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Sinead Ryan: Five tips for the property market in 2015

Getting a mortgage is never easy but there are things you can do to get yourself ready before approaching a lender:

1. Have your deposit not only saved, but its origins recorded clearly.  Banks don't want to see it handed over by mum and dad, or loaned from the credit union.  They want a clear history of saving which points to good money management skills and an ability to see the longer term.

2. Expect to have all your documentation examined minutely. If you had €5,000 in a deposit account in several banks over the last couple of years, they'll want to see each and every statement to correlate its origin.  Have your P60s and letters from your employer to hand when asked. If self employed, have at least three years' worth of accounts to produce if asked.

3.  If you have other loans decide whether to clear them first, even if it means doing so from your deposit.  Small personal loans are actually a good thing - lenders like to see that you have the ability to repay.  Big high interest rate ones like credit card debts, are not.  Get rid of them.

4.  Shop around for your mortgage.  You don't have to approach the bank you have your current account with and indeed, some will offer a reduced interest rate if you're also prepared to move lock, stock and barrel. Use a mortgage broker - the outlay is worth it.

5.  Get your credit rating in order. Lenders will check your history on the Irish Credit Bureau (www.icb.ie).  You can also do this for €6 and find out what information is stored on you.  If you have ever missed payments in the last two years on anything, it is recorded here.  If it's incorrect, get it changed before buying your mortgage.

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