If you need to move house quickly, are buying a property at auction, or are bidding against another buyer, you might wonder how you can get quick mortgage approval. Fast-track mortgages or bridging finance could be an option for you, depending on your situation.

This guide examines why some people may benefit from fast-track mortgages or bridging finance and the quickest way to get mortgage approval.

What Are Fast-Track Mortgages?

Fast-track mortgages, also known as "fast-track purchase mortgages" or “quick approval mortgages”, are normal mortgages at standard market rates that can be processed, approved and sometimes funded more quickly than the average, which can take months. Although not a specific type of product, the term “fast-track mortgage” generally describes a scenario where you’re able to get a mortgage offer more quickly by applying through your current bank.

How does a fast-track mortgage work exactly? Basically, if you already bank with the lender you’re applying for a mortgage with, and your income is paid into the account you hold with them, then they may be able to auto-verify your income which will speed up the underwriting process. Furthermore, some lenders may also be able to do a desktop valuation of the property using an AVM (automated valuation model) if you’re applying for a mortgage with an LTV (loan-to-value) of 70% or below, removing the need to organise and wait for a surveyor to conduct a mortgage valuation. Desktop valuations are more common when remortgaging which is one reason why so-called “fast-track remortgages” are arguably easier to find.

If you meet all of the above conditions, then it is possible to get mortgage approval much sooner than is average – potentially even within the hour in certain circumstances.

Fast-track mortgages may be suitable for a variety of borrowers, such as first-time buyers, those relocating for work or personal reasons, or simply those with tight deadlines.

Can I Get Quick Mortgage Approval with Bridging Finance?

Another lending solution that offers quick mortgage approval is bridging finance. Bridging finance is a popular option for people buying properties at auction or unmortgageable properties, carrying out renovations, purchasing land or fixing a broken property chain.

You can have a bridging loan in place within a month or even a few days of starting the application process. Bridging loans are more expensive than normal mortgages, including fast-track mortgages. They come with much higher interest rates and regulated ones typically have terms of up to 12 months. Most lenders will also require that you provide evidence of a repayment strategy.

Bridging loans aren’t normally used for straightforward residential house purchases unless you need to complete within 4 weeks, due to the increased cost and later need to remortgage onto a standard mortgage deal.

Why Might Someone Need Quick Mortgage Approval?

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Quick mortgage approval is often desired by people with tight deadlines, for example:

  • You've found your dream home and need to move quickly to secure it before it goes on the open market and you’re suddenly in a bidding war
  • You need to relocate for work (or something else) and buy a new property quickly
  • You need to move out of your current property quickly
  • You're trying to buy a property at auction and need to have the funds available soon to do so
  • You’re about to enter a broken property chain and want to avoid losing your new home
  • You’re renovating a new property

How Quickly Can a Mortgage Be Approved?

A common question among borrowers looking for a quick mortgage is: "How quickly can I get a mortgage approved?" How quickly you can get approved for a mortgage will depend on several factors - including the lender, the type of loan and the applicant's credit, income and situation.

On average, it can take anywhere from 4 weeks to a few months for a mortgage application to be approved particularly if you’re buying a property, not just remortgaging.

Some lenders may be able to provide a decision within 4 weeks for certain types of mortgages, such as remortgages - if they're provided with all the documentation in time – as the process for a remortgage is often simpler.

If you need to complete within 4 weeks – for example if you bought a property at auction – then a bridging loan may be suitable option.

Not everyone is eligible for fast-track mortgages with their banks as discussed earlier. If this is something you want to consider then speak with a mortgage adviser or your bank for more information.

How Much Can I Borrow with a Quick Mortgage?

Your mortgage affordability and the amount you can borrow with a fast track or quick approval mortgage will depend on your situation and the lender’s criteria, as is the case with any other normal mortgage. The maximum amount you can borrow from a lender is typically up to 4.5x your income, but other factors such as your deposit, the property price, your credit score, etc. will also impact what the lender will offer you.

Our calculators will give you an idea of how much you can borrow and what your repayments are likely to be.

