Getting a mortgage
For most people, buying a home is the biggest single investment most people ever make. It’s an exciting time, but there is a lot to think about. So you’ll need to take time to look at the costs and get financial and legal advice before deciding if it’s the right choice for you.
If you are considering buying your home under Right to Buy, you are likely to need a loan or mortgage, which you would pay back with interest, usually in monthly instalments.
If this is the first time you’ve looked into mortgages, it may look confusing. If you’ve tried to get a mortgage before and were not successful, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to get a mortgage from another lender. It is worth shopping around. High street banks and building societies can differ on their lending criteria, and finding the right mortgage can save you money in the long run.
There is lots of free, unbiased help and advice around, including our handy factsheet – Right to Buy Mortgages: Know the facts. We’ve summarised some of the main points below, and provided links to further help and guidance from the Money Advice Service.
- Does the lender want a deposit? This is one of the most common questions we get asked on Right to Buy. Most lenders now take the Right to Buy discount as a deposit but some do not.
- Check out carefully any person or company offering to help you buy your home as some of them may charge a fee. They may be offering a deal which is far better for them than for you.
- If you go straight to a lender (such as a bank), they will only advise on their own mortgage products. If you go to a mortgage broker or financial advisor, they will have information about a wider choice of mortgage lenders.
- It is important to fully work out the costs of homeownership (not just your mortgage repayments). You (and lenders) will need to be assured you can afford your mortgage now and if things change in the future – if you fail to keep up repayments you could lose your home.
- You may find that you can’t get a mortgage due to a poor credit score. There are mortgage brokers who specialise in advising on mortgages where you have a poor credit rating. Otherwise there are steps you can take to improve your credit rating. If you get started early, you can avoid hold ups further into the process.
- If you’re self-employed, you’ll need to prove your income. You normally have to show at least two years’ tax statements or company accounts signed off by an accountant. Some lenders may also want reassurance that you can continue to earn similar sums in future years. A mortgage broker who specialises in mortgages for the self-employed may a good option, as they will know different lenders’ criteria and which are most likely to be able to offer you a deal.
Advice on this and more is available from Money Advice Service – follow the links below or call them on 0800 138 7797: