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home loans

Frequently Asked Questions

Choose a topic below:

1. Why deal with Mortgage Company of Ireland?


Your mortgage application will be reviewed by our experienced mortgage teams, headed by qualified Chartered Accountants with over 20 years finance experience.


Mortgage Company of Ireland act as independent intermediaries for Ireland's major lenders.  Our recommendations are based on an independent assessment of the suitability of a mortgage product to meet your unique requirements. Our focus is on the long-term value of the mortgage product.


We pride ourselves on providing an unrivalled professional service to our clients.

  1. Each application is allocated to an experienced mortgage consultant.
  2. Your dedicated consultant will deal with your application from start to finish.
  3. We provide fast decisions and deal promptly with all relevant matters.
  4. It is our policy to meet all clients in person. 
  5. We strive to build long lasting relationships.


We do not charge you fees for our service.  Lending institutions pay Mortgage company of Ireland fees for introducing business to them.  The level of payment to mortgage company of Ireland is typically around .75% of the mortgage.  We also provide, if requested at the outset, a fee based service, charging you the client an agreed fee and in turn refunding fees received from the lender to you.  The choice is yours.

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2. Which lender offers the best mortgage package?

The Irish market is very competitive. No single lender can claim to offer the best package. There is a wide range of mortgage products available and significant differences between lenders in regard to lending criteria. Our role is to advise on a mortgage product that best suits your needs.

The arrival of Bank of Scotland into the market drove lenders margins down for the benefit of borrowers. Bank of Scotland continue to compete aggressively although they tend to restrict facilities to 80% of property value.

AIB offer equally good variable rates in addition to impressive fixed rates, while maintaining a cautious approach with income multiples.

ICS offer an excellent range of rates backed up with very efficient service.

IIB are particularly strong in the re-mortgage area.

Irish Permanent probably the best known lenders in the market, consistently provide quality products and service.

First Active are primarily a mortgage bank and offer excellent first time buyers and re-mortgage facilities.

Matters to be considered when choosing a lender include:

  • Lenders lending criteria
  • Current mortgage rates – both new business and existing customer rates
  • History of rates compared to the rest of the market
  • Market experience of lenders – commitment to the Irish market
  • Product flexibility
  • Service factors including speed of which mortgage can be processed and service throughout the life of the mortgage
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3. What are the steps involved in the mortgage process?

1. Make a decision to buy property
  • Once decision is made, start saving
  • Forgo entering into new loan agreements whenever possible
  • Keep a close eye on property market
  • Establish your property goals
2. Obtain loan approval
  • Review our site in detail – lending criteria, borrowing capacity, costs etc
  • Complete loan application form
  • Quickly assemble all information needed to support your application
  • Choose lender in conjunction with Mortgage Company of Ireland
  • Obtain formal approval in principle
3. Choose a property
  • Choose your preferred location and match borrowing capacity with property goals
  • Be prepared to negotiate aggressively
  • Don’t rush or buy when you are not convinced
  • Be prepared to stretch - the property you want is usually just beyond your reach
  • Obtain approval in respect of the chosen property
4. Buy property
  • Engage a Solicitor-our site has details and contact names of a range of solisitors
  • Read contracts and offer letters before signing    ask questions if you are not happy
  • Sign contracts for purchase
  • Sign Loan Offer Letter – arrange house and life cover
  • Close sale and draw down mortgage
  • Move in

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4. What are lenders normal lending criteria for a mortgage?

  1. Good Credit History
  2. Age 21 or over
  3. Age not greater than 65 at end of mortgage term
  4. Ability to repay – as a guide repayments on all loans including your mortgage should not exceed 40% your net income
  5. Secure employment
  6. Continuous employment for 2yrs
  7. Maximum mortgage available to Irish residents is 92% - Non-Residents 70% of property value

The primary focus is on repayment capacity.

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5. How long does mortgage approval take?

Use our calculators to estimate your borrowing capacity and review the typical lending criteria above. The next step is to give us a call or complete our secure on line application Based on the information we will generally be able to advise you straight away whether you will qualify for a mortgage and we will also provide you with an estimated borrowing limit.  Our consultant will then advise you of the precise information required (see point 11 below) and make an appointment to meet you.  At that meeting our consultant will explain the various options available and will guide you through the completion of any application forms required. We will then submit the applications to the chosen lenders and we would expect formal approval in two to three days.

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6.    How much can I borrow?

The key consideration for you is to be happy that you can comfortably afford your repayments. To calculate your borrowing limit please review our how much can you borrow calculator.  Lenders look at two main areas when considering an application.
  1. Income
  2. Loan to Value


Lenders look at both gross income and net income. As a guide lenders will advance up to 3.5 times the gross income of the main earner plus 1 times the gross income of the second earner. In reviewing net income repayments on all borrowings including the proposed mortgage should not exceed 40% of net income.

  • Some overtime will be taken into account
  • An element of bonus, to the extent, it is guaranteed, will be taken into account
  • Consideration will be given to length of employment and security of employment
  • For commission based income – lenders estimate normal income levels

Loan to Value

Irish residents qualify for a loan to value of up to 92% for Irish properties. Foreign residents borrowing in Ireland are usually limited to a loan to value of 70%.

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7. Which rate should I choose?

One decision which needs to be made is whether to choose a variable or fixed rate mortgage.  There are several factors to consider in making your choice. Future interest rates are uncertain and fixing interest rates should be considered in the following circumstances:
  • Where mortgage repayments represent a major portion of net income
  • Where mortgage levels are large > Euro120K
  • Where there are general feelings that interest rates will rise
  • Where rates are historically low
  • Where client is risk averse

Most lenders offer products, which allow you split your mortgage into fixed and variable elements.  It is important to bear in mind that breaking a fixed rate contract may involve penalties. Please click here to view current mortgage rates. Your mortgage consultant will discuss the various options open to you.

