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How long does a Mortgage in Principle last?

Jenni Hill
Last Updated 6 February 2024

Are you worried that your Mortgage in Principle will expire before you find a house you’d like to buy? As stressful as this situation may feel, there’s no need to rush or panic. Let’s explore how long a Mortgage in Principle lasts and how you can extend it.

In this guide

How long does a Mortgage in Principle last?

There isn’t a specific time limit for a Mortgage in Principle, but most lenders include a deadline between 3-6 months into the future. The exact length of time you’ll get will depend on the lender, their criteria, and the information you provide them.

Learn more: How to get a Mortgage in Principle

Can a bank pull out of a Mortgage in Principle?

Yes, it’s possible for a bank to pull out of a Mortgage in Principle. Although a Mortgage in Principle is a valuable document to have as it shows you how much you can afford to borrow, it’s not legally binding. A lender could give you a Mortgage in Principle only to withdraw their offer later on. 

This is most likely to happen if your circumstances change after receiving your Mortgage in Principle or if the lender discovers information about you that they didn’t know before. It can also happen if the lender changes their criteria and you no longer meet their affordability requirements

Learn more: How long does a mortgage offer last?

Can you be declined after a Mortgage in Principle?

Yes, it’s possible to be declined after a Mortgage in Principle. Thankfully, we don’t see this happen too often, but here are some of the most common reasons why a bank might decline your mortgage application after they’ve already given you a Mortgage in Principle:

  • You’ve changed jobs or your income has changed
  • You’ve taken out a new line of credit
  • You’ve missed payments on existing or previous debts
  • You’re financially connected to someone with adverse credit

If you get rejected for a mortgage, don’t panic. Getting one or even two rejections doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to get a mortgage - in fact, 70% of our customers have been declined by a broker or lender before. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to get a mortgage from a different lender, especially if you speak to a mortgage broker instead of approaching lenders directly. To learn more, take a look at our guide on what to do if you’re mortgage application is declined.

Can I extend my Mortgage in Principle?

Yes, it’s usually possible to extend your Mortgage in Principle. This can come in handy if your Mortgage in Principle’s deadline is approaching and you’ve not found a suitable property yet. 

If you’ve already got an Agreement in Principle (this is a more thorough document created following a credit check and more detailed exploration of your finances), this might also need extending. You might need to extend an Agreement in Principle if:

  • Your completion date has been pushed back due to delays in the property chain
  • You’re purchasing a new build and it won’t be ready before your mortgage promise expires

Extending a Mortgage in Principle or Agreement in Principle may feel pretty nerve-wracking, but most lenders are understanding, especially if you have a good reason for needing an extension. 

If you’re thinking of extending your Mortgage in Principle or Agreement in Principle, it can be a good idea to speak to a mortgage broker first. New mortgages, interest rates and deals enter the market every day, meaning the offer laid out in your original document might not be right for you today.

Learn more: What are current interest rates?

How many times can you do a Mortgage in Principle?

There’s technically no limit to the number of Mortgage in Principles you can have. You don’t have to stick with the first one you’re given. Instead, you could have several at the same time or take out one after the other. However, find out whether a credit check will be carried out before you request a new Mortgage in Principle. 

Here at Tembo, we can give you a free, online Mortgage in Principle without the need for a credit check. Elsewhere, lenders might carry out a credit search, which could leave a footprint on your credit file which can be seen by other lenders. Get your Mortgage in Principle here.

If you request several Mortgage in Principle documents in a short space of time and several footprints are added to your credit report, lenders may see this as a red flag and a sign you may struggle to pay your mortgage in future. This could, unfortunately, lead to a rejection.

Get a free Mortgage in Principle in minutes

All you need to do is answer just a few questions and we’ll send you a free Mortgage in Principle. When you’re ready, we can help you get an Agreement in Principle and submit a full mortgage application further down the line.

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