What is a mortgage or decision principle? 
When you want to make an offer on a property through an estate agent, you will be asked for a mortgage 
in principle. But what is a mortgage in principle and why do you need one? 
In a nutshell a mortgage in principle is a certificate from a lender that shows you have been pre- 
approved by a lender in principle at least. To secure a mortgage in principle you would provide a bank or  
lender with enough information for them to make a quick assessment as to whether they will lend to you. 
This information will include things like your date of birth, last 3 years address history, details of your 
employment including your salary plus details of any outgoings. That lender will run a soft search credit 
check on you to ensure the informaiotn provided is correct and you have a suitable credit file. If they are 
happy with the information provided and what they find on your credit file, they will issue a certificate of 
pre-approval in the form of a mortgage in principle certificate. 
This certificate along with your proof of deposit is enough proof for any seller or estate agent that you 
have what you need in place to proceed with a purchase. So, when you make an offer on a property it is 
best practice to have a mortgage in principle in place beforehand. This way you know what your 
maximum purchase price is and have peace of mind you have been pre-approved. Also having the 
mortgage in principle in place when you start viewing properties you can make an offer on the property 
you love immediately so you don’t risk losing out. 
To increase your chances of securing a mortgage in pricniple with minimal fuss and a higher chance of 
success, you should use an independent mortgage adviser who can find the best fit for you based on 
your circumstances. Whether that be the cheapest lender, the lender who will stretch your income the 
furthest or a lender who will lend to you based on your personal circumstances. 
Now a mortgage in principle isnt a guarantee to lend, this will determine when a full mortgage application 
is submitted and the lenders carry out a thorough review of your situation. But you would need a 
mortgage in principle to secure a purchase, so by obtaining a mortgage in principle early will increase 
your chances of success. 
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