Get Mortgage Fit

With plenty of mortgages available with low rates, now is one of the best times for many years for people looking to secure a mortgage at a great rate. There are a number of ways you can get ‘mortgage fit’ and prepare to apply for a mortgage. Below we have listed 10 tips to help you prepare.

1. Speak to a mortgage adviser

A mortgage adviser will be able to practically demonstrate how you might be able to afford a mortgage because of the current low interest rates. Our network of approved mortgage advisers are specialists in new homes and will help you get the best deal that is right for you. They can research the market, and have access to great mortgage rates you may not find on the High Street.

2. Consider all of your options

Many more lenders have entered the mortgage market since the last recession, from challenger banks (such as TSB or Virgin Money) to specialist lenders (such as Aldermore or Precise Mortgages). The high street banks are still extremely popular too, so you have lots of options to choose from.

3. Check your credit score

As many as 70%* of people do not know their credit score, yet it is simple to check your score. You can do this easily online with the two main credit reference agencies; Experian and Equifax. You should ensure all of the information they have for you is correct and if it isn’t, write to the agency and request that they change it. If you have a poor score, you will be able to start making changes to improve it.

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. Although you should never get in debt to build up a credit history, 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. Another good way to build your score is by taking out a mobile phone contract.

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4. Review joint finances

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. So 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.

5. Don't give up if you have a poor credit history

Many people think that because they have a poor credit history they won’t be able to get a mortgage. However, the lending environment has changed a lot over the last few years. Many people who have missed the odd payment to a credit card or loan may still be able to qualify for a mortgage.

Being self-employed is also not the barrier it once was to getting a mortgage. If you are self-employed you may only need to show one year’s set of accounts to potentially qualify for a mortgage.

6. 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. If you are really struggling to pay, speak to your lender as this may show favourably on your credit score. Similarly try not to get too close to your credit limit, if you do, lenders may view this as ‘excessive’ debt.

Missed payments, County Court Judgements (CCJs) and defaulting on credit can be why up to a third of applicants are rejected for mortgage finance. A growing percentage of applicants are also being rejected for taking payday loans and betting patterns being evident on bank statements.

7. Register 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. Also if you can, provide information such as a landline number rather than a mobile number.

8. 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 putting a salary of £3,000 instead of £30,000 but it could also be from inconsistent information (even on other mortgage application forms) as this can flag up possible cases of fraud and could slow down or stop your application altogether.

9. Get your paperwork organised

Applying for a mortgage can often mean providing quite a large sum of information, such as bank statements, payslips and credit card statements - our mortgage advisers can help you prepare for this.

Also bear in mind that submitting numerous applications in a short space of time could have a negative effect as lenders will worry about why you have been rejected before.

10. Keep saving

If you can show that you save regular amounts and you are actively trying to build up a deposit for a home, lenders will take notice of this. While it can seem hard at the start, over time it will get easier. Also consider government saving schemes such as the Help to Buy ISA which can boost your savings by up to £3,000.


Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other loan secured on it.

*Research carried out by OnePoll on behalf of Barratt Homes, April 2015, among UK 2,000 adults.

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