The 6 month countdown is on! You’ve almost got enough money for a deposit. You’re scrolling through Rightmove every chance you get. And after years of dreaming about it, owning your first home is actually within reach!
At this point, you probably just want to move in already (!!!) but before that happens, you’re going to apply for your first mortgage.
As with all things, a lil’ preparation goes a long way, so here are some things you can do to get mortgage-application-ready.
Organise your paperwork in advance
When applying for a mortgage, you need to prove that you’re going to be able to pay the money back. That’s why the lender will ask to see proof of your income and outgoings.
You’re going to need:
- A form of photo ID that’s 1) not expired and 2) up to date with any changes to your name or address.
- 6 months of bank statements.
- 3 months of payslips if you’re employed.
- 2-3 years of tax returns and business accounts signed off by an accountant if you’re self employed.
Check your credit score again
A good credit score can increase your chances of getting accepted for a mortgage because it shows that you have a good track record when it comes to paying things back on time. Ideally, you’ll be checking your credit score on a regular basis before this point, but if it has been a while, now’s a good time to pay your score a visit.
You can check your credit score on sites like:
- Credit Monitor by MoneySuperMarket
- Credit Club by Money Saving Expert
- Credit Karma
Once you know your credit score, you want to get it as high as possible. Here are some ways to boost it.
Cut back on spending
As we know, the mortgage lender will ask to see 6 months’ worth of bank statements. So, you want them to look squeaky clean, right?
- Do not make any big purchases (like a new car, or a 2 week trip to Vegas).
- Avoid buying one-off items regularly (like a pair of gym socks today, then a new suitcase tomorrow, then a new candle the next — you get the idea). It’s better to buy more things in one go, because then there will be less outgoings on your statements.
- If you can, buy stuff like bedding, cosmetics or birthday gifts with your weekly grocery shop.
- If you’ve got a birthday/occasion coming up, ask for gift vouchers to your favourite restaurants or bars. You can go all-out, without it showing on your statements.
Reduce your red flags
Even if you’re not overspending, there are a few things that can be red flags for mortgage providers.
For example, if a lender sees any gambling transactions on your statements (e.g. Betfred, or Paddy Power) you are seen as more of a risk, which could impact the success of your mortgage application.
The same goes for buy-now-pay-later transactions like Klarna.
Mortgage lenders have also been known to reject or take longer to process applications if you use PayPal too often. Why? Because there’s no clear reference of where your money’s going (and lenders want to know that stuff).
Assemble your dream team
Picture this. It’s 6 months from now — you want to put an offer in on this perfect 2 bedroom semi-detached house with a south-facing garden and time 👏 is of 👏 the essence 👏. So, you spend the next 48 hours phoning every solicitor within a 10 mile radius, hoping they can somehow help you PLEASE.
To avoid all that mess, find your dream team in advance.
- A mortgage advisor (if you haven’t already)
- A solicitor/conveyancer
- A building surveyor (if you want to do extra checks on the home you might buy)
- A removals team
This way, you can do more in-depth research and actually get a chance to meet them before it’s crunch time.
Research different mortgages
Okay, there are 2 parts to this.
First, you want to understand the differences between the types of mortgages that are out there. Like, what’s a fixed term mortgage vs a tracker mortgage? What’s a standard variable rate? Is it possible for a first-time buyer to get an interest-only mortgage? This article from Zoopla explains it all.
Once you’ve got a base level knowledge, you then want to understand how the mortgage market is looking right now. A visit to your mortgage advisor will help to clear things up, as they’ll give you an overview of the mortgages that could give you the best deal based on your finances. Buying a home can be a total whirlwind, and this little drop of extra knowledge will prep you for what’s to come.
Not quite at the 6 month mark yet? If you want to buy your first home, but need to save for a deposit first, we can help.
Join thousands of aspiring homeowners and install the Nude app now.