What is a mortgage in principle (MIP)?

A mortgage in principle is a document, usually from a lender or broker, that tells you roughly how much you may be able to borrow with a mortgage.

It's sometimes called an Agreement in Principle, Decision in Principle, MIP, AIP or DIP.

A MIP is usually more accurate than an online mortgage calculator. But it is not a guarantee that you'll be able to get a mortgage.

The accuracy of the MIP will depend on who you get it from. When you get a MIP from Trussle, we check your credit history and eligibility with 18 lenders to give you a really accurate idea of how much you'll be able to borrow.

If you get a MIP directly from a lender's website, it will likely be quite accurate as well, though it's still not a guarantee that they will lend you that amount of money.

How will it help?

The main reason to get a MIP is to better understand how much you can borrow based on your income and outgoings. You can then look for appropriate properties that are within your price range, or you might decide to continue saving up.

Having a MIP shows estate agents that you're a serious buyer, and puts you in a good position to make an offer that the seller is more is likely to accept. It'll also help you stand out from other prospective buyers who do not have a MIP.

How reliable is a mortgage in principle?

A mortgage in principle is not a guarantee that you’ll be able to borrow any specific amount.

You’ll need to complete a full application and have the lender check your earnings and credit history before you get a mortgage.

It still gives you a good idea of what you could borrow and could also put you in a better position if you want to make an offer on a house.

How to get a mortgage in principle

You can get a mortgage in principle from a mortgage lender or from a broker.

Get a mortgage in principle from Trussle online for free.

A broker’s MIP is only based on the information you give, so some broker MIPs are less reliable than others.

Trussle MIPs are based on lender criteria and your credit history. We do a soft credit check that does not affect your credit score.

Some lenders may carry out hard credit checks, which could be harmful to your credit score.

More banks are moving to soft checks for mortgages in principle. They usually only carry out a hard check once you submit the full mortgage application.

You will not have to give as much paperwork or information as a mortgage application when you apply for a MIP.

Other lenders will ask you for:

  • payslips

  • 3 years of accounts if you’re self-employed

  • 3 months' worth of utility bills as proof of your current address

  • photo ID, such as a passport or driving license

You will not be asked for this if you're getting a mortgage in principle from Trussle.

Once you have the MIP, you can use it to make an offer on a home.

If the seller accepts your offer, you can apply for a mortgage with your chosen lender or broker.

How long does a mortgage in principle last?

When you get a MIP from a lender, you usually have about 3 months before your MIP expires (between 30 and 90 days).

You can reapply if it takes longer than planned to find the home you want to buy or if you find new, more competitive mortgage deals on the market since you arranged the MIP.

If your lender carries out hard credit checks, try not to apply too many times as it could damage your credit score.

Can you get a mortgage in principle from Trussle?

We’ve made getting a mortgage in principle free and simple.

You can get a mortgage in principle online at a time that suits you.

You can then print or download it to start your property search straight away.

We need to know a few things about you so we can work out how much lenders would be willing to lend to you.

You'll be asked for your:

  • address history

  • employment status

  • salary

  • credit commitments

It's okay if you do not have all your information to hand. We'll save your profile as you go, so you can come back to it at any point.

We will do a soft credit check when you've answered all of the questions.

This soft credit check will tell us if you have any black marks on your credit history that could impact your mortgage eligibility.

A soft credit check does not affect your credit score.

A mortgage expert from Trussle will get in touch with you afterwards and advise you on the next steps to get a mortgage, including how to improve your credit score if necessary.

You might need a credit report if you’ve got a history of bad credit.

We’ll let you know if we need to see your credit report once you’ve answered the questions.

If everything looks good, we’ll work out how much you could afford to borrow.

We'll email you your mortgage in principle and you can download it right away.

Once the seller accepts your offer on your new home, you can add the property’s details to your profile.

This way, we can start finding the right mortgage for you.

Why get a mortgage in principle with Trussle

Getting a mortgage in principle with us is easy and will set you up nicely for when you go to make an offer on your dream home.

Here’s why:

  1. We run a soft credit check to see your eligibility with 18 lenders

  2. Our MIP accurately calculates how much you could borrow from those lenders

  3. Getting a MIP with us is free and simple to do 

  4. Once you’ve set up your profile with us you can come back to it whenever you want to update your MIP

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*The savings figure is from Trussle mortgage customers in August 2022. **You may have to pay a fee depending on your circumstances and credit history. Learn more.

Your home could be repossessed if you don't keep up repayments on your mortgage.

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