How to get the best mortgage deal Boost your mortgage chances
Getting a mortgage in today's risk-averse market can be tough. In this guide, we explain what you can do to increase the likelihood of your mortgage application being successful.
Each lender has different criteria for who they are willing to lend to. Their criteria will cover a range of factors, such as the property you're looking to buy, your income, your credit history and how secure your employment is.
Video guide: how to boost your mortgage chances
In this two-minute video, the experts at Which? Mortgage Advisers explain the steps you can take to boost your chances of having a mortgage application accepted.
Having a regular income when applying for a mortgage
Mortgage lenders are more likely to lend to you if you're in long-term employment, typically expecting you to have been in your current job for more than a year.
If you're looking to move jobs it might be better to wait until after you've secured a mortgage. If you've just started a new role you may wish to wait until you're more established before applying.
If you're self-employed then lenders will expect to see detailed evidence of your income.
Looking for advice on applying for a mortgage? You can have a free consultation with Which? Mortgage Advisers by calling 0808 252 7987.
Maximising your credit history
The better your credit history, the more likely a lender is to lend to you.
If you've never taken out any credit so don't have a credit history, or you've had problems repaying debt, especially in the recent past, then you will struggle to get a mortgage. You need to build up a positive credit history and this may take some time.
One thing to consider is taking out a credit card and spending small amounts on it - but in order to develop a good credit rating you should make sure you repay the amount in full every month.
Go further: your credit report explained - all you need to know about your credit file and how to improve it
Increase the size of your deposit
The bigger your mortgage deposit, the more likely it is that a provider will lend to you - and the better the interest rate you're likely to get. There are 100% mortgages available, but they are difficult to be approved for, so the minimum you're likely to need to have saved up to get a mortgage is 5% in the current market.
Most first-time buyers will save more than this. Our 2015 research found that the average deposit for first-time buyers is 17%.
If you're struggling to save you could think about getting some help from your family. There are a range of mortgage products on the market where family members can either act as guarantors or secure their savings against your loan. Our guide to guarantor mortgages explains how you can get a helping hand onto the property ladder
Take care when applying for a mortgage
Don't apply for multiple mortgages at the same time - this will not look good on your credit file. Only apply for mortgages you really want and think you're likely to get. If you get turned down for a loan leave some time before applying again.
Consider speaking to a mortgage adviser as they will know the market and which lenders are most likely to lend to you.
Go further: mortgage application - all you the information you need to apply for a mortgage
Need mortgage advice?
The Which? Group offers an independent mortgage advice service, Which? Mortgage Advisers, that looks at a range of mortgages from lenders large and small. You can call for a free initial consultation on 0808 252 7987.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
Which? Limited (registered in England and Wales number 00677665) is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Which? Financial Services Limited (registered in England and Wales number 07239342). Which? Financial Services Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 527029). Which? Mortgage Advisers and Which? Money Compare are trading names of Which? Financial Services Limited. Registered office: 2 Marylebone Road, London NW1 4DF.