How long does it take to get a mortgage?

The length of time it will take you to get a mortgage depends on several different factors:

• How long you take to do your side of things – finding and sending the documents needed to support your application
• How long it takes for the mortgage broker to do their side of things
• How long it takes for the lender to approve your application

Here’s how the application process works, so you know roughly when you can expect to get your mortgage approved.


How long does a mortgage application take?

Many people decide to get a mortgage ‘agreement in principle’ before they apply for a mortgage. Lenders will ask for some basic information and perform a credit search so they can come up with a figure that they would be able to lend ‘in principle’. This doesn’t, however, provide a guarantee that you’ll be offered a mortgage, but it can be useful to show estate agents that you’re serious about buying and may speed up your application once you’ve found a property you want to buy.
Completing the mortgage application itself shouldn’t take too long, typically a couple of hours, but you’ll need to make sure your finances are in order and you can find all the information you need. In order to assess your reliability as a borrower and how much you can borrow, lenders will want to know the following about you, and you’ll need to provide evidence to support your application.

• How much your outgoings are, including how much you spend on things like childcare, holidays, and pension contributions. You’ll need to produce bank statements showing what goes out of your account each month.
• What your income is, including any bonuses or overtime – the lender will want to see your payslips as proof, or your accounts if you are self-employed. This helps the lender to calculate what monthly payment you can afford.
• ID to prove your identity and current address
• Details of the property you want to buy
• Your estate agent’s and solicitor’s details


How long does it take to get a mortgage offer?

Once the lender has reviewed all your information, performed a credit check, and doesn’t require anything more from you, they will then want to arrange a valuation of the property you are buying. This can sometimes take a couple of weeks or longer, as the surveyor will need to visit the property, write up their report and submit it to the lender. After the lender has reviewed the valuation and is happy with it, they should at that point be able to approve your application and formally offer you a mortgage. As a general rule, you can expect it to take between around 18-40 days for your application to be processed, but if your application is complex it could take longer.


What can you do to speed up your mortgage application?

Having documents to hand, getting them to your mortgage broker quickly, and communicating regularly with your solicitor and broker to push things along can all help speed up your mortgage application, so make sure you’re prepared before you start the process.
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