Since the mortgage affordability regulations were tightened up last year, lenders and brokers have had to ask you more in-depth questions in your mortgage interview.
These questions are just to establish more detail about both your income and your expenditure, as ultimately your lender just wants to be reassured you won’t have difficulty repaying.
You can usually expect a mortgage interview to last between 45 minutes to just over an hour, but the actual length may vary considerably depending on the lender or broker.
Questions you may be asked
The questions you’ll be asked are mostly in order to judge how much money you have coming in from your job or any benefits you receive, and how much money you spend each month.
For example, you could be quizzed on your expenditure in relation to many aspects of your life, such as how much you spend on:
- Eating out
- Gym memberships
- Mobile phone
- Clothing and footwear
- Existing borrowing commitments (such as any loans and credit cards)
These questions can seem personal, but you don’t need to worry. Your lender is simply interested in assessing your outgoings to see if you would be able to afford to take on monthly mortgage repayments too. As well as establishing whether you can afford the repayments today, the lender is needs to check that you could still afford them even if your financial situation changed, or if interest rates increase, as they are bound to do at some point.
To find this out, you may be asked other questions like:
Do you have children?
Are you planning on having children or starting a family?
Do you ever gamble?
Have you ever taken out a payday loan?
Do you have any plans to leave your job, become self-employed or start your own business?
With these questions, your lender is trying to determine your financial stability. It’s important for lenders to be reassured that there’s little chance of your finances changing drastically, as this could result in you being unable to keep up with your payments.
Questions about outgoings like gambling are there to differentiate between those who might buy a lottery ticket once a week and those who are perhaps spending considerable amounts in a casino, bookies or online gambling once a week or more. Lenders will be able to judge individual risk by factors like this.
Your lender will usually want to see proof of the questions you’ve answered, so there can be a fair amount of paperwork involved.
Lenders may often ask to see several months’ worth of bank statements (up to six months usually), so it’s a good idea to take these with you if you’re having a face-to-face interview. Not only this, but your lender will want to see proof of any other credit agreements, your payslips for the past six months and your most recent P60.
Using a broker
These days, it’s not always the case that you’ll have a standard face-to-face mortgage interview. Typically, these tend to only happen if you’re applying for a mortgage direct from a bank or building society. Otherwise, you may be asked these questions over the phone and you will usually be asked to send your documentary evidence in the post.
This is how a mortgage interview is carried out when you use a mortgage broker like Ocean. The big advantage is that you’ll only have to go through the process once even if you need to be considered by several lenders – and Ocean could help find you a mortgage deal suited to your needs from our panel of lenders. We’re here to help guide you through the whole process from start to finish – for a one-off broker fee.