Meet the broker… Mortgages for Actors

Meet Austyn Johnson, financial adviser at Mortgages for Actors

Tell us a bit about your business.

Mortgages For Actors is a specialist financial advice branch of HD Consultants with expertise and a vast experience in the entertainment Industry.  

Founded years ago as a trading style, the company is now registered as its own FCA authorised company by Howard Reuben and myself.

Although the company name suggests it, this isn’t just for actors, but for anyone working within the performing arts. From actor to dancer, from producer to musician, the list is endless.

We look after many people who would be adversely viewed by most lenders due to their income or career choice and using our contacts within the lenders (the decision makers if you will), we can usually make a case that most lenders would be able to accept, even if they have previously refused in the past.

Where are you based and where do you operate geographically?

We are based in Colchester, Essex, but work far and wide across the whole of the UK.  

We don’t have customers, we have long term clients and where possible, we try to meet them in person, or at least hold a Zoom meeting to introduce ourselves properly.

What are the main issues impacting your local market?

As always, the pay structure of individuals in this industry will limit how lenders view them.  

There has also been the year 2020, where Covid basically stopped play for most of this industry and as most are self-employed, it really affected their income proof. 

Whereas most clients with PAYE can show a steady income again within 3 months, self-employed clients will need to wait up to 2 years.

What challenges are you facing as a broker?

As said, most of the challenges are around income, but when you have a long chat with the client and work with them through their documents, a plan can be made.  

One of the issues I face (no doubt as well as most of the fee charging brokers in the financial services) is that the public like to try the cheap approach first and only when that fails do they seek out the specialists. 

The issue with this is that their credit has already been affected (sometimes quite badly from multiple applications to the wrong lenders), and the perfect time for them to apply may have passed.

One of the challenges that was a bit of a surprise to begin with, was that some lenders do not like to have their name put to a certain type of client.   

Some of our clients, although earning very well, are working behind closed doors in the OnlySpace, which is another form of acting, and some lenders would prefer not to be associated.

We found a way through that stumbling block and have found mortgages for many of these clients too.

What are the main opportunities for brokers in your area and nationally?

One of the main opportunities for us is that we have settled ourselves deep within the Arts & Entertainment industry and have a good track record of success. 

Our clients love our personal approach and a high percentage of them will refer us to their friends and family regularly.

We hate the ‘Computer Says No’ approach and prefer to talk through the complex stuff with a lender before application. 

One of our finer points is that most of the mortgages placed for this industry go through relatively easily due to the extra time spent on research. 

We have usually had most of the case pre-approved beforehand, so the personal approach we pride ourselves on, wins.

What could lenders do to help further your business?

I have been in talks with a couple of lenders to be able to create a product specifically tailored to this industry.   

Ideally, affordability would be better understood, and a wider timescale would be looked at by lenders in order to gauge the actual income of a client, seasonal or otherwise.  

I would like to be able to offer these clients, who are just as hard a worker as most PAYE staff, a better option with more choice so that they too can be treated fairly. At the moment, they are at a disadvantage and mildly discriminated against.

Lenders who could help here, let’s talk and see what we can come up with together.

What sets you apart from the competition?

No matter how small, large, or complex the mortgage, person, income or property is, we always work to our best ability to help these clients.   

We also don’t just throw it at any lender who says yes, we still scour the market to not only find the yesses, but also to find the best one, making sure all of our clients get the full service, which means a full protection review as well as the full conversation about where we can help.  

Our social media is also trying to push the message away from the stuffy suits and offices. We like to show our more creative side too, as well as being as personable as possible.  

Using cutting edge technology, we make sure not only is the mortgage sourced, but also the best cost option too, staying in touch with our clients to make sure that we can always let them know where they could save a few pennies when possible.  

We have partnered up with many different industry specific companies, who can help to broaden our offering in the conversation with our clients. 

If we can help them save on their household bills, that’s another win for our client and a goal scored for us.

We also make sure all our clients get a free will at completion. 

This means that they are already on the right track with their estate and can get the most important part sorted – Guardians for their little ones.

We are genuinely passionate about helping people within this industry to secure the mortgage and homes that they want. We have lent our expertise to it and it’s something we get a lot of joy from too.

How should potential borrowers contact you?

We are always happy to have a chat on the phone, no worries about being booked in, just pop us a call, text, or WhatsApp at 07500 871209 – this is my personal number, as I like to make sure our clients get the right service and speak with me direct.  

If you prefer to email or set up a Zoom, you can email us at: [email protected]

As well as this, you can visit our website at or

We are happy to meet people in their home or wherever they are most comfortable, be that a pub or coffee shop. We still meet our clients just for a quick drink when we are in their area, so if you want to just quickly have a meet and greet chat, we can arrange that too.

Would you like to feature in Meet the Broker? Email [email protected] to find out more.