Mortgage eligibility

A lender will want to know that you can pay back the money you borrow with a mortgage. To do this, they have certain criteria that a borrower will have to meet to be accepted for a mortgage. 

Different lenders will use different things to decide your mortgage eligibility. Normally, you can expect them to look at your:

  • Deposit
  • Credit score
  • Income
  • Monthly spending

What affects mortgage eligibility?

There are lots of factors that will affect whether you are accepted for a mortgage. Different lenders will have different rules, but they will all look at similar areas:

Your deposit

A lender will want to know how much you have saved for a deposit. The more you have saved, the better loan to value (LTV) ratio you have, the better chance you'll have of being accepted for a mortgage.

Your loan to value (LTV) ratio

Your loan to value (LTV) is the amount of the property value you’ll need to borrow with a mortgage. It is usually expressed as a percentage.

Your income

A mortgage lender will need a clear sight of your earnings to see whether you can afford the mortgage you want. You will usually need to provide proof of your earnings. This can be done using:

  • Bank statements
  • Payslips
  • Employment contracts

If you want your mortgage to go past your retirement age, you will also need to provide proof of your retirement income.

Credit score

Your credit score gives lenders a view on whether you are a reliable borrower. The better your credit score is, the more likely you are to be accepted for a mortgage. Learn more about credit scores and how they work.

Your age

Your age can impact a lender's view on your ability to pay off your mortgage. You must be over 18 with a regular income. Many lenders will want you to be able to completely repay the mortgage by the time you turn 75.

Your monthly spending

Along with information about your income, your lender will need to know how much you spend. This will show them how much you can afford to pay back each month. If you have high outgoings or spending habits, you are less likely to meet your repayments. This can make you a risky choice for lenders.

Can I improve my chances of getting a mortgage?

There is no sure-fire way to guarantee that you are accepted for a mortgage. But there are things you can do to help increase your chances.

  • Have a high deposit or low loan to value (LTV) ratio. The higher your deposit and lower your LTV ratio, the less money you will need to borrow. This can make lenders feel more relaxed about your ability to meet your payments
  • Build up your credit score. Building up your credit score can suggest that you can meet your repayments and manage your money. This could make companies more willing to lend you the money you need. Learn how to improve your score.
  • Having a strong financial history. If you have little or no outstanding debts on your record, lenders may see you as a safer borrower
  • Get an Agreement in Principle. You can get this before applying for a mortgage in full. Having this in your pocket is no guarantee, but it is a good indicator of what you are eligible for
  • Buy with a partner. If you are buying with a friend or partner, how much you can borrow is based on your combined income

How do I prove my mortgage eligibility?

You will have to provide proof of who you are and that you can afford your mortgage. You’ll need to provide:

  • Proof of identity. This could be your passport, driving licence, bank statements or utility bills. You will usually need to provide one letter and one photographic proof of identity
  • Proof of income. This will usually be a bank statement or payslip from your employer. If you are self-employed, you may have to provide more evidence. This could include upcoming contracts and at least two years of certified account information
  • Proof of spending. Your bank statements will give lenders a view of your spending. This will show whether you can afford your mortgage beside your other outgoings

Can I get a mortgage?

An Agreement in Principle is one of the first steps you should take towards getting a mortgage. It can give you a good idea of whether you will be accepted by a lender or not. It will also help you know how much you can borrow from a lender to put towards your new home.

Having an Agreement in Principle can speed up the moving process and show sellers that you are serious about buying.

You can use our online mortgage calculator to see how much you could borrow and work out your monthly payments. Although this is not a guarantee that you will get a mortgage, it can give you a good idea of how much you might be able to borrow.

The content on this page is for reference and does not constitute financial advice. For impartial financial advice, we recommend government bodies like MoneyHelper.

Calculators and tools

We have a range of mortgage calculators to help you:

  • Find out how much you could borrow from Halifax
  • See how much you could save if you make overpayments on your mortgage
  • Get an idea how a change to the Bank of England Base Rate could affect your monthly payments
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