Where do you start when you need to apply for a mortgage? The whole process can feel overwhelming, especially for a first-time buyer – but that is why mortgage advisors exist!
We’re here to advise and guide you through the entire process. We’ll highlight some of the different options you might want to consider and take away a lot of the leg work you would otherwise have to do yourself.
Let’s talk through the steps you’ll need to take when applying for a mortgage.
Firstly, speak to a mortgage advisor and broker
Although enlisting the help of a mortgage advisor and broker is not mandatory, we would always recommend it, rather than trying to go it alone. Mortgages can appear quite confusing. Whilst you may have friends and family around you offering advice, it could well have been some time since they last went through the process. It is quite likely that the mortgage market and some of the processes will have changed since then. Also, your personal circumstances will almost certainly be different from theirs and so you will have different priorities and options to consider.
A mortgage advisor and broker, such as us here at Mortgage Light, will not only help you to understand how mortgages work but will also point out some of the different finance options you might want to consider. We can help you work out your budget in the early stages of the process.
We base this budget on your income and expected level of expenditure. Our advisors look at the level of deposit you can afford. From that, they guide you as to the level of mortgage borrowing you should be able to apply for. This allows you to house-hunt with realistic expectations. We can even secure you a mortgage agreement in principle from a lender. This means sellers and estate agents should take you more seriously as a potential buyer.
Once you have found the house that you’d like to purchase, we will search the mortgage market to find you the best and most suitable deals available. We will even approach lenders on your behalf, as well as help you complete an application and pull together all the supporting paperwork that might be required to accompany it.
Prepare your mortgage application documents
Tour mortgage advisor and broker can help you complete a large proportion of the mortgage process. However, you will need to supply them with all the correct information, as well as any supporting documents needed. They then pass these onto your lender.
These supporting documents serve as evidence of who you are, where you live, how much you earn and the proof of your deposit. You may be asked to provide:
- Photographic ID, such as your passport or driving license (note that having an old address on your driving license or an expired passport can lead to complications and delays, so try and make sure all documentation is up to date and accurate)
- Three months’ payslips (showing details of employee name, pay date and tax period, gross pay, net pay, any bonuses, overtime or commission, and any additional payments received such as car allowances etc)
- Bank statements of your current account covering the last 3-6 months (don’t leave any gaps in the history, as this may look suspicious)
- Proof of your deposit in the form of cash savings and the source of these funds. This is usually done via bank statements, which should be in your name. If your deposit is being gifted to you, perhaps by a relative for example, then you may need to provide some evidence of this.
Your mortgage advisor will also need to give your lender a breakdown of your current and anticipated outgoings. This includes details of other borrowings you may have on credit cards or other loans. It can also include an estimate of any childcare costs you have.
Remember, the information on your application needs to match the supporting documentation you provide. Names and addresses should match (including the spelling of names). Don’t round up your income if this doesn’t match your payslips. If you have recently changed your name, due to marriage for example, then you will need to provide evidence of this via a copy of your marriage certificate. It is often these details that lead to queries that can cause delays in processing. In some cases, it can even lead to applications being rejected.
Find out more – ‘What do I need for a mortgage application?’
Apply for a mortgage
So, you’ve got your mortgage advisor and broker’s guidance. You’ve obtained a mortgage agreement in principle. Your offer has been accepted on your chosen property and your mortgage application documentation is all ready to go. Now it’s time to formally apply for a mortgage and start the actual house buying process.
The good news is that there’s nothing for you to do at this point other than giving your mortgage advisor and broker the green light to submit your application on your behalf. If you are not using a mortgage advisor and broker, then you will need to approach your chosen lender and apply for the mortgage yourself. Most lenders will usually allow you to do this online or via the phone.
Once you have submitted your application, the lender will carefully check through all of the paperwork provided. They will assess whether you meet their lending criteria. An important part of this assessment will be an examination of your personal credit file. Here, they will be looking for any adverse information.
Such information might indicate you have a poor record of repaying debt and therefore are potentially a risk. If the lender rejects your application for this, or for any other reason, it’s always worth trying to find out why so that you can attempt to put these things right. You should also then wait a little while before applying to another lender. Making several mortgage applications very close together could have a detrimental effect on your credit score. This should be avoided if possible.
Using a mortgage advisor and broker will dramatically decrease the chances of any application you make being rejected. They will be aware of your personal financial situation and be able to match this to various lender’s criteria. This gives you the best chance of securing the offer you need the first time around.
Receive a formal mortgage offer
Hopefully, you will then receive the formal mortgage offer you want following the submission of your application. This generally happens within 2-4 weeks of making your mortgage application, so long as there aren’t any issues or queries. Most mortgage offers are usually valid for six months. It is then all-systems-go to get your purchase (and sale if applicable) over the line and completed within that timescale!
Whilst it certainly is possible to undertake this process yourself, it is generally quicker, smoother and usually a lot less stressful with the help of a mortgage advisor and broker to guide you.
Here at Mortgage Light, helping people find a mortgage deal that they are happy with is what we do day-in-day-out. Plus, with whole-of-market access, we have visibility of deals that you as a consumer might not otherwise be able to find.
Contact us today and let us guide you through the mortgage application process.