You’ve decided to take the plunge and get onto the property ladder, having swapped fun and frivolity for fastidious frugalness to save the deposit. But what can you do to boost your chances of getting your first mortgage?
Check and correct
The three main credit reference agencies, Equifax, Experian and Callcredit, will all use data to score you differently. Lenders will use one or more of these agencies to decide whether to offer you credit.
The general rule is, the higher your credit score the better, so if after checking you feel your score is low you can do things to improve it. For instance, if there are errors on your file you can write to the credit reference agency and ask them to add a notice of correction to your file. You should also check you’re not linked financially to anyone, eg. an ex-partner or old flatmate. Their credit history could affect yours so make sure you’ve organised a ‘disassociation’ with the credit agency.
Address your address
Make sure all your bank accounts, any credit cards and loans are registered against your correct current address. Contact any financial institutions that hold incorrect information to update the details and take the opportunity to ask them to close any old and unused accounts.
You should also check you’re on the electoral roll as lenders will use this as part of their identity checks on you. You can register for free at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
Manage your money
As the proverb goes “look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves” and this is particularly true when thinking about applying for a mortgage. Lenders will look at your credit record and spending habits, so in the months leading up to your application make sure you pay all bills on time – set up a direct debit if this makes it easier to manage. Cut back on spending from any current accounts and on any credit cards. Try and stay out of your overdraft and don’t apply for any new credit in the run up to your mortgage application.
Have your paperwork ready
Your lender will ask for a range of documents, including three months’ bank statements and payslips, ID documents, proof of address, proof of bonuses etc. Get these up together in advance to avoid unnecessary delays in the application process.
Arrange an Agreement in Principle (AIP)
AIPs are offered by many lenders as a conditional offer of acceptance. If you have this in place in advance of your purchase it will give confidence to the seller and their estate agent that the sale will complete.
Applying for a mortgage and the admin that comes with it may seem like a stressful process but these few tips can help make the process easier.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage