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Decision in Principle

Get Mortgage ready today – whether a first time buyer, a home mover or looking to remortgage, you can get started and get into prime position with an offer in principle.

If you have your eye on a new property or remortgaging, a decision in principle will help you understand how much you can borrow, what the costs look like and what you are able to afford.

  • Quick affordability checks
  • 20 minutes for a decision in principle
  • Understand how much you can borrow
  • What does your mortgage look like!

If purchasing a property, a decision in principle makes you a stronger buyer. It means you know your costs, you are ready with the mortgage and are you are actively buying in that price range. If negotiating a price, this illustrates you can move faster and have had your affordability initially accepted by the lender.

Get a soft footprint Decision in Principle within 20 Minutes

Our team of mortgage experts will simply ask you some questions about you and anyone else that is applying for the mortgage. This will include information about your employment status, income and what you are looking to do. This will enable our team to see if we can get you an offer in principle, and this will not affect your credit score,

  • Proof of income
  • Details of Outgoings and Existing Credit

No Impact on Credit Score!

3 simple steps to getting mortgage ready!

Instant peace of mind with an offer in principle today. Free, no obligation advice.

Tell us what you are looking to do

Tell us what you are looking to do

We will search for the best rate

We will search for the best rate

Get you an mortgage in principle

Get you an mortgage in principle

The Mortgage Broker will search over 96 Lenders to find you the best mortgage rate

The Mortgage Broker has access to high street lenders and market wide specialist mortgage providers, which enable our team to find the most suitable and cost-effective mortgage options for your circumstances. We understand mortgages can be complicated, so let us do the technical work and make sure you get what you need for your financial circumstances. Plus – don’t get confused by terminology – these are all the same thing!

  • Decision in principle
  • Offer in principle
  • Agreement in principle
  • Mortgage in principle

Don’t pay a penny for an offer in principle

As a buyer you are taken far more seriously with an offer in principle in your hands. Be mortgage ready, with free, no obligation advice at The Mortgage Broker. Our award winning team can help you get what you need with instant searches, instant advice and clear transparent processes designed to make your house purchase experience as stress free as possible.

20 Mins To get a decision in principle 89% of accepted mortgages go through a Mortgage Broker
Really recommend the team. The portal for uploading documents is also very easy to use!

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What happens when you have a mortgage in principle?

Having a clear understanding of what you can afford with help you with viewing properties, knowing what you can and cannot afford. It is not compulsory to have an offer in principle in order to view properties with an Estate Agent, or another method, but it absolutely shows the seller that you are serious about buying. This also means you are able to make an offer as soon as you find the property you like.

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What’s the difference between a Decision in Principle and an actual Mortgage Offer?

A decision in principle (mortgage in principle / offer in principle / agreement in principle) is a preliminary decision by the lender that indicates how much they would be willing to lend based on the initial set of facts that we present to them. This means it is not a formal offer and you are not able to complete a purchase or a remortgage with just a decision in principle.

Key Facts:

  • Indicative quote on what you can borrow
  • Often a soft foot print on your credit file
  • Used to understand and illustrate how much you can borrow
  • Demonstrates the buyer to be a serious buyer and financially capable
  • Helps speed up the mortgage process when proceeding

This is the formal agreement and offer of a mortgage from the lender. This means the lender, following a full fact check of the applicants circumstances, is willing to loan the agreed amount on the designated property.

Key Facts:

  • Formal binding agreement by way of contractual commitment
  • Subject to legal processes and property surveys
  • Full search on credit report has been successfully approved
  • Thorough assessment of applicants finances has been approved
  • Illustrates the terms and conditions of the loan
  • Includes loan amount, interest rate, repayment terms and any other conditions


What do I absolutely need for an offer in principle?

Our systems at The Mortgage Broker allow us to quickly establish whether or not you can get a decision in principle. In fact, to get an initial indication and acceptance from a lender, we only require the following:

  • Details of Income
  • Outgoings and Existing Credit
  • Deposit Amount

How do I get a decision in principle?

Simply contact The Mortgage Broker and one of our specialist advisers will gather the information from you and search all our Lenders criteria. Within a matter of minutes, with the information you have provided, we can understand your affordability and options with getting a mortgage. If desired and/or required by an Estate Agent or Seller, we can run a decision in principle for you there and then.

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What is a decision in principle?

A decision in principle, means that the lender has indicated their willingness to loan a certain amount of money based on the initial facts they have received. This is a principle agreement, which illustrates they are happy with the initial circumstance of the borrower and the amount required on the mortgage. However, it is not a financial commitment and always depends on a full assessment of the borrower’s as well as on the property being purchased.

4 different names...

The most common term for a lender giving an acceptance on the initial facts is a decision in principle. However, this is also known as a mortgage in principle, an agreement in principle or an offer in principle. Fundamentally, they are all just different ways of saying the same thing. The important fact is, the lender has accepted the initial affordability and circumstances of the borrowers financial position.

Can you buy a house with an offer in principle?

No. However, this does illustrate that you are mortgage ready having satisfied initial checks and this does carry a lot of weight when making an offer on a property. This is sometimes a requirement and puts you in a much better position than others with estate agents, or other means such as auction. However, a decision in principle is not a financial commitment from the lender.

