Frequently-Asked Questions

Covering everything from mortgage basics to what makes Habito different, if you've got questions we've got answers!

And if your question isn't answered here, please say hi using the live chat button at the bottom of the screen and someone will help you out as soon as possible.

What actually is a mortgage?

A mortgage is the contract between you and the lender that allows you to get a loan to buy a property. It sets out the terms and conditions of how a lender will give you the money you need to buy your house or flat. This will include all your personal details, covering things like the term (the amount of time over which you’ll pay the money back) and the interest rate (the rate of interest the lender will charge you for the loan). In the simplest terms, you’re promising the lender you won’t spend the money on something else, and that over time you’ll pay it back.

How much can I borrow?

Generally, if you have a decent deposit (say 10% of the house price) and you can show you have a regular income, you should be able to borrow around four times your salary. If your circumstances are less straightforward, say you are self-employed or looking to do shared ownership, it can be a little more complicated to put your case together. At Habito, we’ve handled all sorts of cases and we’ll do our best to help, whatever your circumstances.

Aren’t banks the cheapest place for mortgages?

Most of the time that isn’t the case, but if it is we’ll tell you (and it won’t have cost you a penny). Our technology means we’re completely impartial - there’s no reason for us to favour one lender over another. The only thing that matters is getting you the best deal.

I already have a mortgage, can you find me a better rate?

1 in 4 people with a mortgage are paying too much, so it’s worth taking a few seconds to check with us. You could end up saving thousands of pounds a year like other Habito customers! We can find you the best deal, and we’ll be here to help you switch as quickly and easily as possible. You can start by heading over to the Digital Mortgage Adviser, and getting an idea of how much you could save by switching.

What if a better deal comes along?

Once you have your mortgage we’ll continue to check the market and, if there’s a better deal, we’ll find it and help you switch smoothly. Our aim is for you to never worry about your mortgage again.

What is the minimum deposit I need?

Typically, the minimum deposit you’ll need to get a mortgage is 5% of the value of the property, but obviously a number of other factors are taken into consideration. We look at every mortgage from over 90 lenders and give you simple, neutral and honest advice. We can’t promise to get you a mortgage, but if there is one out there for you, we’ll find it.

What if my deposit is too small? Any advice?

You may want to look into an affordable housing scheme if you feel like your deposit is not stretching as far as you want. The government website for affordable housing explains a lot about the options that might be available to you, so it may be worth checking that out.

Can my parents help me get a mortgage?

There are 2 ways parents can help out. First of all they can offer to help with your deposit, which they can gift to you as part of the mortgage process. Secondly, in some cases they can actually include their income as part of the application, which is commonly described as a ‘guarantor mortgage’. If you would like to explore the possibility of organising your mortgage in this way, it is best to discuss your options with one of our mortgage experts.

What documents will you need from me?

Initially, none. The first step is for you to answer a few questions on our site, so that we understand your circumstances. When we move on to preparing your submission to a lender, we will need to make sure that your information is accurate and we’ll need some documents from you. Those include proof of your identity, income, bills and address, as well as things like visa status or SA302s where it applies. We’ll always make it clear exactly what we need and why. And all of these can easily be uploaded via our live chat on any internet-connected device.

Do you perform credit checks?

Our job is to make sure that you have the best possible chance of being accepted. So we perform our own affordability check before sending anything to a lender. This leaves no footprint on your credit history.

A credit check takes place only when we apply for your Agreement in Principle (AIP) with a lender. An AIP is when a lender says they’re likely to give you a mortgage based on some basic information. This isn’t 100% guaranteed and you’ll need to give more information before the lender can be certain. We will always let you know when that’s going to happen and make sure that you’re OK with it first.

Importantly, some lenders will only carry out a soft credit check, which means that it leaves no footprint on your credit file. We may therefore recommend getting an Agreement in Principle from those lenders over others.

What are the age limits for getting a mortgage?

There is no universal maximum age after which you cannot get mortgage. However, most lenders have set their own age limits; typically between 65 and 80, and most lenders will not allow someone to be still repaying a mortgage any later than 85 years of age. Your age will be considered but so will other factors like income, your pension income, your planned retirement age and the mortgage term (how long it’ll take to pay back) that you are looking for. Some lenders prefer older applicants, so if this is a factor for you we’ll advise you so you have the best possible chance of being accepted.

Can I get a mortgage with a bad credit history?

