Scottish Property magazine

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Improve your chances to get your first mortgage

words Scott Kennedy


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Buying your first property can feel like a daunting process. There is no doubt the market has changed considerably and with the average age of the first time buyer reportedly now 37 across the UK it is obvious that First Time Buyers have been greatly affected by the Global Crisis.

With signs of a recovery starting to show and with the numerous mortgage schemes that are coming to the market to assist not only first time buyers but also home movers, now is a great time to purchase your first home.

With lenders telling us that they are approving 9 out of 10 mortgage applications, is getting a mortgage really that difficult?

There are certain things that you can do to improve your credit score and your chances of getting a mortgage and the following list may help. First, it is important to understand what exactly a credit score is.

Each lender has their own score card. This is literally a points system for each question on an application. Depending on the answer, a score is given. This is used in conjunction with the information contained in your credit file. This is your payment history over the last 6 years. The score is then added up and the total is your credit score.

How to improve your score

Make sure you are on the Voters Roll. If you are not on the Voters Roll the lender will not automatically decline your application but it will help to increase your credit score and improve your chances of getting a mortgage.

»» Do not have too many credit searches done in the lead up to an application. Credit searches are normally carried out when you apply for credit. It is also quite common for car insurance companies and utility companies to carry out credit searches if you are applying to pay monthly. Too many searches carried out over a short period of time could potentially lower your score.
»» Make sure you pay all your bills on time. This includes mobile phones, credit cards and personal loans. The easiest way to ensure that your payments are made is to set up direct debits.
»» If you do not have any credit, it is a good idea to take out some form of credit such as a credit card. Even with a small credit limit this card can be used to pay your regular bills e.g. petrol. Ensure that you clear the balance on a monthly basis as this will help to demonstrate to a lender that you are trustworthy and pay your bills on time.
»» Obtain a copy of your credit file and make sure that the information accurately reflects the financial agreements you have. You can obtain your file from one of the credit agencies listed below.

The next step is to save for a deposit. The size of your deposit will determine the type of mortgage schemes available to you and the rate that will be payable. Having a bigger deposit will give you a wider choice of lenders.

You will then need to work out what you can afford to pay every month remembering to factor in other regular household bills that will be incurred. It is important at this stage to speak to a financial expert who will help guide you through what you can afford and also help to get you a mortgage agreed in principle. Credit files can be obtained from , and

Lifetime Planning are an Award Winning Whole of Market Broker offering advice to clients seven days a week. To speak to one of our experts call 0800 43 53 49 or visit us at

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Scottish Property Magazine

Fresh, tasteful, inspiring and brand new, Scottish Property Magazine offers sixty eight tantalising pages filled with beautiful photographs, inspirational ideas and in-depth articles on the following themes:

  • Lifestyle and Interiors,
  • Feature Properties,
  • Architecture and Self-build,
  • Renovations and Conversions,
  • Property News, Markets trends and Money Matters,
  • Selected properties currently on the market,
  • Holiday Homes,
  • Gardens

For the first four editions we are doing direct targeted distribution. The magazine is sent to 10,000 homeowners across the greater central belt, all of whom are either planning to sell, have just sold or have just bought a property. This strategic distribution will continue next year, however, we will also have it in the shops for sale by next summer. A smaller number also gets distributed to IFA's and brokers across the central belt.