Sarah Tucker, founder of The Mortgage Mum, tells LIBF’s Juno Baker about becoming a mortgage broker, fitting CeMAP studies around work and home, and why she believes more women should work in the advice industry.
Asked why she became a mortgage adviser, Sarah Tucker says, “Britain’s Got Talent made me do it!”
She goes on to explain that after a varied career – including a stint as a mortgage administrator – she was working as a legal PA and auditioning for TV talent shows.
“I kept getting so-o-o close to ‘my moment’.”
But one Friday afternoon Britain’s Got Talent called to say they were oversubscribed and were cutting her from the auditions. It was crushing.
“I’d had enough,” she says. “I’d tried for so many years. So I sat with that feeling and remembered how much I’d loved my job in mortgages. I googled ‘how do I become a mortgage broker?’ and that’s how I found out about the CeMAP qualification.”
Sarah started studying immediately, but she had to juggle her commitments. As well as her part-time job three days a week, Sarah had an 18-month-old daughter who she looked after on the other two days.
“Technically I didn’t have time to study for my CeMAP. But I believe in the concept of making time.”
She knew she had to be disciplined and came up with a strategy.
“I broke the CeMAP book into sections. And I allocated each train journey – six hours a week – plus four one-hour nap times to study. I calculated how many sections I needed to cover each day to get the course done in time. And I booked my exams to hold me accountable.”
Within six months, Sarah had completed all three CeMAP modules and passed the exams in 2015.
“It definitely wasn’t easy. Nothing worth having ever is. But the sense of achievement felt amazing!”
Her top tip?
“You need a study plan and you need to be disciplined. If you can’t be disciplined then book a fast track course.”
Becoming The Mortgage Mum
Sarah started working as a mortgage broker immediately, fitting it around her part-time job and childcare. “But once I had my son, I took the leap to go self-employed full time.”
And she never gave up singing, taking the nation by storm with her appearances on The Voice UK in 2018/19. It was that experience which inspired her to set up The Mortgage Mum.
“I felt courageous and empowered having got four turns on my blind audition, and – pardon the pun – I had a voice! I wanted to use it to make a difference.”
Passionate about wanting to bring more women into the mortgage industry, Sarah contacted Jamie Lewis, MD of Affinity Group, to discuss the idea. They both agreed it was the perfect time to set up The Mortgage Mum.
But The Mortgage Mum offers more than your average mortgage broker service.
“I’ve always believed that women make incredible brokers,” says Sarah. “We’re empathetic. We care. We’re organised. And we can offer emotional support to our clients when they most need it.”
Sarah’s idea was to train women to become mortgage advisers so that they could benefit from the work-life balance she enjoyed.
“Some women don’t get the opportunities they deserve, particularly after becoming a mother. And this industry is very male dominated. I believe in giving opportunities to women and I want to bring more women – and spark! – into this industry!”
To date, The Mortgage Mum has supported more than 20 women in their ambitions to become mortgage brokers.
“I love seeing a woman prove to herself how amazing she is – from feeling self-doubt to feeling confident, empowered and achieving amazing success! It is a privilege to witness!”