Mortgage application process explained

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By Beehive Money

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What are the stages of applying for a mortgage? 

We know that the mortgage application process can be overwhelming - there are so many stages. If you’re thinking about getting on the property ladder, we’ve created this step-by-step guide to help you apply for your mortgage with a mortgage adviser. We’ve tried to leave out as much jargon as we can, too.

1. Know how much you can borrow 

The first step is to know how much you’ll be able to spend on your monthly repayments and how big your deposit is. Both will dictate the size of your future mortgage and the price of property you’ll be able to buy. 

By the time you’re at the mortgage application process stage, you should already have an idea of:

  • How much you’ve saved for your deposit.
  • How much equity you have in your current house (if this isn’t your first home).
  • The house prices in your area.
  • Your budget.

If you don't already know how much you need or an idea of your budget, we’d recommend chatting to a mortgage expert to get an idea of your affordability and a local estate agent for an idea of the deposit on the price range of properties you're looking at.

2. Support your application

Applying for a mortgage in principle (MIP) is the first proper step on your mortgage application process. An MIP will also help you appear more committed to a vendor and the estate agent. Once you know how much you can borrow on your mortgage it’s time to prove you can commit to a monthly repayment.

You’ll need to be able to demonstrate a solid financial background so your lender will ask you to provide: 

  • Evidence of your income (pay slips or accounts if you own your own business).
  • Your ID and proof of address (so they can make sure you are who you say you are!).
  • Proof of any current credit commitments such as phone contracts or car finance. 

3. Choose the right mortgage for you and send your application

Your mortgage adviser will give you a detailed run-through of the deal options that are available for your budget and circumstance. They’ll explain the most suitable mortgage products and the differences between them from fixed rates to variable rates, and the various repayment types on offer. Choosing the right term for you can also make your payments more manageable or help you avoid years of additional interest payments. 

Check out our helpful article that talks about the different types of mortgages if you want some background knowledge before speaking to an adviser.

4. Organise your mortgage application file

Each lender has different requirements but in general your mortgage application file should include:

  • Your last three months’ payslips.
  • Proof of any bonuses.
  • Three months’ bank statements.
  • Details of any tax credits you receive.
  • If you’re self-employed - two most recent sets of accounts and your SA302 statements.
  • Details of all unsecured and secured lending such as car finance, personal loans, credit, and store cards, hire purchase agreements.
  • Details of any existing mortgages and secured loans.

5. Wait for your mortgage application decision

With your mortgage in principle, you’ll be ready to start viewings and making serious offers. There’s no set amount of time that an official mortgage application can take, so be prepared to wait a few weeks. You’ll be able to keep in touch with your mortgage adviser and they can let you know how it’s getting on and whether they need anything further from you to support your application once it’s gone to the lender.

6. Instruct a conveyancer and work through the legal process

You’ll need to instruct a solicitor around the same time as submitting your application. Sometimes estate agents can help you with the process and advise when to do each part.

We're partnered with Optimus, who offer game-changing online conveyancing where you can access all of your conveyancing process with tracking provided from your chosen law firm.

Their legal services have won awards and they even operate on a "no move, no legal fees" basis which means you won't have to pay if you can't move. Bear in mind that you might have to cover costs that have already been incurred, such as searches that have already been instructed. If you're interested in Optimus' conveyancing services, simply pop an email to or call 0330 0366 393.

Another part of the house buying process that Optimus can support our members with is home surveys - this is the thorough review of the property that you want to buy which means you can make an informed decision. Having a survey isn't a legal requirement like conveyancing but it usually happens around the same time if you opt to do one. With home surveys via Beehive, powered by Optimus, you'll be dealing with experienced expert RICS regulated surveyors and a team of home survey consultants who can turn surveys around with two weeks on average. You can access home surveys by emailing or calling 0330 0366 391.

If you need any more tips or information on buying a home, read our FAQs below or head to our blog for more helpful articles around mortgages, home-buying and saving. Remember, Beehive helps you save for the things that matter. To-do list: ticked.


Will a loan affect my mortgage application?

A loan could potentially affect your mortgage application, but this would have already been considered when you applied for your mortgage in principle. It’s a good idea to avoid any new credit agreements between getting your mortgage in principle and applying for your mortgage too.

What can affect my mortgage application?  

There are three scenarios that could negatively impact your chances of getting a mortgage – no credit at all, significant credit commitments or adverse (essentially, bad) credit. If you’ve never had a mortgage and have no record of a loan or credit card, you may have a hard time convincing lenders that you’re a reliable borrower. Having credit that you manage well demonstrates that you can commit to regular payments. Read our credit score guide for more info on this subject.

Be honest with your mortgage adviser. They're not there to judge, so if there’s an outstanding debt, they need to know. It is in your adviser’s best interests to get you the deal that's most suited to your situation, and they can look for a lender to suit your situation.

What happens after submitting a mortgage application?

After your mortgage application is submitted, you will wait to hear whether it has been approved or not whilst going through the conveyancing process of buying the property.

How do you know if you’ll be approved for a mortgage?

All mortgages come with a list of conditions you’ll need in order to be accepted. If you meet all of these then there’s a good chance, you’ll be accepted. There can of course be times when you think everything is in order, but the mortgage provider thinks otherwise (for example they may think you have too many other debts to be comfortable lending you the amount of money you’ve applied for).

A mortgage adviser can help make sure that these hiccups don’t occur, and if you have doubts of you being accepted or have slightly unusual circumstances – maybe you’re relatively recently self- employed for example - they will know which mortgage providers cater for your specific needs.

After you’ve applied, your mortgage adviser will also let you know whether you have been approved or rejected for your mortgage and can also let you know why if it is the latter. If you’re rejected the adviser may be able to look at other products for you. If they work solely for one lender this may be difficult as it is usually the lender that doesn't want to lend to you, not a specific product feature issue.

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