How long does it take to get a mortgage in principle?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question ”How long does it take to get a mortgage in principle”.

How long does it take to get a mortgage in principle?

It can take between 30 mins to 7 days to get a mortgage in principle from the point of application but this is dependent on the mortgage lender, the borrower’s unique profile and the complexity of the mortgage being applied for. 


What is an agreement in principle?

An agreement in principle is essentially an indication that a mortgage lender is willing to lend to you.

A mortgage lender will briefly run through your application to see if you meet their headline criteria for a mortgage and then provide you with an agreement in principle.

The agreement in principle will usually be valid for between 30 to 90 days and this gives you enough time to put an offer on a house you find.

Before a mortgage lender will give you an agreement in principle they will collect some basic information from you through a mortgage fact find and then do a soft credit check in you to ensure you are creditworthy before agreeing and providing you with an agreement in principle.

An agreement in principle is not a firm offer of a mortgage and you could still get declined after getting an agreementi in principle.

Some of the reasons you may be declined after getting an agreement in principle could be:

Your property is found to be overpriced and hence the mortgage lender needs to adjust their loan to value which makes you ineligible for the mortgage product.

You failed the mortgage lenders detailed financial suitability.

You failed a more detailed credit check as more information such as bad credit information was found on your credit file.

Bad credit could include:



A debt management plan

A default

A bankruptcy

A home repossession

Does an agreement in principle affect your credit score?

No, most mortgage lenders will run an agreement in principle application through a soft credit search. This means you will be the only one who is able to see the footprints on your credit file and it shouldn’t affect your credit score.

Some mortgage lenders may run a hard credit search when analysing an agreement in principle application so you should make clear to your mortgage broker that you may prefer a mortgage lender who will soft credit check you when providing an agreement in principle decision.

Tips to reduce how long it takes to get a mortgage in principle

You can use some of the tips below to reduce how long it could take you to get a mortgage in principle.

Use an efficient mortgage broker

A fast and efficient mortgage broker could be all the difference when it comes to how long a mortgage in principle could be processed.

Submitting the mortgage in principle application to the mortgage lender and replying to any follow-up questions will be the job of the mortgage broker(if you use one).

You should ensure you read the reviews before you hire a mortgage broker.

Gather your documents

Gathering together your documents and working out key information such as your monthly expenses, your monthly income, etc is very crucial and could be time-consuming.

This is especially true if you have a complex income structure or you are self-employed.

Some of the documents a mortgage lender may want you to submit as part of your mortgage in principle application include:

  • Your bank statements
  • Your passport
  • Your drivers license
  • Your SA302 tax return form

Use a mortgage broker for your mortgage in principle

You may want to use an independent mortgage broker to help you get a mortgage on your new home.

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 rather 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 based on your mortgage affordability.

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 as more estate agents and sellers may take you seriously and it will also give you confidence that your mortgage is indeed a possibility before you make a full mortgage application. 

Once you have found a home you want to buy and are satisfied with the mortgage offer for your mortgage 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.

It will also contain information on 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.

In this brief article, we answered the question ”How long does it take to get a mortgage in principle”.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know.