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Getting a mortgage

Improving your mortgage chances

By Marie Kemplay

Article 2 of 9

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Improving your mortgage chances

Getting a mortgage can sometimes be tough. Find out how to maximise your chances of making a successful mortgage application.


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Video transcript

They need a very clear understanding of what your outgoings are or what they will be in the future. So, if you're buying a property the lender will be concerned about what your outgoing are for your new domestic situation because ultimately that's the figure that demonstrates how much you can afford to pay in terms of mortgage and also that's the figure that the lender will lend against.

Being employed on a permanent contract with your employer is always a really good position to be in. It's a really solid style and being able to provide the last three months worth of payslips having them available to mortgage adviser for your interview is also a really good position to be in.

For self-employed people the market
definitely is getting better, there're lenders that will lend today based on one year's worth of figures which is encouraging the majority would have reached out the latest two year's figures.

Credit history is important, it's ideally you have a clean credit history not missed all eight payments. You can get your credit reports from one of the numbers of different providers online, it's always with checking out reports to ensure that they're having no issues in the past to make sure that you'll pass the credit check because ultimately that's the prerequisite of getting a mortgage.

Sometimes there are mistakes on that and sometimes is a part of phone call and to get them rectified and that could be the difference between being accepted and being declined.
Get registered on the
electoral roll, that is a big boost and lenders love to see that. Everything needs to be registered to your current address so bank accounts, credit cards.

I think it's a good role, any store cards that you just don't use just cancel them, same applies for credit cards. If you have a credit card that you do use regularly and get quiet near to the limits that's another considerable because if you regularly getting near to the limit of the credit card, it can sometime have a lowering effect of our overall credit score and so is to be worthiness.

If you're not having an over-draft at all, it's probably the best but then if you got one, keep it in it, not going over it. Keeping up to date with any payments of any loans you do have or any credit cards, stall cards that you've got, just making sure, yet you have them but making sure you meet the payment, you're not late. Because the late payment these days to a lender is almost as crucial as maybe a defaults couple of years ago.

Lenders will always check your credit reference agency's reports and lot of needs to tally, so it's more important to quite precise with the figures that you're telling and the mobilizers about with monthly loan payments and balances
on credit cards and things like that because it's things that the lender can see as well.

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.

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 will are more likely to lend to you if you're in stable, long-term employment. You will typically need to have been employed for a minimum of 3-6 months in your current job before applying.

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. The minimum deposit you 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 on to 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.


  • Last updated: September 2016
  • Updated by: Marie Kemplay

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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.