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Mortgage Underwriting Process in the UK | A Complete Guide

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Mortgage Underwriting Process in the UK | A Complete Guide

If you are looking to buy a home in the UK, there is an exhaustive list of things that need to be considered. From getting pre-approved for financing with your lender to understanding how much home you can afford and what kind of mortgage will best suit your needs. 

One hurdle many people don’t know about is the Mortgage Underwriting Process. This process looks at all aspects of your life, including credit score, debt load, assets and income levels, before deciding whether or not they want to approve you for a loan. Understanding this process with this guide will help make the mortgage application process less stressful! 


What is Mortgage Underwriting? 

Mortgage underwriting is a process that involves reviewing all of your financial information to determine if you are eligible for a mortgage. It includes assessing the borrower’s creditworthiness and ability to repay the loan, as well as verifying income statements and employment verification. 


Manual vs Automated

Mortgage underwriting can be completed in two ways: manual or automated. Manual mortgage underwriting entails going through each application manually, while automated mortgage underwriting uses technology to make decisions based on predetermined criteria. 

Which type of mortgage should you choose? Well, it depends on what works best for you! For example, manual processing might work better if an applicant has complicated financial information or needs special assistance from a lender specialist during the review process. On the other hand, automatic processing could be better for applicants who need approval quickly and don’t have any specialised issues on hand. 


What Checks Do Mortgage Lenders and Underwriters Do?

In order to understand your financial situation, a mortgage lender or underwriter will need to review the following:

  • An assessment of the property you wish to purchase
  • Your credit score
  • Your credit report
  • Review of your credit history: This includes your income, equity, investments and financial assets.


Can An Underwriter Deny Mortgage?

A lot of people wonder if mortgage underwriters can deny a loan. The answer is, yes they can. Mortgage underwriters are responsible for ensuring that the person applying for the loan has enough income to pay back the monthly payments and make it through any emergencies like health care or car accidents without defaulting on their loan. 

They also look at your credit score and debt-to-income ratio, including how much you owe in monthly obligations versus what you earn per month before taxes and other deductions.  

Suppose an applicant does not have a good credit score but still meets all other requirements for approval. In that case, some lenders might offer them a “non-traditional” mortgage with higher interest rates than traditional mortgages.

The following might be reasons for a declined mortgage principle:


Does a Declined Mortgage Affect Credit?

Being declined a mortgage, or mortgage in principle, will not affect your credit score. However, having too many requests for a mortgage may deter you from future mortgage approvals. 

Every time you apply for a mortgage in principle, the underwriter will run a hard or soft check. A soft check is also known as a quotation search; these kinds of searches will not be displayed on your credit report.

When an underwriter performs a hard check, it leaves a footprint on your credit report – one which future lenders may be able to see. For example, a lender might be curious as to why you have performed several applications for a mortgage. 

Therefore, it’s best to use mortgage specialists, like the ones found at AMS Mortgage. This ensures that checks are done correctly and that all the necessary documentations are provided for the mortgage underwriting process. 


Excellent Credit Score But Refused Mortgage?

Having an excellent credit score does not necessarily mean you will automatically receive a mortgage in principle. In fact, it’s not the only thing that underwriters and lenders take into account when granting you a mortgage.

Below you’ll find five reasons as to why you may be refused a mortgage, even if you have a stellar credit score:

  1. There’s more than one credit score. Often people base their credit score on one set of requirements. However, banks have a huge team of statisticians with their own credit score requirements, and they will grant you a personalised score.
  2. Being unemployed or earning below a certain income bracket may put you at risk of rejection.
  3. Your debt may be too big.
  4. You’re heading towards bankruptcy.
  5. Prior bankruptcies may put you at risk. While negative information disappears from your credit report in 7 years, some banks may take the last 7 years very seriously, and any abnormalities may put them off. 


Self Employed Income For Mortgage

Being self-employed isn’t going to get in the way of you being approved for a mortgage – it just means there will be slightly different processes. 

Self-employment mortgages are regarded as slightly riskier in the lender’s eyes, which is why you’ll need a thorough mortgage specialist to ensure you have all the necessary requirements for applying for a mortgage. 

You are considered self-employed when you own 20% or more of a share of a business from which you earn an income. You could be a partner, contractor, sole trader or director. 

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