10 things you need to know when applying for a mortgage and related insurances.

Mabel McLean
August 25, 2021
10 things you need to know when applying for a mortgage and related insurances.

Memories of school include (gloopy) custard, telling your bestie to also sharpen their pencil so that the two of you can chat at the bin [not sure how the teacher let this happen, I mean how many times do you need to use your white colouring pencil], being excited about favourite lessons, assemblies to find out the tea about what’s happening at school, being the best at something, and the childhood fantasy of imagining the world as a place that’s cooler than it really was.

For some, school has a period of halcyon days and for others – a total skive.  

For Cameron, he was never “academic” and preferred a more hands-on approach to life.  One of his favourite memories is taking part in “business enterprise” where him and his best mate sold sweets and drinks to classmates for a handsome little profit.  But, recently Cameron was invited to give a careers talk at a school (online because of the pandemic).  And as one should anticipate, a presentation was required to be submitted, and well… it’s been a while since Cameron has had to do any homework [or blame his dog for eating it].  And, in true form, he skived and passed the “homework” over to Mabel.  

Mabel was not excited about making the life of a Mortgage and Protection Advisor seem like  a glamorous choice to kids in Primary 6, or as Cameron suggested:  “Make me sound like a Marvel Hero or something.”  However, she did empathise with Cameron as she wasn’t the one who had to deliver the presentation.  Luckily, the school had provided us (Yeah, I guess it’s a joint effort now!) with a brief and a few questions from their pupils.  The questions were eye-opening!  When we think of our own financial education, it’s very obvious how much was lacking when we were at school a few decades ago.  The concept of mortgages, life insurance, critical illness cover and income protection was never talked about in high school, never mind primary school.

It did get Mabel and Cameron thinking about how they had a unique opportunity, and that they should be educating their children about finances as well.  It also got us thinking about things we wish we’d known before adult life took over.  So, without further ado...Here’s a list we’ve compiled, of ten things that will benefit you when applying for a mortgage and related insurances:

  1. Make sure you’re on the electoral roll. It’s easy to register online via www.gov.uk.
  2. Know your income!  Don’t screw up your payslip whenever you get it, but keep it in a folder somewhere known and double-check for any discrepancies such as incorrect tax codes.  Mortgage lenders will always ask you for copies of your payslips, so it’s really important to always keep them somewhere safe and handy.
  3. Make sure your IDs such as passports and driving licences are kept up to date.  Changing it is free and can be done online. There is a fine of up to £1,000 for failing to do so. Keeping a PDF copy of it also helps when you’re going through the application process.
  4. Find out your budget before looking at homes.  Knowing your affordability will avoid disappointment.  You can do it online, or speak with a mortgage and protection advisor.
  5. Saving is hard to do.  There are apps that can help you stay accountable and which will help you save a few pennies here and there, as well as your own bank who can assist you with “rounded-up” or “top-up” transactions and transfer these funds directly to a savings account for you.  
  6. Get your life insurance, critical illness cover and anything else in your twenties.  It’s by far cheaper when you’re younger.  
  7. Find out all the bills and costs that go with owning your own home.  If it’s a flat or an apartment, what is the factor’s fee?  What’s the council tax band?
  8. Look beyond the décor of a property.  So many people are put off by the current owner’s taste but remember, once the keys are handed over, you can do whatever you want.
  9. Get your credit file and see what’s on your financial records.  Do not be surprised by the lender or your mortgage advisor finding an unpaid mobile phone bill from your university days.
  10. Be careful of where you get advice from.  Friends and family mean well, and unless they’re qualified experts, their experience is based on their circumstances.   You need advice based on your earnings and situation.
And just a quick side note.

The presentation went smoothly and the children were engaging so it went well with Cameron.  Well, he says nobody fell asleep, which is a bonus!  Fast forward a few weeks and we received a letter in the mail. It was from one of the pupils who had some follow-up questions for Cameron.  However, the best part was reading that the pupil was inspired! She was actually considering a career within real estate and helping people find their dream homes.  Maybe Cameron is a Hero?

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