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Best mortgage lenders revealed in Which? survey

See how providers score in our mortgage reviews

New Which? Recommended Providers for mortgages announced

32% of mortgage holders don’t know what interest rate they’re paying

Chelsea Building Society, First Direct and Nationwide have been named Which? Recommended Providers in our latest mortgage satisfaction survey.

In our October 2015 survey, 5,034 mortgage holders rated their lenders for customer service and how likely they would be to recommend them to a friend or family member.

The three best mortgage lenders according to our survey are First Direct, Chelsea BS and Nationwide, which gained customer scores of 76%, 73% and 72% respectively and have all been named Which? Recommended Providers (WRPs). This is the first time Chelsea BS has gained a WRP award.

Cambridge Building Society also scored highly, gaining an impressive 75%. However, in order for a mortgage lender to qualify as a Which? Recommended Provider it must also offer a good range of affordable deals. Cambrige BS falls short on this measure and therefore missed out on becoming a Which? Recommended Provider.

Best and worst mortgage lenders

To find out more about the three best mortgage lenders, which have all been named Which? Recommended Providers, check out our mortgage review pages:

The worst mortgage lenders, according to the survey, are Northern Rock (42%), GE Money (43%) and Mortgage Works (48%).

To see how all 30 of the mortgage lenders featured in our survey scored on the application process, customer service, value for money and more, plus how your own provider compares, check out our mortgage lender reviews table.

Choosing a mortgage

There are thousands of mortgage deals on the market and selecting the best one for you isn’t as easy as checking the headline rate.

To start, you’ll want to decide which type of deal would best suit your needs – for instance whether you’d prefer the security of a fixed rate or a riskier (but potentially cheaper) tracker.

When tallying up the costs of different deals, you’ll also need to consider incentives (such as cashback) and the various fees charged by the lender. Arrangement fees in themselves can sometimes run to thousands of pounds – which can make a deal with a lower interest rate ultimately more expensive than a low-fee deal with a higher interest rate.

To make matters more confusing, the same fees are often referred to differently by different lenders. However, to make deals easier to compare, Which? and the Council of Mortgage Lenders have created a standardised tariff of fee names which most major mortgage providers have agreed to start using by the end of this year.

How to get the best mortgage deal

There are certain steps you can take to increase your chances of being accepted for a mortgage:

  • Save up as big a deposit as possible
  • Pay off any loans or outstanding credit card balances
  • Get your paperwork in order, detailing your income, financial commitments and your monthly expenditure
  • Avoid applying for multiple mortgages simultaneously as this will show on your credit history

We would always recommend taking professional mortgage advice from an impartial broker. They will help you understand the best types of deals for your circumstances and can help you with the application process too.

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