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How to get a Mortgage In Principle in 10 minutes

How to get a Mortgage In Principle in 10 minutes

Jenni Hill
Last Updated 5 December 2023

A Mortgage In Principle is a formal document, normally issued by a bank, building society or mortgage broker that outlines how much you could borrow if you applied for a mortgage based on the information you have provided. 

Getting a Mortgage In Principle can make your property search a lot easier. For starters, it’ll give you a realistic idea of what you can afford. It can also speed up the home-buying process - estate agents and sellers will be more likely to accept your offer if they can see that you’re a serious buyer and the property is within your budget.

But how do you get a Mortgage In Principle in the first place? And is it essential when buying a house? We answer your questions below.

In this guide

How to get a Mortgage In Principle

To get a Mortgage In Principle, you’ll need to answer a series of questions about your income, savings, and credit history on a mortgage broker or lender's website. These questions are designed to assess your affordability and work out how much you’d be able to borrow. 

Need a Mortgage In Principle today?

Get a free Mortgage In Principle today with Tembo. It takes 10 minutes to complete, there’s no credit check involved and is downloadable. So you can easily show it to estate agents and sellers to show your affordability.

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What is needed for a Mortgage In Principle?

To get a Mortgage In Principle, you'll need to have certain bits of information to hand to answer the questions. The questions you’re asked will vary depending on the bank, building society or mortgage broker, but they could include:

  • Whereabouts are you in the property search?
  • When are you hoping to buy a property?
  • Have you found a property you want to buy?
  • Are you buying the property alone or with someone else?
  • How much do you and any other applicants earn? 
  • How much will the property cost or how much do you think it’ll cost?
  • Do you have any credit cards, store cards, personal loans or student loans?
  • Do you have any dependents?

Does a Mortgage In Principle affect your credit score?

You won’t need a credit check to get a Mortgage In Principle, so it won't affect your credit score. At this stage, you also won’t have to share any official documents such as bank statements and payslips. 

However, it’s worth noting that later down the line you will be credit checked and be required to prove bank statements, payslips and other documents to evidence your affordability to the lender. So it’s important to be as honest and accurate as you can in the early stages, to avoid disappointment down the line. 

If you’re worried about how your credit score could impact your ability to get a mortgage, read our guide What Is A Credit Score and How To Improve It

Can a Mortgage In Principle be changed?

A Mortgage In Principle is usually an accurate reflection of how much you can borrow at that time, but it can be changed. If your circumstances alter, such as a family member wants to gift you some money to help with your deposit, you’ve had a pay rise, or gone on maternity leave, it can be worth getting an updated Mortgage In Principle as the amount you can borrow may have changed. 

If you’re struggling to get the mortgage you need, talk to Tembo. We’re experts when it comes to helping buyers boost their budgets through a range of specialist buying schemes.

Read more: How to get a bigger mortgage

It’s worth noting that a Mortgage In Principle isn’t legally binding and a mortgage lender doesn’t have to honour it. That’s because it’s an indication of what you could borrow based on the information you’ve provided, not confirmation of what a lender will offer you for a mortgage.

When you’ve found the house you want and apply for a mortgage, you will need to get a Decision In Principle (DIP) from the specific lender you want to go with. Also known as an Agreement In Principle (AIP), this is when a soft credit check will be conducted to check your affordability. 

At this point, your affordability may be slightly different to what’s on your Mortgage In Principle. This is because the lender uses their own specific eligibility and affordability calculations. 

Although mortgage brokers like Tembo provide you with a Mortgage In Principle for each of the buying schemes you’re eligible for, it is still possible for lenders to decline your submission later on when you request a DIP.

If this happens, don’t panic. A good mortgage broker will work with you to try to find another lender who is more likely to accept your application. And if they can’t, they’ll explain why you’re not eligible, and advise you on how you can make yourself mortgage-ready.

To learn more, take a look at our guide: What can I do if my mortgage application has been declined?

How many Mortgage In Principles can I get?

There’s no limit to the number of Mortgage In Principles you can get. So if you’re unsatisfied with the Mortgage In Principle you’ve received from one place, there’s no harm in applying for another somewhere else. Just be sure you’re not being soft credit searched - as the requirement for this at MIP stage changes from provider to provider. 

To save you having to jump from one lender to another, you could get a Mortgage In Principle from a mortgage broker instead. They’ll compare dozens (or in our case hundreds) of lenders from across the market to give you an idea of how much you can borrow, as well as the best schemes to use to get on the ladder sooner.

Can I put an offer on a house without a Mortgage In Principle?

Yes, you can put an offer on a house without a a Mortgage In Principle, but estate agents and sellers tend to prefer buyers with this document in hand, and they can be quite pushy in asking for them. A Mortgage In Principle is particularly necessary in popular locations where the market is fast-paced and competitive. 

The way estate agents and sellers see it, a buyer with a Mortgage In Principle is a safer bet than someone without one. 

Why would I be declined a Mortgage In Principle?

There are lots of reasons why you might be declined a Mortgage In Principle. These include:

  • You want to borrow more money than you can afford
  • You have a large amount of existing debt or you’ve had credit problems in the past
  • You have a small or non-existent deposit

What should I do if my Mortgage In Principle has been declined?

If you’ve been declined for a Mortgage In Principle, this doesn’t mean you’ll have to rent forever. Some lenders are just fussy. Your best bet is to compare multiple mortgage deals at once with the help of a mortgage broker. They’ll know which banks and building societies are most likely to approve your application and which are best to avoid.

Here at Tembo we can help you overcome common home-buying obstacles such as a low deposit or a modest salary. We specialise in helping buyers discover how they can afford their dream home sooner. Whether it’s through a guarantor mortgage or specialist lending scheme, we can find a solution for you in an instant. In fact, our average customer increases their buying budget by £82,000! 


Can I get a Mortgage In Principle online?

Yes, it’s easy to get a Mortgage In Principle online, so there’s no need to visit your local bank or arrange an in-person meeting with a nearby broker. You can get a free, downloadable Mortgage In Principle online from Tembo by creating a plan.

How quick can you get a Mortgage In Principle?

You can usually get a Mortgage In Principle in under 24 hours, but the exact amount of time will vary from one lender or broker to the next. With Tembo, you can get a Mortgage In Principle in 10 minutes, all you have to do is answer a few questions on your income, the type of property you want to buy and who you’re buying with.

How much is a Mortgage In Principle?

A Mortgage In Principle is normally free, so you should not have to pay for one. You can get a free Mortgage In Principle from Tembo in 10 minutes. All you need to do is answer a few questions, and you’ll get a free, downloadable MIP at the end.

Start your journey to homeownership

Create a Tembo plan today to get a free Mortgage In Principle and see all the buying schemes you’re eligible for from across the market.

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