09 Mar 2017
Preparing for your first mortgage meeting doesn’t have to be an ordeal. It’s not like you’re training to fight Conor McGregor. Or sitting in an exam room when you suddenly realise that you haven’t studied – does anyone else ever get that dream?
Going in to chat about a mortgage is a chance to get a bit of advice, to be walked through the process and to find out what you need. Even if you haven’t had a chance to get everything ready for your application, the first meeting can get you on the path to approval.
Most people know that they should be saving for at least six months, have a deposit ready to go and a clean credit rating. But an EBS advisor can break down what you need to do to get approved. If you’re not in a position to qualify for a mortgage at the moment, your advisor can give you a roadmap to get you back on course.
Of course, it’s obviously ideal if you can spend a few months getting yourself in the best possible position before your meeting. You may not be facing McGregor but a few months of saving and responsible spending can get you into great shape to get a mortgage. So what are the big things to prepare before your first meeting?
Look after your credit rating
It’s simpler than you think to check out your credit rating – just got to www.icb.ie to get a copy of your Credit Report. You’ll also need your bank accounts to be in order for six months before you can get approval. Obviously, it helps if you can go into the meeting with all your ducks lined up.
Try not to let your account get overdrawn, even if you have an overdraft facility. Make sure that you don’t have any unpaid direct debits on your account history. It may seem minor but being unable to keep your account in credit could raise alarm bells with lenders.
If you have a credit card, always pay the minimum monthly payment and avoid erratic card use that might damage your chances. Your account records are one way for a lender to get a sense of how savvy you are with your money. If you’re regularly betting €2000 on horses with funny names, you may not look like a solid bet to a mortgage lender.
Curb your spending
Nobody really enjoys saving money. Sure, it’s nice to have a nest egg and we all know that we should be saving but that doesn’t make it any easier to knuckle down and do it. But you’d be amazed at how much you can set aside if you exercise a bit of discipline.
Saving becomes more important than ever in the months leading up to your meeting. It’s only a short period of time in the grand scheme of things so be prepared to make the sacrifice. Maybe it’s something as simple as cutting out that artisan coffee and muffin every morning but try and rein in any unnecessary spending if you can.
One simple way to force yourself to save is to set up a savings account six months in advance of the meeting and pay into it by direct debit every month. That way, you don’t really notice the money going out. The big thing to avoid is dipping into your savings account whenever you want a new pair of shoes or a weekend away.
Bring some ID
Banking regulations mean that you’ll need proof of address and a valid ID if you want to get a mortgage. That seems fair enough – especially if you’re asking someone for a large sum of money!
Current ID like a passport or a driver’s licence is all you need by way of identification. Your proof of address should be a utility bill, like a phone or electricity bill, from the last three months. A photograph of you in front of your house just isn’t going to cut it!
Get your bank statements in order
You’ll need to have all your bank statements (6 months most recent) to hand before a mortgage advisor can assess your loan application. Not all banks will be able to issue you a statement over the counter so plan ahead and request your statements ahead of your meeting. PAYE workers will need bank statements going back six months, including any savings, investment or loan accounts.
Self-employed workers will need to get a bit more documentation. You need to bring six months of business current account statements and 3 years of audited/trading accounts. You also need to bring a confirmation of your tax position from your accountant and three years of notice of assessment statements from the Revenue.
Get your questions ready
Your mortgage appointment is a chance to ask the questions you want to ask and find out everything you need to know. What happens if you miss a payment? Can you pay your mortgage off early without being hit by penalties?
Have a think about the things that you want to know and jot them down ahead of time. This is your chance to get some expert advice so don’t miss the opportunity to pick the advisor’s brain. Do a bit of research, take a look at the products that are on offer and ask them about anything that confuses you on the day.
Are you thinking of buying your own home?
So you know what you want, you’re planning for the future and you’re just wondering whether you’re in a position to get a mortgage. Take the guesswork out of the equation by calling into your local EBS office for a chat with one of our friendly mortgage advisors.
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The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.
EBS d.a.c. neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either express or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.
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