In this brief blog, we are going to answer the question most potential homeowners have: “Can I get a mortgage?”.

Getting a mortgage is a very integral part for most potential homeowners due to the ever-rising house prices in the UK.

To get a mortgage there are few key things which you must ensure you get right or have e.g a suitable mortgage deposit, a stable income and a good credit score.

Can I get a mortgage?

To find out if you can get a mortgage you can use either a mortgage broker, a mortgage calculator or a mortgage eligibility checker. To get a mortgage you will usually need to have at least a 5% mortgage deposit, a good credit score( although bad credit mortgage lenders will lend to those with bad credit) and a stable income.

Use a mortgage calculator

The easiest way to get an initial idea on if you can get a mortgage is by using a Mortgage calculator. A mortgage calculator will give you an initial idea on if you can get a mortgage and how much of a mortgage you may be able to get. 

Mortgage calculators are however not a complete reflection of your mortgage affordability and you should instead look to speak with a mortgage broker who can analyse your finances much better and let you know if you can indeed get a mortgage.

Most mortgage calculators (apart from the Huuti mortgage affordability calculator) do not take into account your monthly income, monthly expenses and disposable income. Most mortgage calculators will also not take into account your credit score and hence the mortgage assumptions they make are just an indication and never a complete assessment of your true ability to get a mortgage.

Use a mortgage eligibility checker

To see if you can get a mortgage you may also want to use a mortgage eligibility checker.

There are two types of mortgage eligibility checkers. 

Those who check your actual financial data by open banking and 

Those who do not check your financial data.

The most common mortgage eligibility checker which you will find are those which do not sync into your banking data and hence do not show you the most accurate representation of your mortgage affordability. 

With these options, you will simply have to fill a mortgage fact find and you will then be matched against the lending criteria of various mortgage lenders. This is not a guarantee that you will be able to get a mortgage from these mortgage lenders but the likelihood is higher and the information you provided in the mortgage fact find matches up with the mortgage lenders lending requirement.

There are also mortgage affordability checkers such as the one we have at Huuti which will sync into your banking data and look to understand what your committed expenditure, your monthly income, your basic living expenses and your lifestyle expenses are to know how much of a mortgage you can truly afford per month and which mortgage lenders may be willing to lend to you based on the information you have provided on your mortgage fact find. 

This is a more accurate reflection on if you can get a mortgage or not and how much you can possibly afford to pay on a mortgage each month.

So, if you are wondering “Can I get a mortgage?” then the easiest way to find is to use the Huuti mortgage affordability calculator. It’s the next best thing to a mortgage broker and certainly much better than any mortgage calculator out there.

A mortgage eligibility check may take as little as 5 minutes to complete if you already have most of your financial documents within reach.

Mortgage eligibility checkers are very good as they will usually carry out their mortgage eligibility checks by seeking out your credit score before displaying to you which mortgage lenders are more likely to offer you a mortgage. This means they give you a much better reflection on if you can get a mortgage or not.

The credit checks which are undertaken with most mortgage eligibility checkers are soft credit checks.

This means that the credit checks will not leave a footprint visible to anyone else but you on your credit file.

When using a mortgage affordability checker you should be aware that each mortgage eligibility checker platform will have their own list of mortgage lenders who are on their mortgage eligibility checker system and this may not be a true reflection of a majority of the products on the mortgage market.

To use a mortgage eligibility checker you will usually:

Have to be a UK citizen

You will need to have at least 3 years of address history in the UK so a credit history will have been established for you

You will need to be at least 18 years of age.

In some cases, a mortgage eligibility checker may not be the best way for you to see if you can get a mortgage. 

This is true If any of the below apply:

You are using government schemes such as the help to buy or right to buy schemes.

You are having financial difficulties which make it much harder for you to afford a mortgage

You are not looking to get a residential mortgage but rather a mortgage for a property you don’t plan on living in.

The mortgage you are seeking is not for a property in mainland UK or Northern Ireland.

You intend to use the mortgage for a second home

You intend to use the mortgage for a commercial property

You have a co-applicant 

To use the mortgage eligibility checker you will usually need the below details ready:

Your annual income details

Details of your monthly expenses

Your address history details

A mortgage eligibility checker is much more different from a mortgage comparison table which simply shows you mortgages on the market based on your mortgage deposit and the value of the property.