Your credit history is just one factor a lender will consider and there are plenty of other things that they will want to look into as well. Depending on how poor your credit history is, some lenders may not be willing to offer you a mortgage but there may be plenty of others who will be much more understanding and it’s our job to present your case to them.

That said, if you’ve experienced a bankruptcy or Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) in the past, we unfortunately aren’t able to help you, as we don’t have access to the appropriate lenders at this time. An IVA is a legal agreement that allows you to make affordable payments on your debt over a number of years

How do I get a mortgage?

There are a few steps between now and getting the keys. We have a beautiful guide to the mortgage timeline you can download here.

Your maximum borrowing amount

First of all, you will need to find out how much you’re going to be able to borrow. You can do this by heading over to our shiny new Digital Mortgage Adviser. By entering some simple information about yourself and any other applicants, you will have a Habito Mortgage Illustration in a matter of minutes. This illustration shows you how much you could expect to borrow and who from, neatly packaged together in one place.

It breaks down your maximum borrowing amount, your chosen borrowing amount, your property price, the mortgage term (how long it’ll take to pay back), loan-to-value ratio (how much money you need to borrow compared to the price of the property) and your monthly payments. It also works out the stamp duty you would pay on the property, as well as any fees associated with the mortgage. Stamp duty is a tax charged by the government whenever a property is bought for more than £125,000 in the UK (£300,000 if you’re a first-time buyer). These are then taken away from your total savings to create an accurate idea of how much you would have left for a deposit.

All of this is free (just like everything we provide) and doesn’t need a credit check.

Find a property and make an offer

Once you have an idea of how much you can borrow, the next step is finding your dream property. We’ll leave this bit to you, but if you have any questions, we’re always happy to help.

Agreement in Principle

To get your offer on a property accepted, our job is to help you get an Agreement in Principle (AIP) from a lender. An AIP is when a lender says they’re likely to give a mortgage based on some basic information. This isn’t 100% guaranteed and you’ll need to give more information before the lender can be certain. This is the right time to speak to one of our advisers and get some mortgage recommendations from us. All you need to do is log in and have a live chat with the expert team, or they can arrange a phone call to help guide you through your options. They will use the details you’ve given us to find specific mortgages that are right for you and take the guesswork out of the application. If you’re happy with what we can find for you, we’ll then proceed to the AIP stage. All being well, your dream property should be taken off the market by this point.

Hiring solicitors

This is when conveyancing comes into play. Conveyancing is when a lawyer prepares the documents needed to legally buy a house. We’ve partnered with My Home Move Conveyancing and will be happy to give you a quote — just let your mortgage expert know that this is something you’re interested in. Tip: If you’re planning to use the government’s Help to Buy scheme, it would be a good idea to check if the solicitors you’re planning to use can handle this type of application, as sometimes they will charge extra fees. In the case of remortgaging, the solicitors are free and appointed by the lender. Remortgaging is when you take out a new mortgage on a property you already own. Either to replace the mortgage you already have, or to borrow more money or to do both.

Doing a full application

We’ll handle the next step, which is changing your AIP to a full application by giving some more documents to the lender. Our expert team will let you know what you’ll need to upload and will keep you updated on the progress of your application. Lenders will need you to prove your income, identity and address, as well as mortgage statements for remortgages. If you’re buying a property, lenders will need a memorandum of sale (provided by estate agents) and you will have to show that you have the deposit. A memorandum of sale is a document that shows that the buyer and the seller of the property have agreed to the sale, including that both are happy with how much it’s being sold for.

Valuation and surveys

At this point you’ll need to decide which type of survey you want carried out, all of which you can read about here. The valuation that the lender says you must have is pretty basic, done by the surveyor of their choice who will check to make sure the property is ok to live in. As a buyer, you can arrange to have the property independently surveyed. HomeBuyers Report is the most common and RICS Building Survey the most thorough survey you can get for your money. Both of these types of surveys look for things that might affect the value of the property in the future.

How long will this all take?

On average, it takes around three weeks from the full application being given to the lender to approval (them saying ‘definitely yes’). Once we hear from the lender, we will send a copy of the agreement to you and your solicitor. Once we get an offer on your mortgage, your solicitor will take over the process all the way to exchange of contracts - when the buyer and seller sign the legal contract - and completion. The only thing left then will be to pick up your keys and just like that — you’ll be walking through the door of your new home.

