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12 Tips for Getting Approved for a Mortgage in 2024 

Securing a mortgage is a big step in the home-buying journey and it can often be an overwhelming one.

The good news, as we enter 2024, is that there are some things you can do to improve your chances of getting a mortgage.

This article written by Lisa Best of propertyable explores twelve effective strategies to increase your chances of mortgage approval in the current home-buying climate.

1) Understand your Credit Score and Credit History

Understanding your credit score and credit history is one of the first things you should aim to do, before applying for a mortgage.

Although no specific credit score is needed for a mortgage, a higher credit score often leads to more favourable mortgage terms.

2) Address Red Flags

Lenders want to know that you are good at managing your finances, and late or missed payments and spending up to your limit on credit cards may be seen as red flags to lenders.

Regularly check your credit file and address any issues that could have a negative impact and raise concerns during the mortgage approval process.

3) Reduce your Debt-to-Income Ratio 

Your debt-to-income ratio is the proportion of your monthly gross income that is used to pay your monthly debt.

Lenders assess your ability to manage debt through the debt-to-income ratio, with a higher ratio raising red flags to lenders, as you are seen to be more of a risk.

You can reduce your debt-to-income ratio by paying off existing debts and avoid taking on new forms of credit, before, or during the application process.

4) Save a Larger Deposit

It may take longer to save, but a larger deposit not only lowers the loan-to-value ratio (the amount you are borrowing compared to the price of the property), but also shows lenders that you are financially stable, which can improve your chances of being accepted for a mortgage.

Regularly reviewing your spending habits can help to identify areas that you can reduce spend and boost your savings further.

5) Get a Decision in Principle

A decision in principle, or mortgage in principle, is a document obtained from a lender, which gives an indication of how much they may be willing to lend you.

The credit checks completed for a DIP are not as extensive as a full application, so the amount specified is only a guide and is could
change following full application checks.

However, if you obtain a decision in principle, it does give you an idea of whether the lender thinks you will be able to afford the mortgage amount and easily make the monthly payments.

6) Don’t Overstretch

You may think you have found your dream home and jump straight in and offer over your budget, but this could back fire when you apply for your mortgage when your affordability is assessed.

Understanding how much you can afford, in terms of monthly mortgage payments and general cost of living early on, can be the difference between getting accepted easily and encountering challenges during the process.

7) Buy a Cheaper Property

We all have our dream home in mind, but a first home doesn’t necessarily need to be a forever home.

Sometimes, a step on the ladder is better than no step at all.

If you are viewing properties at the absolute maximum of your budget, if anything changes at all, you may find yourself unable to secure a mortgage on the property, whereas choosing a property under budget may result in a smoother mortgage approval process.

8) Join Forces

It won’t be for everyone and it is wise to act with caution, but buying with a friend can be a great option if you are finding it difficult being able to afford a mortgage alone.

Remember, you will need to make sure this is done with someone you trust and it is wise to have an agreement in place so you are legally protected.

Bear in mind, when applying for a mortgage with someone else, the
lender will take into account both salaries, but also both sets of finances, including any poor credit, which may impact an application.

9) Maintain a Stable Employment History

When you apply to a lender for a mortgage, they will want to know that you will be able to make the monthly repayments for the loan.

If you have a consistent employment history, lenders will view
this as a sign of stability.

If, on the other hand, you regularly change employment, you may be seen
as more of a risk.

Avoiding job changes, where possible, during the mortgage application process, as this may mean lenders are more reluctant to offer you a mortgage.

If you are changing jobs during the application process, be sure to inform your lender as early as possible.

10) Get Documents Ready

Lenders will want proof that you have employment and financial stability.

You will need to have 3 months’ payslips and 3 months’ bank statements.

The lender may also ask for your P60, which is your annual statement from your employer, which details your salary and tax payments for the year.

If you are self-employed, you will need up to 3 year’s full accounts and an SA302 form, which is a summary of your income reported to HMRC.

11) Get on the Electoral Roll

When applying for a mortgage, lenders will use the electoral roll to check your identity (who you are and where you live) and for purposes of money laundering checks.

Which means it can be a challenge if you are not on the electoral register and could even result in a lender rejecting an application.

12) Seek Professional Help

The mortgage application process can be overwhelming, and while you can apply directly to a lender, enlisting the help of a mortgage professional to navigate the mortgage application process can make life a lot easier.

Mortgage brokers and advisors can not only help by explaining the ins
and outs of the process, but they can also help to find the best product for your specific circumstances.

Conclusion

When applying for a mortgage in 2024, a proactive and strategic approach is key.

With a combination of financial stability, good planning and informed decision-making, you can boost your chances of securing a mortgage with ease.