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9 reasons why your mortgage application could be slowed down (and how to avoid them)

By Matthew Telfer

Published: 12th February 2019 Last updated: 18th September 2019

If you’re applying for a mortgage, you’re most likely buried under a mountain of paperwork as you try to find obscure financial records and documents that you haven’t seen for years.

Alas, during this trying time, there is nothing worse than slowing the process down due to errors which could easily be corrected.

Something as simple as a mistake with your phone bill could see your mortgage application process grinding to a halt!

Showing scanned documents

Wherever possible, you should provide the lender with original documents rather than scans or copies.

This makes it easier to verify the authenticity of your documents – scanned documents could easily be fake documents or otherwise be tampered with.

Not updating your address on the electoral roll

Even if you don’t plan on voting in the next general election, it is still a very good idea to update your address on the electoral roll when you move.

This part of the UK government website tells you everything you need to know about registering.

Mistakes on statements

Lenders are always going to check your payslips and financial statements very carefully, especially if you have had multiple jobs or if you’re self-employed.

However, do bear in mind that mistakes on payslips and invoices could cause problems, even if the mistake is not your fault!

Always check your statements carefully, ensuring that your name/address etc. are written correctly.

Wrong address on driver’s license

Make sure that the address on your driver’s license is up to date. If it isn’t, you could face a steep fine!

The DVLA makes it easy to change your address details online, so you can ensure that they’re up to date.

While we’re on the topic, make sure that your personal bank has been updated with your address details too!

Hidden credit

If you don’t disclose credit that you have had (either previously or currently) then you could see your application be refused.

Lenders don’t like risk, and failing to disclose things paints you as a risky borrower.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a phone contract, a catalogue, or a store card – you should declare everything to be on the safe side.

Payday loans

The CAB has some great advice on payday loans, although we would generally recommend that you avoid them altogether if possible.

A history of payday loans (especially if they’re recent) is a huge red flag on a mortgage application.

If you have taken out payday loans, read our guide about how to get a mortgage after payday loans.

Post-marriage names

If you have recently got married and changed your surname, be sure to update all the appropriate institutions with your new surname.

If a mortgage broker is looking through your records and finds inconsistencies in surnames, it’s going to significantly slow down the process.

Inaccurate credit report

Websites such this one from Clearscore allow you to retrieve an accurate credit report, although you can also use the websites of the 3 major credit bureaus – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.

Failing to show how you built up your deposit

Whether it was family inheritance money, a lottery win (if only), or just plain old-fashioned saving, you need to be able to clearly demonstrate how you built up your mortgage deposit.

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