What is an agreement in principle and why am I being told I need one by my estate agent?

An Agreement in Principle (AIP), also known as a decision in principle (DIP), is a certificate or statement from a lender. It agrees that ‘in principle’ - or probably - they would lend you a certain amount of money. This is given after a lender has seen some basic information about you.

If you’re a first-time buyer, an estate agent will want to see an AIP to make sure you have been allowed to borrow the right amount of money to purchase the property. If you’re looking for a remortgage, an AIP isn’t usually needed until you have found the right mortgage and lender.

How long does it take to get a mortgage?

The time it takes to get a mortgage varies depending on lots of factors. Whilst we’ve made use of technology to speed up the mortgage process, we still rely on lenders’ timeframes.

There is no hard and fast rule on how long it takes to get a mortgage. We have access to over 20,000 different mortgages, so we should have one to suit everyone. Because of such a wide range of mortgages, and the unique circumstances of each application, we couldn’t put a fixed timeline on any one application.

However, because we handle lots of mortgage applications on a daily basis, we will be able to give you a very good idea of how long it will take when you decide to apply. We’ll update you regularly on its progress so you’re never in the dark, and it’s a safe bet that no-one else can get it done quicker.

We understand that people like to be kept in the loop when they’re waiting on things. From parcels to mortgages, we know communication with the customer is key. Whenever there is progress with your application, we’ll keep you up to date. Whether you’d prefer a text, email or phone call, we’ve got you covered. If you ever have a question, or just want to chat, don’t be afraid to send our expert team a message.

I want a mortgage, what’s next?

Once you’ve worked out how much you want to borrow and the size of deposit you can put down, you’ll need to sign up and enter some basic information. Usually, this shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes, and you’ll be one step closer to a mortgage. At this point, you can have an online live chat or a phone call with one of our mortgage experts. They will answer any questions you have, and tell you exactly what documents you’re going to need to get an Agreement in Principle (AIP). From there, the expert team will guide you through the application process and keep you updated on progress.

I’m interested in working out what I can afford.

Well you’re in the right place! Head over to our Digital Mortgage Adviser and enter in some simple details about yourself. Within five minutes you’ll have a Habito Mortgage Illustration showing how much you can expect to borrow, with stamp duty and possible lender fees factored in as well. Stamp duty is a tax charged by the government whenever a property is bought for more than £125,000 in the UK (£300,000 if you’re a first-time buyer).

What are the first steps in getting a mortgage?

Once you’ve worked out how much you can borrow and the size of deposit you’ll need using our Digital Mortgage Adviser, you’ll need to sign up and enter some basic information. Usually, this shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes, and you’re one step closer to a mortgage. At this point, you can have an online live chat, or speak over the phone, with one of our mortgage experts. They will answer any questions you have, and tell you exactly what documents you’re going to need to get an AIP. From there, the expert team will guide you through the application process and keep you updated on progress.

What do I need to get a mortgage with Habito?

You’re going to need to provide some in-depth details about yourself and any other people you’ll be getting a mortgage with. This is what we’ll base our mortgage research on and the information needed will change depending on what type of buyer you are: first-time buyer, home mover, or looking for a remortgage. Typically, each person who’s applying will need to prove their income (such as with a payslip), proof of any secondary income, details of any credit commitments (such as any credit cards you’re paying off) or loans you’re still paying back and proof of residence documents - a document showing where you live, such as a driver’s license - but this list is not everything we may need. More information showing the documents you will have to give us during your application can be found here. We have access to over 90 lenders, so what they need for different mortgages can change from case to case. Don’t worry if this sounds confusing, our expert team will keep you informed and answer any questions you have about what you might need for a mortgage.

What is Habito?

We’re the UK’s digital mortgage broker. We’ve developed a simple, fast, transparent way to find and apply for the best mortgage. Our combination of cutting edge technology and industry-leading mortgage experts allows us to get our customers the best mortgage out there for them, now and as long as they need it.

How does Habito work?

It all starts with a simple conversation with our Digital Mortgage Adviser - a chatbot that you can access from any device with internet access, 24/7. There’s no hold music, no more waiting for an appointment and no more paperwork. With access to more than 20,000 mortgage deals from over 90 lenders, our platform checks the entire market in seconds, finding the best matches for your individual circumstances.

