Lenders timescales

Waiting for your mortgage offer to be approved can feel like waiting a lifetime - especially as some specialist lenders can take up to 8 weeks to reach a decision.

There are a number of factors that influence the amount of time it takes for your mortgage application to be accepted - the most significant being the lender you’re applying for a mortgage with, and the speed at which you respond to enquiries and provide your lender with the information they need.

How does my lender decide whether to approve my mortgage?
Why are lender’s timescales so different?
How can I get my mortgage approved more quickly?
Will I get an offer in time to secure my new home?

How does my lender decide whether to approve my mortgage?

Your lender will check your application alongside the documents you’ve submitted to make sure the information you’ve given is correct. They’ll also look at your credit score, and carry out affordability checks and a property valuation to make sure they agree with the amount they’re lending.

Why are lender’s timescales so different?

There’s no set timeline to follow when underwriting a mortgage offer. Each lender has a different process when it comes to accepting mortgage offers, creating fluctuating timescales.

Lenders have different requirements and don’t all ask for the same documents. Sometimes after the application has been submitted lenders will ask for extra documents if they need more information, which can add to the approval waiting time.

It goes without saying that the speed at which you can provide the lender with the documents they ask for will affect the time you’ll wait for an approval.

How can I get my mortgage approved more quickly?

You can expect your mortgage offer to take longer if your situation is particularly complex, such as having bad credit or debt consolidation, whichever lender you go with.

If you’re self-employed, have a history of bad credit, have a low deposit, or a high loan-to-value (LTV) ratio you may have to wait longer for your mortgage application to be approved. This is because lenders are legally obliged to carry out more stringent affordability tests to check whether you’d be able to repay in difficult circumstances - for example, if you lost your job unexpectedly.

You’re more likely to receive a fast decision if you have a good credit history and are in full-time employment.

Will I get an offer in time to secure my new home?

Your adviser will recommend a deal that suits your specific circumstances. If time is pressing and you need an offer quickly - for example, you’re buying a new build property and you need a mortgage offer to secure your purchase, your adviser will make a recommendation favouring the lenders that are likely to meet your deadline.