How to apply for a mortgage - Your FAQs answered
Are you thinking about applying for a mortgage? Whether you plan on doing an online mortgage application, or you’d prefer to speak to a financial advisor/broker who can do the hard work for you, there are a few things you need to know about the mortgage application process.
In our guide about getting a mortgage, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about the mortgage application process, including the steps involved when applying for a mortgage and where to start, plus the various mortgage requirements and criteria you need to know in order to be accepted.
How do I get a mortgage?
The exact steps of getting a mortgage require some fairly intricate details, but if you’re just looking to get some information and advice on how to get one, take a look at our brief step-by-step guide below.
- Save for a deposit - unless you already have the cash sitting in your bank account, chances are that you’ll need to spend some time saving for your house deposit. Depending on how much you earn and how much you can realistically save each month, this could take anywhere from a few months to a few years. If you know you want to get a house, start saving as soon as possible.
- The next step is to research different mortgage providers and lenders to see what you could realistically borrow in order to obtain a mortgage. Many lenders have their own mortgage calculator which lets you see how much you can borrow, the length of the mortgage period and what interest you’ll pay on it.
- Once you’ve found a mortgage provider that seems right for you, you will then need to start the application process. It’s important to bear in mind how good your credit score is when it comes to applying as lenders will look at your credit history in order to see whether they think you’ll be eligible or not and whether they think you’ll be able to make the repayments.
- Apply for a mortgage. This stage can take as little as a few hours, especially if you seek advice from a specialist mortgage broker who can provide advice on how to apply and the best provider.
- You will then (hopefully) receive a mortgage offer that you will need to sign and return to the lender and then wait for your application to be processed.
How long does a mortgage application take?
There’s no exact timeframe as to how long the mortgage application takes. Depending on how much research you plan on doing about different lenders and how thorough the actual application is, this will determine how long it takes you to apply.
How long does it take to get accepted for a mortgage?
Similar to the length of time that it takes to actually apply for a mortgage, there’s no hard and fast rule about how long it takes to be accepted.
However, you can probably expect it to take around two to six weeks for your mortgage application to be approved. Of course, if there are any issues with your application that need fixing, then it can take a bit longer.
What documents do I need for a mortgage?
When applying for a mortgage, there are many documents that you’ll need to put together in order to officially begin the mortgage application process.
The below are the most basic and typical document expectations when applying for a mortgage, but some lenders may require more in-depth paperwork and evidence of your finances in order to push your mortgage application through.
- Proof of utility bills
- Bank statements of your current accounts from the last three to six months
- P60 form from your employer
- Evidence of your three most recent payslips
- Proof of any benefits that you receive
- Proof of ID, such as driving licence or passport
- If you’re self-employed, you will need to provide two to three years of accounts and a SA302 tax return form
It’s important when submitting the necessary documents for your mortgage application that all the information you provide is as accurate as possible. This includes spelling mistakes in your name and address; while you wouldn’t usually make these kinds of mistakes anyway, it’s important to double-check everything before you submit so you don’t risk your application being jeopardised.
It’s also imperative that you provide exact figures when it comes to your salary as well; don’t round up if your payslip says differently.
How many payslips do I need to provide when applying for a mortgage?
You will usually have to provide at least three months’ worth of payslips if you’re employed, but some lenders may ask for six.
If you’re self-employed, you will need two to three years’ worth of account statements provided by your accountant.
What do mortgage lenders look for?
When it comes to applying for a mortgage, there are numerous things that lenders will look for in order to determine whether you’ll be eligible or not.
One of the main things they look for is whether they think that you’ll actually be able to afford your mortgage payments. They do this by working out your household income, including your standard income, plus any extra income that you might receive from a second job, in benefits or freelancing gigs, for example.
They also take into consideration your household bills and other outgoings such as credit card bills and any loans you might have in order to determine whether you’ll have enough money left to make your mortgage repayments.
Some lenders may also carry out a ‘stress test’ in which they determine whether you’d still be able to make the monthly payments, even if interest rates rise and therefore, the amount that you pay for your mortgage also rises.
Once you make an official mortgage application, lenders will also perform a credit check on you whereby they contact a credit reference agency (such as Experian or Equifax) in order to take a look at your credit history and credit score.