Four ways to improve your chances of getting a mortgage

23 Oct, 2023

The decision to purchase a home is a significant one – probably the largest one you’ll ever make in your life. If you don’t have the cash available to buy the property outright, like most people, you’ll need to secure a mortgage.

While a mortgage is never guaranteed, there are some measures you can take to greatly improve the chances of having one approved. From building your credit score to increasing your deposit, we take a look at the best ways to make yourself look more attractive in the eyes of lenders.

Improve your credit score

Your credit score is the single number that lenders will use to assess your credit risk. Essentially, they want to see how likely you are to repay your loan. Typically, the higher your credit score, the better your chances are of getting the best mortgage rate.

Credit scores are calculated using various data like your length of credit history, payment history, and amounts owed. This means it’s vital you check your credit report and fix any major mistakes, as well as pay your bills on time, reduce your debt, and keep credit card balances low.

Put down a larger deposit

Try to save as much money as possible before applying for a mortgage. A larger deposit not only demonstrates your ability to be financially responsible but it also reduces the value of your loan. When it comes to modern properties, lenders will generally ask for a larger deposit. Therefore, if you’re looking to invest in a new build home, you’ll need to save a bigger deposit.

The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio represents the portion of the property’s value that you use as your initial deposit. As an example, if you put £40,000 down on a £200,000 property, the LTV is 80%. A 20% deposit is usually recommended but the larger the deposit, the better the deals will be and the higher the likelihood that the mortgage will be accepted.

Ensure you register to vote

While it may sound fairly simple, because it is, registering to vote can greatly impact your chances of having a mortgage approved. When your name is added to the electrical roll, lenders can run identity checks to confirm who you are and where you live.

Regardless of whether you meet all of the lender’s other criteria, not being on the electrical register can make the process much more difficult. If you are unsure whether you are registered to vote, you should reach out to your local council.

Have all the relevant paperwork ready

Lenders will ask for a large variety of documents before even considering giving you a deal. The types of documents they usually require include three months of bank statements, your most recent P60, proof of identification and address, and three months of payslips (including any bonuses). If you are self-employed, you’ll also need three years’ worth of accounts or tax returns.

By preparing these documents in advance, you reduce the time and the number of individuals needed to review and process your application.