property ladder

Want to get on the property ladder in 2021? Experts reveal the 10 things every first-time buyer needs to know

PHOTO: Property developer Mandy St John Davey, recommends regularly checking for government schemes, analysing the market and staying in contact with your mortgage broker (file image)

Many aspiring home owners were able to boost their savings during lockdown, as they avoided expensive commutes and fast food lunches – however, experts claim there is more to getting on the property ladder than having a large stash of money. 

Property experts from around the UK shared their top tips for first time home buyers to provide the ultimate guide for making what is perhaps the most expensive purchase many people will have made in their life.

From researching the market, boosting your credit file to gathering evidence of affordability, the experts say buying a home is more complex than simply choosing a pretty property.

Here, FEMAIL reveals the top ten things to consider before investing in a house…

 

1. BOOST YOUR CREDIT FILE

Property experts from across the UK reveal their top tips for first-time home buyers (file image)

Property experts from across the UK reveal their top tips for first-time home buyers (file image)

Alex Hammond, director of Unlocking Property said: ‘There are three main credit referencing agencies in the UK that lenders will look at. These are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Most people will use Experian to check how they perform and it is probably the best option for a first-time buyer. You can use it to view your credit score for free, and if it is Good or Excellent, well done, that should be enough.

‘There are infinite articles online on how to improve your credit score, but the Money Advice Service list is one of the best, If you have a low credit rating, there are several things you can do to improve it:

  • Register on the electoral roll. If your name’s not on there, you’ll find it much harder to get credit. Go to the GOV.UK website to find out how register to vote online or by post.
  • Check for mistakes on your file. Even having just a slightly wrong address can affect your score. So make sure you check all the details and report any incorrect information straight away.
  • Pay your bills on time. Paying a phone landline or internet contract on time is a great way to prove to lenders that you can manage your finances.
  • Check if you’re linked to another person. Having a spouse, friend or family member’s credit rating linked to yours through a joint account could affect your personal rating if they have a poor score.
  • Pay off debt. Ideally, you should pay off any outstanding debt before applying for new credit. This is because banks, building societies and credit card companies might be hesitant about lending you more if you already have a lot of debt.

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