Can I get an offer in principle with The Mortgage Broker?


Buying a property is stressful enough, worrying about the mortgage is something you simply don’t need to have on your plate. Whether a first time buyer, an experienced property landlord or are looking to move home, our team at The Mortgage Broker are focused on getting you mortgage ready in the fastest and simplest way possible.

Our goal is to ensure you understand your financial position clearly, with transparent advice and thorough searches of the mortgage market options available, so that we can get you that offer in principle and put you in a strong position for your property purchase.

With some simple information, we can access lenders, and understand if they are willing to provide an offer in principle to you, based on your financial position.

Therefore, to answer the question, can you get an offer in principle? You simple speak with our expert mortgage advisers so we can understand the income of all the applicants (if there is more than just you buying), how much deposit you have and how much you are looking to borrow. With this we can assess your affordability and eligibility against different lenders criteria and then assess whether you can get an offer in principle. This can be done with out the need for looking at your credit file, and all documentation if we are confident you have provided the information. However, this will all be required for a full mortgage application.

You don’t necessarily need to know how much you want to borrow if you haven’t yet found a property. We can advise you how much you may be able to get via a mortgage and the costs associated with this, with all other costs such as stamp duty considered in our affordability checks. We can then get an offer in principle for you, so you are mortgage ready.

The Mortgage Broker have over 12,000 mortgage products available to us across our panel of 96+ Lenders, and we understand which Lenders criteria may suit your circumstances best. If we can get your information up front as efficiently as possible, then we can quickly determine the right lender that fits your needs and apply for an offer in principle within a very short time frame.

Will you search my credit file to get an offer in principle?

There are two different types of searches that lenders will do to assess whether you are eligible for an offer in principle or not. In order to get an offer in principle, some lenders only requires a “soft footprint search” or “soft credit check”. This enables pre-approval, and checks your credit report for informational purposes only. These background checks do not affect your credit score and are not visible to other lenders.

The reason for a soft search, is that it enables high level background checks identity verification and a credit search as mentioned, in order to satisify the pre-approval process of an offer in principle. This will include searches for things such as credit card debts and loans.

A full search however, also commonly known as a “hard search” or “hard credit check”, is more visible as it indicates that you are actively seeking credit by way of a mortgage. If you want to get a decision in principle from a lender and this includes a more formal credit report and background check, our team of mortgage advisers will be sure to talk you through this as it is important to know the impact of these. The reason for this is because it can have a negative impact on your credit file if you are refused a decision in principle which other lenders can then subsequently see.

To ensure you are not affecting your credit score negatively, it is important to get an offer in principle through a mortgage broker, as their experience and knowledge of lending criteria, will ensure you go the right lender for your circumstances.

What steps does a mortgage broker do to get an offer in principle?

Once our mortgage advisers gets the basic information from you, such as income, employment status, deposit, goals etc, the steps taken to get an offer in principle are typically as follows:

  • Research Lenders

Searching the market for the best rate, and most suitable mortgage for your situation is key to a successful mortgage in principle. This will ensure that only the lenders that will support your product needs are considered.

  • Application

The Mortgage Broker are integrated with Halifax and can get you an offer in principle within 15 minutes. We have over 12,000 other products that we can quickly search, and we can complete an application for you via our service and platforms. Of course, we also have years of relationship building and creditability behind us, so we do it online, but also speak over the phone directly if required.

  • Credit Check

The lender will always perform a credit check when assessing the viability of your mortgage application. For an offer in principle, this is often just a soft check, but our team of advisers all know exactly which lenders do what and will advise you on this. The credit check is an important part of the process to establish creditworthiness and helps the lender to determine how much they are willing to lend you.

  • Assessment

The lender will assess all the information that we provide them. This process is becoming increasingly digital and it is imperative that the information is presented correctly to ensure the best chance of finding the most cost-effective mortgage offer in principle.

  • Decision

If all is successful with the information and application, then the lender will provide you with an offer in principle. This essentially outlines an initial acceptance based on the facts and illustrates how much the lender is willing to lend you.

The decision in principle is not a guaranteed offer of a mortgage. It is an indication of how much the lender is willing to lend you, but this is always subject to further checks and assessments by way of an income and expenditure budget review. This is why is is so important to use a mortgage broker when applying for a decision in principle, to ensure that you are presented correctly, and are applying to lenders that we know will follow through with their initial decision based on the criteria they have and your financial circumstances.

Do I have to get a decision in principle to make an offer on a property?

This depends on the method of your property purchase. It is becoming more and more common, that properties are being bought and sold via online auction. If you are purchasing through an online auction, more recently known as the Modern Method of Auction, then you are required to have a decision in principle before making an official bid. This is because you are expected to complete within 56 days and you must be mortgage ready to make this commitment.

Generally speaking though, it is not a requirement to have a mortgage offered in principle in order to make an offer on a house. Estate agents and sellers will take you more seriously as a buyer, but it is not normally a requirement. Sellers can stipulate that they require you to prove you have a decision in principle before considering your offer.

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