as a mortgage adviser involve? As a mortgage adviser, you would help people to find and apply for a suitable mortgage.
Your work could include: advising clients on the homebuying process; finding out about your client's finances; explaining about different types of mortgage; helping the customer complete the mortgage application; explaining about repayments and mortgage protection; selling related financial products such as buildings insurance; meeting sales targets; dealing with estate agents, valuers and mortgage lenders.
If you worked for an estate agent or mortgage broker, you would offer mortgages from a range of companies. In a bank or building society, you would only sell your own company's mortgage products. You could also be an independent financial adviser (IFA), advising on all types of financial product including mortgages.
You would need to follow strict industry rules and guidelines, which make sure that you act fairly and are qualified to give appropriate financial advice. What personal skills are needed? Good communication and listening skills are essential as well as the ability to explain complex information clearly and simply. You will need excellent customer service skills, plus an interest in legal and financial matters, good mathematical and computer skills and a respect for confidential information.
What training do you need? You would start as a customer service adviser in a bank or building society, or mortgage administrator or insurance technician in a firm of brokers. You could then progress into giving mortgage advice as you gain experience and industry-approved qualifications. Employers often consider 'people skills' and a background in customer service, sales or financial services to be more important than your formal qualifications.
You may be able to get into the financial services industry through an apprenticeship scheme.
What are the opportunities for career progression? You would develop your skills through a mixture of learning on the job and studying for recognised qualifications in mortgage advice. Some banks and building societies run structured training schemes for new staff.
As a trainee mortgage adviser you must take an industry- recognised qualification that meets regulatory standards, such as: Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) Certificate in Mortgage Advice (Cert MA); ifs School of Finance Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP). You can study for each of these qualifications by distance learning. Employers will usually support training and pay for exams.
The ifs School of Finance also offers the Advanced Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice, which is suitable for supervisors and advisers with more experience.
With experience, you could take further exams to qualify as a financial adviser.
What is the salary? (Guideline only) Basic (without commission around pounds 18,000 to pounds 25,000, including commission may be up to pounds 40,000 or pounds 50,000.
ifs School of Finance - www.ifslearning.
ac.uk Financial Services Skills Council -www.fssc.org.uk//nextstep.direct.gov.uk Details provided for information only. Jobs not necessarily available.