Once we’ve found the perfect mortgage, it’s over to our (human) mortgage experts to discuss your options. By using intelligent machines we’ve freed up our mortgage experts to do what they do best: give great advice, and using live chat they are available wherever you are - at home, in the office or on the beach. When we’re all clear on how to proceed you’ll continue to be personally looked after by one of our human experts, taking care of your entire mortgage application from start to finish for you. We’ll let you know exactly what we need and when we need it, making sure you’re never lost or left behind. All that’s left is for you to sit back, relax, and enjoy your free time.

How much does it cost?

Nothing; our service is completely free, from start to finish! Just like any broker, we get paid by the lenders for processing your mortgage application. This fee is a fraction of a percent of the value of your mortgage. We’ll always tell you exactly what we’re getting paid when you apply of your application so you know the full story.

Which lenders do you have access to?

We can help you with an application to one of over 90 lenders. While we offer mortgages from a broad range of lenders, there are a handful that we don’t currently have access to as you can see on the lenders page. You can be sure that if we find an awesome deal from a lender we can’t help with, we’ll always let you know so you can choose whether to go directly to them instead.

What’s the difference between you and price comparison websites?

Comparison sites only give you some idea of what’s available from a small subset of lenders and are not personal to your needs. We understand your specific circumstances and plans, and then match you with the best mortgage mortgage on the market. We will also then take care of your whole mortgage application with the lender, from beginning to end, completely free of charge.

A mortgage is a big decision, wouldn’t it be better to talk to someone in person?

It’s a huge decision, and it’s no surprise 4 in 5 people look for advice from a broker – and that’s what we are. With Habito, if it suits you, you can do the whole process - receive advice and make the application - all online. However, we understand that sometimes you just want to talk to somebody, which is why we have mortgage experts (real-life humans!) on hand to guide you through the process if you want the extra comfort a human can provide.

There are other advantages to choosing Habito as well, being powered by technology means we can do much better than the average ‘offline’ mortgage broker saving you both time and money. Offline brokers often look at an extremely limited number of potential lenders and it could take weeks to process an application. And of course, your bank will only ever sell their own mortgages. Our technology allows us to access and consider every mortgage deal from over 90 lenders in seconds, find the best match for you, and help you make your application online in record time. You can sign up with us on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet, 24/7 and when you’re ready you can talk to our mortgage experts via either phone or live chat.

How can I contact you?

The quickest way to reach us is through the live chat on our website. We’re available to answer any questions between 9am and 10pm each weekday, and between 9am and 9pm on weekends. You can also email us on hey@habito.com any time.

How long do you take to provide a quote?

Because every case is unique, it varies, but most of our customers receive a recommendation at the end of their live chat with a mortgage expert. Some cases are more complex, but your mortgage expert will tell you if that is the case and we will always let you know whether or not we can help you within 48 hours as a maximum.

You’re a fairly new company - how do I know I can trust you?

Habito is directly authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), so we are held to the highest standards of conduct. We’re committed to transparency and provide a simple, honest way to get the best mortgage. We’ll always show the true cost of your loan, not just the advertised rate. No jargon, no fees and no false information.

Since our launch in April 2016, we have helped more than 150,000 Britons better understand their mortgage needs and completed more than £1 billion in mortgage applications. We have built an award-winning service and one that our customers love - you can read what some of our customers have to say about us on Trustpilot.

Over the past two and a half years, we have attracted investment from an impressive list of backers including Ribbit Capital, Mosaic Ventures, TransferWise CEO Taavet Hinrikus, Funding Circle founder, Samir Desai, Indeed’s Paul Forster and Yuri Milner and Atomico, the European venture capital firm founded by Skype’s Niklas Zennström. To date, Habito has raised over £27.5 million in funding.

Why should I use you rather than go direct to my bank?

We know it can feel safer and more convenient to use the business you already have a relationship with. In some cases, your own bank may even be able to offer a fantastic rate. However, we exist solely to save you money, simplify the mortgage process and to find the best rate available to match your circumstances.

We cut through lenders’ teasers and spin to get down to the nitty-gritty, so you know exactly how much your mortgage will cost you. In addition, each lender has its own mortgage criteria and our mortgage experts make sure to know what applications particular lenders prioritise, and we will present your case to them in the best possible light. If we find that your own bank really is the best lender available for you then we will advise you to go directly through them and, as always, there’s no fee!

What’s the best way of telling my friends about Habito?

