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Mortgage underwriting

Written By:
Myles Robinson - Expert Finance Advisor

Posted: Feb 13, 2023

Mortgage underwriting process UK

Before you get the mortgage approval, there are many stages in the mortgage application process; keys and contracts are exchanged. The mortgage underwriting stage is one of these stages. This is an essential part of any mortgage application, and it can take some time.

It is important to know how long it will take to purchase a home, what processes may take longer, and what the costs are. This is why mortgage brokers who offer tailored mortgage advice are extremely helpful.

No matter which mortgage you are applying for, mortgage underwriting is an integral part of any home purchase.

This article will give you an overview of the UK mortgage underwriting process and the steps taken.

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What is the process of underwriting a mortgage?

Underwriting is the part of your mortgage application that allows you to see what financial risk your lender takes by granting you a mortgage.

Professional underwriters use a series of checks to determine the likelihood that you will default on the mortgage loan. Your mortgage application may be rejected if they believe there is a high risk that you won’t repay the mortgage as agreed.

A mortgage advisor like the ones we work with can answer all of your questions regarding mortgages, including the underwriting phase and assist with your application. This will ensure that you get the right loan and give all details.

You must give accurate information. The mortgage underwriting process compares your application with your financial history. Any discrepancies could result in them not approving your mortgage.


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What is a mortgage underwriter?

Experienced mortgage lenders assessors oversee the mortgage underwriting process. This will ensure that the lender is taking the right risk in offering you a mortgage. Your application for a mortgage will be reviewed by an underwriter who will review all information about you, including your income, expenses and the amount of money you wish to borrow.

What happens when a UK mortgage is passed to the underwriting stage

The UK underwriters will use various information sources to evaluate your attitude towards credit history, mortgage repayments, and lifestyle when your mortgage application is submitted.

Based on your financial history, credit reference checks and bank statements, creditworthiness, and mortgage application, the underwriters will evaluate your creditworthiness.

Contact us today for mortgage advice, we have a few mortgage providers lending to various people’s circumstances.


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Information underwriters look for

Although the assessment of mortgage underwriters can vary from lender to lender, the following areas are often reviewed.

  • Are you able to meet the lending criteria

Each lender has a different policy regarding who they lend to based on your age, legal standing, employment status, tax status and the amount of deposit that you have.

  • Creditworthiness

Your credit history will be compared to your lender-specific credit report scoring. It’s unlikely that applicants will know how different lenders calculate a credit score, so it is important to regularly review them with the main providers (Experian Equifax and Transunion) to keep your score as high as possible.

  • Affordability

The mortgage underwriter will consider your monthly income and expenses to determine your ability to pay the mortgage. The income multiplier is used to calculate mortgage loan amounts. However, lenders may require other affordability criteria.

The Financial Conduct Authority requires that underwriters assess the affordability of mortgage repayments for borrowers to determine if they would be affordable in the first five years of the term, assuming interest rates rise by 3%. This is called the affordability stress test.

  • The Property

The mortgage underwriting process involves ensuring that the property you are looking to purchase is in good shape and worth the price you paid. Lenders won’t lend mortgages to properties that are not in good condition, haven’t been built according to building regulations, or are simply too expensive.

  • Anti-fraud and Anti-Money Laundering

So that they can verify the source of your deposit, the mortgage underwriter will want to know where you got them. A mortgage underwriter will likely flag large deposits that are unclear about their source.


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This information is important for underwriters.

Credit referencing checks are used to show UK mortgage underwriters how often you have applied for loans or credit cards in the past. They will also tell them if they are a reliable borrower who pays back the loans according to the terms.

Cross-referencing your bank statements with your application form will show that your regular income aligns with your outgoings.

These statements can also reflect your overall attitude towards money. If you see a lot of gambling payments on your bank statements, it could indicate that you are not willing to take on risk. This could negatively impact your ability to repay your long-term mortgage. Although it is possible to use gambling income to deposit a mortgage, some lenders will flag evidence of recurrent gaming.

