Let’s face it, it’s common knowledge that getting a mortgage can be difficult, however at the end of the day, it’s important to remember that easier than the press would like to make us believe. The bottom line is that lenders need to ensure that they will receive their monthly repayments and interest in full. In addition to this, government legislations are in place to try and make sure that only those who can truly afford to take out a mortgage are able to do so and that high-risk lending and borrowing is ruled out.
Of course, for most people, getting the approval for a mortgage isn’t as difficult as some think, you just need to ensure that you’re presented to lenders in the very best possible light and that they see you as the perfect candidate to lend money to.
With that in mind, there’s plenty of things which you can do to help increase your chances of getting a mortgage and we’ve outlined a number of these below:
1. Clean Up Your Credit Score
Before you even consider applying for a mortgage, it’s important that you know your credit score and how potential lenders will view your credit history. You can get a copy of this through the likes of Experian and Equifax and it’s strongly advised that you do so as soon as possible. If you’re applying for a joint mortgage, make sure you request a copy of each individuals credit score to ensure you know the full picture of what lenders will be looking at.
If, upon receiving a copy, you find that your credit score isn’t as great as you’d have hoped, don’t worry. There’s a number of things which you can quickly do to boost your score such as making sure you’re on the electoral roll or closing down old credit cards which you no longer use. You can find a full list of ways to improve your credit score over at the Money Advice Service.
2. Clear Debts
If you’ve got any significant debts, it’s strongly suggested that you clear these before applying for a mortgage. Potentially the worst thing as far as lenders are concerned is seeing outstanding amounts on loans and credit cards and paying these off (or reducing as much as possible) demonstrates that you’re able to manage your money. The less debt you have, the better position you’ll be in and the stronger chance you’ll have of securing a mortgage. In addition, in terms of affordability, having less debt will often mean you’ll be able to borrow a higher amount.
3. Ensure You Have Proof Of Income
It’s important that you’re able to demonstrate your income and having the evidence prepared in advance can help. You’ll generally need your annual P60 as well as six month’s worth of bank statements and possibly pay slips. Above all else, lenders will want to see what you have going in and going out on a monthly basis to assess whether you can afford to take out a mortgage.
On the other hand, if you’re self employed, you’ll often need at least three years accounts, however a number of lenders are starting to accept just one set. Whilst this can prove problems for those who’ve only just set up in business, lenders want to know that they’re lending money to those who can afford repayments.
4. Save Up A Bigger Deposit
Even though it can be difficult to save at times, especially if you’re renting a property, saving up a bigger deposit is one of the best ways you can increase your chances of securing a mortgage. Lenders will always give priority rates to those who can afford to place down a bigger deposit which means you’ll have access to lower monthly repayments as well. If you’re struggling, asking parents to help out is often an options – you’d be surprised at how many will happily put in a little and don’t forget that it all adds up.
5. Seek Expert Advice From A Mortgage Broker
It can be difficult at times to know the right way to go about applying for a mortgage and it’s not uncommon to hear so many conflicting things from friends and family. In many cases, by far the best thing you can do when considering applying for a mortgage is to seek expert advice from a mortgage broker. Whether you’re not sure which is the best mortgage to apply for or how to get the best deal, you’ll find a broker is able to offer you invaluable advice which can turn a difficult decision into an easy one. In addition, they’ll be on hand to walk you through the whole process and even do a lot of the hard work for you, preparing your application in a way which ensures you tick all the boxes before submitting.
At the end of the day, so long as you’re not in thousands of pounds of debt, have a poor credit history or no deposit, getting a mortgage really doesn’t have to be as difficult as some would like you to think, so long as you’re prepared to do your bit to make yourself as attractive as possible to lenders and convince them that their money is in safe hands with you.