We’re confident you’re going to love Habito and want to share your experience with friends and family. In the spirit of our bold approach, we’ve set up a refer-a-friend reward scheme: if you refer a friend, you will both receive a £100 cash reward when they successfully complete their application.

This is our way of saying thank you for helping spread mortgage harmony. All you need to do is sign up to refer as many people as you like — our offer is unlimited and you don’t have to have got a mortgage through us! Find out more about our refer-a-friend programme here and read the full terms and conditions.

I’m a first-time buyer, can Habito help?

Absolutely! We would be thrilled to help you get a mortgage for your first house. The first step is to get a rough idea of what you can borrow from our digital mortgage advisor. You can then have a live chat online with one of our mortgage experts who will then answer all of your mortgage questions (yes, all of them!) and take it from there.

How can I find out how much I can borrow?

Our team have built a super sharp Digital Mortgage Adviser, which can tell you how much you could expect to borrow in minutes. All it needs is some simple information about yourself and any other applicants. In a matter of minutes, it will tell you exactly how much you could expect to borrow plus stamp duty and lender fees, all neatly broken down. Stamp duty is a tax charged by the government whenever a property is bought for more than £125,000 in the UK (£300,000 if you’re a first-time buyer). Lenders fees are amounts a lender charges for taking out a mortgage.

Once our Digital Mortgage Adviser has walked you through, the next stage is to speak to a broker online or by phone appointment and continue the application. Remember, you don’t have to go ahead with an application and it’s completely free to sign up.

When should I start talking to Habito about remortgaging?

We can start helping you find your next mortgage up to 4 months before your existing deal finishes. We’re always happy to take a look and tell you if it would be worth switching early or waiting. You will only have to enter your details once and we’ll handle the rest for you when the time is right.

How do I break up with my current lender?

When we help you remortgage from one lender to another, the new lender will be responsible for sorting all this out. They will organise a solicitor who will make all the arrangements necessary to pay off the existing lender. You won’t need to do anything other than set up a direct debit for your new mortgage - simple as that.

What happens when I leave my current mortgage provider?

First, you get your property valued. Then you submit your mortgage application through Habito! Once your case is agreed, you will receive a mortgage offer from the lender to confirm you’re ready to transfer your mortgage.

Once that’s done, the solicitor will handle the transfer of deeds from one lender to another. Deeds are documents that shows who legally owns the house. At completion (when the house is legally sold), a letter will be sent through for you to sign, and you will receive a letter from the new lender confirming that your mortgage has been transferred and your new mortgage payment will be taken based on your requested date and account details.

Of course, we’ll also explain each step along the way and keep you updated on your case’s progress at every stage.

Do you help provide joint mortgages?

A joint mortgage means two people are named on the mortgage, and yes, we can absolutely help.

Can you help with mortgages for more than 2 applicants?

Unfortunately, we don’t currently support such applications. But bear in mind that, while it’s possible to have more than two people on one application, lenders will typically consider only two of their incomes.

Are joint applications the same as shared ownership?

They’re different things: joint applications simply mean two people are named on the mortgage, whereas shared ownership is generally offered by housing associations, allowing eligible people to part-buy and part-rent their home. We can help with both.

I want to use the government’s Help to Buy scheme, can Habito help with the mortgage?

The best place to start with Help to Buy (HTB) is the official HTB website, where you can get informed on the options available in the area you’re planning to live. When you sign up to Habito, just follow the instructions on the dashboard and let one of our mortgage experts know that you’re looking to use the HTB scheme.

We’ll recommend a mortgage on this basis but arranging and managing your equity loan will continue to be your responsibility. An equity loan is an amount the government lends you to buy a newly built property. This is important, as applications grind to a halt when lenders approve submissions, but the whole deposit amount is not available so make sure you get all the permissions first.

Who is eligible for a Help To Buy equity loan?

Equity loans are designed by the government to help first-time buyers and those looking to move home, although you will only be eligible if you don’t own any other properties in the UK at the same time. Another condition for using Help To Buy is that the property must be newly-built with a maximum price of £600,000. Homes bought with an equity loan cannot be sublet.

How do Help To Buy equity loans work?

An equity loan helps first-time buyers with a 5% deposit purchase a property without borrowing 95% of the value from the lender. Instead, the government will cover up to 20% of the home’s value — 40% in London — as a loan. This loan is interest-free for the first five years, then starts at 1.75% in year six. Every year after this you will pay an extra 1% on top of 1.75% as well as the Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation rate. The RPI is a government measure that shows how much goods (such as food) and services (such as travel) cost and how much it changes each year.