Your financial history can paint a picture of your overall attitude towards money. A steady picture of, a stable financial picture that shows you can repay all credit agreements and have regular, reliable income is what mortgage underwriters want.

We mentioned that the underwriters would use your mortgage application form throughout the process. They cross-reference it with other financial information sources to verify that you are telling the truth about your finances.

It can be difficult to get a mortgage if you have poor credit, but it is possible with the right advice.

Our advisors arrange mortgages for customers with bad credit every day. They will discuss all options with you.


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What is the average time it takes to underwrite a mortgage?

It takes less than one hour to complete electronic mortgage underwriting checks. Once the underwriter has reviewed your application, it takes less than an hour. As long as everything is clear and nothing is troubling,

It generally takes 4-7 days, although there is no set time. The process may take longer if the circumstances are more complicated.

This will help you to reduce the time it takes to complete the application.

It is important to realise that the mortgage underwriter may not have all the required information. This will cause delays and increase the time it takes. The process may take longer if additional manual underwriting checks are needed.

If an underwriter has assessed your mortgage application and they have all the information required from you, they will likely complete the process within a few days.

The next step of the mortgage process is now possible.

A qualified mortgage broker will help you make sure that all information is correct for the underwriting process to begin and run smoothly. Once you have completed this step, your mortgage application will be ready for the next stage.


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What happens if a mortgage gets declined during underwriting?

Various factors could lead to the rejection of your mortgage application, including poor credit history, low affordability, inadequate deposit, low property valuation, excessive debt, and multiple recent mortgage applications. It could also be that the lender won’t lend to you. e.g. Self-employed. It could be an error, or it could be a typo, so make sure to keep checking.

You should find out the reason your application was denied so you can fix the problems before you apply to other lenders. Working with a specialist mortgage broker can help you identify the best lender for your situation to increase your chances of success.

Before you apply again, you may need to make changes in your finances. This could include paying off a loan, setting up direct deductions to avoid missing payments, consolidating multiple debts into one lower payment with a better interest rate, or paying off existing debts. You may need to reevaluate your goals and look at smaller homes that require a lower deposit and have lower monthly repayments.

Talk to a mortgage broker to determine the best course of action and increase your chances of saving your plans.

Your advisor or mortgage lender should inform you if your application is denied during the mortgage underwriting process. Sometimes, the problem can be fixed, and you can resubmit your mortgage application to the same lender.

Sometimes, however, the mortgage underwriter may find that you are not meeting the criteria or cannot repay the mortgage.

This could mean that you need to rethink what you are planning and look at other options, such as:

  • You will need a smaller mortgage if you save a bigger deposit
  • You can buy a less expensive home so that you will need a smaller mortgage.
  • Before applying for a mortgage, spend some time improving your credit score.
  • You can apply for a mortgage with another lender.

Your mortgage advisor will help you make the best decision about your house purchase.

Are all mortgages subject to underwriting?

Some of them can be done manually. While some mortgages are not approved by an underwriter and go directly to the computer, others will be reviewed manually.


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Got questions about mortgage underwriting? Talk to an expert about mortgage underwriting

Talk to an experienced and qualified mortgage advisor if you are looking for a mortgage.

Call us today for a free no, obligation chat.

We will connect you with one of our experienced mortgage brokers.

They will help you navigate the mortgage underwriting process and find the right lender to meet your needs.

How a mortgage broker could help with the underwriting process

The mortgage brokers can help you find the right lender for you. They will also help you pass the underwriting assessment and get back on track if you fail a mortgage approval.

A mortgage broker can help you save time, money, and frustration by expediting the process. Our vast network of highly qualified and vetted mortgage brokers can help you to simplify the process.

Contact us and you can be sure that our broker-matching service will match you with the right mortgage advisor for you.


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