This has led to mortgage applications being tougher as well as harder to afford. It is important that you have prepared yourself before starting your application process. Take a look at ten things you should do before taking that all important step.
1 – Do a credit check
Almost every adult has a credit score, which is used by lenders to make mortgage decisions. You should look to monitor this in the run up to your mortgage application, so you know where you stand. There are tonnes of websites where you can keep track of your credit score for free; these websites can also tell you if you have discrepancies on your file as well as advising you on the best way to improve your score.
2 – Save as much as possible
The larger your deposit, the lower your mortgage rate will be, so it is essential to save up as much as possible. To access the cheapest rates, you will typically need a 40% deposit, although there are some great mortgages available if you have 10% to put down.
3 – Register to vote
Being registered on the Electoral Roll at your current address can really help, and your application is more likely to go through.
4 – Study the mortgage market
There are dozens of different mortgage types for you to consider, but only a handful might be best for your circumstances. It is best to shop around as much as you can and do your research on each mortgage provider.
5 – Watch your bank
Try not to go overdrawn and make sure you pay all your bills on time – if this isn’t done, this can be flagged up on your credit check.
6 – Track your monthly expenses
When you apply for a mortgage you will be asked about any credit cards and loans, as well as being asked about the following:
- How much do you spend on eating out?
- How much do you spend on hotels?
- How much do you spend on alcohol?
- How much do you spend on TV and internet subscriptions?
- How much does your mobile phone cost you each month?
- How much do you spend on a gym membership?
- How much do you pay for parking?
- How much to you spend on clothing and footwear a month?
- Do you have any children?
- Are you planning on starting a family or having more children?
- Do you have any plans to leave your job?
- Do you gamble?
7 – Get your bank statements ready
Most lenders will want you to provide bank statements going back 3-6 months. This is so they can see what your monthly expenditure is and if it lines up with what you are telling them in the interview.
8 – Stop using your credit card
Credit check companies like Experian will rate your creditworthiness partly on your credit card usage and management. Try not to max out your credit cards before your application process.
9 – Pay off any outstanding debts
Mortgage lenders are less likely to accept you if you have outstanding loans, especially if the monthly repayments are high.
10 – Be boring
This may sound dull, but during the months before you apply for a mortgage, it is best to keep your ‘disposable income’ spending to the minimum. Your lender will be looking at your bank statements and ask you what you are spending your money on.
It is always best to be as prepared as possible when applying for a mortgage, but once this has been done, it will all be worth it. Are you looking for your first home? We have a great range of houses for sale in Devon which are ideal for a first-time property purchase.
Image credit: Nick Youngson under Creative Commons