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How To Get A Mortgage Lender To Say Yes

When it comes to getting a mortgage, it helps a lot to prepare in advance.  Firstly, you need to build your deposit.  That can literally take several years.  Secondly, you need to make sure that you make yourself an attractive mortgage candidate.  Ideally, you want to allow at least 6 months for this.  Then you need to put in the right mortgage application in the right way.

Building your deposit

Everybody is different so it’s really impossible to say how long you should allow for this process.  It is, however, possible to say that you should learn about lenders’ rules on deposits.  Firstly, you need to know what percentage of a property’s price you will need to have in order to be even considered for a mortgage.

Secondly, you will need to know what sources of funds you are allowed to use to build it.  In particular, research the rules around gifted deposits and make sure that you comply with them in letter and spirit.  If you don’t, then there is a strong chance that your future mortgage application will be turned down even if you are a perfect candidate in every other way.

Making yourself an attractive mortgage candidate

You want to allow at least 6 months for this.  Your first step is to make sure that you have ID.  If necessary get or renew your passport and/or driving licence.  Next, check and see if you need to do any administrative cleaning.  Before you apply for a mortgage, you want to be on the electoral roll at the address given on your financial statements.

At a minimum ensure that your current account and payslips/accounts all show the same address as your electoral-roll listing.  Ideally, check the details of all financial products you hold.  This may be a nuisance but you should be doing it anyway.

Check your credit records with TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.  Make sure that they are all complete and accurate.  If there are any mistakes contact the agency immediately to have them corrected.  Similarly, if you have failed to mark accounts as closed, do so promptly.  For example, if you have an old credit card you never use, call the lender and close it properly.

During this period, think about your finances with particular care.  Remember that your lender is going to scrutinise your bank statements so think about how they are likely to appear to an objective third party.  If necessary, get an objective third party to look at your bank statements as they currently stand.  Ask them if they think you should change your spending habits, at least for now.

Putting in the right application in the right way

You might find it very helpful to use a mortgage broker.  They can guide you to the best deal for you and advise you on how to apply for it.  The key point to keep in mind is that lenders really want to know the answer to three key questions.  These are:

  • Can you afford the mortgage?
  • Will you repay the mortgage without any hassle?
  • Can they recoup their money from the sale of the property if there are any problems?

The more convincingly you can answer yes to all three questions, the more options you are likely to have.  With that said, you don’t need to give up in despair if you’re not a “perfect” candidate.  You may still find a more niche lender who will take you on.

As a final point, when you do submit your application, obvious as this may sound, make sure that you follow all the instructions given.  Answer all questions fully and accurately and upload/send any requested documents.  Administrative errors might not get your application declined but they may get it delayed.

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