Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage
When you start thinking about your mortgage the first question you may want to ask is 'How much can I get a mortgage for?' You can get a rough idea of your potential mortgage repayments from our mortgage calculator but it's also important to look at how affordable this mortgage might be for you. It's no fun to have a wonderful new home but be spending so much on your mortgage that you can’t afford to decorate or furnish it.
Most lenders will offer you a multiple of your salary for your mortgage, based on your personal circumstances. All lenders have different criteria but you can find some information on what they may be looking for in our guide to How much can I borrow?
Getting together your deposit may be a daunting part of buying a new house. The Money Advice Services advises that with most lenders you'll need at least 5% of the value of your house so it can take some time and sacrifice to build up. Having a larger deposit not only minimises the amount you borrow, it could get you a better interest rate too. We offer some advice on different types of savings accounts and which might be right for you in our guide to Saving for a deposit.
In order to be approved for a mortgage you'll have to prove your income, if you bank with your potential lender this may be straightforward, if not you'll need to provide evidence of your current salary. The lender will also look at your credit score.
Lenders will look at your other outgoings such as loans, credit cards or car payments to check that you have enough income to pay for your mortgage along with your other expenses. The lender has to be satisfied that you will be able to meet your repayments on the mortgage.
It's important to consider if you'd be able to afford your monthly payments should things change. If interest rates were to rise would you still be able to make your repayments? It's worth checking what would happen to your payments if the base rate increased by 1 or 2%. Would you still be able to afford your mortgage?
Your mortgage is a long term commitment and during its life it is possible you could be affected by redundancy, illness or other factors. This could impact your ability to repay your mortgage. Our guide to What to do if your circumstances change can help you to plan ahead for unpleasant possibilities.
Your home is a hugely important part of your life and it may be tempting to go over your budget when buying. Remember that once you have your new home, you're still going to want to do fun things like eat out and go on holidays. Overstretching on your mortgage could limit your ability to do these things. As well as enjoying yourself, you'll still need to keep savings for a rainy day too. Plan ahead and make sure you could still afford your repayments should circumstances change. Making sure your mortgage is affordable will reduce stress and make sure you can get on with enjoying your life in your new home.
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