It’s practically step one on every homebuyer’s to-do list; get your mortgage approval so you know what your budget is for your property search. However, don’t just stick with your own bank or jump at the first mortgage which is offered to you; follow our tips to help you to get the best deal on your mortgage.
Often the biggest hurdle to buying is the deposit itself, but spending more here should save you money in the long-run; the general rule is that a larger deposit will result in a more favourable rate as well as having a favourable impact on credit scores with lenders. With mortgages categorised according to their loan-to-value (LTV) – the percentage of the mortgage as a value of the property – the more equity you have, the lower risk you are to the bank.
It may seem like the easiest option is to simply take out a mortgage with the same bank that you conduct your personal accounts with; however, this will restrict your view on the mortgage market to a single lender. Looking around independently will help you to learn about the mortgage jargon and understand exactly what kind of proposition will suit you best. Comparison services will do a lot of the legwork for you, but remember that some of these require services charge, so if you can, find a no-fee broker.
Avoid bumps in the road
Having your documents in order seems like common sense, but a sure-fire way to having your application declined is to have inconsistencies in your paperwork. If you have recently married or changed address, for example, ensure that your documents reflect the correct details. Whilst you’re updating and verifying your documents, it’s certainly worth registering for the electoral roll as this has a huge bearing on the scoring system for lenders.
Fixed rate or tracker?
Put simply, a fixed rate mortgage locks in an interest rate for a specified time period, whereas a tracker mortgage has a variable interest rate which follows, or “tracks”, an external interest rate – frequently the Bank of England’s base rate. Deciding on which mortgage variant to take out depends on your financial situation; if you can afford to potentially pay higher mortgage amounts should the rates rise, then taking out a tracker mortgage could give you a lower starting rate to begin with. Alongside this, it also allows the opportunity that over the duration of the mortgage, you end up paying cheaper than if you had a fixed rate. If you need to know exactly how much you will be paying each month, then a fixed mortgage could be the best choice to avoid any unwelcome surprises – even if the initial rate is higher than other offerings.
Having a great credit score is a huge help when it comes to getting an attractive mortgage rate, as lenders are keen to lend to those with a good history. Also, if you have a smaller deposit then it is essential to have an impeccable credit score, whereas having a larger deposit will result in more leniency if you have a lesser credit score (although you may struggle to achieve “high street” rates). If you want to cultivate the best credit score possible then there are a few steps you can take immediately; ensuring any outstanding debts on credit cards etc. are paid in full each month to show a strong payment history and clearing any outstanding debt are a good place to start.
For more detailed advice we highly recommend speaking to our sister company, Wise Mortgage Advice www.wisemortgageadvice.co.uk