Making the decision to invest in a property is an exciting time, particularly if you’re looking for your forever home. Since the Bank of England raised the base rate, or key interest rate, to 4.25%, mortgage rates have increased in the UK. This may even continue to rise in a bid to curb surging inflation to reach the target of 2%.

Whilst these rates can be concerning for those remortgaging and those looking to buy for the first time, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of getting a mortgage approved, and at a good rate. By following these tips, you’ll be able to move into your dream new build home in no time.

Build up your deposit

While you may be able to get a mortgage with a deposit of just 5%, it’s not recommended since it can reduce your chances of being able to afford the loan. This is because the size of the loan would be much larger, therefore your earnings may not be high enough to cover the cost. The lender may see this as risky and reject your application.

You should aim to put down as high of a deposit as possible. Generally, a deposit of 15% of the property’s value will help you to secure to best mortgage rates.

Prepare the relevant documentation

Mortgage applications involve lots of paperwork, which can become overwhelming if you don’t organise it all efficiently. Missing a payslip or forgetting to send important paperwork can mean losing out on a loan.

For a mortgage application, you will need:

  • Bank statements for at least the past three months
  • Proof of identity (can be a passport or driving license)
  • Proof of income dating back three months (longer for self-employed individuals)
  • Utility bills to show proof of address
  • Savings documents to prove deposit amount

If you’re unsure about anything, it’s always best to speak to a mortgage advisor.

Improve your credit score

One of the first things a mortgage lender will check is your credit score. This will let them know if you are a responsible borrower. Your credit report will highlight your payment history from the past six years, including personal loans, finance agreements, and credit cards.

The better you are at paying off debts and bills, the higher your credit score will be. You can easily check your score using a credit reference agency online. Make sure to do this before your mortgage application and use a site that won’t negatively impact your credit score. The top places to check your score include Experian and Equifax, which are both free of charge.

You should aim to fix any issues before they affect your chances of getting a decent interest rate or qualifying for a mortgage at all. There are a few ways to quickly improve your score, such as by registering to vote.