The amount you can borrow on a bridging loan is worked out a little differently. Essentially, you’ll need to be able to provide at least 25% - 40% of the property purchase price in deposit. The lender will also consider the location, your intention with the property, the term of the bridge and more. Speak to one of our advisers about bridging to learn more about how much you could potentially borrow.

How Do I Get Quick Mortgage Approval?

There are several steps you can take to help ensure your mortgage application is approved quickly and with as little hassle as possible.

Use a Mortgage Broker

The first thing to do is speak to a mortgage broker like John Charcol. We’ll consider your situation and options, directing you towards the best lending solution and guiding you every step of the way. We’ll also manage the application process for you, liaising with lenders and keeping everything running smoothly.

Gather All Necessary Documentation

Lenders will require certain documents to process yourbridging or mortgage application. Speak to your mortgage broker about what documents you need to collect and have them ready to submit to the lender.

Provide a Larger Deposit

The larger your deposit, the less you need to borrow and the less risk there is for the lender. This is true for all kinds of secured lending. Providing a larger deposit will increase your chance of approval and simplify (potentially speeding up) the underwriting process.

Be Prepared to Pay Higher Interest Rates

If you’re in a huge rush and need to complete on a property very soon, then you’ll likely find that a bridging loan is the best option for you – and bridging loans are much more expensive than traditional mortgages including fast-track ones available through your bank.

Be Honest and Transparent

You’re more likely to get quick mortgage approval if you’re honest and transparent about your financial situation from the outset as this will help avoid issues later on.

Have a Good Credit History

Lenders will check your credit history to determine your creditworthiness. A good credit score and a history of making payments on time will be viewed favourably by a lender, which can only improve your chances of securing a good mortgage deal and decrease the likelihood of issues with your application.

Be Ready for a Quick Decision

If you’re seeking a quick decision, be prepared for one.

Considering the above steps and being prepared can increase your chances of getting quick mortgage approval, whether you choose a fast-track mortgage or opt for bridging finance. Again, speak to a mortgage broker about your options as we’ll be able to guide you in the right direction from the outset.

Which Lenders Offer Quick Mortgages?

Many high street lenders are able to offer fast-track mortgages to their clients, assuming they meet certain conditions. This includes lenders such as:

  • HSBC
  • Santander
  • NatWest

There are also many different bridging lenders available through John Charcol, such as:

  • United Trust Bank
  • West One
  • Greenfield Mortgages
  • MFS
  • Shawbrook

Does It Cost More to Get a Quick Approval Mortgage?

If you apply for a fast-track mortgage with your bank it shouldn’t cost you any more money as you’ll typically obtain a standard mortgage product. The only real difference is that you may want to provide more in deposit in order to provide enough security so the lender can do a desktop valuation using an AVM.

If you need very quick mortgage approval and opt for a bridging loan then yes, it will cost you more money. Bridging loans are much more expensive than standard mortgages. The interest rates on them are much higher, which is why they’re only short term solutions. For a bridging loan the lender will also require at least 25% - 40% in deposit.

Can I Get a Quick Mortgage if I Have Bad Credit?

Not all bridging lenders will directly consider credit history when assessing an application but they may run a soft search in the background. This means that bridging can be an option for people with bad credit. However, bad credit can affect your ability to secure bridging if your repayment strategy involves refinancing, and you’re unable to secure a Decision in Principle for a future standard mortgage.

Getting a fast-track mortgage can be more difficult if you have bad credit. This is because lenders, especially high street ones, view borrowers with bad credit as a higher risk and may be less likely to approve them for a mortgage.

How Quickly Can You Get Approved for a Mortgage on a Buy-to-Let?

The quickest way to get lending approved on a buy-to-let property is to opt for bridging finance. With bridging finance, you can secure lending within 4 weeks.

Bridging finance is particularly popular among landlords/renovators and investors buying properties at auction. Many bridging lenders offer unregulated products for rental property purchases - with terms of 12 – 24 months.

Next Steps

At John Charcol, our mortgage expertise and whole market access means we can help you secure the right solution for your needs. We look at your situation and give you advice on which options are best for you, especially if you have a strict deadline and need quick mortgage approval.

Call us on 0330 433 2927 and contact us today to find out how we can help you.

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