What is a mortgage interview?
If you’re planning on buying a home and are applying for a mortgage, there are a number of things that you need to prepare for in advance. These range from viewing and choosing your dream home, to attending a mortgage interview.
What’s a mortgage interview for?
Lenders are under pressure to ensure that you don’t borrow more than you can afford, so you may have to go to a mortgage interview to answer some questions. This typically happens before you submit your application. This is so that the lender can try to identify how much money you’ll have left over after your regular expenditure – this is what you have available to spend on mortgage repayments. The interview may take one meeting or be split up into a few separate sessions.
What do you need to prepare in advance?
You’ll need to prove your identity with documents like your passport or driving licence. You should also be asked to bring a proof of address, like a recent utility bill, current bank statement or council tax statement.
The lender is also likely to want proof of your income, so you may want to have with you your latest three payslips, your P60, and bank statements from the past three months. If you’re self-employed, you’ll need recent signed accounts or tax returns, as well as your Self Assessment tax returns.
What sort of questions might you be asked?
Lenders are trying to assess if you can afford mortgage repayments, so they’ll ask you about your income (the money you have coming in) and expenses (the money you’re likely to spend). They’re likely to ask about outstanding and ongoing payments, including:
- credit card and loan balances
- essential costs (like for groceries and toiletries)
- personal wellbeing and grooming costs (for example, gym memberships and haircuts)
- costs for leisure activities (for example, eating out, socialising, TV licences or holidays)
- travel (like petrol or public transportation costs)
- ground rent or service charges
- insurance policy payments
- pension contributions
The questions will usually also cover future plans that you may have that involve spending money. These can include:
- having children
- car loans
- property renovation or redecorating
You may also have to undergo a stress test. This is to see if you can still meet your monthly mortgage repayments if interest rates rise.
Your credit history
In addition to other information about you, lenders will also review your credit history to gauge your borrowing history and how reliably you’ve been at repaying any debt. It's a good idea to prepare in advance for this and get credit-ready before applying for a mortgage. Your Equifax Credit Report & Score – which is free for the first 30 days then £14.95 monthly – gives you access to your credit history as well as a score that indicates how creditworthy you may be to lenders. You may want to view this a few months before your mortgage interview, in order to correct any inaccuracies or to try to improve a poor score before applying for a home loan.
- What is a commercial mortgage
- What is a mortgage holiday?
- What is a mortgage broker?
- How much can I borrow for a mortgage?
- What is a tracker mortgage?
- Getting a second mortgage and buying a second home
- What does freehold mean?
- What credit score is needed for a mortgage?
- What is a 95% mortgage?
- Stamp duty on new builds
- Stamp duty on second homes and buy-to-let properties
- Stamp duty for first-time buyers
- Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) explained
- What to do if you’ve been rejected for a mortgage
- What is a mortgage?
- Can you apply for a mortgage with credit card debt?
- What to ask estate agents when purchasing a property
- Can I apply for a mortgage in retirement?
- What is porting a mortgage?
- What is a joint mortgage?
- Offset mortgages explained
- What is a mortgage in principle?
- What’s a mortgage deposit?
- Purchasing property with friends
- Costs and fees to consider when you’re buying a home
- Getting a no deposit mortgage with bad credit
- Do you have Right to Buy on your council home?
- Saving for a mortgage deposit
- How do credit scores affect mortgages?
- What to consider when applying for a mortgage if you’re self-employed
- Buying property – what is conveyancing?
- Buying a property – what is gazumping?
- Types of home improvement loans
- What happens to a mortgage after death?
- Getting credit-ready before applying for a mortgage
- How do mortgage applications work?
- Selling property – what to ask estate agents
- Selling property – estate agents vs doing it yourself
- Buying a leasehold property
- Help to Buy: equity loan
- London Help to Buy
- Mortgages for self build and custom build homes
- Help to Buy: Shared Ownership
- What is a Help to Buy: ISA?
- Resources for first-time buyers
- Buy-to-let mortgages explained
- What is remortgaging?
- How mortgage repayments work
- Understanding Mortgages
- Types of Mortgages
- Mortgage rates & decision
- Homebuyer's guide