11 massive mortgage application mistakes you need to avoid

You've saved a deposit, found the perfect house, and now need a mortgage: what could go wrong? Don't make these 11 mistakes that could ruin your plans.

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Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it.

1. Applying for mortgages you won't get

You can only get some mortgages if you:

Applying for a mortgage you can't get delays the purchase and could mean it falls through. If you paid a fee to apply, you usually won't get this back.

Getting turned down for a mortgage can also harm your credit record, which makes it harder for you to get accepted next time you try.

2. Bending the truth

Avoid white lies when you apply, even if you think it will help your chances. This includes claiming you:

  • Have a larger deposit than you really do

  • Earn more than you really do

  • Have a full time job if you don't

  • Will live in the house yourself, but you intend to rent it out

Lenders check the information in application forms and need evidence for some of it. They will decline your application if they find out you lied, and you could even be prosecuted for fraud.

3. Getting your income wrong

When you fill in details of what you earn, get it right because:

  • Saying you earn more could mean your application is rejected when the lender checks your salary

  • Saying you earn less could mean your lender thinks you can't afford the property you want

Find out exactly what you earn before you apply. If you get bonuses or commission, enter these separately instead of adding them to your basic salary.

Check if you need to enter your annual or monthly salary to avoid claiming you earn £2,000 a year if this is actually your monthly pay.

4. Accidentally saying you have loads of kids

Looking after children is expensive, so lenders consider this as well as how much you earn when they calculate if you can afford a mortgage. If it looks like you several children, your income would need to be extremely high to get a mortgage.

Fill in your mortgage application carefully, especially if you complete it online because your browser's autocomplete feature could get the information wrong.

5. Missing any details

If you miss anything off your application form, this could delay your house purchase or even mean you get rejected. Don't forget to include:

  • If you have a second job, because the extra income could help your chances

  • If you moved house in the last three years as they'll need your old address too

  • If you have to make regular childcare payments

  • Where your deposit came from, e.g. you saved it yourself or it was a gift

Get someone to check your application

Ask a friend, family member or your solicitor to check your application form for mistakes or missing information before you submit it.

If you apply through a mortgage broker they should check your application for you to make sure everything is correct.

6. Missing any mortgage fees

Many of the mortgages with the lowest interest rates have application fees.

These fees can cost thousands of pounds but could save you money if they mean you get a much cheaper mortgage.

Work out how much each mortgage costs long term by adding up the monthly payments and the fees to get the total amount. This means you won't accidentally apply for a mortgage that's more expensive than you realised.

7. Not saving up for other costs

There are several fees and costs you have to pay when you buy a house, including:

  • Stamp duty

  • Solicitors' fees

  • Moving costs

If you don't have enough money saved to pay for these, your purchase could fall through or you could get into debt if you borrow money to pay for them.

Here is how to work out how much buying a house costs in total so you can make sure you can afford them all.

8. Letting your offer expire

Mortgage offers are only valid for a limited amount of time, so check the expiry date on:

  • Your mortgage in principle, which lets you know how much you can borrow and usually lasts 30 days to six months. Make sure it gives you long enough to find a property, put in an offer and agree a final price.

  • Your full mortgage offer, which can last for around six months. Check it gives you long enough to complete the full process of buying the house.

Make a note of when the offers end, and add them to your email, phone or Cliff Richard calendar. If the purchase hasn't gone through in time, ask your lender to renew or extend their offer.

9. Making big lifestyle changes

Changing your name or address while you buy a house is possible. But it can slow down the application process because your lender will need to update your details.

However, getting a new job can cause problems, especially if you earn less in your new role. Here is what happens to your mortgage application if you change your job.

Applying to borrow money with a credit card, overdraft or loan can also scupper your chances.

This shows on your credit record. Borrowing extra money when you get a mortgage could make your lender worry about if you can afford a mortgage.

10. Using the wrong broker

The wrong mortgage broker could be:

  • Expensive if they charge high fees for their service

  • Not whole of market, meaning there are some mortgages they can't offer you

This means you might not get the cheapest deal or have to pay hundreds of pounds more for the broker's advice.

Here is how to find the best mortgage broker

11. Going with your usual bank and not checking

There are dozens of lenders and hundreds of mortgages available in the UK. Just choosing one from your usual bank or building society means you are very unlikely to get the best deal.

Our mortgage comparison tables include every deal you can get in the UK directly from lenders. Use them to find the cheapest mortgage that accepts you.

Alternatively, you can contact a mortgage broker here for advice and help finding the right mortgage.

Why you can't trust your bank for mortgage advice

If you're a first time buyer or looking to move house or remortgage, we can help you find the best mortgage deal to suit your needs.

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