First-time buyers applying for a mortgage may find their attempt to get on the housing ladder harmed by negatives on their credit record, a representative of What Mortgage has said.
A spokesman for the firm advised applicants: "Always check your credit record before you go. Sign up to Equifax or Experian or whoever and see if you have got any problems in your file. If you have, then you might be able to fix them yourself.
"If there are any incorrect issues then it is worth getting them corrected before you go and make the application."
Problems may include unresolved disputes with creditors, which may date back years but still have a possible impact.
If this is not done, the outcome might be an outright rejection or a higher interest rate than might otherwise be offered.
Should these exist and prove hard to sort out, expert advice may need to be sought on the best way forward.
This may include seeking help from a body such as the Financial Ombudsman should a creditor be making an unjustified claim for an 'unpaid' sum.
Other advice provided by the expert included saving up as much as possible, since the larger the deposit is, the smaller the mortgage will be. That will in turn mean less interest to pay.
Another tip was for a prospective new homeowner to remember the extra costs they may face that they do not have to consider when renting a property, such as maintenance, service charges and insurance.
The comments follow recent advice by housing company Barratt's to first-time buyers to get "mortgage fit" in this summer of sport.
It listed a number of tips for possible buyers regarding how they can improve their chances of success, both in getting a mortgage to start with and for obtaining the best rate.
By Joe White