This loan is interest-only, so you will only have to pay back the interest of borrowing the money, but not the actual amount. This means when you come to sell your property or your mortgage term expires, you will owe the original amount you borrowed. You can pay it back early without any fees, with the minimum being 10% of your property’s value. This means you can make two 10% payments or one lump sum adding up to 20% of the property’s value to repay the equity loan.

It is important to note that the government will lend you a percentage of the property’s value. This is the percentage you will have to pay back. This is to take into account the property increasing in value. If you borrow £40,000 for a £200,000 house, the government has a 20% stake in the house. If you come to sell it and it’s is now worth £250,000, you will owe the government £50,000, which reflects 20% of the property’s value.

What about buy-to-let mortgages - can you help with those?

Sure can. We have access to a wide number of lenders who offer buy-to-let mortgages. Once we have more info about your circumstances, we can advise you appropriately and accurately.

Should I set up a limited company for my buy-to-let?

There can be tax advantages to doing so, since you’ll be replacing corporation tax for income tax, however, there are a few things to consider before you decide to do this. For example, you will have to pay capital gains tax on any transfer of property into a limited company. This is a tax on any profit you make when you sell the property. For more specific advice, you’ll need to get the advice of an accountant or tax specialist.

Can you help with mortgages for shared ownership homes?

Yes! We have access to a wide number of lenders who can offer mortgages for shared ownership properties. Shared ownership is generally offered by housing associations, allowing eligible people to part-buy and part-rent their home.

Can you help with interest-only mortgages?

Yes, many of the lenders that we have access to do offer interest-only mortgages. They’re not suitable for everyone though, and we will only advise that you apply for one if we feel it is appropriate for you.

Can you help with land purchases?

Unfortunately, land purchases are not currently something that we can help with. If your aim is to buy the land in order to build a property, you may wish to look for a specialist in Development Finance.

Can you help with self-build mortgages?

No, unfortunately we can’t currently help with self-build mortgages right now.

Can you help with offset mortgages?

Yes, we have access to a wide range of lenders that offer this type of mortgage. An offset mortgage lets you use your cash savings to lower the amount of interest you have to pay.

Can you help with second mortgages?

Yes, many of our lenders offer second mortgages, so this is certainly something that we can help with.

What are guarantor mortgages and can Habito help with them?

Guarantor mortgages involve a parent or close family member helping a borrower to get a mortgage, typically by adding their income to the mortgage application. While we can help with this type of mortgage arrangement, they are more complex and a lot will depend on your specific circumstances, so it is best to discuss your options with one of our mortgage experts.

Why do I need to give you my details before having a chat with a mortgage expert?

Our service is designed to save you time whilst giving you the most accurate advice possible. In order to advise you accurately, we first need to understand your circumstances and plans in detail. This allows one of our experts to quickly research the market to find the most suitable mortgage for you. As Habito is online, you can fill in all your details any time that suits you, from any device connected to the internet anywhere in the world - and if you need, you can complete it in more than one sitting as your info will be saved as you go along.

Are you going to sell my personal information?

No! We’ll never even share your details with a relevant 3rd party (like a bank) without your permission and explaining what it’s for. Additionally, we are directly authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, which means we comply with all the legal requirements about storing and handling our customers’ personal information, as well as the Data Protection Act 1998. For more info, please check out our privacy policy.

I need to make some changes to my application - how do I go back and do that?

You can’t currently go back and change your application info once you’ve sent it. But it’s not a problem, as you’ll get to run through things with one of our mortgage experts before we send anything to a lender. They’ll be able to change any details for you then as well as answer any questions you may have.

I haven’t started my new job yet, can I apply?

Congratulations on your new job! This shouldn’t be a problem. We are able to find lenders that are happy to accept future employment, as long as you are starting in the next three months and already have a signed contract. When answering our questionnaire, just enter today as your starting date and we can discuss the details with you and make any changes later on in the process.

I’m a contractor/earn a day rate, can I apply?

Not a problem. We’ve built specific parts of our system to find out about your circumstances as a contractor when you apply for a mortgage through us. You simply need to sign up in the usual way and we’ll go from there!

What will I need to get a mortgage if I am self-employed?

