If you’re looking for a speedy, hassle-free way to find the best mortgage deal, Habito could be a great tool to use.
The online mortgage broker was designed to remove the stress of searching through tens of thousands of mortgages. What’s more, it’s completely free to use.
After collecting some basic details, Habito uses an intelligent algorithm to search through over 20,000 products from more than 90 lenders to find you a suitable mortgage deal. The process takes around 15 minutes.
If you have any questions, you can contact a human via telephone or live online chat.
You can even manage your completed mortgage through Habito or use it to identify the best remortgaging opportunities.
Once you’ve created a Habito account, you’ll be asked to fill in basic personal and financial details, as well as what type of mortgage you’re looking for.
This information will be passed on to one of Habito’s mortgage experts, whom you can contact via live online chat or telephone. They are available between 09.00 and 21.00 every day, apart from Fridays when they’re available from 09.00 until 17.00.
Habito’s experts will recommend you a mortgage deal based on the information submitted and a basic affordability check that leaves no footprint on your credit record. If you wish, they’ll also submit your application to the lender.
This will hopefully lead to an Agreement In Principle from the lender, subject to its own credit checks.
Habito is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, which means it’s bound to the same regulations as all major financial companies across the UK.
The company promises never to unnecessarily share your personal data with a third party.
The service is legitimately free to use. There are no hidden charges. Habito is paid commission by lenders, not its customers. Nevertheless, it will still reveal how much commission is being made from your deal.
Other mortgage brokers have already launched robo-advice platforms. These include:
You can visit Habito and create an account within minutes. If you prefer, you can sign up using your Google or Facebook account.
Habito receives commission from the lenders it recommends to you, so there’s no need to charge its users.
Habito Go is a bridging loan service, which allows you to bid for a property as a cash buyer, rather than with a mortgage.
Cash buyers tend to be viewed more favourably by sellers, because it is easier to complete the sale quickly and there is typically less chance of the deal falling through. As such, this service could be useful to stand out if there are several parties bidding for a property. According to Habito, cash buyers are therefore usually able to negotiate a discount on the selling price.
To help speed up the sale, the Habito Go service includes fast-track property valuation and conveyancing services. You’ll also be paired up with a property sales expert, who will give you advice to help you negotiate the best selling price. The lender says that the could be completed in as little as 10 days using this service.
You’ll pay a one-off fee equal to 1.95% for this service, plus interest of 0.5% per month on the bridging loan. Interest is calculated daily.
In July 2019, Habito launched a comprehensive range of its own buy-to-let mortgages, marking its first move into the mortgage lending market.
This range of mortgages were only available to individual landlords, although Habito claims that mortgages for portfolio landlords and buy-to-let companies will be available soon. Applicants can choose between mortgage terms of two, three, five, seven or ten years. Some mortgages have an application fee, although there are fee-free options with a slighter higher interest rate.
The lender offers an instant decision in principle on all applications.
Despite this move into offering its own mortgages, Habito insists its mortgage brokerage will remain its main business model.
There are few buy-to-let mortgage lenders offering such a wide range of mortgage options, and this range looks set to grow in the future.
If you are an individual buy-to-let landlord, there may well be a suitable mortgage for you. Habito lends to first-time and existing landlords, whether they’re employed, self-employed or retired.
Ultimately though, applicants will be keen to secure the lowest rate, so you should compare Habito to other lenders on the market.
You could use Habito to do this, as the service has committed to providing an independent, whole-of-market brokerage service.
Habito announced in March 2021 that it would be introducing a first-of-its-kind mortgage, in the form of “Habito One”. It’s basically a fixed mortgage for life, with a term of up to 40 years, which doesn’t currently exist anywhere else in the UK lending market.
It works by fixing your mortgage interest rate, and therefore your monthly payments, for the entire length of the mortgage, which could be up to four decades. This is designed to provide homebuyers with certainty over how much they will be paying each month for their entire mortgage term, plus they can also avoid paying remortgaging fees every few years. Habito also says that should you decide to exit such a lengthy mortgage arrangement part-way through, there won’t be any early repayment charges.
However, it’s worth noting that it’s still important to compare mortgages. This is because the application fee and interest rate you’re offered on a 40-year mortgage, whilst providing prolonged certainty, may not necessarily work out cheaper for everyone in the long run (compared to the alternative of seeking out the best mortgage rate on the market and switching every two to five years).
The jury may still be out on digital mortgage brokers, but Habito is free and so quick to use that you might as well give it a shot.
Frequently asked questions about Habito
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