Ashley Miller: Question Time

A Miller Financial takes care to deal with every one of our customers on a personal, individual basis. Learn a little bit more about Ashley Miller, founder and owner.

A Miller Financial is based in Truro, how long has it been in business?
We’ve been operating for about three years. Initially, I set up as an independent mortgage adviser in 2014 from offices at the bottom of Lemon Street in Truro, where I still work. After 3 years working for a firm in Perranporth, the time came for me to work independently.

What qualifications do you have?
A-Levels in Math, Biology and Physics. I took a different path to university, so for work I hold a CMAP, which is a Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice.

I’m also a qualified Kayak Instructor so I also have a First Aid certificate. It isn’t needed for my work with A Miller Financial, but it’s part of a life outside work that I really enjoy.

What services do you provide?
We don’t just deal with mortgages. Talk to us about life assurance, income protection and critical illness cover. We don’t like to think of things going wrong in our lives but it is really important to think about these things and make provisions.

Are you an independent adviser, or are you ‘tied’?
I am completely independent. In fact I have access to hundreds of mortgage products at any one time. This means I can find something to match every situation – from a first time buyer to an investor growing a property portfolio.

So, if I come to A Miller Financial for mortgage advice, will I deal with only you or do you share work among the team?
We’re a small team at A Miller Financial, but we make a huge effort to offer a completely seamless process. We make sure that the same person handles your application from start to finish. Of course there might be occasion for someone else to take your call or pass on a message – but it would be unusual for more than one of us to be involved with a client’s application.

If I set up a meeting, what will I need to bring?
It’s really helpful if people bring their paperwork with them to the initial meeting:
Last three months’ bank statements
Last three months’ wage slips (include details of guaranteed overtime, bonus or commission)
If you are self-employed, you will need the last three years’ proof of accounts
Any details of existing mortgage/loans or credit card commitments
Any details of any arrears, defaults, County Court Judgements (if applicable)
Details of any life insurance, savings, pensions or healthcare policies that you hold
Identification e.g. driving licence or passport
Proof of address dated within last three months – utility bills are perfect for this
P60 (if available).

Do I need a large deposit?
The larger your deposit you have, the greater the impact on your mortgage payments. A sizeable deposit will dramatically reduce repayments. For first-time buyers, this can seem like a daunting prospect but you could be able to secure a mortgage with as little as a 5% deposit.

Can A Miller Financial provide mortgages for the self-employed?
Of course I can’t comment on individual circumstances, but this is not so tricky as you may think!

Lots of people in Cornwall are self employed and, if you’re looking to jump onto the property ladder, working this way shouldn’t prevent you from getting your first mortgage. But knowing where to look for advice will help. Most lenders will ask for a 5% deposit – and your deposit must be ready when you make your application.

I’ve been with my bank for 25 years, surely I will get a better deal with them as I am a valued customer?
High Street banking is changing – it is becoming more automated, less personal and with huge emphasis on making as many of your transactions online as possible.

Most people don’t mind this day-to-day, but it is different when large, considered decisions are involved – like buying a house! We have more than 100 mortgage products available to us at any one time so the chances are that we will be much more competitive than a High Street bank.

We also don’t use machines – we pick up the phone and talk to you when we need to. And we’re on hand if you need to get in touch with us. And of course you can talk to us without having to work your way through a menu as long as a shopping list when you call…

How long does it take to arrange a mortgage?
This can vary on the nature of the mortgage required, but on average 2 or 3 weeks should be enough for a mortgage application.

Can the process be fast-tracked?
We make things as fast and as smooth as we can – even if there is a limited time scale.

Do I need life assurance to be able to take out a mortgage?
Life assurance is typically bought to cover a mortgage, so in the event of your death your loved ones can pay off your outstanding mortgage. Some employers offer life insurance, but we still advise that customers look at this carefully.

Once my mortgage is arranged, is there anything else you will be able to help me with?
A first-time house purchase is the beginning of a long relationship. Many of our first-time buyers become long-term clients. People come to us for mortgage applications and return for advice on income protection or life assurance.

A Miller Financial helps many people purchase their dream home in Cornwall – do you love where you live?
Absolutely! Being from Falmouth myself, it’s easy to see the reason so many people want to buy property in Cornwall. It’s such a beautiful place to live and I think it offers the perfect work/life balance.

I myself take full advantage of this – I play golf regularly on some of the county’s best golf courses. But by far my favourite pass-time is paddle boarding our amazing coast line.

It’s probably where you’ll find me most evenings after work – up a creek on a paddle board somewhere near Falmouth. Especially in the summer!

Email or call us on 01872 264120 to have a confidential discussion, with no obligation

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