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Questions to Expect in Your Mortgage Interview

Written by Reviewed by Emma Lunn

23rd Mar 2020 (Last updated on 19th Jun 2020) 5 minute read

Before you begin viewing properties, it is a good idea to find out how much you might be able to borrow as a mortgage. Armed with this information, you can make sure you only view properties you can afford.

The first step of the mortgage application is a mortgage interview to an idea of how much you’ll be able to borrow. You will also be able to discuss the types of mortgages available to you.

Compare My Move have created this guide to prepare you for a mortgage interview so that you know exactly what to expect on the day. We will also be providing some key steps you can take to put you in the best position possible when it comes to applying for a mortgage.

This article will cover the following:
  1. ​What is a Mortgage Interview For?​​
  2. What Questions Will They Ask?
  3. Will They Run a Credit Check?
  4. What Documents Do I Need?
  5. How Can I Prepare for My Mortgage Interview?
  6. If the Interview is Successful, Am I Guaranteed a Mortgage?
  7. Save on Your Property Purchase with Compare My Move

​What is a Mortgage Interview For?​​

The mortgage interview is so that lenders can assess whether you qualify for a loan and decide the maximum they will lend to you.This will help you learn how much mortgage you can afford

From this meeting, the mortgage lender can get an understanding of your financial situation and suitability for a loan. An ideal candidate for a mortgage is someone who can show they are financially responsible and will be able to make repayments on time each month.

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What Questions Will They Ask?

Your chosen mortgage lender will primarily ask about your employment, income and spending habits. 

They will want assurance that your employment and income is stable and secure and that you are financially responsible enough to take out a mortgage. If you are looking to get a mortgage on a zero-hours contract, it's likely the lender will want more details about your employment and profession. 

Some of the questions and queries during the mortgage interview may include:

Employment and income

  • Where do you work and what is your role?
  • How much do you earn?
  • How long have you been employed at your current place of work?
  • Do you have a steady salary or an irregular income?
  • Are you paid bonuses or commission?
  • Are you self-employed? If so, how long have you been self-employed for?

Finances

  • Are you repaying a student loan or any other loan?
  • How do you use your credit cards?
  • Are you making regular pension contributions?  
  • What savings accounts do you have open? 
  • Have you ever used payday loans?
  • What costs do you incur on a monthly basis including utilities and childcare?
  • What do you spend your disposable income on?

They may also ask questions concerning future plans which would involve a change to your financial situation. These include:

  • Buying a new or second car
  • Having children
  • Any plans for property redecoration or renovation
  • Any significant or large holidays planned

The mortgage lender will also want to know how much deposit you can afford to put down on a property. You’ll normally need at least 5% or 10% of the purchase price as a deposit. 

The lender will also want to know where the money for the deposit is coming from. For example, have you saved the money or is it a gifted deposit from your parents? 

Your chosen mortgage lender will also want to know the purpose of the property purchase – will you live in the property or let it out?

Will They Run a Credit Check?

The majority of mortgage providers will run a credit check at this stage. This will either be a soft credit check or a hard credit check, depending on your provider. 

A soft credit check will not leave a “footprint” on your credit score and will give a general overview of your finances. It will take into account factors such as your spending habits, your income, whether you’re on the electoral register and the number of times you’ve moved house in the past few years. 

The credit check will ensure the details you have provided are correct, similar to a background check,. The mortgage lender will also be able to give you an idea of what credit score you need to get a mortgage

A hard credit check will look at your finances in more detail and will leave a “footprint” on your credit score. If this is a concern, it is worth checking with your chosen mortgage lender which check they will run before proceeding. 

You will also likely face a credit and affordability check when porting your mortgage

What Documents Do I Need?

As part of the preparation for your meeting with a mortgage lender, it is worth gathering as many documents about you and your finances as possible. Examples include:

  • Proof of income 
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of address
  • Details of any earnings outside of a regular job
  • Details of any debts and store cards
  • A list of any and all assets, such as other properties.

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How Can I Prepare for My Mortgage Interview?

You will need to prove your identity by showing your passport or driving license. You'll also need proof of your address - for example, a recent utility bill, bank statement or council tax statement. 

You might also need to provide proof of income and outgoings. This includes three to six months of payslips and bank statements and your P60 if possible.

If you are self-employed, you will need to provide SA302 forms, a tax overview from HMRC, and professionally-prepared accounts.

Prior to your mortgage interview, it is advisable that you check your credit score via sites such as Experian and see if and how it can be improved:

  • Check that all details on your file are correct.
  • Ensure you are on the electoral register will also boost your credit score
  • Make sure you have borrowed money in the past (e.g. on a credit card) and repaid it on time. 
  • Close any credit cards that are no longer used.
  • Make sure you have household bills in your name and they are paid on time.
  • Try to keep your credit utilisation below 50% of your total credit limit.

If the Interview is Successful, Am I Guaranteed a Mortgage?

Before you are given a mortgage offer, you are first given a Mortgage in Principle (or Decision in Principle) showing how much you could theoretically borrow. This does not guarantee a mortgage.

From here you can start the formal mortgage application once you have found a property to make an offer on

Having an Agreement in Principle will mean the estate agent and the seller will view you a serious buyer. 

Save on Your Property Purchase with Compare My Move

From comparing conveyancers, hiring a chartered surveyor and helping you find a removal company, Compare My Move will be there for you. Compare your move with us and save up to 70% on the costs along the way.

Adele MacGregor

Having written for PerformanceIN, WalesOnline, Grazia Magazine and The Olive Press, Adele now writes advice articles for home movers, first-time buyers and house sellers alike.

Emma Lunn

Reviewed by Emma Lunn

Freelance Personal Finance Journalist,

Emma Lunn is an award-winning journalist who specialises in personal finance, consumer issues and property.