Check your credit score

Your credit score is also a very important factor in regards to if you can get a mortgage or not. Most mortgage lenders have a minimum credit score they will accept but aside from your credit score mortgage lenders will also look in-depth into your credit history before deciding if to offer you a mortgage or not.

Things such as having too much debt, missing credit repayments, having a credit utilization (most credit bureaus suggest using no more than 30% of your total available credit), having a recent payday loan on your credit file etc.may affect the mortgage lenders decision to lend to you or not.

If your credit score or history is bad then the good news is that there are mortgage lenders who will still offer to lend to you. These are known as bad credit mortgage lenders and you may be able to find these mortgage lenders and apply to them with the help of a bad credit mortgage broker who will have some experience of the bad credit mortgage market.

To ensure you can get a mortgage you should look to increase your mortgage affordability by boosting your credit score.

Below are some of the tips to improve your credit score:

Avoid closing credit accounts or bank accounts

Avoid missing credit repayments

Avoid getting a county court judgement

Avoid making too many credit applications within a short time.

Get a credit builder card

Get a credit builder loan

Register to vote (learn how to register to vote)

Avoid getting a payday loan

Get a student credit card to build credit

Open a bank account if you don’t have one

Before you apply for a mortgage you should consider checking your credit file to see if you can get a mortgage or if you should spend more time building your credit first.

If you are unsure of what your credit score is then you should check your credit score from the four credit bureaus in the UK: Experian, Crediva, Equifax and Transunion.

Some of these credit bureaus may charge you a fee to view your credit report so what you can alternatively do is request a statutory credit report which is a free credit report which each credit bureau must provide to you upon you requesting it.

Alternatively, you can also use credit score services such as Checkmyfile and clearscore to check your credit report.

If you have lived in the UK for less than 3 years then you may find that you don’t have a credit score or history just yet.

Your mortgage deposit

Another major factor on if you can get a mortgage or not is your mortgage deposit. Most mortgage lenders will request that you have a mortgage deposit of at least 5% but there are mortgages such as family springboard mortgages or guarantor mortgages which could accept a 0% mortgage deposit.

If you have family members or friends who may be able to help you with their savings then you may have some family deposit mortgage options such as the family springboard mortgage, they include mortgages from lenders such as the Barclays family springboard mortgage, the Lloyds lend a hand mortgage or the post office family link mortgage.

If you are unable to save a mortgage deposit then you could potentially use any of the government schemes which are available for first-time buyers and home movers.

  • Lifetime ISA– gives you a government bonus of £1,000 if you save the maximum £4,000 a year.
  • Help to buy ISA– gives a maximum bonus us £3,000 if you save the maximum allowed of £12,000. Before you get either you should consider which is better. Lifetime ISA vs Help to buy ISA.
  • Help to buy equity loan- gives you up to 40% as a 5-year interest-free equity loan. You begin to pay interest at 1.75 % after the fifth year and 1% plus RPI for every year thereafter.
  • Shared ownership- You can buy between 25% to 75% of the property initially with a shared ownership mortgage and then buy more using a staircasing mortgage.
  • Armed forces help to buy- similar to the help to buy equity loan but specific for the armed forces personnel giving them an increased chance of acceptance.
  • Rent to buy- This is the right to buy scheme on which this guide is currently discussing. A different marketing name is just used. Watch out for this when shopping to avoid missing out on eligible properties due to confusion.
  • Right to buy- allows you to buy your home at a discount price.
  • Preserved right to buy- same as above.
  • Right to acquire- same as above.

Depending on where you live, you may also be able to take advantage of home buying schemes provided by your local council. Example: In Norwich, the local councils provide the Norwich home options scheme.

Your income

Your income is also a very important factor on whether you can get a mortgage nor not. Most mortgage lenders use an income multiple to work out what the maximum mortgage they may be able to lend to you will be.

An income multiple is just a basic check used to see what the maximum mortgage lender may be able to lend to you but once you have made a mortgage application the mortgage lender may find that the mortgage you can afford is much lower than the maximum they would have lent to you using the income multiple.

