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How much can I borrow for a mortgage?

Different mortgage providers calculate mortgage affordability using various criteria, which means that you may be offered a variety of different sized mortgage loans by different banks or building societies. This means that it’s a good idea to compare as many mortgage deals as possible before making a decision – Use our FREE online mortgage calculator to compare over 5,000 top mortgage deals.

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How do lenders decide the size of a mortgage?

The amount that you may be able to borrow for a mortgage will depend on several factors, including:

  • The value of property you want to buy – this will be ascertained by a surveyor who will carry out a property valuation prior to a mortgage offer being made
  • Whether you are buying a property alone or jointly with another person – if so, both your incomes will be taken into account
  • The amount you earn
  • The size of your deposit
  • The stability of your income
  • Any additional income or bonuses
  • Your monthly outgoings
  • Your credit rating
  • Your outstanding debts or credit cards

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How can I increase my chances of borrowing the amount I want?

While it’s important to be realistic about how much you can afford to borrow when looking for a mortgage, there are several actions you can take to help you get the loan you need as far as your circumstances will allow. The days of 100% mortgages are long gone, but there are several other steps you can take to help:

  • Put down the biggest deposit you can comfortably afford – this will mean you need a smaller mortgage overall and therefore your repayments may be lower
  • Make sure your credit history is as clean as possible – you can check this online using various websites such as Experian
  • Research a variety of lenders – all mortgage lenders operate different criteria, so it pays to shop around. You may be able to get a better deal with a lesser-known lender, so don’t restrict your search to high street banks. Use our FREE mortgage calculator to compare over 5,000 of the best mortgage deals available.
  • Consider a specialist mortgage for those with a lower deposit – several mortgage lenders operate family-assisted or guarantor mortgages, or you could consider the Government’s Help to Buy scheme which offers mortgages at up to 95% loan to value (LTV). 

How long does a mortgage last?

Mortgages are available on various repayment timeframes – the most common duration for a mortgage is about 25 years. Like any other debt being repaid with interest added, the shorter the term of a repayment mortgage, the higher your monthly payments will be. This is because you will have fewer years to pay off the loan, and so will have to pay more each month. On the other hand, the shorter the term of the mortgage, the less interest you will be paying in total, because you will have had the debt for a shorter time. If you can easily afford the monthly payments, it is cheaper overall to go for a shorter term mortgage.

What other costs do I need to consider?

As well as factoring in your deposit and your mortgage repayments, it’s important to consider the other costs involved in buying a property and moving home. These could include:

  • Legal fees
  • Stamp duty
  • Valuation fees
  • Survey fees
  • Estate agents fees (if you are also selling your current property)
  • Mortgage application fees
  • Mortgage product fees (some mortgages are advertised as fee-free but bear in mind that this may be reflected in higher monthly repayments)
  • Life insurance and critical illness cover if you do not already have these in place
  • Buildings and contents insurance
  • Maintenance and decorating
  • Furnishing the property

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To compare the latest mortgage deals, you can use our simple online mortgage calculator.