Getting a mortgage has arguably never felt trickier than it does in 2024. Not only are house prices sky high (never mind the fact that wages haven’t risen to meet them), but interest rates have also sky-rocketed recently, and British housing stock is seriously diminished.
Then of course – if you feel financially able to stump up the cost of a deposit – and to afford the monthly mortgage payments, there are all the other hoops to jump through and potential issues to consider when applying for a mortgage.
While several things can potentially prevent you from being granted a mortgage from a bank, or at least make it a little more difficult, everyone’s favourite money-saving expert, Martin Lewis, has warned that there is one potentially innocuous thing which could prevent you from getting a mortgage, if you don’t deal with it before beginning your mortgage application.
The mistake that could stop you getting a mortgage
During a recent episode of the ITV show, The Martin Lewis Money Show Live, Martin was discussing how viewers who are keen to become first-time buyers can boost their chances of getting approved for a mortgage.
And as important as doing all the right things is, he also confirmed that there are a few mistakes you’ll need to be sure to avoid, too.
In fact, he referenced one small thing that you may not have even considered – but which could seriously screw up your chances of buying your dream first home.
Martin urged first-time buyers to get a full credit report done, and then, instructed them to go through it with a fine-tooth comb to see if there were any errors at all that needed addressing.
Martin then explained that it's important to do this, as there may be one simple error on it that could stop you from getting a mortgage.
He says, 'You need to check line-by-line for errors. I know people who have not got a mortgage because an old mobile phone is linked to the wrong address and it triggered the fraud scoring.
'So they got turned down for a mortgage – and all they needed to do was update the old mobile phone address.' Further reinforcing the need to be accurate, he said of your credit report, 'Please, go line-by-line for errors.'
A similar rule applies to those who, for example, aren’t on the electoral register. If you haven’t registered to vote via your current address, it could affect your credit score – which, in turn, could affect your ability to get a mortgage. So be sure to check your addresses everywhere it's relevant!
On his ITV show, the financial pro also reiterated the importance of being careful with your finances in the lead-up to applying for a mortgage, explaining that you should be minimising other credit applications, and should be making any other necessary payments due in full, and on time.
This is obviously important in proving that you can be trusted to continue making your mortgage payments over the next few years or decades.
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Amy Hunt is an experienced digital journalist and editor, now working in a freelance capacity specialising in homes and interiors, wellness, travel and careers. She was previously Lifestyle Editor at woman&home, overseeing the homes, books and features sections of the website. Having worked in the industry for over eight years, she has contributed to a range of publications including Ideal Home, Livingetc, T3,Goodto, Woman, Woman’s Own, and Red magazine.
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