Example: A mortgage lender may have an income multiple of 5. This means if you earned £50,000 per annum then the maximum the mortgage lender will have lent you would be £250,000.  If you want to buy a home and require a £250,000 mortgage then this may initially seem fine to you.

Once the mortgage lender has reviewed your mortgage application they may decide to offer you a mortgage which is much lower than the £250,000 based on your monthly disposable income and other factors such as your credit score.

Can I get a mortgage on Benefits?

Yes, you can get a mortgage on benefits. There are a lot of people in the UK who are disabled or are unable to work for various reasons. Most of these people claim benefits from the UK government.

Most people on benefits may find it much harder to get a mortgage as the benefits income may not be sufficient enough for them to get a mortgage. This is because the benefits income is not always sufficient enough to cover the monthly mortgage repayment which is due on the mortgage. In most cases, those who are on benefits will usually need to have additional sources of income which will allow them to afford the monthly mortgage repayments.

When you apply for a mortgage the mortgage lender has an obligation to verify your income and your ability to repay the mortgage over the term of the mortgage. Usually, people on benefits may also have bad credit issues from the past which may further limit their ability to get a mortgage.

Another major issue with getting a mortgage for those on benefits is that some mortgage lenders do not accept 100% of benefits but instead will only accept a certain percentile of your benefits when looking int your mortgage affordability.

If you are looking to get a mortgage on benefits then you should consider speaking to an independent mortgage broker who will be able to access your mortgage needs and help you get a mortgage on benefits.

You should also consider speaking to government organisations such as the money advice service or the Disability Information and Advice Line (DIAL UK.

Once you have gotten your mortgage you should be aware that you may be able to claim support for mortgage interest to help you pay towards the interest portion of your monthly mortgage repayments. The SMI is now a repayable loan.

Can I get a 95% mortgage?

Yes, you can get a 95%v mortgage. Most mortgage lenders in the UK now offer 95% mortgages which only require that the borrower puts down a 5% mortgage deposit. 

These mortgages will usually have some of the worse mortgage rates on the mortgage market due to the mortgage lender taking on most of the risk.

You will usually need a good credit score and a job with a suitable and stable income to be eligible for most 95% mortgages. In some cases, you may find 95% mortgages offered for borrowers ho have guarantors or are able to put funds in an offset account as is the case with the Barclays springboard mortgage.

If you have a 5% mortgage deposit you may also be able to make use of the government schemes which are available such as the help to buy scheme and other such schemes.

Can I get a 90% mortgage?

Yes, you can get a 90% mortgage. A 90% mortgage will require you to put down a 10% mortgage deposit. As mentioned before with mortgages wich such high loan to value, in this case, a loan to value of 90%  the mortgage rates may be less competitive and much higher.

However, there are now a lot of mortgage lenders who offer 90% mortgages and hence the market may now be a bit more competitive. 

If you have a 10% mortgage deposit you may be able to use any of the first time buyer and home mover government schemes which are available.

Can I get a 100% mortgage?

No, you will find it very hard to get a 100% mortgage as most mortgage lenders do not offer 100% mortgages. If you are struggling to save a 5% mortgage deposit which may allow you to get 95% mortgages or be eligible for most of the government schemes which are available then you should consider using the shared ownership scheme which allows you to buy a minimum 25% share of the property using a mortgage and pay rent on the rest.

You can then increase your ownership in the future. 

Can I get a mortgage with no deposit?

No, you can not get a mortgage with no deposit in the UK. In some way or the other, you will be required to put down a mortgage deposit to be eligible for any mortgage in the UK.

Most Uk mortgage lenders will accept a mortgage deposit of 5% but there are special mortgage products such as the offset mortgages or family springboard mortgages which will allow a family member to place an equivalent mortgage deposit in a linked savings account for 3 years.

To be eligible for these sort of mortgage options you will usually need to have a very good credit score and of course someone to gift you their funds for 3 years. Some of the offset accounts or family springboard accounts offer interest on their savings.

Can I get a mortgage if I’m self employed?

Yes, you can get a mortgage if you are self employed. There are a lot of mortgage lenders who know have specific mortgage underwriting criteria and mortgage products for borrowers who are self-employed and would have previously found it very difficult to get a mortgage.

