On average in the UK, once you’ve submitted a mortgage application, it takes 4–6 weeks for your lender to approve it. But the more honest answer is: it depends. (Helpful, right?)
A few different things affect how long a mortgage application takes, like which lender you’re applying with, what information they’ve asked you for, and how complex your situation is.
Note that if you’re applying for a remortgage, that can happen a lot quicker – around 6 weeks from start to finish (not just the application part).
Here are all the stages, so you know what happens when:
Putting your application together (1 day or more)
Once you’ve decided what mortgage you want to apply for, the next step is submitting your application. That involves gathering some documents, like your passport and bank statements. Here’s the information you’re likely to need.
If you’re super keen and have everything ready to go, you could be ready to submit right away. If you’re starting from scratch, it could take a few days.
How long this stage takes also varies based on whether you’re using a mortgage broker or not. A broker does a lot of the application paperwork for you and helps you check your documents. It could take longer if you’re going it alone.
Once you’ve applied (4–6 weeks)
After you submit your application, your lender does a credit check on you, and also does what’s called an ‘affordability assessment’, to make sure you can actually afford the mortgage you’ve applied for.
They’ll also carry out a valuation survey on the property to make sure it’s worth what you’re paying for it.
If everything goes well, you’ll get a formal notice called a mortgage offer. That means it’s official: your application has been approved. You’ll usually get this in the mail, though if you’re using a broker, they’ll likely give you a heads-up it’s on the way.
If your lender asks for more information (add a few more days)
Sometimes, your lender will come back to you after looking over your application, and ask for more information. If they do, it could delay things by a few more days.
If your mortgage application is declined, that doesn’t mean you won’t ever get a mortgage. But it’s likely to add another few weeks to your mortgage journey, as you’ll then have to apply to another lender.
Using a broker hopefully makes both these things less likely. A broker uses their knowledge of lenders to only send you where you’re most likely to be accepted. And they help you submit your application with all the right information, first time.