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What Happens When a Mortgage Goes to Underwriting?

Wondering what happens when a mortgage goes to underwriting? Read on to learn what underwriting is and what you should expect...

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By Pete Mugleston  | Mortgage Advisor Pete has been a mortgage advisor for over 10 years, and is regularly cited in both trade and national press.

Updated: 23rd October 2019 *

As you go through the process of buying a property, there are a number of different stages before contracts are exchanged and you receive the keys to your new home. One of those stages is the mortgage underwriting process. It’s an important part of any mortgage application and can take some time.

When you’re planning to buy a home it’s helpful to have an idea of how long it could take and which processes can take longer and what they entail. Mortgage underwriting is an essential part of any home purchase that requires a mortgage, no matter what mortgage you apply for.

We’ve written this article to give you a better idea of what happens during the mortgage underwriting process in the UK and what steps are taken during it. 

In this guide we’ll discuss:

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What is the underwriting process of a mortgage?

Mortgage underwriting is the process during your mortgage application where the underwriters check what level of financial risk your lender would be taking by agreeing to give you a mortgage.

Professional underwriters use a series of checks to decide how likely it is that you will default on the mortgage loan you’ve applied for. If they think there’s a big risk you might not repay the mortgage in accordance with the agreement, then your mortgage application could be declined.

An experienced mortgage advisor, like those we work with, can answer all your mortgage-related questions, including the underwriting stage and help with your application to ensure you apply for the right loan and can give all the required details for it. 

It’s important to always give the correct information as the mortgage underwriting process compares all the answers on your application to your financial history and any discrepancies could mean they won’t approve your mortgage.

Call us on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry and speak to one of the expert mortgage brokers we work with. We’ll put you in touch with someone who can answer all your questions about the mortgage underwriting process steps and help you know which mortgage might best suit you.

What happens when a UK mortgage goes to the underwriting stage?

When your mortgage application goes into the underwriting stage in the UK, the underwriters use a variety of sources of information to assess your attitude to credit, repayments and lifestyle.

The different details they consider include:

  • Credit referencing checks.
  • Bank statements.
  • Financial history.
  • Your mortgage application form.

The credit referencing checks show UK mortgage underwriters how many applications for loans and credit cards you’ve made in the past. They also show them if you’re a reliable borrower and pay back your loans in line with the agreed terms.

Your bank statements can be cross-referenced with your application form to show that your regular income and outgoings are in line with the answers on your form. 

They can also highlight your general attitude to money. For instance, if there are a lot of payments related to gambling on your bank statement, this could suggest you have a high tolerance for risk, which could reflect badly on your commitment to repay a long-term mortgage.

Your financial history paints a picture of your broader attitude to money. Mortgage underwriters like to see a steady picture where you always repay any credit agreements and that your income is regular and reliable.

As we said, your mortgage application form is used by underwriters during the process and throughout the different steps, to cross-reference against the other financial information sources to ensure you’re telling the truth about your finances.

If you have a bad credit history, it may be harder to get a mortgage but it is still possible to do so, with the right advice. Online Mortgage Advisor arrange adverse credit mortgages for customers every day. Get in touch on 0808 189 2301 to talk to one of the expert specialists we work with. 

How long does mortgage underwriting take?

Electronic mortgage underwriting checks can take less than an hour. However, that’s once the underwriter gets to your application and provided everything is straightforward, and reveals nothing of concern.

It’s important to understand that if the mortgage underwriter doesn’t have all the requested information, this will delay the process and the time it takes. In addition, if further manual underwriting checks are required then the process can take longer.

Once your mortgage application is next in line to be assessed by the underwriter and provided they have all the information requested from you, then it’s likely they will complete the process in a few days. 

Your mortgage application can then move onto the next step in the process.

A fully qualified mortgage broker can help make sure you have supplied all the correct information for the underwriting process to get underway and go smoothly. Then your mortgage application can move forward to the next stage.

Give us a call on 0808 189 2301 or make a quick online enquiry. We’ll put you in touch with one of the brokers we work with who will be able to guide you through every step of the mortgage application process.

What happens if a mortgage is declined during the underwriting process?

If your application is declined during the mortgage underwriting process, your mortgage lender or advisor should advise you of what the problem was. In some cases you can fix the problem and re-submit your mortgage application with the same lender.

However, there can be times when the issues identified by the mortgage underwriter imply you’re not fitting criteria or an inability to repay the mortgage you’ve applied for.

If this happens, you may need to rethink your plans and consider a different option, including:

Your mortgage advisor can help you make the right decision to move forward with your house purchase and satisfy the requirements of any mortgage underwriting checks for future applications. 

Got questions about mortgage underwriting? Speak to an expert!

If you’re looking for a mortgage and want to ensure you sail through the underwriting process, speak to a qualified and experienced mortgage advisor like those we work with can help. 

Contact us on 0808 189 2301 or fill in our online enquiry form.

We’ll put you in touch with one of the experienced mortgage brokers we work with.

As well as helping you navigate the mortgage underwriting process, they’ll be happy to answer any questions you have, source the right mortgage and find a suitable lender with the best rates too.

Updated: 23rd October 2019
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FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The info on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs. Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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