How to get approved for a mortgage

News 02.02.2018

John Foster

Struggling to get approved for a mortgage? These are the top 5 things you need to avoid in order to appeal to an underwriter.

Getting approved for a mortgage

In order to get approved for a mortgage, your application will likely need to be assessed by an underwriter. A mortgage underwriter works for the lender and it is their job to determine that the risk of offering you a mortgage is acceptable to the lender. 

Mortgage underwriters will have access to your credit file and will usually ask for your bank statements, to gain an idea of how likely you would be to default on your mortgage payments.

To get your mortgage application approved, there are a number of things you will need to avoid, which could impact their decision as follows:

Payday loans

These loans traditionally have very high interest rates and it can be easy to get into a cycle of paying them off and taking out more. An underwriter will take the view that if you rely on these types of loans to manage from month to month, you may struggle to keep up with your mortgage repayments. If you have any payday loans, pay them off and do not take out any new ones.


If you have an agreed overdraft with your bank, it is vitally important that you stay within this limit, as going over it will incur charges. Similarly, if you have no overdraft in place but go overdrawn, you will likely be presented with charges. An underwriter will take a dim view on this, as it would be determined that you are not living within your means and may therefore struggle to pay your mortgage.

Missed payments

Having loans and credit cards are extremely common nowadays and as long as they are deemed to be at an acceptable level, they should not cause any issues. However, missing payments on these debts will have a huge impact on your ability to get a mortgage and will show on your credit file.


Underwriters do not like betting on a regular basis. The odd flutter is okay, but anything more than this will cause them concerns.

Unusual transactions

It is important to tell your mortgage advisor as much as possible about your financial situation, to enable them to place your case with the most appropriate lender. Underwriters will scrutinise your bank statements and pick up on anything that they deem to be unusual and not easily explained. This could be a large withdrawal or deposit, or regular transfers to an apparently unrelated recipient.

If your mortgage broker can explain these transactions to an underwriter at the application stage, it will avoid unnecessary delays. Our advisors can help you present your case to the lender in the best possible light. They know what each lender is looking for and that is exactly where our expertise comes in. So, get in touch and speak to one of our friendly advisors for a free, no obligation chat.