Unless you’ve been living underground, it’s likely that you’ve heard, read and watched how the cost of living is going up – and that’s if you’ve not yet felt it directly.

Whether it’s energy, petrol or food, the price of things is currently going one way, which is filtering down to how lenders make their decisions on who to lend to, and how much they lend.

Perhaps the biggest concern for those looking to apply for a mortgage is how lenders are re-examining borrowers’ affordability criteria, which means that the level of borrowing now available may have reduced compared to this time as little as two months ago. As a Guildford mortgage broker, we’re seeing things change on a daily basis, so getting prepared for a mortgage in order to avoid delays at the application stage is arguably more important than ever.

In a bid to try and help those about to get a mortgage, we thought it would be useful to provide a four-point pre-mortgage application checklist so that you’re as prepared as possible when it comes to completing a mortgage application.

1. Be realistic

Unrealistic expectations about how much you can borrow when there are fewer borrowing restrictions is one thing – but having them during a period of economic uncertainty is another. Before you go too far down the wrong path, it’s advisable that you use a mortgage affordability calculator to get a sense of what’s open to you. Not only will it help you get to the next step armed with good idea of what’s possible, but it will also quickly establish what’s not.

2. Get credit conscious

We’ve covered this topic many times before, but it’s important. In fact, there’s a large section on credit in our first-time buyers’ guide, which you can download here. In summary, you shouldn’t max out your credit in the lead up to applying for a mortgage. Neither should you have unused credit cards hanging around. If you don’t use them, close them. Also, it’s worth checking your own credit file for free via www.creditkarma.co.uk so you’re clear about anything that may impact your application before it’s submitted.

3. Remember the three-month rule

Well, it’s not exactly a rule, but lenders typically want to see your last 3 months’ bank statements. In effect, they represent a spending snapshot and act as evidence of what you earn vs what you spend. Or, to put it another way, your mortgage affordability level. As a result, if you want to present the best possible case for getting the largest mortgage possible, then it’s worth making sure that your last 3 months’ statements are as healthy as possible. Reducing or even cutting unnecessary spend could pay dividends here.

4. Use a mortgage broker

There are countless mortgage products available at any one time, the economy is in a state of flux, the result of which is putting pressure on lending, and getting a mortgage is a time intensive and admin-heavy task. If these 3 points alone aren’t enough to make you want to seek professional mortgage advice in order to help you get the best mortgage in the UK, then we don’t know what will. Mortgage brokers are professionals at getting people mortgages. In a climate dominated by conservative lending, getting someone to represent you will help you make leaps and bounds when it comes to owning your own home.

Are you looking for Guilford mortgage advice? Concerned about how the cost of living might impact your chances of getting a mortgage? Don’t worry, we can help. Call our team of Guildford mortgage advisers on 01483 239280 or e-mail us at info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to find out how.