Prepare For A Mortgage Application Guide for 2024

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Getting a mortgage approved can be challenging. For applicants with bad credit, there are even more challenges. To make the process less stressful, take the time to prepare yourself for the steps that will need to be done once you start the ball rolling.

The key lies in knowing in advance what lenders want to see.

Every lender is different and there are mortgage options for almost all circumstances, with the only requirements being that you’re a UK citizen, you can afford the repayments, and most of the time, prove you can afford the deposit too.

To help make your mortgage application process as smooth as possible, the information below provides some insight into what you can do in preparation for your application.

5 Preparation Steps for a Successful Mortgage Application

Get a hold of your credit reports

Before you apply for any finance, it’s imperative you know what lenders are going to be presented with when they check your financial history. This should be done well in advance of applying for any mortgage, preferably a minimum of 14 weeks before to give you plenty of time to review what’s recorded on your credit reports.

Credit Reporting Agencies usually update records every 4 to 6 weeks, which is when incorrect information can be rectified. However, if you’re challenging an entry with a view to remove it, it will take longer. What you can do in the meantime is contact the Credit Reference Agency to have a Notice of Correction added. By doing this lenders will see your note about the entry, and take that into consideration for your application.

Once you have your credit reports, we have published a few resources that are worth checking out.

Those are:
Credit Repair Guide | Notice of Correction Advice | IVA and Trust Deeds Credit Advice

Scrutinise your budget to be sure you’ve accounted for all costs

When assessing your own financials, there’s more to consider than passing the affordability assessment to access mortgage finance. There are upfront costs, some of which you can add to your home loan, whereas other fees will need to be paid at the outset. In situations when you’re stretching your budget to increase your deposit amount, as is required with most bad credit mortgages, the upfront fees can leave you with less of a deposit than you may have accounted for.

Some of the costs associated with mortgage application processes can include:

  • Admin charges
  • Mortgage arrangement fees
  • Booking fees
  • Mortgage broker fees
  • Any applicable early repayment fees to exit an existing mortgage
  • Legal fees
  • Valuation fees

There will also be additional post-sale fees that you should consider. It could be building insurance, and in the case of moving home, it’d be a good idea to budget for the cost of moving, for example, transport, packaging materials, fuel costs if you’re moving further away etc.

What can you really afford as a deposit?

Bad credit remortgages & mortgages typically require a higher deposit amount, however, that’s not always the case. The more of a deposit you can offer, the more mortgage choices you have. The majority of lenders offering mortgages to those with damaged credit ratings typically require a 15% deposit. Mainstream lenders often ask for a 5% deposit but require a really strong credit history with no negative entries. The worse your credit reports are, the more of a deposit you’ll need.

The other thing to consider is the type of mortgage you’re applying for. The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio can often be 85%, which would require you to have a 15% deposit amount. If, however, you’re trying to access a buy to let mortgage with bad credit, you will usually need to offer a higher deposit, sometimes at 50% of the property price.

When considering what you can afford to pay as a deposit, always factor in the associated costs that need to be paid upfront and if there are any fees that you plan to add to the amount you’re borrowing; remember that those will affect the total amount you can borrow. As an example, if you need to pay a 1% exit fee on an existing mortgage to release equity from your home through a remortgage that could add thousands to the amount you’re borrowing.

Organise all the documents you will need

When applying for any finance, there’s always paperwork required. The Money Advice Service has a checklist of the basic documents you’ll need. You can run through that to make sure you have all the required documents ready before applying.

An easy way to know what documents you’ll need for a mortgage application is to think in terms of what you need to prove.

There are three things you need to prove, which are:

  • Your identity
  • Your income
  • Your expenses and debts

If you’re an employee, you will need to provide copies of your bank statements usually going back three months. If you’re including bonus payments above your regular salary in your income, you’ll likely be asked to provide a P60 in addition to payslips.

For self-employed mortgage applications, the account history is best to go back at least 12 months. If you’re still in your first trading year, there are some lenders that will consider your circumstances, but you will need to prove your income using all the financial records you have.

Another thing to consider for documentation is any agreed Debt Management Plans you have that are active. For any debts that are being managed, creditors will likely want to see the documents detailing the total amounts that are being managed on any Debt Management Plans.

