What Documents Do You Need When Applying for a Mortgage?

person holding documents

When you apply for a mortgage in the UK, the lender will need a number of different things in order to process your application; they must be able to prove that you can afford the loan you’re asking for and they must be able to know that you are who you say you are! 

Related: Learn more about a first time buyers mortgage if you are considering buying your first home

Not only will they ask you for a load of documents, each lender will require different documentation, which can make it tricky to predict exactly what you may need. We’ve pulled together a list of all the paperwork that lenders may ask for, so that you can be prepared before you start the process!

Documents you may need when applying for a mortgage

Most mortgage lenders will require documentation that fits into 3 main categories: Proof of ID, Proof of Income, and Proof of Expenses.

Proof of name and address

Your lender will need to know exactly who you are and where you live in order to submit your mortgage application. The documents you’ll need to prove these might include:

A form of photo ID

This could be a current photo passport or drivers licence. This must have your current address on to match the other documentation you’ll be asked to provide. Make sure they are in-date as an expired form of ID will not be accepted.

A recent utility bill

If these are sent to you via email you may need to either download and print one, or request a paper copy from your energy provider. You can use either a gas, electricity or water bill, but it must be an official utilities bill (not just an entertainment subscription or mobile phone contract) and it must be provided in whole, not just the summary page.

A bank statement or credit card bill

This must be dated within the last 3 months, and it’s rare that you will be asked for both a utility bill and a bank statement. Most lenders will be happy to accept one or the other as this is used to verify your current living address.

Remember to review your documents before submitting them as they all need to have consistent information, like the spelling of your name and your current home address. If you’re applying for a mortgage with someone else and you’re already living together, you’ll need their name to be on at least one of the utility bills.

If you don’t have these documents, don’t lose hope! Lenders will try to work with what you have and there may be other ways you can prove your identity or address. Lots of people don’t have a passport or driving licence and often students or other people living at home don’t have bills in their own name. Lenders (and brokers) are obliged to act sympathetically to ensure that consumers are not ‘financially disadvantaged’ by unnecessary exclusion from financial products/markets. Speak to a mortgage adviser for more guidance!

Proof of income

To submit your mortgage application, your lender will need to prove you can afford the loan they’re asking for by understanding your income. Depending on the type of job you do, you may need different kinds of paperwork.

If you are in PAYE employment

Payslips

Your mortgage lender will require payslips no older than three months old (up to 6 weeks if you are paid on a weekly basis) and must have your name, your employers name, the date you’re paid, and your net and gross pay.

If you’ve just started a new job, haven’t been in your role very long or recently changed job title, they may want to see P60 documents or a letter from your employer to prove you have been working.

If you are in self-employment

Self-assessed tax return forms (SA302) and tax year overviews

You can request these from HMRC; they must both represent the same period of time and be no later than the last 2 years.

An accountant’s certificate

This can be provided by your bank or your lender, and must be filled in by a suitable qualified UK accountant. 

If you have other/additional sources of income

P60 and or three month’s payslips

If you’ve had any bonuses, overtime or commission.

Most recent HMRC letter

If you’ve had any child benefits or working/child tax credits.

Most recent Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) letter

If you’ve had any state pensions or state benefits.

Letter from local authority

If you’ve had income from fostering. This should state how many children and how long you’ve been fostering for.

Pension payslip

If you’ve had income from a private pension or annuity.

Proof of expenses

Your lender will need to have an understanding of your monthly outgoing expenses before they’re able to approve your application. Regular payments like subscriptions, school fees, childcare and travel expenses may have an effect on what you’re able to afford monthly.

Bank statement

Your bank statement must be dated within the last 2 months and be completely unamended in any way. They will most likely require a full statement, and it must have your correct name and address, as well as a running balance. 

Don’t be alarmed if they ask you about specific purchases or payments that seem unusual or unclear; be prepared to talk about these, even if they are perhaps sensitive for you. And remember, this information is completely confidential and your lender should not share it with anyone else.

How to prepare for a mortgage application

Before applying for a mortgage and gathering your documents, it’s important you understand your credit reports. There are three key credit reference agencies in the UK you can use to make sure there is nothing incorrect or potentially damaging to your application.

It’s likely you will be asked to provide a large amount of paperwork when applying for a mortgage. Make this easy on yourself by checking names on bank statements and bills, make sure your identification is up to date and be prepared with multiple copies of each document.

Still a bit confused?

Applying for a mortgage is a complicated process to go through, especially if it’s your first time. If you’ve prepared all your paperwork in advance, your application process is likely to be much smoother but you can always talk to us to get advice on what options are best for you.

It is also important to remember that, as you are applying for a mortgage in the UK, all this documentation should be provided in English, any that are not will need to be translated by a recognized translation service and marked as such.

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