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Top tips to know before applying for your first mortgage

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16th Oct 2018
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Top tips to know before applying for your first mortgage

Before you get near the bank to apply for a mortgage, you need to get prepared. Banks want to lend to safe borrowers and your bank accounts are going to come under some microscopic scrutiny, so to give yourself the best chance of securing your mortgage, check out these tips.

Start saving, yesterday
If you clicked this link it means you have an interest in going for your first mortgage and now that the thought has crossed your mind, get saving instantly. Start small if you need to test your saving limits then set a target. Set up a savings account. Make it impossible to get into. But start saving from now, save the same amount every month and don’t touch the savings!

READ MORE: A very simple glossary of mortgage terms

Give yourself six months to make your bank account perfect
Tapping your debit card is a luxury you can no longer afford, your online shopping days should be limited and get rid of anything on your bank statements that might even hint to gambling or the Lotto. Try not using use the debit card anymore – just take out cash.

No more overdrafts
Get out of overdraft ASAP and stay out. If you have credit card debts or loans, try to pay them off.

Check your credit rating
When you apply for your mortgage, the bank will seek information about your financial history. The Irish Credit Bureau can send you your credit report for €6. The bank will see everything on this – they’re looking for information about your income, employment, living costs and existing loan repayments and your credit rating gives an indication of how likely you are to pay back the money. A good credit rating will show a history of repayment on loans. Your credit report includes the names of lenders and account numbers of loans you currently hold, or that were active within the last five years, repayments made or missed for each month on each loan, the failure to clear off any loan, loans that were settled for less than you owed and more. If there is any mistakes or missed payments, get it changed as soon as possible.

READ MORE: Buyer beware: red flags to look out for when househunting

You’re going to be questioned about everything
Every big transaction will be scrutinised- and if you’re self-employed or freelance, your finances are going to come even more scrutiny. An accountant can do up accounts to give your lender – “I needed a dress, bag and shoes last minute for this event” might not cut it. “Well, you see, Zara were having a sale” and “I’d had my eye on this Rixo London dress for literally months” won’t either.

Pay everything on time
Your rent, your phone bill, whatever your expenses are, make sure you pay on time, which shows you have repayment capacity, ie, the ability to pay on time, every month.

READ MORE: Eleven lessons I learned when buying my first house

If you’re ready to make the next step and purchase your first home, Ulster Bank’s new First Five Mortgage comes with five great benefits for First Time Buyers, including Ireland’s lowest two year fixed rate*. For more information on Ulster Bank’s First Five Mortgage, check out ulsterbank.ie.

*Lowest rate claim source Bonkers.ie 29/06/2018. Maximum loan to value is 90%. Security and insurance required. Product fees may apply. Over 18s only and properties in the Republic of Ireland only. Lending criteria, terms and conditions apply. Credit facilities subject to repayment capacity and financial status. Loan to income criteria applies.

Ulster Bank Ireland DAC is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.