Preparing your mortgage documents
Updated 22 March 2022
Do you have your mortgage documents ready? That’s the first question your mortgage broker and lender will ask when you start your mortgage application. The lender needs written evidence of your financial situation, which means you need to gather a lot of documents together. Taking the time to get everything in order before you apply will save you a headache down the line and help to keep your house purchase running smoothly.
What documents do I need for a mortgage application?
Before applying for your mortgage, you will need to do a fair amount of digging around to get all the documents ready for your mortgage interview. You should double check with your lender what documents they need, but here’s an overview of the key ones that are often asked for.
- Bank statements – Normally, lenders will ask to see three months’ worth of statements, but they may request up to six months’ worth depending on your circumstances. These will need to be your latest statements, rather than a random selection of months. Lenders will want to see that payments leave your account and that any loan repayments are being made.
- Payslips and proof of income – If you’re in permanent employment, you’ll need to show your latest payslip. It can be scanned in or shared in the online format (if you have these), as long as all the information is visible. The number of payslips needed will depend on how often you’re paid. If it’s monthly, the lender will normally ask for three. They may ask for eight if you’re paid weekly, three if you’re paid quarterly or four if you’re paid twice a year, but do check with your lender. You’ll also need your P60 or HMRC annual tax summary if you’ve been paid bonuses, commission or overtime.
- Proof of income if you’re self-employed – Your proof of income can be your HMRC tax calculations and overviews. Or, if you use an accountant, you should give your lender their contact details so that they can request an Accountant Certificate. Contractors may need to give other evidence, such as an employment contract and evidence of accounts, signed by a qualified accountant.
- Evidence of other income – Other income can also be used towards your mortgage, for instance any benefits or government allowances, private pensions, state pensions or maintenance payments. You should have a letter showing that you are awarded these or evidence that you are receiving the payments in your bank statements.
- Your ID – As photo ID, you should take your current passport or full UK driving licence photo card. Your lender will also need your proof of address to carry out their anti-money laundering checks, and you can supply a utility or council tax bill for this.
- Evidence of deposit – If your deposit comes from savings, you can usually show your bank statements as proof of its origin. But if it’s a gift, you may need to fill in a form that the lender gives you or provide bank statements from the person who gifted you the money.
- Proof of residency and nationality – You only need to show this proof if you moved to the UK from a different country. This evidence could be a residence card, Family of a Settled Person Visa, UK Ancestry Visa, proof of other visa, Home Office letter, or a biometric residence permit (if you have indefinite leave to remain, a Tier 1 or Tier 2 visa, or spousal or ancestral rights).
- Other documents – Your lender might ask to see other documents relating to your residency, your income or your expenditure. It isn’t uncommon for lenders to request information about other loans and mortgages, overdrafts and unpaid bills, insurance products you have (like life insurance) and details of your solicitor and the person you’re buying from, such as the property seller or estate agent.
Why do I need to provide documents to get a mortgage?
Understandably, lenders are unwilling to hand over tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds based on a mortgage in principle alone. So your mortgage application will usually be reviewed by the underwriters to assess the level of risk you pose to the lender. Underwriters run their assessments using the documents you provide as evidence of your finances.
They also need to verify your identity and make sure your deposit came from a legitimate source (e.g. not through money laundering). Lenders must carry out all these checks to make sure they’re being a responsible lender.
Providing documents if you’re re-mortgaging
If you already have a mortgage, your lender may ask you to provide some of these documents to verify your identity and to see whether your finances have changed. For instance, you may have changed jobs, become self-employed, taken a pay cut or had a pay rise. They will usually also ask for a mortgage statement, which you can request from your current lender.
Mortgage documents for buy-to-let
In the case of buy-to-let, it’s likely that you’ll need to provide the same documents as listed above. Lenders tend to look at the current market to gather evidence for the kind of rental income they expect you to achieve.
Are photographs of documents accepted?
You’ll usually need the original documents of ID like your passport and driving licence, but you should be able to provide copies of other evidence. Generally speaking, the copy should be a photocopy or PDF (if downloaded online, such as an electronic payslip or your bank statements). The lender or your local bank branch may be able to help you make copies.
The same goes for submitting mortgage applications online. You’ll usually need to scan in your evidence or upload PDFs, but some online providers may accept clear photographs.
When making copies, always make sure all the information is visible, such as account numbers, sort codes, addresses, names, company logos and figures.
The good news is that your mortgage broker will double-check with you that you have all the right documents before you apply to the lender, and will remind you if anything is missing, so with their help you can get your application right first time.