How To Boost Your Chances Of Getting A Mortgage

Contemporary country house facade in winter

If you’re looking to get on the property ladder for the first time, one of the questions that may be running through your head is “Can I get a mortgage?” Learning how to get a mortgage, though, doesn’t have to be complex. After all, they make several different kinds of mortgages. You can get mortgages for bad credit, mortgages for the self-employed, and even mortgages with very little deposit money. The trick to getting a mortgage, though, is to come prepared to face the lender. This how-to guide can help you when you apply for a mortgage.

Know That Mortgage Eligibility Varies From Lender To Lender

The mortgage requirements in the UK come from the lenders themselves. Every single lender has its way of deciding whether or not you’re a good candidate. With some, your mortgage application may be immediately approved and you’ll get a mortgage in principle as soon as your application is processed. With others, though, from the moment you apply for a mortgage, seemingly everything goes wrong. Not only will you not get approval in principle in the UK from that lender, but you’re also likely to be referred to a lender that specialises in poor credit mortgage products, even if you don’t need bad credit mortgage lenders.

In most cases, the lender’s criteria are based on several factors. The first is the overall cost of the loan. If you’re looking to borrow £250,000, you may have to meet different criteria than someone who is only looking to borrow £150,000. In addition to loan size, the lender will be looking at your deposit size. A bank mortgage typically requires a deposit of some sort. Mortgage applications ask you about your deposit size. To get a mortgage in principle, that deposit size will need to be sufficient for that lender. In most cases, it needs to be between five and twenty per cent, which means saving for a mortgage can take some time.

Eligibility for a mortgage also relies on whether you’re employed and what your current income is. You’ll be asked to list whether you’re a permanent member of staff somewhere when you’re applying for a mortgage. If you’re a gig worker or you’re self-employed, getting a mortgage could be a bit tougher with some lenders.

Your credit rating and history also affect the outcome when you apply for mortgage preapproval. While you can get a mortgage with bad credit in the UK, not every lender will let you get a mortgage with bad credit. Obtaining a mortgage with a poor credit score doesn’t happen with every lender, and you’ll need to look specifically for mortgage lenders for bad credit if that’s the case. Bad credit mortgage loans are tougher to get, so don’t be surprised if the mortgage application process is a bit longer if you have a poor credit score.

When you’re applying for a mortgage, a lender will also look at how you spend your money. That may include any current debt you have like credit cards or other loans. Student loans, however, are not looked at the same way by most lenders.

Know Your Credit Score

Once you know what lenders are looking for when you apply for a mortgage, the next step is to do a bit of research yourself. Often getting a mortgage in principle means that you’ll have your credit score pulled in the process. Buying a house with bad credit is possible. After all, there are mortgages for poor credit. The reality, though, is that it’s important that you know your credit score before you spend any time with the lender.

Work On Your Credit Score

If your credit score is not quite what it should be after you look at it, you’ll want to do a bit of work on it before you undergo that mortgage check. Applying for a mortgage is a big deal, and mortgage approval might hinge on your credit score. As a result, you’ll want to correct any errors, and then do what you can to improve the score in your own time. If you’re linked to someone else (like a spouse or an old flatmate), you’ll want to do what you can do delink so you can help improve your chances.

Make Certain You’re Registered To Vote

In the UK, even if you have a perfect credit score, if you’re not on the electoral roll, you may have a tough time getting the mortgage you need. Lenders typically use electoral roll information in their identity-checking process, so make certain you are registered to vote.

Pay Off At Least Part Of Your Debt

You want it to look like you have just the right amount of available credit. You don’t want too much, but be sure you’re paying down what you have regularly. Lenders may include buy now, pay later debts and other kinds of debts into their algorithms, so be careful with what you have.

Make Sure Your Paperwork Is In Order

Lenders need to see proof of your income during their mortgage affordability checks, so gather the paperwork you need to make that happen. What do you need to get a mortgage? Typically a lender will want to see a few months of bank statements and payslips, your P60 tax information, tax return statements, savings account statements, your ID information, and proof of your address.

Know How Long Mortgage Approval Takes

If you’re trying to get a mortgage principle letter, it may also help to know the answer to “How long does it take to get a mortgage approved” so you’re not waiting in vain. In most cases, the mortgage application process in the UK can take up to 30 days. Typically by the end of that time, you’ll know whether you can get the mortgage you want.

Still not quite sure you know enough to apply for a mortgage online or with another lender? Here are a few more answers to commonly asked questions.


Can You Get A Mortgage With Bad Credit?

