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Top tips: applying for a mortgage

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The experts at Barratt Homes offer their advice on navigating the mortgage application process.

Get organised

  • Getting organised before you talk to an independent mortgage adviser can save you both time and hassle later on down the line.
  • Make sure you locate important documents like payslips, and your P60 – proof of bonuses or overtime can also work in your favour.
  • Lenders may need to see proof of bank statements and, even if they don’t, having these to hand will assist in establishing your spending patterns to help prove affordability.
  • Other documents that you should have access to include your passport / driving licence for proof of identity, and recent bank statements or utility bills for proof of residence

 Understand your limits

  • If you have existing credit such as credit cards and loans, you must ensure that you keep up with the minimum repayments and do not get too close to your limits. Ideally repay the cards in full each month.

The family connection

  • Details of your family’s credit score are not kept on your file, as long as you don’t have any joint finances. If you do, you are likely to be co-scored and this could stop you securing a mortgage.
  • If a family member, partner or housemate has a poor credit score, keep your finances rigidly separate. This includes joint accounts and bills under both names.

It’s all in your history

  • You may not realise but as many as 1 in 10 house hunters looking to buy a home have no credit history. They are often viewed as less credible as lenders have no information to base their decision on.
  • Of course you should never get in to debt to build up a credit history but by taking out a credit card and using it regularly (ensuring you pay off the bill at the end of the month with a direct debit) you will begin to build a credit history.

Get on the electoral roll

  • You should try to show lenders that you have a ‘stable’ lifestyle, for example you are in full-time employment and live at a fixed address. If you aren’t already, register for the electoral roll as you’re unlikely to get credit without it.

Be consistent and double check

  • It sounds simple, but one slip-up on the application form could scupper your chances for securing a mortgage. This could be from a simple mistake, such as small inconsistencies in your salary details or using a slightly different name from the official version on your passport, for example.

One at a time

  • Also bear in mind that submitting numerous applications in a short space of time could have a negative effect as lenders may worry about why you have been rejected previously.  Talking to an independent mortgage adviser gives you the best chance of applying to the lender most suited to your circumstances first time.

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