Owning your first home feels like one of the biggest steps in your life. Even if you have been an independent adult for years, it just makes you feel more grown up to have a home of your own and no longer be paying rent. With that in mind, you can’t buy your home without a mortgage – unless you’re stupidly rich.
Applying for your first mortgage can seem a daunting task, so here are three things you should do beforehand that will make the process somewhat easier:
Fix your credit score
Firstly, check what your credit score actually is. There are various ways you can do this online in the UK, and most of them are free. Once you have your score, you can compare it to others to see where you stand. Generally speaking, most lenders will like to hand out mortgages to people with a ‘good’ credit score or above. Check with the credit agency you used to see what constitutes a good score – for reference, it’s around 881-960 for Experian, 420-465 for Equifax and 604-627 for TransUnion.
If you don’t fall into the good category, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get a mortgage. It just might be harder to do so, which is why you should spend time fixing your credit score and getting up to the good category – preferably into the excellent if you can.
Don’t make the error of going straight to your bank for a mortgage. They might provide the best option, but they might not. Spend time shopping around and comparing the different mortgages on offer, looking for the best one for someone in your situation. It might help to see a mortgage broker as they can help you make sense of the offerings and find the most suitable one for your needs.
Effectively, you are shopping around to be sure you don’t apply for one mortgage when a much more affordable and better option exists!
Look for any mortgage programmes
As well as comparing the mortgage options, you should look for any schemes or programmes in place by the government. Currently, there are a handful of different schemes that might suit you. This includes the Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme, The Mortgage Guarantee Scheme, and much more. You can find information on all of these online, so spend some time researching them to see if any are relevant to you.
In essence, these schemes are designed to make it easier for people to get mortgages – particularly first-time buyers. You could be given grants or have access to loans that help you get your mortgage and own your first home. So, don’t jump into an application without checking your eligibility for the schemes first.
On that note, once you’ve done all three of these things, you’re ready to apply for a mortgage. It’ll be a huge step in your life, but one that you will remember forever. Never rush this process as you need to be sure that you find the right mortgage for you.