What is a mortgage in principle (MIP)?

A mortgage in principle is a document, usually from a lender or broker, that tells you roughly how much you may be able to borrow with a mortgage.

It is sometimes called an Agreement in Principle, Decision in Principle, MIP, AIP or DIP.

Usually a MIP is more accurate than an online mortgage calculator. But it's not a guarantee that you'll be able to get a mortgage.

If you choose to go directly to a lender, the information you give will allow them to check your credit file. This will help them work out if they can give you a mortgage and if they’re happy to lend you the requested amount.

A MIP will show an estate agent that you’ll be able to get a mortgage and pay the monthly repayments, on top of your deposit.

It'll show you're a serious buyer and put you in a good position to make an offer that the seller is more is likely to accept. It will also help you stand out from other prospective buyers who do not have a MIP.

How reliable is a mortgage in principle?

A mortgage in principle is not a guarantee that you’ll be able to borrow that amount.

You’ll need to complete a full application and have the lender check your earnings and credit history before you get a mortgage.

It still gives you a good idea of what you could borrow. It could also put you in a better position if you want to make an offer on a house.

How to get a mortgage in principle

You can get a mortgage in principle from a mortgage lender or from a broker.

Get a mortgage in principle from Trussle online for free.

A broker’s MIP is only based on the information you give. It would still be subject to lender criteria and credit score checks.

You can go directly to a lender but they might do a hard credit check. Others might do soft checks instead.

More banks are moving to soft checks for mortgage in principles. They usually only carry out a hard check when you submit the full mortgage application.

At Trussle we do not check credit history at the MIP stage.

You will not have to give as much paperwork or information as a mortgage application when you apply for a MIP.

Other lenders you will ask you for:

  • payslips

  • three years of accounts if you’re self-employed

  • three months' worth of utility bills as proof of your current address

  • form of photo ID, such as a passport or driving licence

You will not be asked for this is you're getting a mortgage in principle from Trussle.

Once you have the MIP you can use it to make an offer on a home.

If the seller accepts your offer, you can apply for a mortgage with your chosen lender or broker.

How long does a mortgage in principle last?

When you get a MIP from a lender, you usually have about three months before your MIP expires (between 30 and 90 days).

You can reapply if it takes longer than planned to find the home you want to buy. Or if you find new, more competitive mortgage deals on the market since you arranged the MIP.

If your lender carries out hard credit checks, try not to apply too many times as it could damage your credit score.

Can you get a mortgage in principle from Trussle?

We’ve made getting a mortgage in principle free and simple.

You can get a mortgage in principle online at a time that suits you.

You can then print or download it to start your property search straight away.

We need to know a few things about you so we can work out how much lenders would be willing to lend to you.

You'll be asked for your:

  • address history

  • credit history

  • employment status

  • salary

  • credit commitments

It's okay if you do not have all your information to hand.

We'll save your profile as you go so you can come back to it at any point.

You will not need a credit check for a mortgage in principle.

If you get a MIP, and then later ask us to recommend a specific mortgage deal, we'll do a soft credit check.

For this we'll check the information you give us with Experian, the credit reporting company.

This will tell us if have any unpaid debts and how well you've managed these. Once we know this, we’ll search thousands of deals to find the right mortgage for your circumstances.

A soft credit check does not affect your credit score.

You might need a credit report if you’ve got a history of bad credit.

We’ll let you know if we need to see your credit report once you’ve answered the questions.

If everything looks good, we’ll work out how much you could afford to borrow.

We'll email you your mortgage in principle straight away and you can download it right away.

Once the seller accepts your offer on your new home you can add the property’s details to your profile.

This way, we can start finding the right mortgage for you.

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Your home could be repossessed if you don't keep up repayments on your mortgage.

You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage.

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