Preparing for a mortgage interview

Preparing for a mortgage interview

As part of a mortgage application process, you may be asked to attend a short interview with your chosen lender, so they can get to know you better and understand if you’re suitable for the mortgage requested. 

Usually, interviews will occur face-to-face or via telephone, where you will be asked a series of questions relating to your current financial situation, your income minus your expenses, savings, deposits, and more. 

These interviews are nothing to be scared about, but at Mortgage Assistant, we believe that it helps to be prepared, so you place yourself in the best position to have your mortgage accepted.

The mortgage application process UK 

Lenders must ensure they only lend to those who can prove that they can afford to pay back their mortgage, with borrowers in a healthy financial position to meet their repayments. 

Lenders need to know how safe it is to lend to you, how able you are to repay the mortgage, and what type of deal best suits your situation. 

This is why lenders will ask in-depth questions about your finances, including your income and expenses. The more information you can provide during the interview, the better. This way, lenders can be confident that if things change, your repayments won’t be affected.

Some of the most frequently asked mortgage interview questions include:

Affordability checking – required to show the lender how much money you have coming in and how much money you have gone out. Lenders will look into your spending habits, any regular payments, direct debits, and standing orders you have set up, etc., all helping to form an idea of whether you can afford your projected mortgage payments or not. 

This means you may also be asked about your lifestyle choices providing lenders with an insight into how much you have left every month. 

Finding out how much you pay towards childcare, socialising, groceries, clothes, eating and drinking, haircuts, mobile phone contracts, gym memberships, credit card repayments, student loan repayments, and more. 

Do you know or will your financial situation change any time soon? It’s important for your lender to be aware of any potential changes, especially if you’re close to spending your total income every month currently. In these circumstances, lenders may be wary about adding another expense to your list.

Lenders will also check your credit history, i.e., how well you have managed credit in the past.  

Your credit report shows all of your borrowing activity over the past six years, including any missed or late payments, any CCJs against you, etc. To help, you must make sure your credit report is up to date and the information included is correct. To help improve your credit score, you can make sure to pay your bills on time, close down any unused accounts and credit cards, and register on the electoral roll.

Using a mortgage broker can help you find the most suitable mortgages that you are eligible for.

Lenders will make sure that your loan is aligned with your plans now and in the future. This means that lenders will ask about the type of job you have and how much you earn.  

Ultimately, they’re looking into how secure your income is. To support this, you will need at least three months’ payslips and your P60 form for the interview. In addition, lenders typically like to have information relating to your past two years of work history. For those that are self-employed, you will need at least two years of accounts. 

They will ask you about any existing or past debts, and are you paying them back successfully? This is important as it can show lenders that you are reliable, trustworthy, and can handle your finances well. 

Lenders may also ask if you have any dependents or children and if they require any form of financial support, as this will affect your mortgage repayments. 

What is the value of the property you are looking to buy? Lenders need to know how much you want to borrow, so they can calculate your offer. The loan to value is the value of the property and the loan size – critical in deciding the interest rate you are offered. For example, if you have a high LTV ratio, you will typically face higher interest rates, which could affect your ability to maintain regular payments. You will also pay more in the long run.

Top tips for your mortgage interview 

  • Have proof of your deposit. 
  • If you’ve never borrowed, look to positively build up your credit score.  
  • Check your credit history and information on file, making sure everything is as it should be. 
  • Use our free mortgage calculator to check what you can afford to borrow. 
  • Reduce any non-essential spending. 

Throughout your mortgage interview, lenders are looking for confident, evidence-based answers.  

However, it’s not just about the lender.  

Make sure you take this opportunity to ask any questions you may have. 

Your mortgage broker can be invaluable in helping you to prepare for this meeting. That’s why at Mortgage Assistant, we want to match you with your perfect mortgage advisor today. 

Use our Find an Advisor tool to help you get started. 

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