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How Easy is it Getting a Mortgage?

By Pete Mugleston

Published: 3rd September 2019 Last updated: 10th September 2019
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Buying a property is much easier when you know the right steps to take, especially if you’ve never had to go through the process before.

But just how easy is it really to get a mortgage in the UK, especially if you’re looking for a second mortgage or after a buy-to-let loan to get an income from renting?  

In this article, we look at the different ways to help maximise your chances of getting the best mortgage deal possible and the easiest ways to get one.

How easy is it to get approved for a mortgage?

This all depends on your personal and financial circumstances, including if you already have an existing mortgage. Factors such as deposit, credit history, income and debt all play a large role in you being approved for a mortgage. 

If you optimise the following factors,you’ll be more likely to meet the lender’s eligibility criteria and pass the affordability test. And improve your chances of getting approved for a mortgage in principle

Aim for a larger deposit

The more deposit you have, the better mortgage deal you’ll likely get. Lenders will factor in your deposit when calculating your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, which is essentially the size of the mortgage in relation to how much the property is worth and is expressed as a percentage.

So, if you borrow £150,000 for a property worth £200,000, your LTV ratio would be 75% – a ratio many lenders favour.

If you don’t have a deposit, don’t be disheartened. There are other ways you can get on the property ladder, including:

  • Save for a deposit. If you’re determined to save up funds to put down on a house, read our handy guide on ways you could do this.
  • Get help from your family. A family member could gift you a deposit, though they would have to declare it as such during your application, and they would have to confirm that the borrower is under no obligation to pay it back. You could also match the amount gifted to you – lenders would look favourably upon this.
  • Help to Buy ISA. This is a type of savings product that’s designed to help buyers save up for a deposit on their first home.

If a larger deposit is out of the question, you can get mortgage deals with a higher loan-to-value ratio. You could put down 10% deposit or even no deposit at all, though bear in mind that you’ll likely pay back more each month.  Also, be wary of taking out a loan to cover the deposit – lenders won’t look upon this favourably.

Is it easy to get a mortgage with bad credit?

While some factors on your credit report could have more impact on your mortgage application (for example bankruptcy and debt management schemes), there are other factors that won’t have much impact at all, like a missed phone payment or a hard credit search within the last 12 months.

To make sure you don’t miss anything, download your credit reports from the three main credit reporting agencies in the UK: Equifax, Experian, and Callcredit. By getting these three reports, you’ll be able to see which factors appear across all of them and if there are any mistakes that you could amend. By doing this, you could make your mortgage application easier and save money on your future payments.

If you have poor credit or no credit history at all, you could become an active borrower. You could opt for a credit rebuilder card or other credit cards, but make sure to repay the full amount each month. This will not only improve your credit, but also demonstrate to lenders that you’re responsible with money, which could make your application easier.  

Pay off as much debt as you can

If you have any unsecured debts, you may want to consider paying them back before applying for a mortgage. Lenders will calculate your debt-to-income ratio to see if you can afford to pay back your mortgage each month while still living within your means, so clearing off some debts could make your application much easier.

To calculate your debt-to-income ratio, divide your total monthly debt payments by your gross monthly income (i.e. before tax and other deductions), then multiply this figure by 100.

The following could be relevant to calculate your total monthly debt repayments (if applicable):

  • Rent payments
  • Monthly car purchase/hire
  • Credit cards
  • Child support
  • Student loans
  • Unsecured loans

Is it easy to get a buy-to-let (BTL) mortgage?

Yes, in the right circumstances. Buy-to-let mortgages typically have higher interest rates compared to residential mortgages, and lenders also tend to require a higher deposit rate, though many will loan at 85% loan-to-value (at the time of writing). This is because BTL properties typically rely on rental income to sustain the mortgage repayments, so the risk is higher. The more deposit you can put down, the better deal you’ll likely get.

