Answers to our most frequently asked questions

Need some help? Find out the answers to the most common questions our Mortgage Managers are asked.



  What is a mortgage? 


Very few people will buy a property outright and so use a mortgage to help them buy a home.


A mortgage is a loan secured against a property. Having a mortgage means that you borrow the money to buy your home and you repay this over an agreed period of time, depending on what you can afford.


It's important you choose a repayment schedule that suits your circumstances as your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

  Am I eligible to apply for a mortgage? 


You must be over 18 years old


Maximum age for application is 65 years old, maximum age for repayment is 70 years old. Where a mortgage extends beyond normal retirement age, you should be able to demonstrate continued ability to service the loan by way of pension or alternative means


The property you want to mortgage must be in the Republic of Ireland


You must be resident in the Republic of Ireland


Security, buildings insurance and life cover are required when you take out a mortgage


Lending criteria apply for a mortgage and there are terms and conditions


It is unlikely that we will be able to lend to you if you have ever been declared bankrupt, have had court judgements against you, your property seized, defaulted on your mortgage, or had to organise a repayment plan with your creditors

We'll make sure all of this is clear to you upfront.


  Do I need to be employed to apply for a mortgage? 


You’ll need to be employed or self-employed to qualify for a mortgage. This will help to ensure you can manage your mortgage repayments in the future.


  How many years can I take a mortgage out for? 


Our minimum term is 5 years


For residential mortgages our maximum term is 35 years


For investment mortgages our maximum term is 25 years


If your mortgage terms extends past normal retirement age, you must be able to prove you can afford the repayments.


  How much could I borrow for a residential mortgage? 


The minimum mortgage amount is €40,000


The maximum mortgage available is up to 90% of purchase price or the value of the property, whichever is lower. These limits may vary.


Buy to Let, negative equity mortgages and mortgages in arrears are excluded from these Loan to Value limits


The loan amount approved is not based on one fixed formula. Factors reflecting the individual repayment capacity of each application are individually assessed based on a combination of factors including qualifying income, net disposable income and existing commitments.


  How much could I borrow as a mortgage top up? 


The minimum top up you can apply for is €15,000


There is no maximum amount, subject to lending criteria being met and maximum Loan to Values


The minimum term of the additional borrowing is 10 years and the maximum term is 35 years.


In general applications will be accepted for top-ups where the Loan to Value is less than 80%


Top Ups can be applied for:
    - Home improvements – properties must be owned, not rented;
    - Refinance of UB short term debt (max €50K);
    - Payment of a fixed rate breakage fee.


The top up should be taken over a term no longer than the remaining mortgage term.


  How much could I borrow for a Buy To Let mortgage? 


The minimum loan amount is €50,000


The minimum value of property to be mortgaged is €85,000


The maximum mortgage available is up to 50% of purchase price or the value of the property, whichever is lower


If the property being purchased is in the cities of Dublin, Cork, Galway or Limerick the maximum loan to value is 70%


The maximum number of properties financed by Ulster Bank is 3 and the maximum number in portfolio is 5


Your maximum portfolio cannot exceed €1,000,000


Properties for which funds will not normally be advanced:
     - one-bedroom properties
     - agricultural properties
     - business premises
     - flats (on any level) in multi-storey type property i.e. in excess of 5 stories, unless the property is predominately in private
       ownership
     - multiple tenancies e.g. a house or flat with several bedrooms, occupied by a number of individuals sharing common facilities
       such as kitchen and bathroom etc.


  What other costs may I have when taking out a mortgage? 


It's important you add up all the costs involved in a mortgage, not just the interest rate. You may need to budget for a valuation fee, search fees, land registry fees and legal costs, as well as stamp duty.


To help with these costs, Ulster Bank currently offer a free standard valuation on our new mortgages. Only one free valuation per customer applies.


We also offer €1,500 towards your legal fees on all new residential and buy to let mortgages. Mortgage application must be submitted by 31st December 2019.


We expect you to take out buildings insurance to cover damage or rebuilding costs if needed. We also expect you to take out life cover. You may also decide to take out contents insurance along with sickness and unemployment cover, as appropriate.


Read our guide to buying a home https://digital.ulsterbank.ie/personal/mortgages/guides/guide-to-home-buying.html


More about our insurance and protection options https://digital.ulsterbank.ie/personal/insurance-and-protection.html


  How do I know if the property I'm buying is worth the money? 


Before we issue you with a written mortgage offer we’ll always complete a valuation of the property which will take into consideration the general condition of the property, look for any major faults in accessible parts of the building that may affect the value or indeed or any urgent problems that need inspecting by a specialist before you sign a contract.


  Do I always need to take out a life cover with a mortgage? 


It is a legal requirement to ensure you have mortgage protection insurance, which is a particular type of life assurance designed to pay off your mortgage on your death (or on the death of your partner in the case of a joint borrowing). Because of this, lenders will request you buy life cover when you take out your mortgage noting there are some exceptions to this legal requirement. You may also wish to consider to protect your income in the event of illness or unemployment.


  When will I know if my mortgage application has been successful? 


When we’ve received all the required documentation and are happy with the valuation report we will make our decision on your application.