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9. What is a First Time Buyers Grant?

The First Time Buyers grant is only available to a first time buyer of a new property.  It is not available for the second hand buyer.

A grant of €3,810 is available from the Department of the Environment for new houses (including flats and maisonettes) where the buildings in question meet the conditions of eligibility as laid down by the Department.

These conditions include:

  • The size of the building must not exceed 125 sq. metres
  • The contractor is registered for VAT and holds a C2 or tax clearance certificate
  • The buyer and his/her spouse has never previously owned or built another dweller in Ireland or abroad for his/her occupation.

Application form for new house grant form HAI 93 from the Department of the Environment and Local Government Offices, Ballina, Co Mayo Ph: 096-24200.

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10. Costs associated with a mortgage?

Mortgage Company of Ireland do not charge arrangement or acceptance fees. There are several costs associated with the mortgage process as outlined below:


Savings are a key part of the mortgage process. Whereas banks currently place less reliance on savings than in the past, the discipline of saving cannot be underestimated. As max facilities of 92% are only available the remaining 8%, plus funds to furnish the home etc. needs to be found. A steady savings record helps an application. Banks will require evidence of the deposit in the form of savings books etc as part of the loan underwriting process. Loans from parents very often form a part of the deposit. Savings also reduce the necessity for short term borrowing which may have a strong impact on cash flow following a house purchase.

10 (b). Stamp Duty Rates STAMP DUTY RATES Nov 2001

Purchase Price

First Time Buyers


Up to €127,060



€127,060 - €190,590



€190,590 - €254,120



€254,120 - €317,650



€317,650 - €381,180



€381,180 - €635,300



Over €635,300



There is relief for first time buyers as per above table. Stamp Duty on property transfer is expensive in Ireland. For larger properties, the rate is as high as 9% of the value of the property. Funds need to be set aside by the borrower to cover stamp duty, which is payable on closing. Lenders do not advance funds to pay stamp duty.

10 (c). LEGAL FEES

Use 1% of property value plus vat at 20% as a general guide. In addition outlay for stamp duty on the mortgage document and other miscellaneous costs might add in the region of €400 for a standard mortgage. Should you require a solicitor, contact us and we would be happy to make a recommendation.


Indemnity Bonds are insurance policies taken out by the lender to insure against a potential loss in the event of a forced disposal of the property. Lenders only take out such bonds when the loans exceed 75% of the value of the property (which is highly likely for first time buyers). Many lenders waive indemnity bond charges.


It is recommended that you employ the services of a qualified surveyor to check the property for any structural problems or to advise you on any matters that may involve significant outlay e.g. dry-rot, subsidence, dampness etc. The structural survey is usually not a condition of the loan offer and is a completely different matter to the valuation, which is carried out on the lenders behalf. Use a reliable firm, agree their fees at the outset and insist on a written report. Budget €200 approx.


Before a lender will issue a formal offer letter in respect of a property, they require an independent valuation from a qualified valuer. We will arrange this for you. Budget €125 approx.


Lenders require mortgage holders to take out a life insurance policy. This policy provides for the repayment in full of the mortgage in the event of death of one of the mortgage holders. You are not required to take this policy out with the mortgage provider.


The lender will also require that you take out a building insurance policy on your house and that the interest of the lender be noted on the policy.

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11. What documents will I need to support a mortgage application?

  1. Signed Application form
  2. Latest P60
  3. Recent Payslips x 3
  4. Completed Employee Status forms
  5. ID – 2 forms – Photo and Utility Bill
  6. Recent statement of ALL loans outstanding including mortgage statement
  7. Evidence of Savings e.g. copy of deposit book etc
If you are Self-Employed:
  1. Up to date accounts
  2. Recent bank statements
  3. Completed Auditor’s Reference Report
If you are building your own house:
  1. Copy of Planning Permission
  2. Architect’s Drawings
  3. Building Contract

NOTE: We will provide you with the application form for signature together with Status Forms for your Employer.

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12. What classes of mortgages are available?

1. Annuity Mortgages:
    • Majority of mortgages in Ireland are Annuity Mortgages
    • Interest and capital are repaid over term of mortgage. In early years bulk of repayments represent interest
    • Not exposed to stock market fluctuations
2. Pension Mortgages:
    • Repay interest only over mortgage term
    • Suitable for Self-Employed
    • Pension fund builds up over life of mortgage
    • Pension lump sum on retirement used to clear mortgage
    • Tax efficient
    • Professional advice essential – taxation, pensions etc.
3. Endowment Mortgage:
    • Repay interest only over mortgage term
    • Exposed to stock market
    • Less popular today than in the past
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13. Do you provide finance for Non-Residents buying a property in Ireland?

In general the profile that lenders are looking for in respect of non-resident and a residents are very similar. Many non-resident mortgages are for investment purposes perhaps with the intention of returning at some time in the future with the property initially being available for rent. In such instance, mortgages are usually charged at the investment mortgage rate, which is typically ½% higher than home loans and may not attract some of the discounted offers available to resident home owners. With e-mail and fax facilities, there is no reason to expect any significant delays in processing non-resident applications. The main difference is the percentage loan to value. For residents this is 92% and for non-residents the normal limit is in the region of 70%.

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14. Do you provide finance for Foreign Property Investments by Irish residents?

In certain circumstances, foreign banks are willing to advance in the region of 60% facilities to Irish residents buying properties overseas. We do not currently act for any foreign banks in this regard. Irish banks will only fund overseas property by taking security on existing property in Ireland. We can provide facilities in this area.

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