As experienced mortgage brokers we’ve spoken with many people with very different financial situations. There are five things that everyone should do, regardless of how deep your pockets are, to maximise your chances at getting the best mortgage.
- Save the biggest deposit you can: Mortgage lenders reserve the best rates for people who can deposit the largest amount. The loan-to-value is the proportion of the property’s value that you are borrowing. Mortgages are priced by the loan-to-value – the higher this figure is, the more expensive the mortgage will be. E.g. If you can put down a 15% deposit, instead of a 10% deposit you may be rewarded with a lower mortgage interest rate. To get the most competitive mortgage deals on the market, you will usually need a deposit of 25% upwards.
- Know your credit score: When you make an application for a mortgage, lenders will refer to your credit score. This is to help them decide if they think you’re a risk worth taking – as a borrower, they need to assess as a borrower you will be a responsible and reliable and likely to repay the debt. Usually, a higher score means you’re seen as lower risk – the more points you score, the more chance you have of being accepted for a mortgage, and at better rates. If you have a low credit score there are things you can do to improve it, we can advise and guide you to get your score back up to where it needs to be.
- Pay off unsecured debt and closed unused accounts: If you’re not using an account or credit card it is worth closing it. Lenders will look at the total amount of current and available debt and deduct any credit you have open – even if you aren’t using it. Because you have the potential to use the credit or an overdraft facility they have to take this into account and this could reduce the amount they will lend you for your property purchase. Additionally leaving open old accounts that you aren’t monitoring could mean that you be a fraud risk, and could also mean some of your details may be out of date which can affect your credit score.
- Get on the electoral roll: Lenders need to identify you. The easiest and more reliable way they can do that is by checking the electoral roll. Your mortgage application may well be refused if you are not registered on the electoral roll at your current address. This is easily remedied. Contact your Local Authority and ask for a registration form or sign up online.
- Be prepared with all your documents: A mortgage lender will also require further identification to prove who you are, so make sure you have a current passport and that the address on your driving licence is correct. Other documents you will need to provide include payslips and bank statements for the last three months. You will also need P60s for the last two years, and for employees who receive a bonus must provide evidence of this too. If you receive any other income, such as benefits or maintenance payments, you’ll also need documents to prove this. If you bring these documents (or send secure copies) to your meeting it means we are armed with all the information we will need to move forward quickly with finding you the best mortgage.
We hope you found those tips useful, if you have any questions or want more information contact us directly or visit the website.
Limetree Financial Services