One of the best ways to prove to sellers and realtors that you can afford a house is through a mortgage in principle. While it’s a powerful tool to have in your home buying kit, there are some important things to consider

A mortgage in principle (MiP), an agreement in principle (AiP), and a decision in principle (DiP). These may seem like they’re all terms to describe the same thing, but there are some key differences. Our focus is on a MiP, which as a mortgage tool, is a great way to show lenders that you have the means to afford your mortgage.

But what is a mortgage in principle and what’s involved in getting one? What’s the difference between a mortgage in principle and the others?


Understanding a mortgage in principle

A mortgage in principle is basically a statement of affordability, which gives an indication to lenders of how much you can borrow. This is a statement you can show to estate agents and other vendors to show that you’re not only a serious buyer, but that in theory at least, you can get a mortgage.

Our advisers can give you a MiP while lenders may offer you an AiP or a DiP, which could involve a credit check.

What to consider when getting a mortgage in principle

A mortgage in principle is only usually valid for around 30-90 days. You can renew them if they’re going to expire before you can make an offer. Unlike a decision in principle or an agreement in principle, a MiP won’t have an effect on your credit score.

While you don’t need a MiP to make an offer on a property, it will give you more credibility with vendors and estate agents. They can also give you direction as to what you can afford, meaning you can make more realistic decisions regarding your budget.

How to get a mortgage in principle

You can typically get a mortgage in principle online, over the phone, or by speaking to an adviser. They should be free and the entire process should be relatively quick and painless.

During your application, you’ll be asked a few things:

  • Personal details like your name, address, and date of birth
  • Address history for the last three years
  • Information about your income/s
  • Information about your outgoings
  • Information about existing credit agreements

The adviser will then take this information and supply you with a figure that “in principle” is what a lender would be willing to lend you.

You won’t need any of this information in supporting documents for your mortgage in principle application, but you will when you apply for a full mortgage.

Securing your mortgage in principle through an adviser

Remember that even if you put an offer in with a mortgage in principle and it’s accepted, you’ll still need to go through a formal mortgage application to go any further.

For more information about mortgages and some of the other terms associated with them, check out this article.


Get in touch with us for more information. We know buying a home (especially for the first time) can feel like an overwhelming task. Our advisers can help with every step of the process, including helping you secure a mortgage in principle.

Important information

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend on your circumstances. The fee is up to 1% but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.