The Mortgage Application Process

The Mortgage Application Process

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Author: Carl Shave - CEO and co-founder
Last updated: 30 May 2024

Step 1

Get in Touch

The whole mortgage journey starts with the initial stage of making that first contact. Of all the steps this can sometimes feel the most daunting that is perhaps simply due to the unknown. This can be unchartered territory for many and just knowing where to start can seem complicated. By reading this you have taken that first step so why not now get in touch with one of our friendly advisers. Please contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 01473 356 284. Alternatively submit your enquiry online by filling out our contact form.

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Step 2

Pre-Qualification

Great stuff, you’ve taken that first step. So, what happens now? One of our qualified advisers will discuss your situation in more detail with you and advise of any additional information/documentation that is required to carry out a thorough search of the market. We’ll carry out a fact find exercise with you and discuss specific aspects of your personal circumstances. Items such as:

Income and expenditure – this will enable the adviser to establish your budget and possible affordability for your mortgage amount required.

Amount of deposit or equity – your adviser will discuss how this could affect which lenders may be available to you and in turn what interest rates. The bigger the deposit or amount of equity the greater the choice and possibly better options available.

Your credit history – by establishing what your credit history is like, the adviser will be able to establish what your likely chances of success are and in turn which lenders could be available to you.

What you are looking to do – obviously we’ll need to know what you wish to do i.e., are you looking to purchase or remortgage, are you a first-time buyer or looking at buy to lets? Whatever your requirements we have a qualified specialist on hand to help.

Step 3

Advice

Following their research, your adviser will present their recommendations tailored to your specific needs. This will include details of rates and any associated fees that may apply. All of what you need to know should be covered at this time however where you are not in a position to proceed straight away e.g., you may not yet have found a property you wish to purchase, the actual mortgage arrangements including which lender will be discussed in more generic terms. This is because the market can change and which lender and scheme is best for you may also change in the interim. What you will have at this time however is a very good idea of what to expect when the time comes.

Step 4

Agreement in Principle

Should you be happy with the recommendations, your adviser can request an agreement in principle, or sometimes referred to as a decision in principle, to give you the reassurances that all should be approved once you apply.

If you are in a position to proceed, your adviser will look to approach the lender of choice at this time however, if an agreement in principle is being obtained for a more general purpose such as to find out your changes of approval when needed, the adviser will choose to use a lender that is likely to be in the reckoning when the time arrives. Feel rest assured that carrying out a decision in principle carries no obligation to proceed so if you opt to use an alternative lender later on, this is not an issue.

The check carried out by the lender will involve an assessment of your credit file that is one of the critical elements of the process however please do note that if an agreement in principle is given this is purely an indication of a lender’s willingness to lend and not a guarantee.

Step 5

Application

When ready to proceed your adviser will submit the full application with the lender of choice. At this stage the mortgage provider will assess any supporting documentation requested. Your adviser will advise you of what documentation the lender will require so that you can collate this in readiness for when required.  Typically the lender will provide your adviser of a “shopping list” of initial documentation they need. In certain circumstances additional documents may then be requested by the lender following the full assessment of that already provided.

Part of the process will also entail a property survey or valuation. This may involve a physical inspection of the property being mortgaged or on some occasions the lender will carry out a drive by inspection or an online valuation using the data at their disposal.

Step 6

Mortgage Offer

Once the lender is satisfied that the property offers suitable security following the survey or valuation and they are happy with the documentation provided, the formal mortgage offer will be issued. This confirms their willingness to lend and will detail the terms and conditions of the mortgage applied for. A copy will be sent to you and your adviser together with one that will be sent directly to your acting solicitor.

Once the offer has been issued this is the lender confirming in writing that they are happy to provide the mortgage subject to all legal matters being confirmed as satisfactory by the solicitor. An offer is typically valid from between 3 to 6 months. On occasion it may be longer, such as when a new build product has been selected.

Step 7

Offer/Pre-Completion

Now you have the reassurance that your mortgage is formally approved, your adviser will discuss with you your possible insurance needs and make any recommendations and arrangements for you.

Property insurance – for any freehold property it is very likely that the responsibility of the property insurance will be with you. The situation in respect to leasehold is different and your solicitor will check this on your behalf. Your mortgage provider will make it a condition of the loan that adequate cover is in place as applicable to the tenure.

Contents insurance – this is to protect your possessions within your home and is typically taken together with the property insurance and commonly referred to as buildings and contents insurance.

Life assurance – this is taken out to pay out a lump sum in the event of your death.  Many take this out to ensure the mortgage is paid off in such an event. This can also include terminal illness cover which is not to be confused with critical illness cover – this is a more in-depth level of insurance that comes at a higher cost. The latter will also pay out on a defined definition of a critical illness such as a form of cancer.

Income protection – an insurance that is designed to pay you a designated regular amount in the event of you being unable to work and also for some policies in the event of redundancy.

Step 8

Completion

When your solicitor has finalised the necessary legal matters and all parties are ready, you can look to arrange your actual completion date. The solicitor will then make the necessary arrangements to request the funds. Typically a lender requires 5 working days between the request of funds to the day of release however in certain circumstances this can be reduced.

If remortgaging, completion will define the day that your loan is transferred from your current lender to the new one i.e., the existing loan is repaid and the other begins. Any additional funds that you may be raising will now also be paid to you.

If it is a purchase, this is the day you will be the legal owner. Your solicitor will confirm to you when the funds have been transferred to the current owner at which time the keys should be made available to you. The transfer of funds can occur at any time throughout the day.

Step 9

Post Completion

Just because your mortgage has now started we don’t now simply forget about you.  As part of our bespoke mortgage review service, your adviser will contact you again nearing the expiry of your deal to ensure your mortgage is always set up on the most appropriate product for your needs.

Try our mortgage affordability calculator below. 

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Carl Shave

CEO and co-founder

About the author

Carl Shave has been involved in the mortgage & finance industry since leaving education and is one of the co-founders of Just Mortgage Brokers. He has written guest posts and provided journalist comments for companies such as The Times, FT Adviser, Mortgage Strategy, Mortgage Solutions and others, demonstrating his extensive industry knowledge.