If your application is approved we will then send you the mortgage offer documents to read through and sign. We will also send a copy to your solicitor.


Read our step-by-step mortgage guide for more information on the different stages of the process.


  What happens after my mortgage is approved? 


Your solicitor will carry out various legal checks on the property to make sure they’re happy. If there are no concerns, they’ll contact us to confirm the start date of the mortgage and when they’ll need the funds to be released. We’ll then send the funds to the solicitor who will complete the transaction.


Once the mortgage is approved we’ll confirm how much your monthly payments will be and on what day of the month they’ll be paid.


  Important Information on the Central Credit Register 


The Central Credit Register (CCR) is a new national database of personal and credit information on loans of €500 or more set up

and operated by the Central Bank of Ireland under the Credit Reporting Act 2013.


By December 2017 Ulster Bank Ireland DAC along with other lenders are legally obliged to transfer personal and credit information to

the CCR on a monthly basis; for existing lending, information as and from June 2017 onwards will be provided to the CCR. All types of

borrowing are included on the CCR. These may be mortgages, credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts.


The collection of credit and personal data from lenders will be implemented on a phased basis, with Phase 1 starting 30th June 2017

focusing on data collection for consumer lending and Phase 2 starting in 2018 focusing on lending to businesses, including clubs and

associations.


You will have a right to:
 - one free credit report each year;
 - insert a explanatory statement on your credit report;
 - apply to have your information amended, if you believe it is inaccurate, incomplete or not up to date;
 - report and be informed of suspected impersonation


How do I find out more?


More information in relation to the Central Credit Register is available from the Central Bank of Ireland. Contact details are:


Website: www.centralcreditregister.ie


E-mail: consumerinfo@centralcreditregister.ie


CCR phone: lo-call number 1890 100 050 or 01 2245500.








  Why do I need to register? 


In order for us to provide you with a Copy of your Agreement in Principle you will need to register your details with us. If you choose to continue to apply for a mortgage with us, the information you have already provided will be retained.


  Can I register for somebody else? 


No. Due to General Data Protection Regulation you will be unable to register for somebody else.


  I have forgotten my password/username 


If you've forgotten your password, select the "Forgotten Password" link to reset it.


You will receive an email with a link which will be valid for 10 minutes. Once you click on the link you will be able to reset your password.


Your username is your email address.


  I want to change my registration details/password 


If you want to change your registration details or password, simply sign in and go to your Profile page where you will be able to make changes.


  How do I create a safe and secure password 


A strong password must be at least 8 characters in length, containing upper case letters, lower case letters and numbers or special characters (e.g. £^%).


Avoid passwords containing personal information (names, dates, sports teams, pets and so on), or predictable keyboard sequences (for example 123, abc).


Don't share your password with anyone!










  What information do I need for an Agreement in Principle? 


You will need information about your income and expenditure, dependant details and any existing property details.


This information will be supported by documentation we will request should you choose to complete a full mortgage application.


You can refer to "What documentation do I need to provide for the mortgage appointment?" in the Next Steps section.


  How can I get an Agreement in Principle for a joint application? 


While only one party can register to complete the Agreement in Principle, if this is a joint request, basic information like income and

outgoings for the 2nd party will be needed. Should you choose to progress to full mortgage application then we will require full details of the 2nd party.


  What happens if my situation changes? 


If you register and save your progress, you can sign in and amend your details and/or your information should your circumstances change.


If you have already completed an Agreement in Principle, you can update with the latest information and resubmit.


  I need help completing my Agreement in Principle 


There are "information" tips throughout the questions to provide guidance on what is required. You can also use the "Need Help" button where

a member of our team will contact you to assist.


  I have entered information incorrectly 


Where you have registered and saved your progress, you can sign in and update your missing information at any time.


  I don't have all the information needed to hand 


Where you have registered and saved your progress, you can sign in and update your missing information at any time.


  Will there be a credit search carried out? 


No, a Credit Search is not completed for your Agreement in Principle.


Should you choose to progress your mortgage with us, then a Credit Search will be undertaken as part of the application process.


  I haven't found a property yet, can I still request an Agreement in Principle? 


Yes, you can still request an Agreement in Principle even if you haven't found a property.


  How long is the Agreement in Principle valid for? 


The Agreement in Principle is an indication of what you may be able to borrow based on the information you have provided to us at the time of completion.


The amount may vary from what we can offer you as part of a full mortgage application, subject to changes in your circumstances or our lending policy.


  I didn't get the amount I was hoping for 


If you didn't get the amount you were expecting, please contact us by selecting the "Need Help?" button, where a member of staff can talk you though your options.






  How do I progress to a full mortgage application? 


Once you've completed your Agreement In Principle and found your property, you can progress to the next stage byselecting the "Apply Now" button from your profile page.


A member of our team will contact you to arrange an appointment for you either over the phone or in a branch.


  What documentation do I need to provide for the mortgage appointment? 


A range of documentation is required to support your application. These include: Payslips, bank statements and in some cases proof of your identity and address.


A full list is provided here: https://digital.ulsterbank.ie/personal/mortgages/mortgage-documents.html


You will be notified prior to your appointment of the specific documents required.