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3 Important things to consider before applying for a mortgage

Whether you’re wanting to take your first step onto the property ladder or jump up a rung or two, it’s important to look carefully at your finances months in advance, if possible.

A mortgage is a huge financial commitment and is certainly something you shouldn’t take on lightly, which is why you should consider the following.

Not all mortgages are created equal

Unless you’re willing to risk paying over the odds, you should consider a number of different mortgage providers and deals. A mortgage adviser can help you navigate the huge range of mortgages on offer and recommend the best mortgage to suit your circumstances, while a NHMA (New Homes Mortgage Adviser) can advise if you are looking at buying a new build property.

To boost your chances of being accepted for a great mortgage deal of your choosing, check out our top tips:

1. Consider your savings

You’ll need a deposit of at least 5% of the purchase price of the property that you want to buy, so now is the time to look at how much you’ve saved so far and see if there are ways you can maximise your savings over the coming months.

If you’re a first-time buyer and you don’t have a Help to Buy ISA, make getting one a priority, as the government will boost your savings by 25% (up to a maximum of £3,000). 

2. Never forget your sums

It’s easy to get carried away, especially when you see a property that ticks all of your boxes, but it’s very important that you’re realistic about what you can afford, not just now, but in the long term. Your heart might be saying yes, but your head needs to say yes too.

If you’ve already found a property you want to buy, you’ll want to work out how much you’ll need to borrow to purchase it, and how much you’ll be required to pay in fees and charges. Once you have this figure, you can use our mortgage calculator to find out how much you’ll have to pay each month (depending on the mortgage deal you choose).

Even if you haven’t found a property yet, you can still use the mortgage calculator to help you determine what price range you should be looking at. 

3. Remember to be open and honest

You can’t bend the truth when it comes to applying for a mortgage. When you make an application, your mortgage provider will go through your finances with a fine-tooth comb, looking in detail at your credit history, bank statements and wage slips.

They’ll look at your income and outgoings, what you spend your money on and how you’re paying off any debts you currently have.

New stricter affordability checks were introduced in 2014, requiring lenders to assess if you could still afford your mortgage repayments if interest rates rose. A mortgage is a commitment between you and the lender, and they need to be sure that lending to you is viable from their side and that you’ll be able to make the monthly repayments.

You also need to be honest with yourself and make sure the property you want, and the mortgage to help you get it works for you too. By taking a hard look at your finances and current situation yourself, you can put yourself in the know (or in an informed position) before speaking to an adviser.

This guide to saving for a mortgage was produced in collaboration with L&C, the UK’s leading fee-free mortgage experts.

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