It’s really simple. Most lenders will need a minimum of 2 years’ of accounts in order to consider your application. Most commonly, the proof of this is provided in the form of SA302 forms (your self-assessment tax return receipts from HMRC). Your Habito mortgage expert will explain what’s needed and when for your specific case, so you’ll always know what the lender is expecting.

Your mortgage illustration tells me that I won’t be able to borrow as much as I thought - is it wrong?

Our mortgage illustration can be slightly on the conservative side. It takes into account costs such as stamp duty and estimated up-front fees, which typically have to come from your savings. Stamp duty is a tax charged by the government whenever a property is bought for more than £125,000 in the UK (£300,000 if you’re a first-time buyer). These often aren’t considered by other mortgage calculators, and we’re committed to giving you as much information and as early as possible in your mortgage search. Try increasing the deposit amount to see how that affects how much you may be able to borrow.

Will earning in a different currency make a difference?

It can do but it depends. When considering income, lenders care about your “taxable footprint” - that is to say the amount of income you have as seen by, for instance, HMRC. If you pay UK income tax on your income no matter what currency you are paid in, or if your income is paid into a UK bank account, then it’s possible to find a lender who will assess you on that basis. But much will depend on the specifics of your case, and you’ll receive personal guidance from your Habito mortgage expert once you’ve signed up and given us a few details.

I’m looking into getting a mortgage but I’m on maternity/paternity leave?

Being on maternity or paternity leave whilst trying to get a mortgage can complicate things. Much will depend on the degree to which your normal salary is affected during this time. Your ability to get a mortgage will differ from lender to lender. Some will not take your full salary into account, whilst others will. You will need to be able to provide a reference or letter from your employer showing firstly, that you will be going back to work. And secondly, your likely date of return; and, thirdly, the terms of contract that you will be returning under. For example if you change your working hours. If you sign up and provide a few details, your Habito mortgage expert will be able to provide you with personal guidance on how we might be able to help and what your best options are.

Can you get a mortgage when you retire?

Some lenders will offer a mortgage to retirees, as long as they can prove that the income from their pension would be more than enough to cover the repayments of the mortgage. If you have not retired yet, then you will probably need to ask your pension provider to confirm your expected retirement date, current pension pot value and expected retirement income.

I’m an expat, can you help?

Unfortunately, we aren’t able to help with expat mortgages as we don’t currently have access to the right mortgages.

Are you able to help with mortgages for overseas properties?

Unfortunately not - we can only help with mortgage applications for properties within the UK.

Do lenders always need a valuation survey to be carried out before every mortgage/remortgage?

Every lender will need some type of valuation; this can vary from a full valuation to a lighter touch process called the Automated Valuation Model (AVM). AVM is a method of estimating the property value by comparing the prices of properties sold recently in the same street or area. It varies from lender to lender and from mortgage to mortgage. It is worth knowing that if properties have not been sold for some time in your area, an AVM might not be enough and the lender will then insist on a full valuation, which is typically more expensive.

Do you have a list of all lenders on the website?

See our full list of lenders.

Do I have to appoint a solicitor in order to get a mortgage or remortgage?

Often, yes you will have to hire a solicitor. However, your mortgage lender might need or recommend that you go with one that is on their panel. If you are remortgaging, your lender might provide the legal service. If you are purchasing a property, you can only exchange contracts after the solicitor/conveyancer is satisfied that a formal mortgage offer has been received. If you’re remortgaging, the solicitor has to handle the transfer of deeds from one lender to another. They are responsible for transferring both the money and the deeds - so you’ll need some legal service but the details will depend on what you’re doing and what the lender offers.

Do you advise on bridging loans?

Unfortunately, this is not a service we currently provide.

Will my information be saved if I exit the application halfway through?

Life is hectic and we’ve designed the platform to be as flexible as possible. If you can’t complete your application in one go, we will save all of your previously entered details automatically. When you’re ready, just log back in and pick up where you left off.

Can I use Habito on my phone or tablet?

Yes, of course! Our website is completely mobile-friendly and can be used on any device connected to the internet 24/7.

Partnership and media enquiries

For all partnership and media enquiries, please contact hey@habito.com.

I found a bug, can you squash it?

Feedback is super helpful! The best way to report a bug is to share a screenshot or describe the problem via live chat on any page of our website. Thanks for letting us know.

How do I delete my account?

If you’ve decided you no longer want to use our service and would like us to remove your details, please email us at hey@habito.com or jump onto our live chat to let us know.