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How to apply for a mortgage

Find out how you can apply for a mortgage that suits your financial circumstances and how long it will take to complete your application.

Summary

  • There are different types of mortgages available, but the application process is similar for every type.

  • You’ll need up-to-date, original or certified documents to apply for a mortgage.

  • The average mortgage application time from submission to approval is between two and four weeks.

  • A mortgage broker can help you to apply for the right type of mortgage for your circumstances. 

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The mortgage application process: how does it work?

The mortgage application process differs depending on the type of mortgage that you apply for.

For example, remortgages and interest-only mortgages require specific criteria to be met before they’re approved.

Regardless of which type you’re interested in when applying for a mortgage, you’ll follow similar steps:

  • Speak to a mortgage broker: Consider talking to a mortgage broker about the kind of mortgage options available to you that align with your personal circumstances. You could also talk to your bank about your options.

  • Gather your essential documents: Make sure you have all the information you need to successfully apply for the mortgage you want.

  • Put forward your application: Once you have passed all security and credit checks, you may proceed with submitting your mortgage application. 

In most cases, a mortgage broker can also make it easier to apply for a mortgage.

They can assist you in collecting the relevant documents, assessing your affordability, and recommending mortgages based on your financial circumstances.

Preparing to apply for a mortgage: what do you need?

Knowing what you need to apply for a mortgage is crucial for a successful application.

The essential documents you will need to apply include:

  • Utility bills
  • Payslips from the last three months 
  • A passport or driving license to prove your identity
  • Bank statements of your current account for the last three to six months
  • A statement of two to three years’ accounts if you’re self-employed - an accountant can help you with this 
  • A P60 form from your employer

All of this information must be up-to-date and legitimate, and you may need to provide certified copies of original documents instead of scans or copies. 

Speed and legitimacy when signing a mortgage deed are all fundamental to a successful mortgage application.

You may also need to detail outgoing costs that may affect your ability to secure a mortgage, such as insurance, andother expenses, including general living costs, childcare, and entertainment.  

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How long does a mortgage application take?

How long a mortgage application takes can vary.

In the best-case scenario, the mortgage application process is completed within two to four weeks. The mortgage offer is then generally valid for six months.

In the worst-case scenario of administrative issues or failure to supply the necessary information, the process can last several months or require that you begin again with a new application. 

Tips for applying for a mortgage

  • Maintain good credit: The better your credit is, the more likely your application is to be accepted. 

  • Manage your debt-to-income ratio: Supplementing your debt obligations with multiple income streams or reducing your debt-to-income ratio before applying for a mortgage will make your application more appealing to lenders.

  • Use a mortgage calculator: Knowing how much you can likely borrow shows banks you are prepared for a mortgage and understand your financial obligations.

  • Use a guarantor: If you aren’t confident in your ability to repay a mortgage, use a guarantor to support your application. 

Want to learn more about mortgages?

Preparing to apply for a mortgage can seem intimidating initially, but with access to the right resources and information, it doesn’t have to be. 

Seek assistance from a professional mortgage broker to learn more and to get expert financial advice, and you’ll find the whole process becomes much simpler.

Get mortgage advice
We’ll find a professional perfectly matched to your needs. Getting started is easy, fast and free.

About the author
Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing, retirement and pensions, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.