Getting a mortgage - First time buyer

How to get a mortgage

3 min read

Here we take you through the initial steps you need to get started on the mortgage application process.

  • Arti Dhamu, Move Specialist at My Home Move Conveyancing
    Arti Dhamu

    Move Specialist

    Published March 5th 2024

first time buyers looking at how to get a mortgage to buy their first house

How to go about getting a mortgage

It’s important to get the ball rolling for your mortgage before you look at properties. Not only do you need to know what you can afford but arranging a mortgage can take time. You don’t want to miss out on a property you love because you’re held up by the mortgage process.

Here are the steps you need to take before starting your mortgage application.

Save for a deposit

How much money do you need to start a mortgage? Generally, you need between 5% and 20% of the property’s price. However, the more money you have for a deposit, the wider range of mortgages you’ll have access to. This could mean cheaper repayments and a lower interest rate.

Check your credit report

One way a bank checks whether you’re a suitable candidate for a mortgage is by checking your credit score. Before applying for your mortgage, it’s important you check your credit score details to make sure they’re accurate. You may need to request to see your credit report, however it won’t cost you anything and should only take a few minutes online.

Work out how much you can borrow

How much you can borrow depends on the amount of deposit you’re able to provide; as well as the repayments you can afford. Mortgage providers will look at how much you earn and your outgoings to make sure you can keep up with repayments. Mortgage providers will ask for things such as bank statements and wage slips, so get these ready before you apply for a mortgage to save time.

Decide what type of mortgage is right for you

The two main types of mortgages are fixed rate mortgages and variable mortgages. Fixed rate mortgages set your rate for a specific number of years whereas the rate for variable mortgages can go up or down, depending on economic conditions.

There’s also a number of other mortgage types, including tracker rate mortgages, which track the Bank of England base rate, discount mortgages, which have a set interest rate below the lender’s standard variable rate, and standard variable rate mortgages. Checking things such as the base rate, can be a good indication of which mortgage type is better in the current market

Get an agreement in principle

A mortgage agreement in principle is an indication of how much you’ll be able to borrow. It’s usually arranged during the house viewing process and makes you a more attractive proposition to a seller, as it shows that you’ll be able to afford their property. To arrange, you’ll need to provide your financial information (bank statements and wage slips) to your potential lender or mortgage broker, and they will let you know how much you should be able to borrow.

Complete the mortgage application process

To complete your mortgage application, you’ll need the following:

  • Proof of identification, such as a passport or driving licence.

  • Proof of address dated within the last three months, e.g. utility bill, bank statement or council tax bill.

  • Proof of income – you’ll need to provide your last three months of payslips. Or, if self-employed, you may need to show earnings for the past three years.

  • Bank statements – also for the last three months.

  • Proof of expenses, i.e. any outgoings you have. This will usually be covered with your bank statement.

  • Proof of deposit – lenders will need to see that you have enough money to pay your deposit. Examples of this are savings account bank statements or a signed letter from the person who is providing your deposit.

Find out more about the mortgage process.

It’s important to choose a mortgage deal you can afford, and make sure you understand any conditions and extra fees involved.

You can apply for a mortgage online or over the phone, depending on what works best for you.

Find out more about buying a house.

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