If you are just about to apply for a mortgage or are planning to in the near future, there are some things you can do that will improve your chances of getting the mortgage.  It will also make the mortgage process easier, save you time, stress and money.

Check your credit rating

There are a number of credit agencies.  One example being Experian and most of them offer you a free trial of their services.  Take advantage of these services to see what you current credit rating is and if there are any problems that you were unaware of.  They will give you tips and advice on how to improve your credit rating and correct any errors.

Set up automatic repayments on your credit card

We all get busy and forget things, however missing a payment on your credit card will affect your credit rating and makes mortgage lenders feel uncomfortable that you are able to manage your debts, this in turn can affect the amount that companies will lend you as a mortgage.  Set up a direct debit on your credit cards to pay at least minimum payment each month, even if you then pay more off of the card.  If this minimum payment is automatically paid then it does not show as a default and will keep your credit rating clear.

Make sure your name and address is correct on documents

Driving Licences, Passports, Bank Statements, etc.  If you have moved address or changed your name, get these documents changed to your new details.  You will be asked for various documents from both the mortgage lender and the solicitor, if these documents are wrong this could cause hassle and delays. 

Get Your documents together before applying

You will be asked for various documents by the mortgage company to assess your application.  Not having these documents is one of the most common causes for delays in getting a mortgage.  These are the common documents to have:

  • Passport
  • Driving Licence
  • 3 months payslips
  • Up-to-date statement of entitlement for Child Benefit and other state benefits (phone to request these as it can take a couple of weeks)
  • 3 months bank statements (showing your salary/income going into the bank)
  • Latest mortgage statement (if a current mortgage exists)
  • Proof of deposit
  • If the deposit is being gifted you will need a letter from the person gifting the deposit (speak to your financial adviser for the exact wording required)
  • If Self Employed:
  • 3 Years accounts ‘signed by accountant’
  • 3 years SA302’s (these can be got from your accountant or directly from HMRC)
  • 3 years tax overviews (these can be got from your accountant or directly from HMRC)
Address History

Make a list of the last 3 years addresses, together with moving in and out dates.  When an application is assessed this will be needed to see your credit history.


Make a list of all credit agreements that you have.  Loans, mortgages, credit cards, hire purchase, 0% interest on sofas/furniture and store cards.  List down the company, account number, amount owed, term left and monthly repayment.  If this information is input wrong into a mortgage application it can cause delays and can give you false results, which may cause you problems later.

Keep Out of Your Overdraft

If possible, get out of your overdraft and keep it in the black leading up to a mortgage application.  This will help improve your credit rating and also show good financial management to a mortgage lender.

Take Independent Advice

Independent Financial Advisers are not restricted to one mortgage lender, they can view the whole market.  This means they are able to find the lowest cost mortgage for you.  Not only this they are able to assess your information against each lenders criteria to ensure that you are applying for the right mortgage.  This will help you save time, hassle and money.

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Give the Right Figures

When talking with a financial adviser, don’t guess at your figures.  Be accurate.  Any decision being made for a mortgage is only as good as the figures being input.  If the figures are different than your documents then this could change the decision being made.

Be Critical of Your Payslips

Mortgage lenders assess your personal situation in different ways.  You may have deductions on your payslips.  Such as childcare vouchers, pension contributions, ride to work schemes, etc.  Your adviser needs to assess these figures, as where one lender will look at your income without these deductions, another will use the lower figure after deductions.  By understanding these details can ensure you are considering the right lender and will save you time and hassle.

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