Conveyancing How to Guides...

Can I Get a Mortgage?

Reading time: 3 mins

Carrie Tennick, February 16, 2021

Securing a mortgage on your first home purchase is one of the biggest milestones in the process. It’s one more box ticked and one step closer to collecting your new keys.

But getting a mortgage isn’t guaranteed.

There are several factors lenders will look at before deciding to approve or reject your application. Knowing what to pay attention to will help give you the best chance of getting your mortgage.

What do lenders look at?

Each lender is different. This means they’ll use different criteria to evaluate whether they can lend to you. For example, some lenders won’t finance the self-employed, while others won’t consider anyone who earns below a certain level.

But most mortgage providers will look at a number of things, including:

  • Your age

Your age at the end of the mortgage term is an important factor. Many lenders won’t consider approving a home loan to anyone who’ll be over 70 at the end of their term while others won’t lend to anyone who will be past retirement at the end of their term.

  • Your credit rating

Your credit score is vital to your ability to get a mortgage. The better your rating, the higher your chances. It can be hugely helpful to check your credit file regularly before applying. This way, you can catch any errors before they affect your chances.

  • Your debts

Even if you have a good credit score, you might struggle to get a mortgage if you are repaying a lot of debts. This is because the lender could be worried about your ability to afford your home loan repayments.

  • Your deposit

How much you’ve saved for your deposit will have an impact on what you can borrow and the interest rate you get on your mortgage. Most lenders will require at least a 10% deposit, while increasing that can get you a lower interest rate.

  • Your employment status

Someone in permanent employment is usually seen as safer investment by lenders. The self-employed and those on temporary or zero hours contracts can struggle to get a mortgage – but specialist lenders could offer loans to some of these workers.

  • Your income

The amount you can borrow is usually capped at around 4.5 times your income. There are some exceptions, but almost everyone’s income will influence how much they can borrow. You’ll usually have to provide three months of payslips and your most recent P60 to prove your income.

  • Your spending

Your regular spending – like bills, commuting and insurance policies – will be considered alongside other expenditures, like shopping for clothes, going out and holidays. You’ll probably have to provide three to six months of bank statements as proof.

How to get a mortgage

One of the most important things you can do to help your chances of getting a mortgage is to maintain your credit rating. It’s within your control, so make sure you’re always making your payments on time and not applying for too much credit in a short period.

You can also reduce your spending in the months leading up to your mortgage application. Lenders have to check whether you’d be able to afford your mortgage repayments if interest rates shot up to 6-7%, so it’ll help to show them that you could. Cut down on what lenders might see as unnecessary spending, like gambling or nights out, in the run-up to your application.

Staying out of your overdraft will also help your chances of getting a mortgage. Lenders could see your use of an overdraft as a sign you can’t manage on your income, so it’s best to avoid one if you’re looking for a mortgage.

Getting your mortgage offer through is an exciting moment. But once you’ve secured it, you’ll need a great team of conveyancers to get you to completion day.

First4Lawyers can help you find the right legal team to keep the home-buying process as stress-free as possible. Just get in touch to find out more.

Note: First4Lawyers offers this information as guidance, not advice. Before taking any action, you should seek professional assistance tailored to your personal circumstances.

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