When you’re trying to get a mortgage, any delay can hold up the entire chain of buyers and sellers, or even stop the sale going ahead. However, you might be surprised at how seemingly minor details can derail the process.
Something as simple as the wrong address in your drivers’ licence could prompt the lending company to return your application and request more details – while more severe lapses may lead to a rejection.
Which? has rounded up the most common stumbling blocks to using your mortgage application accepted quickly and hassle-free.
1. Wrong address on drivers’ licence
Updating the address in your drivers’ licence may not be surface of mind when you’re moving house – but neglecting to achieve this can lead to complications.
When you apply for any mortgage, you can use your passport to prove your identity, but you’ll should also show original proof of address.
The easiest way to get this done is showing your drivers’ licence – however, if the details don’t suit your current address, you may need to provide much more documentation.
2. Not changing address around the voter’s roll
Lenders may wish to track where you’ve lived over recent years.
As thing about this, the lending company will look into the electoral roll to see if it matches the information you provided.
Updating your electoral roll details will also help you construct your credit score, so should be a priority whenever you move.
Find out more in our guide to applying for a mortgage.
3. Mistakes on statements
Typos happen to everyone – but on a mortgage application, all your details have to match up.
If your bank statement, pay slips, evidence of address or other documents have a mistake – for instance, they’re addressed to ‘Steven’ rather than ‘Stephen’ – the lending company is not likely to simply accept them as evidence.
Check all your documents carefully and also have anything that isn’t right corrected, regardless of how minor.
4. Altering your name after marriage
It’s common enough to modify your name after marriage, but be sure you have proof of the switch, or the lender might not be in a position to verify your identity.
When altering your name on financial accounts, be thorough – if there’s an out-of-date charge card available together with your previous name, it might provide warning flags.
5. Keeping unused credit cards open
If you no longer need one of your charge cards, and aren’t being charged a charge, it may be tempting to just let it rest open in the event you ever need it.
But lenders will consider your overall borrowing limit when deciding whether or not to approve your application, not just the loan your regularly use.
For this reason, it's really a wise decision to shut down any unneeded credit cards before you apply.
Find out more in our guide to credit cards explained.
6. Forgetting to disclose credit
The lender asks you to disclose any credit you'll have taken out, including loans and charge cards.
But there are more less obvious forms of credit that you might forget to mention. A few of the more common ones include:
These will probably appear when the lender runs a credit assessment on you. If you haven’t disclosed these, that may count like a black mark against your application.
7. Submitting your tax return in the last minute
If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to show lenders proof of your earnings for that current year (to the last October).
This means, for instance, that in October 2022, you’d have to show your SA302 tax calculation for 2022-2022 – however, you are only able to get this once you’ve submitted your taxes for 2022-2022.
While you technically have until January 2022 to submit, you won’t possess the evidence you need to get your mortgage approved.
Submit now: you can send your taxes directly to HRMC with the Which? Tax Calculator 2022-18.
8. Evidence of building up deposit
Showing that you have enough funds in your account for a deposit is generally not enough – additionally you have to show evidence of how you’ve built it up.
Normally, the lending company may wish to see a minimum of three months’ worth of bank statements – or, in many cases, longer – as proof of your savings habits.
The lender may request you to explain unusual transactions, so you ought to be prepared with evidence of anything likely to raise questions.
If you’re being given the deposit as a present, you’ll need to provide a letter from the donor.
9. Out-of-date benefit award letter
If you obtain benefits in your income, you’ll need to submit your benefits award letter.
The lender may wish to see the new edition, meaning instructions issued within the past year.
But additionally you need to make sure this letter is up-to-date, reflecting your present income and the accurate quantity of benefits you get.
10. Bringing scanned document instead of original
Some of the documents – including evidence of address – will need to be originals.
If you provide a scanned copy, a treadmill printed off from online, the lending company may request you to offer an original instead, delaying the process.
11. Errors in credit report
Your credit rating can make or break the application, so it’s important it reflects a realistic look at your situation.
Occasionally, errors can creep in – for example, if your previous tenant in a property failed to pay a bill.
Before are applying, order a copy of your credit history and appearance whether it’s accurate.
Find out more within our guide to credit history.
12. Late or missed payments in your record
Paying an invoice a couple of days after the deadline might not seem like an issue, but lenders might be wary if they see late payments on your credit history.
How seriously the lending company will take it might rely on the amount of late payments and just how much you owed.
In some cases, lenders may just ask for a reason. But when it’s a significant lapse – for example, you’re consistently late, or you’ve ever missed a mortgage payment – they might reject your application out right.
13. Taking out pay day loans – even just in the past
In a financial rough patch, you might use a payday loan, but doing this might have repercussions for many years.
Many lenders are unwilling to give loan to someone having a pay day loan on their record, even if it had been fully paid off promptly and from the 3 years back.
If you’re concerned about your credit history, you may be best talking with a specialist lender that suits people with lower credit scores.
Worried? Talk to an expert
Whatever your needs, one way to be sure that your mortgage application goes smoothly would be to talk to a specialist large financial company. They can help you find the right deal and counsel you how to strengthen the application.