How can I improve my chances of getting a mortgage? 25 ways to improve your chances of getting a mortgage
Getting a mortgage is not an easy task. Latest Deals knows that, and we’re here to help you with 25 ways to improve your chances of getting a mortgage.
1. Be realistic about how much you can afford.
We all have dream houses, but it's essential to be realistic about how much you can afford.
Buying a place within your budget will allow you to get a mortgage and meet your mortgage payments without a struggle.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Don't forget that the interest rate of your mortgage deal can change over time. This can make your monthly payments more expensive.
2. Improve your credit score
Your credit score shows how reliable you are at honouring your financial commitments.
You can also keep track of your credit score by accessing their websites and getting a report for free, usually once a year.
To get a higher credit score, you need to make sure you are paying all your bills on time and aren't creating debts. Around 35% of your credit score is based on your payment history and 30% on your debits.
If you have credit card debt giving you a bad credit score, read our guide on how to improve your credit score.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you notice any mistakes on your credit report, make sure you contact the agency to amend them. Sometimes, there is misinformation, which could affect your eligibility for a mortgage. Check for any debts that you’ve already paid, information that is not yours, out of date details and others.
3. Consider the Help to Buy Scheme
If you are a first time home buyer, you might be eligible for the Help to Buy Scheme. With this scheme, you can give a 5% deposit and get a 20% government equity loan to help to buy a property, then you can apply for a 75% mortgage to afford the rest.
IMPORTANT NOTE: This scheme is not always available, and it's restricted to specific cases.
4. Consider a Guarantor Mortgage
If you can't get a mortgage, you might be able to get one by using a guarantor. A guarantor is a person who will be legally responsible for covering your mortgage payments if you fail to pay them.
5. Compare mortgages deals
There are many different types of mortgage deals, and it's essential to choose the right one for you according to your circumstances. Make sure you are comparing them and selecting the best options. Learn here about types of mortgages.
6. Pay off debts
If you have any debt, it's essential to pay it off before applying for a mortgage. Sometimes, it's impossible to pay off all of your debts, but the fewer debts you have, the better the mortgage you could get.
If you have a credit card with interest, read our guide on how to transfer that debt to an interest-free credit card.
7. Cancel unnecessary credit cards and overdrafts limits
Mortgage lenders want to make sure you will be able to pay them back. If you have lots of credit cards and accounts with overdrafts, they know you could potentially be spending more money than you have. So, cancel all unnecessary credit cards and overdrafts limits.
8. Increase your income
If you can increase your income, this will also increase your chances of getting a mortgage. You could try to get a pay rise or start a side hustle.
9. Work with a mortgage broker/adviser
Although you will need to pay for a mortgage broker/adviser fee when you get your mortgage deal approved, it's worth it.
Working with a mortgage broker/adviser will increase your chances of getting a mortgage.
They know how to prepare the documentation to improve your legibility, and they also have access to some exclusive deals.
10. Spend less money
Mortgage lenders do take into account how much money you spend. The more you want to borrow, the fewer outgoings you must have. Learn how to budget your money here.
11. Apply for a longer-term mortgage
In the UK, you can get a mortgage for up to 40 years. The average length is 25 years. If you want to make your monthly payments cheaper and increase your chances of getting a mortgage, you could apply for a longer-term mortgage.
12. Use your family savings for an offset mortgage
One type of mortgage, called an offset mortgage, allows you to use your family savings to make your mortgage more affordable. Learn more about this type of mortgage here.
13. Get a joint mortgage
If you can't afford a mortgage independently, you could wait for the right opportunity to get a joint mortgage.
In this case, both incomes are taken into consideration. If you are single, you could buy with a friend or family member.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You could also have your parents named on the mortgage. This is different from a guarantor mortgage because, in this case, the mortgage is also their responsibility, not only ours.
14. Register to vote
If you haven’t already registered to vote, make sure you do.
Being registered to vote automatically positively affects your credit score and your chances of getting a mortgage.
15. Pay all your bills by direct debit to avoid forgetting a payment date
To make your life easier, put all your bills on direct debit, then you know for sure that they will be paid on the correct date, protecting your credit score.
16. Show you can manage debt
Sometimes, your credit score is low because you don't have any credit history to be checked.
In this case, getting a credit card can help you to build a credit score.
17. Decrease how much you spend on your household bills
Your mortgage lender will also take a look at how much you spend on household bills and other outgoings. Latest Deals has a guide on how to haggle broadband, a guide on how to reduce your council tax bill, a guide on how to reduce energy bills, a guide on how to reduce water bills, and a guide on how to cut your mobile phone bill.
18. Build a substantial deposit
If you are a first time home buyer, it's recommended to have a bigger mortgage deposit, around 10% to 15% of the properties' value.
If you are buying a second property, this increases to a minimal 20%. Learn more about deposits here.
19. Organise your paperwork
If you are self-employed, get ready to put together as much paperwork as possible to increase your chances of getting a mortgage.
Read our guide on how to get a mortgage as self-employed.
Even if you aren't, you still need to make sure you're not missing anything. Some of the documents you will need to provide are:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of address
- Bank statements (current and saving accounts)
- Tax returns
- Evidence of any bonuses, commission or additional payments
- Evidence of any extra income, including benefits
- The two most recent P60 tax forms
- A gift letter if you are getting help with your deposit
20. Choose the correct type of mortgage for you
There are many types of mortgages, and choosing the right one for you is essential to increasing your chances of being approved. Read our guide about types of mortgages.
21. Choose the "right" property
If a property is hard to sell it is also going to be hard to get a mortgage.
The mortgage lender considers how easily they can sell the property you want to buy because every mortgage is also an investment.
If the property you wish to purchase is quirky for any reason, it will be harder for you to get a mortgage.
22. Be accurate and clear in your application
Make sure when you are filling your application, by yourself or with a broker, that you are being as accurate and clear as possible.
You won't be able to change any piece of information after you submit your application.
If there is anything wrong or missing, your mortgage application might be denied. Some points to keep in mind are:
- Don't round up any numbers
- Do declare all your debts
- Provide your address history correctly
- Be honest about how much money you spend monthly
23. Avoid changing jobs if you are thinking about applying for a mortgage
Mortgage lenders value stability and reliability. Therefore, having a stable job and a reliable income will increase your chances of getting a mortgage.
24. Study your mortgage lender eligibility rules
Each mortgage lender usually has its own set of eligibility rules. You need to understand them before applying for a mortgage to increase your chances of getting a positive answer.
These eligibility rules usually include:
- How much you want to borrow
- How much you can pay as a deposit
- What your employment status is
- How well you manage your month-to-month outgoings
- Any existing debits and credits
For example, some lenders will allow more debts than others and have a more accessible policy for self-employed people. Do the research to increase your chances.
25. Be patient because it does take time to get a mortgage
Getting a mortgage is not an easy task, so you will need to be patient. The work needed to get a mortgage starts years before the application date.
You need to have built up a good credit history, have saved a substantial amount of money for your mortgage deposit and earn enough money to make your monthly repayments without any problems.
With these points in mind, your chances of getting a mortgage will increase, and hopefully you will be able to buy the property of your dreams.