Many people ask experts “Can I get a mortgage with bad credit,” and often the simple answer is yes. Getting a mortgage with bad credit isn’t as hard as you’d imagine. Learning how to get a bad credit mortgage is as simple as learning how to connect with the right broker. You’ll want to find someone who specialises in mortgage bad credit options that are on the market today. Often simply telling them “I need a loan but keep getting declined” will help them find the right mortgages for bad credit UK lenders provide that meet their needs. Poor credit mortgages are available to many buyers these days. There are even options for a mortgage for a bad credit first-time buyer available from some lenders!

Are There Mortgage Lenders That Accept Benefits?

Yes, there are mortgage lenders in the UK that may consider applicants who receive certain benefits. However, it’s important to note that each lender’s criteria may vary, and not all benefits will be accepted by every lender. Generally, the acceptance of benefits for mortgage eligibility depends on factors such as the type of benefit, the applicant’s overall financial situation, and the lender’s specific lending policies.

What Stops You Getting A Mortgage?

Several factors can prevent someone from getting a mortgage in the UK. Poor credit history is one. Another is if you simply don’t make enough money. Additionally, you may not be able to get a mortgage because of a high debt-to-income ratio, because you don’t have enough deposit money, or even because you’re buying a type of property on which the lender isn’t willing to lend any money.

Is It Possible To Have A Mortgage Declined After An “Agreement In Principle”?

It is possible to have a mortgage application declined after receiving an Agreement in Principle, which is sometimes called an AIP. There’s another name for this idea, too. The decision in Principle is how some lenders refer to it. No matter what it’s called, though, it is not a formal mortgage offer but rather an initial indication from a lender that they are likely to lend you a certain amount based on the information provided during the application process. Because the AIP is based on preliminary information, the lender may conduct a more thorough assessment of your financial situation and credit history during the formal mortgage application process. If new information comes to light that raises concerns about your ability to repay the mortgage, the lender may decline the application. They may also do so if you didn’t offer enough information or there’s been a change in circumstances.

Are There Mortgage Lenders That Don’t Have Credit Scores?

There are mortgage lenders in the UK who do not rely solely on credit scoring when assessing mortgage applications. These lenders use alternative underwriting methods and take a more holistic approach to evaluate an applicant’s suitability for a mortgage. Instead of relying solely on credit scores, they consider various factors, including income, employment history, affordability, and overall financial situation.

What Do Mortgage Lenders Look For?

There are many different things lenders look for before they make a mortgage loan. Your credit history is one of the biggest factors. Lenders usually review an applicant’s credit scores and his or her credit reports to decide whether they’re ready to take on a mortgage loan. A positive credit history can help, but a negative one will most certainly hurt. In addition to a good credit history, lenders are also looking for applicants who have a steady income and some employment stability. They don’t want to loan to those who may not have a reliable source of income to repay the mortgage. Lenders may also assess the applicant’s affordability by comparing their income to their existing debts and living expenses. They want to ensure that the applicant can comfortably afford the mortgage repayments. The property itself plays a role in this too. Lenders consider the type and condition of the property being purchased. Some lenders have restrictions on lending for certain property types, such as high-rise flats or non-standard construction. Additionally, any money you have put aside in addition to the deposit can be quite helpful for lenders. Having savings or financial reserves can be viewed positively by lenders, as it shows the applicant can handle unexpected expenses. Finally, the chosen mortgage term affects the overall affordability, and lenders may consider the impact of different term lengths on the applicant’s ability to repay the loan. Keep in mind that every lender prioritises these factors quite differently, and the specific lending criteria can vary among different lenders. It’s essential for applicants to provide accurate and detailed financial information during the application process and to choose a mortgage lender that aligns with their financial situation and needs. Seeking advice from a mortgage broker can also help find the most suitable lender for your specific circumstances.

With A Mortgage In Principle, What Can Go Wrong?

It’s important to remember that a Mortgage in Principle is a useful tool to gauge your potential borrowing capacity, but it is not a binding offer. Just because you get a mortgage principle letter doesn’t always mean that you end up getting a mortgage after the mortgage application process is complete. With a mortgage in principle, knowing what can go wrong is essential. If there are discrepancies or issues with your credit history, your application may be declined. If your financial situation changes between the MIP and the formal application, such as a decrease in income or an increase in debts, the lender may reassess your affordability and alter the mortgage offer. If the valuation on the home you’re trying to buy comes in lower than the agreed purchase price, the lender may adjust the mortgage offer or, in some cases, decline the application. Additionally, the offer itself might expire. If you do not proceed with the full application before the expiration, you may need to obtain a new MIP.

We are proud members of...

  • NAPB
  • RICS
  • The Property Ombudsman
  • Trading Standards

We are proud to be the most regulated property buyer operating in the ‘Quick House Sale’ industry. We are an active member of the NAPB (National Association Of Property Buyers) and are RICS regulated, which means you can have every confidence of selling your home with us quickly & easily.