So, if you’re wondering how to make your BTL mortgage application as easy to get as possible, it’s worth speaking with an advisor. They’ll be able to review your circumstances and advise you on how to boost your chances of getting a great BTL deal. You can also make things easier for yourself and be prepared with your documents – read our comprehensive list to see what you’ll need to get together.

Is it easy to switch or refinance a mortgage?

Yes, it’s possible. In many cases, switching or refinancing your original mortgage to another could mean a better interest term and rate. For example, you may be coming to the end of a fixed-rate deal of two years and want to switch to a product with a lower standard variable rate (SVR).

Repayment mortgages tend to be more favoured by lenders, and you can choose the following:

  • Fixed-rate: A fixed-rate mortgage is where you pay back both the interest and capital each month. With a fixed rate, your mortgage payments will stay the same for the agreed term, so you know exactly how much you’ll pay back each month.
  • Tracker: A tracker mortgage rises or falls depending on the Bank of England’s base rate. This means that you’ll save money for some months and pay more with others.
  • Discounted variable: This mortgage has an interest rate that is set below your lender’s standard variable rate. It goes up and down when the SVR changes as opposed to the Bank of England’s base rate.

To find out how easy it could be to switch mortgage lenders, make an enquiry and talk to one of the expert mortgage brokers we work with.  

Tesco halts mortgage lending

How easy is it to get a second mortgage?

Getting a second mortgage could be easy, as long as a lender is happy that you can afford to pay the loan each month and you have enough deposit. 

Lenders will typically require borrowers to meet tougher eligibility criteria and affordability checks, and they’ll need to know if the loan is for a residential home or a buy-to-let property.

If you have a separate residential mortgage and are looking to take out a second loan as an investment opportunity, lenders will also be more critical when assessing your application.

How easy is to get a mortgage as a first-time buyer?

It can be very easy, and many lenders welcome first-time applicants. In fact, first-time buyers now make up the majority of home purchases (at the time of writing) with terraced houses and semi-detached properties being their preferred choices.

If you’re a first-time buyer looking for an easier way to get a mortgage, you could consider the following:

  • Help to Buy: This is a scheme funded by the UK government to help individuals (typically first-time buyers) get a home. You can purchase with as little as 5% deposit, and the government will give you an additional 20% as an equity loan to put down a 25% deposit on a property, so it may be easy to get a Help to Buy loan.
  • Joint owner, sole proprietor: This is where a second party helps the borrower to buy a property without featuring on the title deeds. It’s common for parents to do this for their children.
  • Shared: A shared ownership mortgage is a hybrid between buying and renting. Basically you can borrow a percentage of a home and the bank owns the remainder, meaning that you’ll pay rent on this amount. You can buy back percentages until you fully own the home if you wish.

FAQs: How easy is it to get a mortgage?

Whether you’ve been paying off a mortgage for years or just starting out, your personal circumstances and the type of mortgage you want will play a big part in how easy getting a loan will be for you. 

Below, we’ve included more circumstances that may apply to you. If what’s included isn’t what you’re looking for, make an enquiry and talk to one of the expert advisors we work with. There’s no obligation and the service we offer is entirely free, even if you end up with a mortgage!

Single vs joint: Is it easy to get a mortgage on your own?

It’s certainly possible to get a mortgage as a single applicant, though your application will be affected by several factors.

Your income will play an important role in how much you can borrow, though it’s not the only factor to determine this. 

Many lenders use income multiples to determine how much they can lend, the most common often being 4x an applicant’s salary, though some will lend 5x income or even 6x.

For example, a single applicant on £28,000 per year could borrow approximately £112,000, if a lender calculated their affordability at 4x their annual salary.

On the other hand, a joint application (where you and another person i.e. partner, spouse, family member or friend apply for a mortgage together) combines income, which could mean that you can afford to take out a larger loan. You could even have up to three people on your application: the more income multiples, the more you could potentially borrow.

Is it easy to get a mortgage if you’re self-employed?

