It’s more than an obvious statement that a mortgage is a huge financial commitment. With the amount that you’re borrowing and how long you’ll be paying it off for, there’s a reason that the application process can be tricky and that plenty of people get rejected.
When applying for your mortgage, there’s so much more that’s going to be checked than whether or not you have the money for the deposit. The lender is going to want to know that you’re going to keep up with repayments on your mortgage so naturally, the application process is thorough. From your financial situation to your housing history, to the value of your current property, the lender is going to want to know.
While it might sound like a lot, as long as you do your research, asses your finances and use available tools like brokers and mortgage interest calculators, then you should be fine. As it’s such a big commitment, you really can’t be prepared enough before you apply.
So, what are the major home-buying pitfalls that can have your application rejected? Read on to find out.
This is a big one. You need to make sure that your credit score is as good as it can be before you apply. Lenders will want to see proof of your financial reliability so having either bad credit or no credit is going to hinder your chances seriously.
Plenty of working adults haven’t checked their credit score before, but luckily there are plenty of services like Experian or ClearScore that can rank you using their own systems. It’s best to check first and then see if they offer any advice about how to boost your score before you start a mortgage application.
There are plenty of things you have done or do day to day that can affect your credit score, some more common than others:
Missing payments. 35% of your credit score is calculated from your payment history, so if you’re consistently missing or making late payments, it’s going to have an impact. While one late payment won’t plummet your score, if you’re making a habit of it, your credit prospects are going to suffer.
Unemployment. Everyone goes through periods of unemployment and luckily, not having a job isn’t going to ruin your score immediately. Just keep in mind that getting unemployment benefits will affect your credit a little. While this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take advantage, it’s crucial to try and stay on them for a little time as possible.
Mistakes. Sometimes there will be mistakes on your credit report, especially if it’s tied to someone else’s. Make sure to fix them as soon as possible as leaving them will just create more problems in the long run.
Closing a card. You might think that getting rid of your credit card would be good for your credit, but it’s usually the opposite. Having a card that you often use and pay off on time is a great way to boost your score as well as show lenders that you are reliable with money. Getting rid of a credit card ultimately lessens the amount of credit you have available to you which credit agencies and lenders will notice
While it sounds strange that you need to acquire debts to improve your credit, it’s the best way to show any potential lenders that you’ll be able to handle a mortgage and that you are reliable with loans.
Many of us find ourselves in debt from time to time. Unfortunately, if you have a lot of it, lenders will be less likely to accept your application.
Lenders will always have an affordability criteria which is based on income vs monthly expenditure. They want to make sure that you’ll be able to keep up with your monthly payments and if you’re already paying off large debts, it’s going to hurt your chances.
Your mortgage application can also be affected if you have the potential to have a lot of debt. This could be anything from having plans for additional borrowing, to already having a large overdraft or credit card limit, even if you haven’t touched them.
Whether it’s moving house or job, this can affect how lenders will see you. One thing they want is someone who is in a stable situation i.e. someone who has been in the same place and job for a while. Even if it’s out of your control, if you’re moving around a lot it’s going to hurt your chances of being accepted for a mortgage.
In general, a lender will like to see that you’ve been in the same housing/job situation for at least a year.
While good advice for many things in life, it doesn’t apply to mortgage applications. We aren’t saying don’t ever apply again if you’re rejected, but when it comes to mortgage applications, it’s quality, not quantity that counts.
If you’re applying to a tonne of different mortgages in a short space of time, it’s not going to look good to any of the lenders. Applying for so many could paint you as panicked, unsure of which mortgage product you want, or even that you may be aware that you’re likely to get rejected.
Take your time and find the right deal. Luckily, there are plenty of tools that can help like mortgage brokers and mortgage interest calculators.
While there are many pitfalls buyers can fall into while taking out a mortgage, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. With such a big purchase, it’s crucial that you do all you can to boost your chances of being accepted as it’s going to be a lot of work either way.
Take your time researching mortgage deals, get some advice and make some lifestyle changes to boost your credit score and you’ll be in a much better position to finance that dream property.