What is the difference between an Illustration and a DIP?

When applying for a Mortgage, most people will have both of these documents and probably early on in the process. Sometimes it can cause confusion so lets have a look at each document and see how they differ.

What is an Illustration?

An illustration is sometimes referred to as a KFI or an ESIS document. They are all the same document and in essence they are a quote. They give you a breakdown of the rate, the repayments, fees and the other terms of the mortgage.

It is generally a 6-7 page document split up in to around 13 sections to give you a digestible document regarding the product applying for. All lenders use the same format to make it easier to compare.

It is not a mortgage offer nor is it a a DIP.

What is a DIP?

A DIP which is short for Decision in Principle is in short an initial credit check and basic affordability calculation to see if you “in principle” look like you will get a mortgage with the lender.

A DIP is also occasionally referred to as an MIP or AIP – Mortgage in Principle or Agreement in Principle. These are not product specific usually and they are also not mortgage offers. They are only as accurate as the information entered.

This means if you use bonus income for example and the lender will not use bonus income or only a portion of it, it may not be valid.

Why do they have 2 documents before applying for a mortgage?

The 2 documents are used for different things. One gives you an overview of the cost of the mortgage, the other determines if you are likely to be accepted for the mortgage.

Neither of them are mortgage offers nor do they guarantee you will be accepted or get the product displayed. However before applying, its important to know what you are applying for (which is where the Illustration comes in) and if you happy with that, whether you are likely to be accepted (which is where the DIP comes in).


Sometimes it can be the case where you get the DIP before the illustration. This would be the case where the estate agent requests a DIP in order for you to view a property. It may even be that you get a DIP with Lender A but end up applying to Lender B.

Dont worry though, if you are applying for a mortgage through us, we will guide you through the process and be on hand every step of the way.