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A year on from the mortgage shake up - how to prepare for your application

It's amost a year since a major shake-up in lending rules meant anyone after a new mortgage had to provide more evidence they can afford a home than ever before.

Potential home-buyers also faced a fairly forensic examination of their income and spending so lenders could be sure of their ability to meet their monthly payments.

A year on, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) says two-thirds of its members have reported a drop in buyers and it reckons it's because it now takes an average of 50 days for a mortgage to be approved.

The changes, part of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) also mean lenders don't just look at your finances now, but also how things might change in the future. So if your bank statement suggests you'll struggle with an interest rate rise or starting a family, you might be offered less money. 

The changes also capped most lending at four and a half times your income, which means some people need bigger deposits. 

If you're planning on buying a home or remortgaging, try our Budget calculator to get a snapshot of your finances.

We've also produced the checklist below to prepare you for your meetings with lenders or with your mortgage adviser.

It's worth spending a bit of time preparing and gathering all the necessary paperwork so it's all at hand should you need it.


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  • Joyce Williamson / 9 June 2015

    This is all very well thought out. However just thought to mention the AGE thing. Most mortgages have an age limit that banks will adhere to....and they wont budge on that...even though most retirees are working...well past retirement age. Just a thought Regards

  • BankerBane / 7 June 2015

    DO NOT listen to what the "Nay sayers" spout (such as the rhetoric you will hear on many websites, this one included).

    Search for the truth yourself, look up what an SPV is and if you are dumb enough to still want a mortgage, ask the bank WHAT they will do with the "Power of Attorney" they ask you to sign over. I bet you £1000 they will NEVER give you a TRUE answer because if they DID, they would be admitting liability for the FRAUD they intend to perpetrate on you.

  • BankerBane / 7 June 2015

    As mortgages are all FRAUD, Google WhiteRabbit, Money as Debt and MANY others on youtube, Why would you want to submit yourself to servitude to the criminal bankers?

    You are an idiot if you do and bankers are ALL proven criminals, HSBC, Barclays and HBOS are the WORST.

  • brian / 29 May 2015

    sorry about the three comments hit the post button too many times by mistake

  • brian / 29 May 2015

    where can i find out what counts towards your total income, which is counted towards a mortgage application?
    basic pay, shift allowance etc
    we have just completed an application which seems to have discounted the fact that the shift allowance and other allowances are part of our contracts and not just paid every now and again
    even this sites mortgage affordability calculator only asks for gross or total take home pay
    any advice would be welcome

  • Jo Lewis / 18 May 2015

    I really do wish the mortgage lenders could be forced to let people downsize. We're stuck in a house we can't afford, renting would cost us even more (and drives us further into debt), and yet we can't get a mortgage for a much cheaper house that we can EASILY afford. Madness. I'm sure there are loads of others stuck in this rut too who are facing severe problems when the mortgage finally becomes due when we retire.

  • April Ellis / 6 May 2015

    would this really apply to anyone because me and a friend want to rent private but this may work out better for us in this case