Mortgage blog: Why you should leave plenty of time to get your new mortgage

Posted 14 March 2014

When choosing a new mortgage you've probably hunted for a great interest rate, low fees and a lender you feel you can trust. But, what happens when your chosen lender delays the processing of your application so much that you lose your dream home?

Changes to the way mortgages are underwritten in the UK are resulting in significant extensions to the time it takes your mortgage to be agreed.

Two reasons it is taking longer to get a mortgage approval

Before the global financial crisis many lenders would approve and issue a mortgage offer in a matter of days. Now, however, the process is taking longer than before and your decision on which lender to choose may be based not only on their deals but on how quickly they can process your application.

Keith Osborne, editor of, identifies two key reasons why mortgage processing times have increased. He says: "First, lenders shed an awful lot of staff during the recession as they were dealing with far fewer applications. Now numbers are increasing they simply don't have the manpower to cope with the increased demand.

"Secondly, new rules coming into force this April are requiring lenders to check mortgage applications even more carefully than before. Many are in the process of implementing new processes and systems and this is having a knock-on effect on the time it takes you to get your mortgage agreed."

The Independent reports that one lender, Kensington Mortgages, plans to ask some applicants to break down their spending in almost forensic detail and itemise spending on grooming, dry cleaning and parking.

While it may take longer to get a mortgage approval, there are things you can do to speed up the process. Find out how next.

How you can help yourself save time

If you plan to apply for a mortgage there are a number of steps that you can take to minimise any delays.

Osborne adds: "Collating all the documents you are likely to need can help speed up the process. This includes identification, proof of address and proof of all your income. This may include your payslips and P60 if you're employed and your SA302 and tax returns if you're self employed.

"You are also likely to need three months' bank statements and you may have to provide your marriage certificate if you have got married within the last three years. And it's important that you check you are on the electoral roll. You can do this by approaching your local council or by obtaining a copy of your credit report from one of the credit reference agencies."

Click here to find out more about how can help you find the right mortgage.



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