When you first start investigating how to become a mortgage advisor, the task can seem a minefield. There are many routes to becoming a mortgage advisor, so how should you choose and what do you need?

The options open to you might depend on your past work experience. However, you do it, the first thing you need to do is get your CeMAP qualification.

The CeMAP qualification is made of three parts.

CeMAP 1 is generally considered the more difficult of the three because it is concerned with UK regulation and as part of that syllabus, you need to learn about areas other than mortgage. As you want to become a mortgage advisor, some of these areas may not hold much appeal to you and when we are not interested in a subject it can be difficult to learn.

CeMAP 2 & 3 cover the more practical areas of being a mortgage advisor and both exams cover the same syllabus but test your knowledge in different ways.

You could self study from the Institute of Financial Services (IFS) books, which you receive when you register for the exam. However, they are not very user-friendly, which is why there are so many CeMAP training courses and CeMAP specialist training companies around. It is, however, the cheapest option with no extra cost other than the exam fees you would have to pay anyway.

The next cheapest option is home study or distance learning with a course provided by a CeMAP training company. If you choose this route, be sure to select a CeMAP company with experience in the field, who will provide some support with the home study, either by email or telephone at least. Check how long they will provide that support for, because often life gets in the way and it may take than you initially expected.

Finally, there is the option of a CeMAP course. Sometimes employers will pay to put you through your CeMAP course, however, fewer and fewer are offering this. This is the more expensive option, but there are many courses charging ridiculous fees for their service when all they do is work through the IFS materials with you. Check that the CeMAP training company has their own materials, preferably with testing questions, tips and hints throughout. They should also not require you to read through all the IFS manuals first or spend XX number of hours studying first.

A good CeMAP course from a reputable CeMAP training company should take you from study to exam, and work with small groups of no more than 12 at a time.