Your first mortgage can be a very scary prospect indeed. Not only is it undoubtedly the biggest loan you’ll ever take out, but it’s also a binding long term commitment that seems endless when you’re young, footloose and fancy free. Our top 5 tips aim to provide that much needed mortgage advice for first time buyers.

But getting your first mortgages, though a very important decision to make, doesn’t need to be treated with trepidation or postponed for as long as you can. These five tips from the people who know should go some way towards helping making getting yours sorted a little less stressful.

  1. Think very hard about using a qualified, registered mortgage broker. They know the market a lot better than anyone else, and if they’re independent can recommend products from across the market. They can also access products that us mere mortals can only dream of – which should more than offset the fees they charge. Plus, an initial chat is free so you’ve nothing to lose! Find yours here.
  2. Look into Help to Buy, the Government’s scheme to help first time buyers get on the ladder. This works in your favour by boosting your deposit with an interest-free loan of up to 20% of your chosen property’s value (40% if you’re in London). It also provides lenders with a guarantee against losses to make first time buyers a more attractive prospect to those over-cautious lenders. Read our ‘Help to Buy: How it Works‘ post to make sense of it.
  3. Get your house in order. Financially that is. To get your first mortgage, think like the mortgage lender. The first place they look are credit reference agencies, which luckily you can consult too. Check out Clearscore, Equifax and Experian for free checks that let you see what they can see. Then take any measures you can to increase your score and your chances of scoring the best deal.
  4. Deposit counts. It’s the uncomfortable truth, but the more money you have to put down, the better your chances of getting a mortgage and the best interest rates. The bigger the deposit the better, as this unlocks loads more products and more attractive interest rates that will save you big money over the mortgage term.
  5. Look at the bigger picture. It’s easy to be tempted in by offers like low deposit and free legal fees, but these will always come with a payback over the mortgage term. Your calculator is your best friend when it comes to getting your first mortgage. Use it to work out the entire cost of a mortgage and not just the upfront costs.