Getting your finances ready

An employees guide to securing your first mortgage

Many of us get a weekly wage or monthly salary that goes directly into our bank account. We check it’s gone in, that it’s the right amount and then forget about the payslip. Now that it’s time to apply for a mortgage, you’ll need to go digging for those, and a few more bits and pieces.

One thing that might appear obvious but is really important – you’d be surprised how easy it is to overlook these things in all the excitement of a mortgage application – is that if it’s a joint application you’re making with a spouse, partner, sibling or friend, you both need all of the below. If you’re making a joint application and one of you is self-employed, don’t worry, we have a self-employed self-guide to securing yourself a mortgage to help you with that too.
 
Work bits
First things first, if you have a job, you’ll need to get an original, up-to-date Employee Status Report from your employer to confirm it. They’ll be well used to this kind of request, as it’s a standard document which confirms your annual salary, any additional payments and the structure of your employment (full time permanent, part time, contract etc…). They just have to have stamped or signed it within the last 6 months of you presenting it to your mortgage advisor. You’ll also need  2 consecutive payslips dated within the last 6 months to prove your salary. Then you just need your most recent P60 and that’s that bit sorted.
 
Bank bits
If you are applying for a mortgage with your own bank, they probably won’t need you to provide all of the following as they can see it on their own system. If you are applying to a different bank however, you’ll need to present 6 months of continuous current account bank statements dated within the last 3 months. You’ll also need 6 months of savings statements and 3 months of credit card statements (both dated within the last 3 months). All they need these for is to see that you are have good savings habits and are receiving a steady income that could easily handle your mortgage repayments.

Life bits
In many ways, applying for a mortgage is just the same as applying for anything else. One of those ways is proving you are who you say you are, where you live and what size shoes you wear.* For starters, if you’re married you’ll need to have your original marriage certificate. You’ll also need identification in the form of a current and valid passport, a current and valid Irish, UK or European drivers licence (with photo). Finally, you’ll need to prove where you’re currently living. You can do this with a utility bill dated within the last 6 months with your name on it, a bank or building society statement issued in the last 3 months or your original household or motor insurance documents as long as they’re less than 12 months old.

*ok this was just a lie used to lighten the mood of having to find all these bits of paper.
 
Get yourself some protection
You’ll be required to have mortgage protection insurance on your mortgage. Simply put, it’s designed to pay off your mortgage in the event of the death of you or your joint applicant before the end of the mortgage term. It might also be a good time to think about income protection insurance. You may have delayed doing so before but with any impending mortgage commitments, they really make sense at this point.
 
Find it, scan it, file it
If there’s a person that likes doing paperwork we’ve still to meet them! That said, most of these are standard documents that you probably have lying around the house, so they shouldn’t be too hard to find. If they’re not close to hand then search your email, hit those websites or simply ask your mother (because she knows where everything is!). Things like marriage certificates and insurance policies take a little bit longer and may add an additional cost to your budget but they’re just as necessary. Once you get all the above together, scan everything. While it might be a little bit time consuming, if you do it once, it’s done for life. Then, simply file it all away because if something gets misplaced during the mortgage process, having it to hand is so much easier