In this brief guide, we are going to discuss the Santander mortgage underwriting process.

You may be wondering about the Santander mortgage underwriting process as you are about to apply for a Santander mortgage or maybe you are currently undergoing a Santander mortgage application.

The Santander mortgage underwriting process

The Santander mortgage underwriting process is the key stage which is undertaken by Santander a mortgage underwriter once you have made your Santander mortgage application.

The Santander mortgage underwriting process determines if you will be approved for a Santander mortgage or if your Santander mortgage application will be rejected.

What Is Mortgage Underwriting?

Mortgage writing is the process in which the mortgage lender evaluates your suitability for a mortgage.

During the mortgage underwriting process, the mortgage underwriter will evaluate if lending you the mortgage funds is risky or not.

Some of the mortgage underwriting may be done by machines whilst the rest is done manually.

Automated Underwriting vs. Manual Underwriting

With automated underwriting, you will essentially input data into a form and this will be checked and cross-references with the mortgage lenders criteria by the mortgage lenders automated decision-making system.

This system will likely pull your credit score data and run a check to see if you meet the mortgage lenders minimum mortgage affordability criteria.

On the other hand, manual underwriting involves an individual reviewing your mortgage documents to determine if you mee the mortgage lenders mortgage affordability criteria.

The mortgage underwriter may request more documents from you and ask you follow-up questions.

Manual mortgage underwriting usually helps those who have complex mortgage cases.

What does a Santander mortgage underwriter look for?

When you submit your documents for your Santander mortgage application you may need to submit other supporting documents to prove that you can indeed afford a mortgage. 

These documents include:

Your banking statements

Your tax returns

Your credit report

Your payslips form your employer etc

Once the mortgage lender has received these documents they will then be assigned to the mortgage underwriter assigned to your mortgage application.

The mortgage underwriter may come back to you with further questions or when they need more clarification on things which you may include in your mortgage application.

The faster you respond and get back t the mortgage lender, the faster your mortgage application process will be.

This is the case at Santander and most other mortgage lenders.

The steps of the Santander mortgage underwriting process

The steps of the Santander mortgage underwriting process include:

  • Get a mortgage in principle

Getting a mortgage in principle is not a requirement for you to get a mortgage but typically some borrowers will look to get a Santander mortgage in principle so they could at least get the first indication on whether Santander is willing to lend to you.

Once Santander receives your mortgage in principle application they will either process your mortgage in principle application automatically or it may be reviewed manually.

A mortgage in principle will ensure that home sellers and estate agents take you more seriously.

A Santander mortgage underwriter may review your mortgage in principle application if it is put in for manual review but typically mortgage in principle applications are processed with an automated computer system.

  • Make a mortgage application

Once you have found a house you want to buy you may then go on and make a Santander mortgage application. Once you have made a Santander mortgage application you will then go through the Santander mortgage underwriting process.

In the Santander mortgage underwriting process the Santander mortgage underwriter will look at a key few things:

Your income verification:

Santander will aim to verify the income you stated on your mortgage application to ensure that you have sufficient income to afford your monthly mortgage repayments.

If the income you have stated on your Santander mortgage application is not identical to what the Santander mortgage underwriter finds on your supporting documents then your mortgage application may be declined.

Mortgage valuation

The mortgage valuation will also be a key part of the Santander mortgage underwriting process.

The mortgage valuation is done to ensure that the mortgage lender is lending on a property which can be used as sufficient security for the mortgage.

If your property is valued much lower than the price which you are paying for it then the mortgage underwriter may reject your mortgage application as part of the Santander mortgage underwriting process.

You will usually have to pay for the mortgage valuation. This can range from £50 to £300.

Conveyancing

Conveyancing is a key part of the Santander mortgage underwriting process. The mortgage underwriter will liaison with your conveyancer and the assigned Santander conveyancer to ensure the title on your property does not have any restrictive covenants.

If the Santander mortgage underwriter is informed of issues which may threaten the security of the mortgage in the future then the mortgage underwriter may decline your mortgage.

At this point. The Santander mortgage underwriter may also request to see your home insurance documents at this point of the Santander mortgage underwriting process.

At the end of the mortgage underwriting process, you will then either be approved for the mortgage, denied or your application may be referred for further scrutiny.

If you are approved for a Santander mortgage, you can then go on to complete on your property purchase by exchanging contracts and setting a completion date.

In some cases, Santander may approve your mortgage application but with certain conditions e.g they may require you to make significant changes to your property or repairs.

If your mortgage application is rejected then you may need to find another mortgage lender to apply for a mortgage with or resubmit your mortgage application to Santander.

If your mortgage application is referred then it may be the case that Santander needs to take a closer look at your mortgage application before they make a final decision.

In this case, you can expect to have further follow-up questions and requests for more supporting documents.

Use a mortgage broker

You may want to consider using an independent mortgage broker to get a mortgage.

Mortgage brokers are important as they can access mortgage products from across the whole of the market in some cases.

This could be over 11,000 mortgage products. This may have some advantages rather than going directly to a mortgage lender.

A mortgage broker will look to understand your financial circumstances and then provide recommendations on which mortgage products may be suitable for you based on your mortgage affordability.

After giving you these mortgage recommendations, most mortgage brokers will seek your consent to apply for a mortgage in principle. 

This will allow you to shop for your home easier as more estate agents and sellers may take you seriously or it will give you confidence that your mortgage is indeed a possibility before you make a full mortgage application. 

Once you have found a home you want to buy and are satisfied with the mortgage offer for your mortgage then the mortgage broker will then look to get you a mortgage offer.

This will come with a key facts illustration document which details out the features of your mortgage including how much you will pay per month.

It will also contain information on if there are any limits such as early repayment fees, or annual overpayment limits.

If you are happy with everything you can then go on to secure your mortgage with the help of a conveyancer.

Your conveyancer will manage the legal searches on the property to ensure there aren’t any issues with it.

They will oversee the sales agreement to ensure it is in your best interest, they will manage the transfer of mortgage funds, exchange contracts with the seller or their conveyancer and set a completion date with the seller or their conveyancer.

FAQs: Santander mortgage underwriting process

How long does it take for the underwriter to make a decision?

An underwriter can take between 15 mins and 4 weeks to make a decision but this is dependant on what type of credit you are after and the type of borrower you are. If you are a bad credit borrower then you can expect your mortgage application to take much longer. 

The time it will take for a mortgage underwriter also depends n what type of credit you are looking for. If you are getting a mortgage then you can expect an underwriter to take up to 2 weeks.

What happens when a mortgage goes to underwriting?

When a mortgage goes to underwriting this can be rather normal. In fact, most mortgage lenders will process mortgage applications with a mortgage underwriter.

The mortgage underwriter will then assess your mortgage application to see if you can afford the mortgage and if there are any issues which may put the mortgage in jeopardy in the future.

What do mortgage underwriters check?

A mortgage underwriter will check the below things:

Your income

Your expenses

Your credit score

Your supporting documents

The property valuation report

Can underwriters make exceptions?

In some cases, a mortgage lender may make exceptions rather than follow the exact criteria prescribed on their lending scorecards.

This is due to the fact that all mortgage applications are not the same and sometimes the mortgage lender may have to be flexible.

In this brief guide, we discussed the Santander mortgage underwriting process.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know.

John Bate

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.