Where do you go if you need finance for a farm or rural project or you want to restructure your business borrowing so that you can free up working capital or ease repayments? The first place to go for many businesses is their existing bank. Others also approach specialist rural lenders.
In the residential mortgage market over 60% of mortgages are now taken out with help from an adviser or broker, and this is forecast to increase. This is because mortgages are becoming more regulated and complicated. Knowing what rate, what margin, what term, what covenants and what lender to accept are complex and time-consuming matters. It is the same in the farming and rural commercial mortgage market.
As with every purchase we recommend you shop around for the best deal. Making the wrong choice about your mortgage can cost much more than you need to pay. Mortgage offers come with all sorts of different costs and conditions and so it’s often difficult to assess which one is giving you the best option and the most flexibility for your business.
It therefore takes time to find the right lender and then to negotiate a suitable deal. Those with a business plan or lending proposal that doesn’t fit any lenders’ policies will find it even harder to navigate the market and to successfully find appropriate finance.
That’s why it makes a lot of sense to get some independent advice. But what should you look for when choosing mortgage advice for your farm or rural business?
What should you look for when choosing mortgage advice?
Here we give you some questions to ask when choosing specialist help for sourcing finance.
- Are they independent? Some finance specialists or introducers rely on commission or a fee income from lenders. It is important to use someone who has a fee structure that means they can use the whole market of lenders, whether or not they pay commission. In this way the mortgage specialists are only focussed on you – the customer – and your needs and not theirs or the lenders’.
- Do they have access to a wide range of lenders – so not just the traditional rural lenders and main banks, but other specialist lenders too? And do they talk regularly to these lenders on a national and regional basis to maintain a thorough knowledge of their available products and policies? Your finance requirements can be matched to the most suitable providers, deals and terms more quickly if they know the right lenders to approach for your circumstances.
- Do they have the specialist farming and financial expertise to put your plans and finance application to the lender in the way that is most beneficial for your business? And have they successfully worked on cases that are out-of-the-ordinary such as where the property, current business plan or income type may make the bank reluctant to lend?
- Do they take control of your application, push your mortgage request through quickly and keep you in the loop at every stage? And do they work with your professional advisers to make sure the completion process goes as smoothly and quickly as possible? This can make the process much quicker and a lot less stressful for you.
How we can help
Our relationship with the whole market of banks and lenders allows us to increase your chances of getting funding on the terms that are best for your business. Have a look at our case studies which show R&BS has a wide range of experience.
Under our interim Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) licence we follow the FCA principles ensuring you get access to the most appropriate products and we put your best interests above our remuneration. We also hold your hand throughout the process and work closely with your professional advisers and solicitors to make sure the process runs efficiently from application through to completion of the loan.
Getting the right help will undoubtedly save you money and time. It will also give you the best chances of getting a positive lending decision to help you achieve your business ambitions. Why don’t you take the burden off your shoulders and make the complex process much less stressful?