Most self-employed mortgage lenders will insist that their borrowers have at least 1 year of accounts to show them.

You may need to use a self-employed mortgage broker to assist you with getting a mortgage.

Can I get a mortgage with bad credit?

Getting a mortgage as a single borrower with bad credit may be difficult as mortgage lenders may usually want to lend to borrowers who have a good credit score and have shown a good repayment history on all their previous debts.

There are however mortgage lenders who will offer a single person mortgage to a borrower depending on what type of bad credit was and what the circumstances were.

If it was a CCJ which was satisfied and is a certain age then some mortgage lenders may be willing to lend. Other mortgage lenders may lend if the CCJ was a maximum amount.

When looking to get a mortgage with bad credit the requirements from different mortgage lenders will differ and a bad credit mortgage broker may be able to assist you in getting a mortgage.

Bad credit could include:

A CCJ

An IVA

A debt management plan

A default

A bankruptcy

A home repossession

Using a mortgage broker

You may want to consider using an independent mortgage broker to get a mortgage.

Mortgage brokers are important as they can access mortgage products from across the whole of the market in some cases. This could be over 11,000 mortgage products. This may have some advantages than going directly to a mortgage lender.

A mortgage broker will look to understand your financial circumstances and then provide recommendations on which mortgage products may be suitable for you.

After giving you these mortgage recommendations, most mortgage brokers will seek your consent to apply for a mortgage in principle. This will allow you to shop for your home easier as more estate agents and sellers may take you seriously or it will give you confidence that your remortgage is indeed a possibility before you make a full mortgage application. Once you have found a home you want to buy or are satisfied with the mortgage offer for your remortgage then the mortgage broker will then look to get you a mortgage offer.

This will come with a key facts illustration document which details out the features of your mortgage including how much you will pay per month if there are any limits such as early repayment fees, or annual overpayment limits.

If you are happy with everything you can then go on to secure your mortgage with the help of a conveyancer. Your conveyancer will manage the legal searches on the property to ensure there aren’t any issues with it, they will oversee the sales agreement to ensure it is in your best interest, they will manage the transfer of mortgage funds, exchange contracts with the seller or their conveyancer and set a completion date with the seller or their conveyancer.

FAQs: “Can I get a mortgage?”

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions relating to the question “Can I get a mortgage?”

How many times my salary can I borrow for a mortgage?

Different mortgage lenders use different income multiples to determine how many times your salary you can borrow. E.g a mortgage lender may use an income multiple of 4 to determine the maximum they can borrow to you based on your salary. In this case if you earned £50,000 a year then the maximum mortgage you will be able to get from this mortgage lender is £200.000.

What do you need to qualify for a mortgage?

To qualify for a mortgage you will usually need a good credit score, a mortgage deposit and a reliable source of income. Some mortgage lenders will have different lending criteria e.g some may not lend on on standard construction property while others might.

Can a single person get a mortgage?

Yes, a single person can get a mortgage. Single people aren’t treated differently from any other category of mortgage borrowers.

What credit score do you need to get a mortgage?

It is hard to tell what credit scores a mortgage lender may require from you to offer you a mortgage as these numbers are usually kept secret by most mortgage lenders. 
If you are concerned that you have bad credit then you should speak to a mortgage broker who will have some idea of which mortgage lender may accept you.

How much do I need to make for a 250k mortgage?

The amount you will need to make for a 250k mortgage will heavily depend on what the mortgage lenders income multiple is. If the mortgage lender has an income multiple of 5 then you will need to make £50,000 a year to qualify for a 250k mortgage however if the mortgage lender had an income multiple f 4 you will need to make £62,500.

What is the mortgage payment for a 200k?

The mortgage payment for a 200k mortgage over 25 years at an interest rate of 4.3% will be 1089.08.

Can you buy a house with a 40k salary?

Yes, you can buy a house with a 40k salary. The total amount you can borrow will depend on the mortgage lenders income multiple.

In this brief guide, we answered the questions “Can I get a mortgage?”. If you have any questions or comments please let us know.

If you need financial advice and you live in the UK then you could contact the Money Advice service over the phone or via chat for impartial advice.

You can also contact the debt charity “Step Change” if you are in debt and need help.

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.