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How Long Does Mortgage Applications Take?

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Here is a full explanation of the timescales of the mortgage application process.

Mortgage Agreement in Principle Timescale 

A mortgage agreement in principle can typically be issued within 24 hours and will last for 3 months to give you plenty of time to find a property that you would like to buy.

When viewing properties, a mortgage agreement in principle document will prove to the estate agent that you have spoken to a mortgage broker to establish your borrowing capacity and have had a basic pre-approval check for a mortgage.

The amount you can borrow on a mortgage agreement in principle is a rough guide, for a personalised quotation it is always best to speak with a trusted advisor. 

Mortgage Application Timescale 

When you find a property, you would like to buy we will complete a full mortgage application on your behalf, this takes on average 3 weeks to be approved by your new lender.

If for one reason or another your situation is more complicated or your application is deemed as higher risk to the lender, then this could take a few weeks longer, up to 6 weeks (about 1 and a half months).  Examples of where a mortgage application can take longer than usual are: 

Alternatively, if you have a lot of equity or deposit available and your situation is straight forward, your mortgage application is lower risk and could be much quicker at 1 to 2 weeks to be approved. 

Mortgage Offer Timescales 

Following a successful application process approval, you will receive your mortgage offer which will be valid for between 3 and 6 months depending on which lender we recommend.  A mortgage offer is a formal agreement that your mortgage application has been underwritten and approved by your lender.

A copy of your mortgage offer will be sent by the lender to your conveyancer as they will need this to check as part of the legal process. Your offer letter will state the terms and conditions of your mortgage and you should read this carefully.

If your purchase or remortgage takes longer than the 3 to 6 months validation period, lenders have individual processes in place for extending this period.

At any time until your completion your lender can do additional checks on you, please do not apply for any credit or car loans etc. during this period as you run the risk of being declined and then you are back to the start of the process. 

How to speed up the mortgage application process? 

If you are in a rush and would like to reduce the amount of time it takes for a mortgage application, here are some tips:

Get Organised

If you can easily place your hands on your personal information such as earnings, address history, credit information, and a budget planner this will speed up your application.

Having Documents Ready

As part of the mortgage application process you will need to provide documents to evidence your income. The more organised you are with these the better, documents such as identification, evidence of earnings, bank statements, and proof of deposit will be required.


The faster that you reply to your mortgage brokers emails and requests for additional information the quicker the application process will be. Customers that are highly responsive and on the ball with their emails will typically receive their mortgage approval first. Choose your mortgage broker wisely, some are much more on the ball than others. 

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About the Author

Malcolm Davidson

Managing Director of UK Moneyman LTD

Malcolm is one of the UK’s most well-known and respected Mortgage Advisors. He is passionate about providing a 5* customer experience and he has also trained and mentored dozens of fellow Advisors in a career that is now in its third decade.

In addition to his day to day duties as Managing Director, Malcolm still gives out mortgage advice and feels lucky that his job is also very much his hobby.

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