Quick Mortgage Approvals

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: March 18, 2024

In this article, we’ll explain how to keep your mortgage application moving along and whether you might be eligible for a fast-track mortgage, to get approved within a couple of weeks.

How quickly can you get a mortgage approved?

In reality, anywhere between 2-3 weeks would be considered fast. The average timescale is typically between 30-40 days for a ‘clean’ mortgage application. For one that’s more complex then this timescale can be pushed up to between 6-8 weeks. 

In general, fast-track mortgages tend to be reserved for applicants who fit the following profiles:

  • Low loan-to-income requirements (e.g. you only want to borrow 3-4 times your income)
  • A low loan-to-value / high deposit
  • A good credit rating
  • Buying a home with standard construction
  • You have a solid employment history and uncomplicated income

In contrast, a history of bad credit, a low or inconsistent income, a high loan-to-value, or a property with non-standard construction can all add to the time it takes to process your application.

There are a number of things you can do to speed up the approval process for a mortgage application – preparing all your documentation beforehand would certainly be one. But above all the following three areas will be key. The quicker you can get these tasks done, the sooner you’ll get your mortgage approved:

Choosing a lender

Some people simply go to their existing bank to request a mortgage, which is the approach that takes the least time but is also the least likely to result in finding the best deal. Others shop around extensively online and compare rates themselves.

A time-saving approach that’s also likely to save you money is working with a broker. They’ll compare all the deals for you and might have access to products you wouldn’t be able to find online. You can find a broker here.

Getting an agreement in principle

A mortgage agreement in principle is offered by a lender based on some basic details you’ve provided, including your income, and with most lenders a soft credit check to confirm your creditworthiness. Based on those details, you’ll get a quick mortgage pre-approval, which lets you know how much you could borrow.

If you meet the lender’s criteria, you can usually get a response instantly (or within 24 hours). You don’t yet need to know which property you’re buying at this stage. However, it’s not a guarantee that they’ll approve your mortgage application.

Appointing a solicitor and arranging a valuation

A solicitor’s role in the house-buying process is to carry out all the necessary conveyancing and searches required, along with all other legalities (transfer of title deeds, stamp duty payments if applicable etc.). 

Your lender will also arrange for their own valuation, which is required so they can confirm the surveyor’s valuation matches theirs. The valuation report can take up to two weeks to come back so, the earlier this is requested, the better.

Getting your mortgage offer

After you’ve made an offer on a property, you’ll need to go through the full application process with your chosen lender. You’ll be asked to provide a lot more personal details and they’ll conduct a full credit check also known as a hard search.

In most cases, this takes between two and six weeks, but these timings aren’t set in stone.

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Tips for getting your mortgage approved quicker

Remember, one of the key aspects of getting a mortgage approved quickly is having an excellent credit history. So, one major task you can tick off your list early on is to download your credit reports – if there’s anything recorded on them that shouldn’t be there you can take steps to have it removed so as not to delay your application further down the line.

In addition, the following is a list of other tips you can check to help your application move more swiftly through the process:

  • Get proof of your deposit ready
  • Authority to proceed through a government scheme (if you’re using one)
  • You’re registered on the electoral roll at your current address
  • The name on your application exactly matches your passport and other documents
  • You’ve included copies of your three most recent bank statements
  • You’ve included copies of your three most recent payslips and these match the income you’ve stated in your application
  • All your other supporting documents are ready to go
  • You’ve closed any old, inactive bank accounts
  • You haven’t applied for a new line of credit in the last three months (including utilities and phone contracts)
  • You haven’t had a payday loan in the last 1-2 years.

If you’re unsure about any aspect of the mortgage approval process – don’t worry! This is where we can help. If you make an enquiry we can arrange for a mortgage broker we work with who has experience successfully arranging fast-track mortgage approvals to contact you.

Working with a mortgage broker will help you to avoid any pitfalls which could cause unnecessary delays. For example, they can either complete the paperwork for you or check the answers you’ve provided to ensure there are no errors. They’ll also tell you exactly which documents a mortgage provider might want to see, so you don’t need to wait for the lender to ask.

Which lenders have the fastest approval times?

According to the most recent data (from 2022) Paragon Mortgages are the quickest to approve a mortgage application in the UK (10 days), followed by Halifax (15 days) and then the Post Office (16 days). 

Halifax, Barclays and HSBC are also typically named among the quickest to give mortgage approval, but a lot depends on your application and finding the best lender. For example, if you have a history of bad credit, knowing which lender will take the most favourable view of your credit issues could ensure that your application is processed much faster.

Practically speaking, it makes more sense to focus on what you can do to speed up the process (such as gathering your documents together and speaking to a broker) rather than which lender has the fastest average approval time. Instead, choose the lender who can offer you the best deal.

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How long does a mortgage application take through a broker?

There’s no way to say for sure how long your application will take, but working with a broker can help speed up the process at the first stage (choosing a lender) and the final stage (getting a mortgage offer).

During the first stage, they’ll typically be able to find the right lender for you faster than you could yourself, as they have access to the whole of the market and the appropriate training to hunt down the best deal.

At the final stage, they’ll help you with gathering the right paperwork, correctly filling out the application, and advising on quick fixes to improve your credit score, which can all help to get approved quicker.

Speak to a mortgage broker to accelerate your application

If you’re trying to get a mortgage as quickly as possible, finding the right broker also needs to be a quick and easy process. We can help with our free broker-matching service.

All you need to do is provide a few details about yourself and we’ll schedule a chat to kickstart your application. You can begin right now: just call us on 0808 189 2301 or enquire online.

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for Online Mortgage Advisor of course!

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Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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