Do due diligence early to find a really good mortgage broker

With poor credit, working with the central banks isn’t viable. They can only advise you on the mortgage products that the bank you speak with has available. They can’t advise on all mortgage products from any other lender. The same applies to mortgage brokers. Some are the whole of the market, some work only with a select group of partners and others could be restricted to working with only a few lenders.

You also need to consider the fee the broker charges. If there is no fee payable by you, then the broker will be paid by the lender, which often means they don’t have access to direct offers that are publicly accessible by dealing directly with the lender.

Related Reading:

Unlocking the Value of Your Home: A Deep Dive into Equity Release, Secured Loans, and Retirement Interest-Only Mortgages

Homeownership is not just a status symbol in the UK; it’s also a significant asset that can be utilised in various ways to help homeowners throughout their lives. Whether it’s to consolidate debt, undertake home improvements, or simply provide a comfortable retirement, there are several financial tools available. Let’s delve into the intricacies of equity release, secured loans, and retirement interest-only mortgages to provide a clear understanding of these financial products.

An Insight into Equity Release

Equity release is a mechanism for homeowners, particularly those in retirement, to free up some of the capital tied up in their property without the need to move house. It’s a way to get your hands on some of the wealth you’ve accumulated in your property over the years.

The two primary forms of equity release are lifetime mortgages and home reversion plans. With a lifetime mortgage, a homeowner borrows a part of their home’s value. No repayments are made during their lifetime; instead, the loan amount, along with accumulated interest, gets repaid when the property is sold, usually after the homeowner’s passing or if they move into care.

With a home reversion plan, part or all of the homeowner’s property is sold to a reversion company. In return, the homeowner gets a lump sum or regular payments and can continue living in the home rent-free until they pass away or move out.

For individuals who are younger but considering this option, the possibility arises: can you equity release mortgage under 55? While most schemes cater to older age groups, there are products designed for those below this age threshold.

Secured Loans: What They Entail

Secured loans, or homeowner loans, are loans where the borrower offers an asset, typically their home, as collateral for the loan. This provides the lender with added security, and in return, borrowers can often benefit from lower interest rates compared to unsecured loans.

The amount you can borrow, the duration of the loan, and the interest rate offered usually depend on your circumstances, including the equity in your home. Furthermore, the kind of interest rates also varies. If stability is what you’re after, a fixed rate homeowner loan ensures your repayments remain consistent throughout the loan term.

Incorrect Information On Mortgage Application – are there consequences?

It is very unwise to put incorrect information on mortgage applications as it’s likely you not only won’t get the mortgage but could have records placed in 3rd party databases showing you are a fraudster. Some lenders can access the HMRC so they will know. You can always consider Barrow in Furness cheap houses in UK, so, you don’t need a mortgage.

Retirement Interest-Only Mortgages Explained

Retirement Interest-Only (RIO) mortgages are relatively new in the mortgage landscape. They fill the gap between standard residential mortgages and equity release. RIO mortgages allow retirees to borrow against their home, with the main difference being that borrowers only pay back the interest on a monthly basis.

The loan’s principal amount is typically repaid when the homeowner sells their house, moves into residential care, or passes away. This setup can significantly reduce monthly repayments for retirees, making it a favourable choice for those on a fixed retirement income.

For those aged 70 or older, considering a mortgage might seem challenging. However, there are options tailored to this age group, such as the mortgage over 70, which ensures that financial flexibility doesn’t diminish with age.

Evaluating Financial Institutions: The Importance of Reviews

When exploring these financial options, the choice of a financial institution or lender is paramount. Reviews and customer feedback play an essential role in gauging the credibility and reliability of lenders. For instance, potential borrowers can glean insights from the United Trust Bank review to determine if its offerings align with their requirements.

The Landscape of Remortgaging

Remortgaging involves switching your current mortgage to a new deal, either with your existing lender or a different one. Homeowners opt to remortgage for various reasons: capitalising on lower re mortgage rates, consolidating debts, or releasing equity from the home.

For individuals in their later years, options like a mortgage for over 70 ensure that there’s no age limit to getting a beneficial mortgage deal.