How to Avoid Getting Turned Down for a Mortgage in Nigeria

Purchasing a home is a significant milestone, often requiring a mortgage to finance the purchase. For many, homeownership is a lifelong dream that represents stability, security, and a solid investment for the future. However, securing a mortgage can be a challenging process, especially in Nigeria where financial institutions have stringent requirements and thorough vetting processes. Whether you are working with real estate agents like Ramos Real Estate or navigating the property market on your own, understanding how to increase your chances of mortgage approval is crucial. To help you through this complex journey, here are some key steps to follow.

  1. Maintain a Good Credit Score

A good credit score is crucial for mortgage approval. Lenders use your credit score to evaluate your financial responsibility. Here’s how you can maintain or improve your credit score:

  • Pay Your Bills on Time: Ensure all your bills, including credit card payments and utility bills, are paid promptly.
  • Reduce Outstanding Debts: Aim to keep your debt-to-income ratio low by paying off existing debts.
  • Avoid Multiple Loan Applications: Frequent loan applications can negatively impact your credit score. Apply for credit only when necessary.
  1. Save for a Down Payment

Having a substantial down payment reduces the loan amount required and demonstrates financial stability to lenders. Here are some tips:

  • Set a Savings Goal: Determine the amount needed for a down payment and create a savings plan.
  • Cut Unnecessary Expenses: Reduce discretionary spending to boost your savings.
  • Consider a High-Interest Savings Account: Use an account that offers higher interest rates to grow your savings faster.
  1. Maintain Stable Employment

Lenders prefer borrowers with stable and consistent income. To show employment stability:

  • Avoid Frequent Job Changes: Try to stay with one employer for a significant period.
  • Provide Proof of Income: Gather documents like pay slips, bank statements, and tax returns to prove your income.
  1. Get Pre-Qualified for a Mortgage

Pre-qualification gives you an estimate of how much you can borrow and shows sellers that you are a serious buyer. Steps include:

  • Consult Multiple Lenders: Approach different banks and financial institutions to compare offers.
  • Submit Financial Information: Provide your income, assets, and debts to get an accurate pre-qualification.
  1. Limit Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

A high debt-to-income ratio can lead to mortgage rejection. Manage your finances by:

  • Paying Off Debts: Clear as much debt as possible before applying for a mortgage.
  • Increasing Your Income: Explore ways to boost your earnings, such as side jobs or freelancing.
  1. Avoid Major Purchases Before Application

Large expenditures can alter your financial situation and affect your mortgage application. Hold off on major purchases until after your mortgage is secured.

  1. Choose the Right Mortgage Product

Understanding the different mortgage products can help you choose one that best suits your financial situation. Consider:

  • Fixed vs. Variable Rates: Decide between fixed interest rates, which remain constant, and variable rates, which can fluctuate.
  • Loan Tenure: Choose a loan tenure that offers manageable monthly payments.
  1. Prepare Comprehensive Documentation

Lenders require extensive documentation to process your application. Ensure you have:

  • Proof of Identity: Valid ID, such as a passport or national ID card.
  • Proof of Address: Utility bills or rental agreements.
  • Income Verification: Employment letters, pay slips, and bank statements.
  • Asset Documentation: Proof of other assets, such as property or investments.
  1. Seek Professional Advice

Mortgage brokers or financial advisors can offer valuable insights and help navigate the application process. Their expertise can improve your chances of approval.


Securing a mortgage in Nigeria requires careful planning and preparation. By maintaining a good credit score, saving for a substantial down payment, ensuring stable employment, and preparing comprehensive documentation, you can enhance your chances of mortgage approval. Whether working with agents from Ramos Real Estate or exploring the property market independently, consulting with professionals and selecting the right mortgage product tailored to your needs can ensure a smooth and successful application process. Follow these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to owning your dream home.

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