Getting ready to reserve

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or experienced in the property market, the process can be complex and requires careful preparation to get ready to reserve your home.

This guidance outlines key steps to enhance your creditworthiness, organise your financial documentation, and navigate the mortgage application process. Follow these insights to position yourself as a favourable candidate for mortgage lenders and take a step closer to securing your new home.

1. Make sure you are registered to vote

If you have registered to vote, then you should already be on the electoral roll at your current address. All mortgage lenders use the electoral roll to check you are who you say you are so they can ensure someone else isn’t using your identity fraudulently to make credit applications in your name.

If you’re not registered on the electoral roll, you can register to vote online.

2. Register your rent payments

There is a way to enhance your credit report by registering your current monthly rent payments. To make this happen, a company called Credit Ladder can share your rental payments with a credit reference agency.

Sharing your rental payment history will help mortgage lenders quickly check your identity online and will enhance your credit history. You should then ensure you always make an on-time rent payment. This may make it easier for you to be approved for mortgage finance.

Credit Ladder offers a free service

3. Check your credit file

Check your credit file to ensure the information held is correct. The lenders will use this information to confirm you are a good credit risk.

Credit Karma & Clearscore are two providers that currently offer an ongoing free monthly credit report.

4. Get your paperwork in order

This applies to cash buyers and customers requiring a mortgage.

Your broker will request documents from you to prove incoming and outgoings. They may require:

  • Your last three months’ bank statements
  • Your last three months’ pay slips
  • Proof of bonuses/commission
  • Your latest P60 tax form (showing income and tax paid from each tax year)
  • Your last three years’ accounts or tax returns (if self-employed)
  • Proof of deposits (e.g., savings account statements)
  • ID documents (usually a passport)
  • Proof of address (e.g., utility bills or credit card bills)
  • A gift letter. If you’re getting deposit help, the lender needs to know it is a gift (not a loan), and that the giver won’t part own the home.  They’ll also ask for a copy of the bank or savings statement to prove the source of the funds.

5. Regular payments to gambling websites

Unfortunately, we have seen lenders reject customers’ for having regular items on their bank statements such as payments to gambling website or even bingo websites.

If these types of payments are on your bank statements, make sure you tell your mortgage broker so an explanation can accompany the statements.

6. Using payday loan companies

Using these types of lenders is never a good idea – their high rates of interest can cause payment problems. A payday loan could also harm your chances of mortgage success.

Some mortgage lenders have changed their criteria to bar those who have taken out a short-term loan in the past 12 months. Speak to a mortgage broker if this affects you.

7. Choosing a solicitor

In order to a reserve a new home, you will need to tell us which solicitor you intend to use. Find a selection of expert Shared Ownership solicitors.


Our expert panel of brokers are on hand to give you help and advice.

This handy mortgage calculator will help you understand what your mortgage may cost each month.