Bank Statements and Mortgage Applications
How many months’ bank statements will you need to provide? What will the lender look for on them? Read our guide or get help from a broker
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We’ll explain how many bank statements you need to provide for a mortgage application, why lenders need to see them and the options available to you if you’re declined at this stage in the process.
How many months’ bank statements do you need for a mortgage application?
Most mortgage lenders will ask to see your latest bank statements dating back at least three months, but some might ask for as much as six months’ worth. There are also a minority who don’t look as far back as this and might be happy with just one-to-two months’ worth.
To verify the information you’ve provided, your mortgage lender might contact your bank by phone. More commonly, though, they will complete proof or verification of deposit (POD/VOD) request forms and ask your bank to verify your account this way. Most banks provide downloadable forms for lenders on their websites to make this process quick and easy.
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Why lenders need them
Mortgage lenders need you to provide them with bank statements so that they can see clear evidence to verify your income, clarify affordability, check for any additional risk factors and see your deposit funds.
Specifically, lenders and underwriters will look for the following on your statements…
- Your income
- Your outgoings
- The availability of funds for the deposit
- The source of your deposit
- Risk factors, such as excessive gambling, payday loans or possible fraud
Your mortgage lender will need to see that you have enough income to afford the mortgage you’re applying for and will offset this against your fixed outgoings to calculate your debt-to-income ratio. There’s no fixed percentage that your ratio needs to be, but if your outgoings are too high, this could affect the amount you’re eligible to borrow.
Lenders and underwriters will also need to see your deposit funds in your account and like to trace the source of them to make sure they were saved, earned or gifted legitimately.
Issues on your statements that could trigger a rejection
If your finances don’t convince the lender that your mortgage will be affordable or you don’t have enough deposit, there’s a good chance they will reject your application.
Mortgages can also be declined if the following is evident from the applicant’s statements…
- Untraceable cash deposits: These are a big no-no for most mortgage lenders due to the potential risk of money laundering
- Excessive use of an overdraft: A statement showing a large overdraft balance that is consistently in use may lead a lender to conclude that you’re unable to afford your mortgage repayments
- Employer-gifted deposits: Again, due to the risks of fraudulent activity
- Funds from overseas savings: It can be harder for mortgage providers to trace the origin of overseas savings, although some can be more flexible
- Gambling funds: While it’s possible to use gambling winning for a mortgage deposit, regular evidence of gambling on your bank statements will likely be treated with more suspicion
- Payday loan use: It can be much more difficult to get a mortgage after a payday loan, even if they’ve already been paid off. Evidence of other forms of unsecured borrowing are also risky, but some providers can be more flexible
What to do if you’ve been declined due to a bank statement issue
If you submitted bank statements to your lender and they rejected you because they saw something they didn’t like on there, here are the steps to take to get things back on track…
Step One: Don’t re-apply just yet
If you re-apply for a mortgage so soon after a rejection, there’s no guarantee that whatever issue the lender saw on your bank statements won’t derail your plans again, and this could negatively impact your credit report. You’ll either need to find a solution to the problem or find a mortgage lender who is willing to overlook it.
Step Two: Let us match you with a mortgage broker
The quickest, easiest and best way to salvage a stalled mortgage application is to speak to a mortgage broker.
They can help you find a solution to the problem or introduce you to another lender who will overlook it. If you use our free broker-matching service, you can rest assured that you will be paired with an advisor who helps customers like you overcome mortgage rejection every day.
Step Three: Have a breather while your broker does the rest
Your broker will take the lead for the next steps in the process. After a quick fact-find to establish what your lender didn’t like on your bank statements, your broker will assess whether there are grounds to appeal against the lender’s decision, or if your best bet is to move to another lender.
The brokers we work with have deep working relationships with mortgage lenders who offer second chances to borrowers who’ve been rejected, and these lenders are also known to be flexible with their criteria and able to overlook issues other banks can’t.
Make an enquiry and we’ll match you with your ideal mortgage broker today.
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What to do if you’re worried you’ll be declined
If there’s something on your bank statements that you think will cause a mortgage lender to reject your application, speak to a mortgage broker before you apply. They can assess exactly how much risk the issue poses to your mortgage plans, suggest ways to solve the problem and make sure you use a mortgage lender who has the flexibility to overlook it.
The brokers we work with can match you with a lender who…
Are there lenders who don’t ask for them?
The vast majority of mortgage lenders need to see your bank statements at some point, but a small minority of them use other ways to assess affordability and creditworthiness.
For example, mainstream mortgage lenders Halifax and Santander have recently confirmed that they do not ask to see bank statements as part of standard mortgage applications. However, they have a number of other tools to assess a customer’s creditworthiness and financial history.
If there’s something on your bank statements that you don’t want a lender to see, keep in mind that the brokers we work with could help you find a mortgage provider who overlooks issues that most banks and building societies would consider deal-breakers.
If your preference is a lender who doesn’t look through your bank statements, your broker can by all means match you with one who has this policy, but keep in mind that your broker will need to see your bank details at some point to comply with industry regulations.
What can you do to prepare your bank statements for a mortgage application?
If you already know that it’s your intention to apply for a mortgage over the next 3-6 months, you can start straight away to ‘optimise’ your bank statements by taking the following steps:
- Keep your bank balance out of the red and avoid any unnecessary use of your overdraft facility
- Stay within your usual budget limits and put a hold on any other non-essential purchases
- Avoid any excessive recreational spending (gambling etc.)
- Make sure your employment income goes into the same account and avoid making any changes during this period
We offer a free broker-matching service that will quickly assess your needs and circumstances to pair you with the mortgage advisor who’s best placed to help you. If there’s an issue on your bank statements, you can rest assured they will know what the best solution is.
Call on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry and we’ll match you with your ideal broker today.
Key takeaways from this guide
Most mortgage lenders need to see your bank statements:This is to assess your affordability and eligibility, and if they see something they don’t like in your most recent statements, you could be declined for a mortgage or offered an unfavourable deal.
A broker can help you if you’re worried about being declinedIf there’s something in your bank statements that you think might derail your mortgage application, a mortgage broker can help. They can assess the risk for you, suggest ways to solve the problem and match you with a specialist lender who could approve you despite it.
We can match you with the right broker:You don’t want to use any old broker selected at random. You want one who has been handpicked because of their track record helping customers in exactly your situation, and this is where we come in.
Speak to an expert broker
Maximise your chance of approval with a dedicated specialist broker
If you own your own business or are a contractor, you may be more likely to have to provide bank statements. Most mortgage lenders will also request at least one-to-three years’ worth of accounts to prove you have a reliable source of stable income.
You can read more in our guide on mortgages for self-employed people.
Most lenders will ask for hard copies of your most recent bank statements. If you don’t have them, you can always contact your bank and ask them to print them off and send them to you. Moreover, you can pop into your nearest branch and have them printed off on-site.
Mortgage lenders don’t typically review credit card statements when assessing an application, but will need to know if a portion of your monthly income is going towards credit card debt. This will be factored in when they are calculating your loan-to-value ratio.
Your lender and their underwriting team will see any payments you are making for this purpose when reviewing your bank statements.
There is unlikely to be any further scrutiny of your credit card repayments unless they are particularly large or there are any question marks about your ability to settle this debt and pay a mortgage each month.
No, the main bank accounts you’ll typically be asked to produce statements for are those which show evidence of all your income and outgoings along with your deposit funds.
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