6 Tips on Applying for Your First Mortgage

If you’re applying for your first mortgage, our 6 top tips for a strong application are a great guide to get you started.


It’s important to prepare for your first mortgage application as much as possible before submitting it to your chosen lender.

You can set yourself up for the strongest chance of acceptance by taking care of your finances and preparing the right documentation. Here are 6 tips to get you started.

Check your credit score

Before offering you a mortgage, most lenders will investigate and assess your credit score.

Your credit score is issued by a credit agency and is calculated based on your payment history, credit applications and any debt you may hold, along with other factors. This number demonstrates your risk to the lender if you borrow money.

Lenders will use this to not only determine whether to lend you money, but how much to lend and how much interest to charge. You can find out your credit score for free online.

You can reduce your credit score by:

  • Paying off your debts
  • Paying your bills on time
  • Registering to vote
  • Using less of your credit limit

Research your mortgage options

There are many mortgage options to consider, from the type of mortgage, to the length of your mortgage term, to interest only vs. repayment mortgages.

Some providers offer LISA mortgages which are specifically designed for Lifetime ISA account holders, as well as self-employed mortgages, ideal for those working for themselves.

You can take a look at our range of mortgages for a better idea of what’s available to you. Our mortgage advisers will be able to help you through every step of the way and make sure you get the mortgage that best suits your needs and financial status.

Use an affordability calculator

Getting an idea of how much a lender may be willing to lend you and what is affordable to you will help you understand what properties are within your budget.

You can use our affordability calculator to find out how much you could lend before applying for your first mortgage. You can do this whether you know the amount needed for your loan or not.

Get your personal debts to a minimum

Lenders will be made aware of any outstanding debts you have. You may want to focus on reducing your personal debts as much as possible before applying for your mortgage.

The smaller your debts, the more the lender may be willing to lend you on your mortgage too.

This may also improve your credit score, another factor that will make you more attractive to a lender.

You’re (usually) better staying in your job

Another factor a lender may take into consideration when you apply for a mortgage is the length of time you’ve been in your current job.

Lenders may prefer to lend to applicants who have been in their job at least 3-6 months, or sometimes longer. This is because it can be seen to demonstrate a more stable applicant. It also usually means you have passed your probationary period.

Get a mortgage in principle

Referred to as a mortgage in principle, decision in principle or agreement in principle (AIP), this is a statement from your lender of how much they are willing to lend you in theory.

As the offer is ‘in principle’, there is no contractual obligation on the part of the lender to follow through with the mortgage. However, it does make you more appealing to the seller by demonstrating you should be able to secure finance.

Our guide to getting a mortgage in principle is great if you want to find out more and organise one for yourself. 

Want to know more about getting your first mortgage? We have plenty more information and tools for first time buyers in our first time buyer guide. If you’d prefer to speak to one of our mortgage advisers, you can call us to chat about the mortgages we offer.

Your mortgage will be secured on your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

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