How to secure yourself a mortgage


Aside from raising a healthy deposit, the most obvious thing you can do to improve your chances of getting a good mortgage deal is to ensure your credit profile is up to scratch.

Adrian Anderson, director of property finance specialist Anderson Harris, says: "While rates have fallen, criteria have not noticeably eased and lenders will still be looking for good credit histories.

They get stricter on this the higher the loan-to-value you need because you are perceived as higher risk anyway, without any credit issues."

Simple things are sometimes all that is needed to boost a credit rating. Being on the electoral register is a good start. You should also build up a credit history. "Make sure you have at least two current credit commitments, such as credit cards, which are paid by direct debit each month in full or at least the minimum," says Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at John Charcol.

Sticking with the same address, bank or job can also help. "The longer you have been at your current address, had your current account with the same bank and been with the same employer (or in the same self-employment), the more points you will get," says Boulger.

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"The biggest negative will come from any adverse credit, such as county court judgments, defaults and even late payments on a credit card or loan account. Lenders normally want to see three months bank statements and so make sure your account is run properly, for example, with no bounced cheques or direct debits."

Aim to reduce any other personal debt before applying for a mortgage, as your lender will want to know what else you owe and don't apply for credit while a mortgage application is going through.

"If your credit history is quite dire, it may be wise to wait a while before making a mortgage application until you have a chance to improve it," says Anderson. "If you make several applications which are all rejected, this will only make your credit history even worse as each application leaves a footprint."

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