How long do the offers last and what if i have bad credit? We answer the most frequently asked mortgage questions


Forget the eyes – these days it’s our internet research that opens a window to the soul.

We often turn to search engines to ask the questions that concern us, whether we’re just looking for a quick answer or because it’s something we’re embarrassed to ask in person.

Now, the most common British mortgage questions have been revealed, thanks to a new analysis of Google searches.

Many traditional lenders are able to offer a mortgage within 2-3 weeks of submitting an application, according to mortgage experts we spoke with. looked at research data for the past twelve months and found that the most asked mortgage question, with 20,960 searches, was “How long does it take to apply for a mortgage?”

The British also wanted to know how long a mortgage offer lasted, how to get a mortgage with bad credit, what an interest-only mortgage was and what a lifetime mortgage was.

Applying for a mortgage can be complicated at times, and there is often a lot of jargon to contend with – so it’s no surprise that people search online for more information.

It is requested money Marc Harris from mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, Nicholas Morrey from mortgage broker John Charcol and Brian Murphy from Mortgage Advice Bureau to help answer the five most asked questions.

How long does a mortgage loan application take?

The most common mortgage question on Google is particularly relevant right now, given that some buyers want to complete it before the end of the stamp duty holiday on March 31.

But the answer depends on the type of mortgage application submitted, according to Harris.

For example, a product transfer – where you stay with your current lender but switch to a new business – can take a few days, while a more complex mortgage application can take weeks.

“Once the application is submitted, a lot depends on the lender and the complexity of the application – it can take anywhere from a day to two weeks for an initial assessment to take place,” Harris said.

If you are self-employed or if the mortgage appraisal requires a land surveyor to visit the property in person, you may experience further delays.

A firm mortgage offer will follow once your application has been fully reviewed and an acceptable appraisal has been received.

Experts we spoke to said that typically it would take two to three weeks between demand and supply – but the pandemic has meant those times have been lengthened.

“Unfortunately, during the Covid-19 pandemic, lenders suffered from staff and resource issues and tasks are taking longer to complete,” Harris said.

“Additionally, given the effect on employment and income, lenders are examining applications more closely to see how applicants have been affected.”

How long does a mortgage offer last?

In most cases, mortgage offers last six months, although some offers only last three months.

“If the offer expires, sometimes lenders will agree to an extension – although this will sometimes require a reassessment by the lender,” Morrey said.

A typical mortgage offer will last six months, but sometimes this can be extended

A typical mortgage offer will last six months, but sometimes this can be extended

“For example, the original agreement may no longer be available, or a reassessment may be required, or the lender may wish to reassess your income and expenses.”

When an application is for a new property, the supply can last longer – potentially up to 12 months, according to Harris.

“Borrowers should be aware that some new construction has completion deadlines which may not coincide with offer expiration dates,” he said.

How to get mortgage with bad credit?

Having bad credit may mean you can't borrow that much on your mortgage

Some lenders won’t offer mortgages to people with bad credit histories, and that was something Google researchers wanted to know how to get around.

Lenders who are willing to do so often charge a higher interest rate, to reflect the increased level of risk.

“When you get a mortgage with bad credit, you can expect to borrow less and pay more interest compared to someone who has an exemplary credit history,” explained Brian Murphy for Mortgage Advice Bureau.


Having bad credit may mean you can’t borrow that much on your mortgage

“High street lenders are generally averse to dealing with those with bad credit, which can make things quite difficult.

“When you apply for a mortgage, it can go into your credit report – and if you ask a number of lenders to see if they will lend you, it can further hurt your credit score. . “

“Your best option, according to Murphy, is to contact an established and experienced mortgage broker.

“They will have access to exclusive contacts and offers that are not accessible to the general public. The mortgage broker will perform a “soft” credit check first so that your request does not negatively impact your credit rating. “

What is an interest-only mortgage?

Another common question on Google was about interest-only mortgages. So what are they?

When borrowing for a home, you can either opt for a repayment mortgage or an interest-only mortgage.

With a repayment mortgage, you’ll pay off part of the loan, along with interest, each month until you finally pay off the mortgage.

With an interest-only mortgage, you will only pay interest each month, with the loan amount remaining the same.

“That means your monthly payments will be lower but, at the end of the mortgage term, the full amount you borrow is still unpaid and you have to pay the lender everything back at that time,” Morrey said.

“When applying for an interest-only loan, the borrower must demonstrate that there is a clear and credible strategy for repaying the principal,” added Harris.

What is a life mortgage?

A lifetime mortgage is a secured mortgage on your home, with the loan only repaid when you die, move into a long-term care facility, or sell the property.

Two examples are retirement interest-only mortgages and paid-up equity mortgages.

Equity release allows you to access some of the equity in your home through a lifetime mortgage

Equity release allows you to access some of the equity in your home through a lifetime mortgage

“Lifetime mortgages often have fixed interest rates, and in the case of fully paid-up mortgages, the fixed rate is for life and not just two or five years,” Morrey explained.

He added: “They should not be confused with lifetime mortgages, which track a specific index such as the Bank of England base rate – they will likely have an end date and not be for one.” lifespan “in itself.”

There are strict loan criteria, with the amount you can borrow based on your age.

“Seeking expert financial and legal advice is crucial for this type of mortgage,” Harris said.

“An advisor covering both equity release and standard mortgages would be very helpful as they can assess the most appropriate course of action.”

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