Sounds like common sense, doesn’t it? But, over many years, we’ve seen people who, with a little more forward-planning, would have had a much quicker, and less drawn-out experience when applying for their mortgage/remortgage. And, in some (no too common, thankfully) cases, would not have had their mortgage/remortgage declined – or lost out on the property due to delays in getting any kind of assurance that a mortgage is likely to be available.
A good mortgage adviser will always, on first conversation, advise the prospective client on the steps to take, pre-application. It really isn’t rocket-science, although a grea many lenders (still) dress the transaction up in pretty ‘heavy’ jargon – especially to people like first-time-buyers. Trust me, it’s a fairly straightforward process.
The aim of this short article is to offer some advice on how to make the whole process much more steamlined, simply by planning ahead and pulling together all the documentation that is likely to be required.
Importance of taking independent mortgage advice: Firstly, find a mortgage adviser (unless you’re one of that tiny group of people who are happy to carry out their own detailed research) and, in our opinion, make sure that your adviser is Independent and will look at ‘Across the Market’ options for you. If you don’t choose an independent adviser – opting either for one who is tied to a particular lender or one who can only look at a limited panel of lenders for you – then, obviously, you won’t know the full range of deals that may be available to you if your advice were independent. In the case of remortgages, some clients, just for perceived ease, prefer to stick with their current lender – especially if they’ve found the customer service, in their time with them, to be of a high standard.
Adviser Fees: If using a mortgage adviser, get their adviser fees at the very outset – and when these fees are chargeable. In Edinburgh today, for example (and I’m sure this is replicated throughout the UK) I know of advisers charging anything between £299 and £1,500 for their advice, quite a range, I’m sure you’d agree. You also want to ask if, should your circumstances dictate, their fees can be added to the mortgage (not generally a good idea, because you are then paying interest on them, but may be necessary for some). Ask also when the fees are charged – some advisers will only charge once mortgage offer papers have been issued, whilst I’ve come across an adviser who charges £499 for advice and this is payable at ‘Application’ stage – things, in my opinion, can still go wrong at application stage.
Free Independent Mortgage Advice: The advisers who provide the advice for all Star Mortgage clients are Indepednent and charge no fee, they’ve waived their normal fee for Star Mortgage clients. That’s absolutely no charge at any stage of the mortgage/remortgage process.
Absolutely Crucial – Your credit score: You’ve decided that you want to go ahead and buy a property (residential or Buy-to-Let) or remortgage your current property – for whatever reason. The very first thing that we always advise clients to do is get hold of your free credit report – this will give your adviser an excellent indication of whether a mortgage is likely to be achievable, whether you definitely will not qualify for a mortgage or somewhere in-between. By having it in advance of applying for a mortgage, it can allow you to try to sort out any minor ‘blips’that may be showing and should allow your adviser, if they’re independent, to have an idea of which lendwrs are likely to consider/not consider lending to you.
Many things can affect your credit score – I’ve covered this in some depth on our Blog/News page – here’s a link to it, you’ll also find links on the blog page to the three major credit reference agencies: Click Here or see the Post: A tiny blip cost us our dream home.
Electoral Register (Voters Roll): It is important (though not a game-stopper) to be registered on the Electoral Register – you can check to see if you’re registered, and, if not, get registered, by visiting the Government site: Click Here
Pull documentation together:Getting this right at the outset can save days, if not weeks, further along in the process:
ID – passport/driving licence, proof of residence (utility bills/insurance letter, etc – NOT mobile phone bills), they will require proof of deposit – where it’s come from. Three months wage slips – each, if joint mortgage – three months bank statements, P60 would be useful as well – 3 years accounts if self-employed. Lenders also like to see three years address history – no gaps.
There is probably more to provide but, by pulling together the above, you’ll give yourself a head-start in your mortgage journey.
At Star Mortgages we guide our clients through every faze of the process.
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