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How long do Mortgages Applications take?

Filling in mortgage applications can be a tedious task. One of the most difficult questions surrounding this is a simple one but can be very difficult to give a straight answer. How long do mortgage applications take? Find out, right here.

Buying a house or a new property can be liberating. Mortgage applications lay right in the heart of this process, and let’s be honest – they can be a little boring... And like any key part of a process, as big as buying a piece of real estate, it will raise a lot of questions. This’ll include queries about how long it takes to complete mortgage applications from submission to completion.

Some of the more common questions arise too, ranging from 'how long is the application valid for once it is started?' 'Will this vary depending on which lender I opt for?' Or 'is there a chance that it could hinder the speed of the buying process?'

Don’t stress. MO’s here to take you through all your burning questions.

How long can mortgage applications take?

There fails to be a single answer for how long mortgage applications can take. For example, one reason is that it is largely dependent on the lender that you have chosen, your own personal situation, and a whole host of other factors. The truth is that it’s almost impossible to give everyone the same straight answer – sorry.

For those readers who are pining for statistics, we’ve got those for you. Most mortgage lenders predict that you should receive your mortgage offer in roughly two-and-a-half weeks to six weeks. Though, as previously stated, this will be dependent on a number of things. This will include:

  • The valuation of your property
  • How complicated your mortgage application is
  • Your outgoings
  • What your income is
  • How busy the lender is with processing other applications and the work of other clients

How to speed up your mortgage application

The quickest way by far to speed up your mortgage application is to have your documents ready for if a lender requests it. The quicker you can send over a requested document to a lender, the quicker it will go in the queue. Simple.

Primarily, what lenders are going to be looking at when reviewing your mortgage application is your capability to pay back any mortgage repayments. Therefore, when looking at your outgoings, a lender will more than likely request to see bank statements (usually1-3 months), showing your monthly outgoings. Seeing your bank statements will give the lender an overall sight of your typical spending habits and your financial capacity. This could include things like the money you spend when doing your weekly food shop, any holidays that you’ve had in the last 12 months or child care expenses. It will also flag up if you're managing your expenditure and living within in your means. For example, if you are continuously dipping into your overdraft, this may concern a lender as it could imply you cannot manage your finances.

When looking at your income, make sure you sign-post any bonuses, your line of work and the likelihood of any promotions that could occur in the near future. This is because the lender will want to see your incomings as proof of what you can afford.

If all of this goes smoothly, this could take around 2 to six weeks to get finished. But, as we’re sure many of you are aware, ‘smoothly’ means different things to different people...

As said, the quicker you get the documents over to the lender, the quicker they will be assessed.

For those of you who are worried about tackling your mortgage application by yourself, don’t worry. Mortgage brokers can be a great help for speeding up the process as well. They provide invaluable experience that can help find the best deal for you. They are also well rehearsed in mortgage products on the property market including different lenders’ mortgage application criteria. This means you can make sure your mortgage application goes with the right lender. They will also have a good idea of what the lender is going to request to see due to the details of your application, meaning you can be fully prepared. A good broker will request supporting documents before submitting your application, so they can be sent imminently once requested and save you time.

How long is a mortgage application valid for?

When applying for a mortgage, there is a validity period. Most lenders will keep a mortgage application ‘live’ for an unspecified amount of time as long as you are promptly sending over documents and information when requested.

After the property has been valued how long will it take for your mortgage to be completed?

As part of the lenders assessment process, they will want to carry out a valuation of the property to ensure its suitability to lend against. A valuation can either be instructed on submission of the application or after all required documents have been assessed, satisfied and affordability of the loan confirmed. This varies between lenders. The benefit of waiting until affordability has been confirmed means should the lender decline the application on the grounds of the loan not being affordable, you will not lose the valuation fee which is payable.

Once carried out, the surveyor will return the valuation report to the lender, usually within 2 working days, for their assessment. If affordability has been confirmed and the property deemed suitable for lending purposes, a mortgage offer should be issued. Congratulations!

How long does a mortgage offer tend to last for?

Mortgage offers are usually valid from between 3 and 6 months from the date of issue.

If you reach near the expiry of your mortgage offer and your solicitor or broker feel you will not have enough time, they can apply for an offer extension. Depending on the amount of time you are requesting to extend the offer for, some lenders may extend the offer automatically for a small amount of time, or if you require more than a couple of weeks, they may request to see evidence that your financial situation has not changed from the date of the original application. This may be in the form of a latest bank statement or payslip. Although offer extensions are quite common, due to most offers now being valid for 6 months, some lenders feel this is adequate time to complete a mortgage from the date of an offer being issued and will not extend it further and will request that you submit a full new mortgage application where new fees will be payable. 

Using Mortgages Online to find your mortgage means that your application details are saved and stored, so you’re not repeatedly filling in the same forms time and time again. Handy, right?


Laura Waller

Laura Waller has been working in the mortgages industry since 2013, joining an independent brokerage in Essex. Laura has CeMAP 2 & 3 – Certificates in Mortgages Advice and Practice. Since then Laura oversees marketing for Mortgages Online, using her experience and expertise to write articles and blogs about mortgages and related topics.

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