How and When Should I Apply for a Mortgage?

Apr 09, 2024
Applying for a Mortgage
Ready to buy your new home but unsure how and when to apply for a mortgage? We’re here to help. Find out everything you need to know about the mortgage application process, including the things to consider and the mistakes to avoid for a hassle-free purchase.

Things to consider before applying for a mortgage

Applying for a mortgage is one of the most important parts of the homebuying process, so the sooner you start the process, the better. Below is a breakdown of what you’ll need to consider.

1. Get mortgage-ready

Most lenders will accept your mortgage application if you have a good credit score – a description of your financial behaviour. A few ways to boost your credit score include registering on the electoral roll whenever you move and receiving a full-time, regular income.

Explore our top tips for improving your chances of getting a mortgage in our handy guide.

2. Determine your budget

Whether buying your first property or upsizing to a family home, determining your budget before you start house-hunting is crucial. Lenders will typically ask for a 10% deposit; however, the bigger your deposit, the more mortgage deals you can access.

3. Consider the type of mortgage you need

With so many mortgage types available, choosing the right one for your situation can be daunting. The main thing to consider is whether you’d prefer having the same monthly repayments or variable ones.

Our in-depth guide to the different mortgage types can help you choose the right deal for you.

What do you need to apply for a mortgage?

Some of the documents you’ll need to apply for a mortgage include:

• 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)

Learn about what you need to buy a house when self-employed in our guide.

Stages of the application process

Once you have your paperwork ready and have found the right property, it’s time to start the application process. Below are the most important stages:

Task Time
Finding the right mortgage
1-3 days
Getting a mortgage in principle
24 hours
Applying for a mortgage
3-6 hours
Getting your mortgage valuated
1-2 weeks
Receiving a mortgage offer
2-4 weeks

Find more detailed guidelines on each stage in our comprehensive guide.

Mistakes to avoid when applying for a mortgage

Here are some common pitfalls to avoid to ensure a smooth application process:

Only apply to lenders you know will accept your application – each lender has different criteria, so ensure you consider the relevant ones. Asking a mortgage broker for advice can help.

Only apply for a mortgage once you have had your credit score checked – your credit score is the first thing lenders will look at.


Be responsive and collaborative – your solicitor and mortgage brokers may try to contact you during the application process, so have your paperwork in order and your phone with you.

Explore our brand-new homes across the UK, from 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom houses for first-time buyers to 4 bedroom and 5 bedroom homes for growing families.

Visit our Sales Advisers to discover unique homebuying offers and reserve your property today.