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Improve your odds of getting your mortgage loan approved

Fri 09 Feb 2024

Are you thinking of applying for a mortgage soon? Navigating the mortgage application process can be difficult, with lenders having different criteria for assessing mortgage applications. Getting your mortgage loan approved depends on a range of factors including:

  • The size of loan you want to take out
  • How much you've saved as a deposit
  • Your employment status and income
  • Your credit rating
  • Your outgoings
  • Your existing debt

We take a look at what steps you can take to boost your chances of getting your mortgage application approved.


When should you start looking for a mortgage deal?

New house purchase - If you’re looking to buy a house then the earlier the better! Start the process and speak to an advisor before viewing properties. That way you’ll not only know how much you can afford to borrow, but it could identify any hiccups early on to prevent any delays in getting a mortgage. You could also be at an advantage compared to other buyers if you have a mortgage already agreed in principle.

Remortgaging – You should generally start looking for a remortgage deal no later than three months before your current deal ends. Moving to a new lender could take up to two months so you need to give yourself time to consider your options.


What are the main reasons for a mortgage application being declined?

  • Poor credit history
  • Too many credit applications
  • Not on the electoral role
  • Too much debt
  • Insufficient income


How can you improve your odds?

It’s not easy securing a home loan as lenders apply affordability rules to ensure they offer mortgages that people can afford. The following tips could help you boost your mortgage chances.

Get your finances in order- you need to be as financially attractive to lenders as possible. So getting your finances in order and reviewing your spending habits up to 12 months before you apply for a mortgage will help.

Cut back on your spending as Lenders will ask for detail about your outgoings and are likely to ask to see your bank statements to verify what you've told them. This is to make sure you'd still be able to afford your mortgage if your circumstances changed. Your application could be rejected if you fail to show you’re managing your money responsibly.

Manage your credit and pay bills off on time – Pay your credit cards and bills on time. Any missed payments can remain on your credit file for six years, so keeping up payments is a must. Setting up direct debit payments for credit cards can avoid the risk of you missing a payment.

Check your credit report – Lenders will check your credit report(s) to see if you’ve got a good repayment history. Your report lists your credit cards, overdrafts, loans, mortgages, mobile phones and some utility payments for all accounts opened within the last 6 years. You can check your credit file at all of the three main credit agencies – Equifax, Trans Union & Experian.

If you’ve applied for joint credit, such as a mortgage or bank account, then you will be financially linked to someone else. If you’ve since separated or have nothing to do with them then they could be affecting your credit score, so you’ll need to update your file. If you spot anything wrong with your credit file then you need to request an amendment.

Are you registered to vote? - If you’re not on the electoral register then your chances of getting a mortgage could be reduced. Lenders will often use the register to confirm your current residency. Your credit report will tell you if you’re on the electoral role. If you’re not you can register here.

Don’t apply for credit 6 months before applying for a mortgage – If you apply for a loan, credit card, utility contract or even a mobile phone then a search may be registered on your credit report, even if you don’t take out the contract. If your credit file shows multiple searches then this can reduce your ability to obtain credit. If you’ve had a payday loan in the last 12 months then you could be declined for a mortgage.

Put down extra on top of your deposit - All mortgages have a maximum loan-to-value (the amount you borrow compared to what the property's worth). Keeping the loan-to-value as low as possible – for example putting down a little bit more than the minimum deposit required - can make you more attractive to the lender.

Get your paperwork organised – Lenders will need to see proof of your income before they can offer a mortgage so getting it ready in advance could speed the process up. Your lender may want to see any or all of:

  • Your last three months' payslips
  • Your last three months' bank statements
  • Proof of bonuses/commission
  • Your latest P60 tax form (showing income and tax paid from each tax year)
  • Proof of deposits (eg, savings account statements)
  • ID documents (usually a passport)
  • Proof of address (eg, utility bills or credit card bills)
  • A gift letter, this is where you receive part of your mortgage deposit as a gift. If you're getting deposit help, the lender needs to know it is a gift (not a loan), and that the giver won't part own the home.

If you’re looking for a mortgage, then the Fee-Free Mortgage Advice Service provided by Tenet Mortgage Solutions Ltd could help. Their expert independent mortgage advisors will guide you through the process from enquiry to completion.

A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured against it. You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage.

PMGI Limited, trading as Police Mutual, has chosen Tenet Mortgage Solutions Limited, part of Tenet, to provide customers with a Mortgage Advice Service. Tenet Mortgage Solutions Limited will provide you with independent mortgage advice and will make a recommendation based on your circumstances and requirements. You will not receive advice or any recommendation from Police Mutual. If you take out a mortgage recommended by Tenet Mortgage Solutions Limited, PMGI Limited will receive a fee for this introduction. This fee is 24.8% of the money that Tenet Mortgage Solutions Limited receives as commission from the mortgage lender.

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Code: AL M O 0002

Type of article: Articles
Category: Owning a house

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