You’ve saved up, you’ve had your mortgage in principle and you’ve found your dream home and your offer was accepted. You’re one step closer, but how long is it going to take to get your mortgage approved?
Buying a home can be an exciting and stressful time, it’s probably the biggest financial commitment you’ll ever make but when you’ve had your offer accepted on a property and you’ve formally applied for your mortgage you’re probably going to be sat on the edge of your seat anxiously waiting for that all-important call to confirm you’ve got your mortgage and you can proceed.
We’re taking a look at how long it takes on average to get a mortgage in the UK. It aims to give you a better understanding of how the mortgage process works, hopefully alleviating any concerns or worries you might have.
Applying for your mortgage
The first thing to note is that any decision in principle (or agreement in principle) you have does not mean you will automatically be approved for a mortgage, but it helps you understand what you can afford and whether you’re likely to be approved for a mortgage with that lender.
A mortgage application will need to be submitted to your chosen lender but you’ll need to have decided on a few key things that will be important to you:
- You’ve assessed the market and the offers available to you
- You know the type of mortgage you want and that you’re comfortable with your option
- You’re clear on how long your mortgage term needs to be and have assessed any introductory offers
- You know how you want to repay your mortgage
Applying with an independent mortgage broker can help and guide you through the process as they’ll as identify the best option for you can be enormously helpful in taking some of the stress out of the whole process. However, you can choose to go directly to a lender, apply for your mortgage online or through a branch adviser, it’s your mortgage and at the end of the day it needs to fit you and your needs.
How does mortgage approval work and how long does it take?
Once you’ve hit that send button and your application has been submitted lenders will assess your application, going through the details with a fine-tooth comb to make sure you meet certain criteria which your mortgage approval will be based on:
- Credit history
Unlike a mortgage in principle which can be provided in minutes, a formal mortgage application turnaround can take anywhere between 2-6 weeks.
The time you’ll need to wait once you’ve applied for your mortgage will very much depend on your individual circumstances and the lender you’ve applied with. It can take longer for applications to be processed for several reasons:
- Increased research time
- A more thorough application process and more detailed information is required
- They have a more thorough underwriting process
Borrowers applying under straightforward circumstances may find their mortgage is approved faster than some who apply with a more complicated application, for example, if they have adverse credit on file.
It’s important to know that you may be asked for additional information when lenders are assessing your application especially if you have adverse credit or are self-employed. This can delay your approval.
The final approval, or the full underwritten application approval, will only be received once your lender has checked the application in line with any documents you’ve submitted. They’ll then authorise the mortgage subject to a valuation on the property.
Once a valuation has been completed by the lender’s surveyors and they are happy with it you’ll have the mortgage confirmed as offered formally, meaning it’ll be ready to go when you are.
If you’re looking for ways to help speed up your mortgage application approval, the best place to start is to make sure you have the right documents readily available and to ensure the health of your credit file before you apply:
Documents you’ll need:
- Proof of address (utility bill/bank statement)
- Proof of ID (passport/driving license)
- P60 from your employer
- Evidence of outgoings and outstanding loans (bank and credit card statements)
- Evidence of income (payslips or SA302 if you’re self-employed)
- Proof of benefits if you receive them
- Proof of deposit
Note: ensure the information you provide matches with the documents you provide, so if you’ve changed address make sure it’s reflected on everything else i.e. your passport.
Credit file checks:
- Are you on the electoral roll (at your current address)
- Are your mail and bills delivered to the right address
- Credit cards have been repaid
- Unused bank account and credit cards have been closed
- Check for any errors (especially if you’ve had any past credit issues
At the Online Mortgage Guru, we know that applying for a mortgage can be a stressful part of the process when you’re buying your home. That’s why we work with expert mortgage brokers meaning we can be here to help you, guiding you through your options, search and compare multiple lenders and help you with the process.