Tips for Getting a Mortgage

Getting a mortgage can be stressful, particularly if you’re a first time buyer who’s new to the process. Below, we’ve put together our top tips for getting a mortgage, to give you the best possible chance of getting your mortgage application accepted.


Tips for getting a mortgage

Boost your credit score

A lender needs to know for certain that you will make your repayments, and they can make this judgement based, in part, on your credit score. Many of the tips in this guide will help to boost you credit score. Your credit utilisation is the percentage you use of your credit limit. So, for example, if you have a limit of £2,000 and you use £1,000, your credit utilisation is 50%.

Get on the electoral roll

Register to vote on the electoral roll. If you’re ineligible, perhaps because you’re a foreign national, you can add a note to your credit file to say you have another proof of residency.

Check your credit file

Get a copy of your credit file and check for errors and ensure nothing is out of place. If you notice a mistake, you should alert your credit provider and ask that they correct it. Inconsistencies on your credit file, no matter how small, can affect your lender’s confidence in your ability to make repayments. For example, check your address is correct across all of your active bank accounts, even if you rarely use them.

Don’t miss any credit payments

Set up a direct debit so your loan and credit card payments come out automatically; this cuts out the risk of human error when making payments.

Correct errors after a rejection

If there was an error on your file that has lead to a rejection, make sure you correct it before making another application. All rejected applications can negatively effect your ability to get credit.

Save as much as you can

If you can save more than the minimum deposit this could increase your chances of getting a mortgage and also allow you to apply for a wider range of products.​

Avoid unusual properties

Mortgage lenders like knowing that they can get their money back should you default on your repayments.

Consequently, they are often less willing to lend against properties that are deemed to be unusual and may therefore prove harder to sell on.

Properties in this category include flats above commercial premises such as cafes and bars; listed buildings; converted buildings such as lighthouses, chapels, schools or warehouses; and homes built using non-standard construction materials such as concrete or steel.

Prepare your paperwork

It’s a good idea to start pulling together all the documents you will need for the application process. These include utility bills, payslips (last three months), P60 from your employer, bank account statements (three to six months), passport or driving license. Self-employed people should be prepared to provide SA302 tax return forms for previous two to three years, as well as accompanying documentation such as business bank account statements. Bear in mind that these forms are the basics and some providers may ask for more information.


How many times your income can you borrow for a mortgage?

In the past, mortgage lenders based the amount you could borrow mainly on a multiple of your income. This is known as the loan-to-income ratio. For example, if your annual income was £50,000, you might have been able to borrow three to five times this amount, giving you a mortgage of up to £250,000.

More recently, the qualification process has changed to assess all acceptable incomings and outgoings to work out what is affordable to the customer then calculate the mortgage the lender is able to provide. If you’re trying to get a mortgage, you can expect that the likelihood of you being able to repay your mortgage payments will be factored in, as well as your income.

Can you get a mortgage with outstanding debt?

Yes, you can still get a mortgage even if you have outstanding debt. The deciding factor will be what proportion of your monthly gross income is spent paying the debts back. So, whether you’re paying off credit card bills, student loans or a car loan, your debt-to-income ratio is what tells lenders how much you can afford.

How much mortgage can I afford?

When applying for a mortgage, it’s a good idea to gauge whether you can afford the monthly repayments.

Use our simple mortgage affordability calculator to get an idea of the type of mortgage you could afford to borrow.

We hope you have found this guide useful. If you’re a first time buyer and need tips and advice on starting this new chapter, why not refer to our first time buyer’s hub? Here, you’ll find plenty of information and guides including support across the full house buying process.

Alternatively, you can speak to one of our mortgage advisers by calling the number below.

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

Apply for a mortgage today

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Calls to 0345 numbers, cost the same as a call to a standard ‘01’ or ‘02’ landline number, even when calling from a mobile. Contact your provider for more information.