Because self-employed individuals don’t have the stability that’s typically offered to employees, lenders may see them as higher risk. 

In order to get the best deal possible, lenders will want to see a solid history of your earnings. Having evidence of at least two years’ worth of earnings could make your mortgage application run smoother.  

How easy is it to get out of a mortgage?

If your circumstances change and you can’t afford to keep up with your mortgage, or need to take your name off the loan for other reasons, how easy it will be to exit a mortgage will depend on a few factors.

First, you’ll need to talk with your lender – they may be able to provide a short-term solution for you, such as a payment holiday or extend the mortgage term while you figure out what to do.

If you’ve separated from your partner and are both named on the mortgage, you could choose to transfer the mortgage to yourself or the other party.  

Would it be easy to take out an interest-only mortgage?

Yes, it could be straightforward to get this mortgage type if you have a repayment vehicle in place.

Interest-only mortgages require the borrower to pay back the interest of the loan until the end of the mortgage term, at which point you will need to pay back the borrowed amount.

Many lenders will want to see a repayment vehicle in place before they agree to lend – this could be via savings in an ISA, remortgaging the property, or selling.

How easy is it to get a Right to Buy mortgage?

If you’re looking to buy the council house you currently live in, the good news is that getting a mortgage to buy the property from the council could be easier than buying another residential property. 

This is because the council will often give discounts to residents, and will typically offer more the longer the tenant has resided there. This discount can act as a deposit, which could mean you get a great rate.

Always remember that typical factors such as credit, income and whether the property is a ‘non-standard’ construction will affect how much you may be offered. 

Is it easy to get a mortgage with a 95% or 100% LTV rate?

While a 100% LTV (or no deposit) mortgage is not typically easy to get, or something offered by most lenders for residential properties, for a 95% LTV ratio, the applicant would need to pass strict eligibility criteria and affordability checks. This is because your monthly rates will be higher overall, so lenders need to make sure that you can afford to pay the loan back. 

While some lenders will agree to a 95% loan-to-value ratio, this percentage is often common for Help to Buy applicants – they put own 5% of the property’s value, then the government will loan a further 20%. 

If you need help with your deposit, there are other avenues you can take, such as shared ownership and Right to Buy.


If you’re after a 100% LTV commercial mortgage, this may be possible. Read our guide for more information.


Is it easy to get a mortgage for land?

It will depend on what plans you have for the land and if the land has planning permission – whether you want it to build your own home, to build a commercial property, or for agricultural reasons. It will also depend on if the plot has planning permission. 

Purchasing land is very competitive, and purchasing the right type of land in the area you desire may not be straightforward. 

Working with a mortgage advisor, like the ones we work with, could make things easier since they’ll have the expertise to find the best deals via their whole-of-market access. 

How easy is it to get a mortgage depending on age?

If you’re worried that your age will restrict your mortgage opportunities, don’t be! Many older borrowers can borrow with ease, and while some lenders put restrictions on age, others don’t. 


Read our guide on getting a mortgage for older borrowers for more information.


If you’re a younger borrower, you could also get a mortgage, though the process may be easier if you have a guarantor

How easy is it to get a small mortgage?

It could be very straightforward to take out a small loan, and because your monthly mortgage payments could be lower, lenders shouldn’t have a problem with you meeting their affordability criteria. 

For example, if you take out a £60,000 mortgage for a property worth £90,000 at an interest rate of 3.5%, you could pay back £300 a month and your loan-to-value ratio would be 66.7% – a ratio many lenders would find very favourable. 

For the best advice, speak with an expert 

If you’d like to see how easy it could be to get a mortgage based on your circumstances, call 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry.

We’ll match you with the right broker to help you, based on your circumstances and the kind of mortgage you’re looking for.

All the brokers we work with are whole-of-market which means they have access to all the mortgage products from lenders across the whole UK, which will make your search for the best mortgage at the best available price as quick, easy and hassle-free.

The service we offer is entirely free and there’s zero obligation.

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