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How Long Does it Take for a Mortgage Application?

Jan 02, 2024
Mortgage application
Once you’ve set your eyes on your new home, you must submit a mortgage application. If you’re unsure how mortgage applications work, we’re here to help. This guide explores how long it takes to apply for a mortgage, from finding the right deal to getting it valued and approved. We also include tips on speeding up the process to help with your move.

Stages of the mortgage application process

Usually, approving a mortgage takes two to six weeks, but this may vary. The timeline depends on several factors, including your circumstances, the lender’s availability and the findings from your property’s valuation. Below, we outline each stage.
Task Time 
 1. Finding the right mortgage  1-3 days
 2. Getting a mortgage in principle  24 hours
 3. Applying for a mortgage  3-6 hours
 4. Getting your mortgage valuated  1-2 weeks
 5. Receiving a mortgage offer  2-4 weeks

1. Finding the right mortgage

The first step before applying for a mortgage is finding the right deal for your circumstances. Several mortgages are available, from fixed and variable-rate to discount and tracker-rate deals. Contact your mortgage broker, who will be able to advise. 
Find all you need to know about mortgage types in our comprehensive guide. 

2. Getting a mortgage in principle

Once you know what mortgage you want to apply for, you’ll need to get an agreement in principle (AIP) (or decision in principle (DIP). This outlines how much you can borrow based on the information provided. Your mortgage in principle doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the full mortgage, but can help speed up the application process. It’s typically valid for up to 90 days. 

3. Applying for a mortgage

Now it’s time to make your mortgage application. The process is faster if you use a broker, as they’ll deal with the paperwork. The documents you need include the following:
Three to six months’ worth of utility and council tax bills
A P60 from your employer (if employed)*
Proof of income for the last three years
Details of your outgoings (childcare, travel, insurance policies, etc.)
Proof of any benefits or additional income (if applicable)
* If you’re self-employed, you need your last two years of SA302 tax calculations and the tax year overviews. Learn more about buying a home when self-employed  in our guide.

4. Getting your mortgage valuated

Your lender will instruct a surveyor to conduct a mortgage valuation. This is to ensure your property is worth the value of your loan. They check its structural stability and study the housing market. 
There may be delays if you’ve offered more than the surveyor believes the property is worth. They may require a higher deposit or interest rate to balance the discrepancy. 

5. Receiving a mortgage offer

Once the mortgage valuation is complete, the lender will gather the findings. It typically takes 14 days between your mortgage application and offer, but expect to wait another two weeks to receive the formal offer. The timeline may vary depending on the complexity of your situation. 
A mortgage offer is valid for six months from the day you receive it. 

How long does it take to release mortgage funds?

It typically takes between 3 and 7 days to release mortgage funds, but this may vary depending on the lender. 

Can I speed my mortgage application process up?

Using a mortgage broker can speed up your mortgage application process. They’ll find the best deal and lender for your unique circumstances. You can help by having all the documents ready, as this can reduce the back and forth between your broker and the lender.
Explore our top tips to be successful in your mortgage application in our guide.
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