You don`t need to go through the full application process to get an agreement in principle. This will come later if you have accepted an offer on a property. An agreement in principle (AIP) – also called Mortgage In Principle (PMI) decision – is a written estimate or statement from a lender to say how much money it would lend you if you bought a property. If you have an agreement in principle and decide to make a full application with that lender, you must provide more detailed personal data. The lender is not required to lend you the full amount indicated in the AIP. A policy decision shows that one can theoretically afford to buy a property. This could make you a more attractive buyer and set you apart from other potential buyers. To confuse matters, mortgage lenders refer to the initial mortgage decision-making procedure, either by the term “agreement in principle (AIP)” or “decision in principle” (DIP). A mortgage is not in principle a formal mortgage offer, nor is it a guarantee that the lender will give you a mortgage in the future.
If you have a mortgage in principle, you can show sellers that it is likely that you can afford the property you want to buy. This could help if you choose between more than one buyer. If you are worried about bad credit, a mortgage could in principle give you an idea if a lender thinks you can afford to pay off your home loan. You don`t need to get an agreement in principle, but it can sometimes help if you`re very handsome (see “How an AIP Can Help,” below). Make sure you get advice on products and lenders before pursuing an agreement in principle, as you can leave a soft or hard footprint in your credit file. When we surveyed more than 3,000 homeowners in July 2019, 53% said they had an agreement in principle before applying for their mortgage. About 25% said they didn`t know or didn`t remember having one, and only 25% said they didn`t. Even if your mortgage is accepted in principle, your full mortgage application could be rejected at a later date. For example, if the lender only performed a gentle credit check, it may not have seen it all in your credit file.
Other information may be revealed when searching for a full mortgage application. Not officially, but with an AIP, real estate agents and sellers consider you a serious buyer and not a waste of time. It could also speed up the process of buying a home, which can often get longer. A mortgage can normally last between 60 and 90 days, depending on the lender. If you have not found a property or accepted an offer during this period, you may need to receive another one. Renewal should be easy, unless your circumstances (or economy) have changed significantly. You may be wondering why, in principle, you could first commit to a mortgage instead of just asking for a real mortgage. The simple answer is that it`s faster and less effort to get a mortgage in principle. You can often get a sort in less than an hour if there is no problem, and at most it should only take a few days.