Guide to applying for a mortgage
From credit scores to mortgage advisors, applying for a mortgage on a new home can seem like a daunting task. If you're not sure where to start, take a look at our handy tips for applying for a mortgage and everything you'll need along the way.
1. Before you apply
It’s a good idea to start thinking about your mortgage application a few months before you get the ball rolling, as there are some things you’ll need to have in place if your application is to be successful. These are:
- A good credit score – you can easily check your credit score using websites such as Experian and ClearScore. The average Experian credit score in the UK in 2022 is 759, and the site considers scores of 881-960 to be ‘good’. If yours is lower than you’d like, there’s time to take steps to get it up before you proceed with the application.
- If you’re buying with a partner, they’ll need to have a good credit score too.
- Regular income – you’ll need to provide proof of employment and several months of payslips as part of the application (it’s slightly different if you’re self-employed), so make sure you’re in a stable position beforehand.
- Be registered to vote – it takes seconds, and it’s an easy way to help increase your credit score.
2. Get an Agreement in Principle
An Agreement in Principle (AIP, also known as a Mortgage in Principle) gives an indication of how much you could borrow from a mortgage lender. It’s an essential part of the mortgage process, and you’ll need one in place before you reserve a Charles Church home. It’s also worth having one ready when you go to view a show home – if you fall head over heels, you’ll be in the great position of being proceedable from the get-go.
You can obtain an AIP online or in person from your potential mortgage lender. For this you’ll need your personal information, addresses for the past 3 years, your income and an idea of your monthly outgoings. The actual application only takes around 15 minutes, you should receive the AIP either immediately or within 24 hours, and it’s valid for between 60 and 90 days.
3. What you'll need to apply
When you’ve found and reserved your dream home, it’s time to crack on with the mortgage application. To keep the process running as smoothly as possible, gather all the necessary documents together before you meet with a mortgage advisor. You’ll need:
- 3-6 months of bank statements
- 3 months of payslips
- A utility bill as proof of address
- Your P60
- ID (passport and driver’s license if you have one)
If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to supply 2-3 years of tax forms, an SA302 tax return form, and some bank statements.
4. Apply with the help of a mortgage advisor
We highly recommend that you use a mortgage advisor to assist with your application, especially if you’re a first time buyer. A mortgage advisor will help you find the best deal for you and handle the application with the lender. Talk to the sales team at your nearest development who can put you in touch with one of our independent financial advisors.
The mortgage advisor will discuss the types of mortgage that are available to you, but it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with your options beforehand. You can find out more about different types of mortgage here on our website.
If you’re thinking of using one of our schemes to help you buy your dream home, our specialist advisors will also be able to discuss these with you.
During the application process, the lender will assess your paperwork and run any necessary credit checks, as well as arranging a valuation of the property.
All being well, within a few weeks your lender will give you a formal mortgage offer, valid for up to six months, and you’ll be on well on your way to buying your dream home!