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Do mortgage lenders do final checks before completion UK?

When you are applying for a mortgage, it is standard for the lender to check your credit score and history before approving your application. However, you may not be aware that they also check this again at a later point – before the mortgage amount is transferred and your purchase is completed.

Initial mortgage offers can be valid for up to 6 months, so it’s not uncommon that things can change between starting your mortgage application and completing your mortgage.

Your income could increase or decrease, or the mortgage provider could even change their requirements for lending. If something like this happens, you could be understandably worried you might not be able to get the mortgage you want anymore.

In this guide, we will explain the final checks lenders will do, factors that could cause issues during final checks and our advice on the best way to make sure your mortgage goes through smoothly.

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Even though lenders will have checked your credit during your initial application, they will also do last minute checks before contract exchange and completion. This is so they can make sure nothing has changed since you submitted your application.

If your credit score has decreased, you have had a reduction in pay or even lost your job completely, the lender could decide to pull their mortgage offer. This can be disappointing, especially if this happens at the exchange of contracts or right when your home purchase is about to go through.

You might be concerned that something could cause you to fail your final checks or maybe you have already failed them. Don’t think that this means you won’t be able to buy the property you want. It might just be that another lender will be a better choice for your new circumstances, and an experienced broker can help you compare the ones available to determine your best options.

What checks do mortgage lenders do before completion UK?

The main thing a lender will look at during their final checks is whether anything has happened that has affected your credit score or affordability. If this has happened, they may not think you are suitable for the mortgage anymore. They will also be making sure they didn’t miss anything in their initial assessments that could affect your eligibility for the mortgage.

Most of the time, their final check is just them confirming the details they have about you are right, and if nothing has changed there is nothing to be concerned about.

They can decide to do these checks at any point later in the mortgage process, right up until the day of completion. All lenders will differ slightly in the way they do things, so when your final check happens can be affected by the lender you have chosen.

The lender will look at factors like:

  • If your credit score has changed (particularly if it has decreased)
  • Any history of debt and if there are any new debts
  • If they have all the correct details for you including your age, address history etc
  • If they have the right figures for your annual income and if this has changed
  • If you have any dependents and how many

There are various reasons that you might not pass a lenders final check before your mortgage can be completed.

Something unexpected could come up during the mortgage process that changes your circumstances e.g. losing your job, change in income etc.

If this happens you will need to inform your mortgage lender (and your broker) as soon as possible or you risk these factors causing issues with your application. If you don’t let the lender know and they find out later this could cause you to fail when they check your credit report and income detail again.

Other reasons you could fail a mortgage final credit check include:

  • A noticeable change in your credit file/score (they will want to know why this has happened)
  • The lender thinks you may have lied on your application or withheld relevant information
  • They made a mistake and should not have offered a mortgage in principle
  • You have fallen behind on payments for things such as credit cards or car finance
  • You have changed your employer and if your wage is different
  • Your mortgage offer has expired before you reach the completion date
  • The lender has changed their criteria or lending requirements since your initial application, and you no longer meet them
  • The property has been revalued and differences have been found to the initial valuation
  • Your monthly expenses have dramatically increased (e.g. new car finance), and the lender thinks you will not be able to afford the monthly repayments anymore

The first thing to remember is not to panic and do anything hasty. Immediately reapplying right after a hard credit check will negatively impact your credit score, which will make it harder to get a new mortgage approved.

Depending on why you failed the checks, you might be able to fix the issue and reapply with the same lender. In many cases, the better approach would be to look for a new lender, particularly if your finances have drastically changed since the first application.

Certain lenders will be better for people with credit issues for example and will be able to offer you better rates and deals than others. We have years of expertise in bad credit mortgages and have access to a panel of excellent lenders that work well in this situation.

If you have failed the checks because you lost your job or had a pay cut, it will be worth taking time to assess your best options. You might need to decrease the amount you want to borrow or take some time to save a larger deposit to qualify for the mortgage that you need.

Our advice on how to pass final checks before completion

The best way to make sure that you will pass your final mortgage checks is by consulting an experienced mortgage broker during the application process.

A mortgage broker with the right background and experience for the type of mortgage you need will be able to flag up any potential issues ahead of time. Then you can address these as fast as possible, to increase chances your mortgage will go through successfully.

Our independent mortgage specialists have years of experience and know exactly which things to look out for. We will let you know the second we spot anything that could cause a problem and will work hard to support you in solving this.

Useful resources

Citizen’s Advice – How lenders decide whether to give you credit

Statista – Mortgages in the UK Statistics & Facts

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