Buying a home can be an exciting and rewarding experience. But, it isn't always straightforward. There are many potential reasons that an applicant could have a mortgage offer withdrawn, from a change in circumstances to a property not reaching the lender’s criteria.

It's important to understand what to do and how to handle this situation effectively, as it doesn’t need to be the end of your homebuying journey. You could still secure a mortgage offer. This article will provide guidance and advice on what to do if you’ve had a mortgage offer withdrawn.

Can a Mortgage Offer Be Withdrawn?

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Yes, a mortgage offer can be withdrawn even after it was accepted. But, as it's a legally binding contract, the lender can only withdraw it under the conditions specified in the offer's terms.

Most lenders will do their best to find an alternate solution before taking such drastic measures. This could involve altering the rate of your loan or its term length, as well as adjusting how much money you're allowed to borrow.

Why Might a Mortgage Offer Be Withdrawn?

Once you’ve had a mortgage offer through and accepted it, most of the lender’s assessment will be completed, including the valuation and underwriting. You’re probably thinking, what could change between then and completion that would result in a mortgage offer being withdrawn.

Although each lender has different criteria, there are a few reasons that might lead to you having a mortgage offer withdrawn.

Changes in Your Financial Situation

Unexpected changes to your circumstances can occur during a property purchase, such as redundancy or rising expenses. This could affect your mortgage affordability which means you may no longer meet the lender’s criteria and they can’t consider you a viable candidate for the existing mortgage offer, but don't give up just yet!

It's always important to consult with the lender about any adjustments that can be made to get the loan approved. This could mean extending the loan period or reducing the amount borrowed.

Our mortgage borrowing calculator can help you understand exactly how much you can borrow. Our mortgage repayments calculator can also help to give you a better idea of what to expect and whether or not a mortgage with the current interest rates is within your budget. You can also compare mortgage rates on our website.

Credit Issues

Another reason a mortgage offer could be withdrawn is that you may have recent credit issues. Some lenders conduct another credit check after offer but before exchange and competition which could reveal if you’ve missed any recent payments, or had any other adverse credit events.

It’s best taking out any new lines of credit until you’ve completed on your property to avoid this being an issue for the lender.

Property Issues

Of course, the property you’re purchasing won’t be aware that you’ve had a mortgage offer accepted, so it’s possible for something to happen to the property after valuation that could make it no longer suitable security for the lender. For example, if a fire occurred and the house needed extensive work on it, it would decrease in value, be harder to resell in its current state and require improvements. You also probably wouldn’t want to live in it anymore!

If you still wanted to secure lending on a specific property, even though it’s no longer suitable for your particular lender, speak to a mortgage broker. We can help you look into alternative options such as applying with a new lender, adapting your mortgage deal or securing bridging.

Expired Mortgage Offer

Your mortgage offer may also expire before you can complete the purchase. Most lenders will allow a certain amount of time for a mortgage to be completed, typically around 6 months. If it takes longer than this to finalise the purchase, or there’s a break in the chain that delays completion, you may need to reapply for a new loan or extend the existing mortgage offer. It's important to speak with your mortgage broker about this in order to avoid any delays and ensure you don't lose out on the purchase of your home.

Suspicious Activity

If there is any suspicious activity linked to your mortgage repayment or purchase process, the lender may call a halt to proceedings until they can investigate the matter further. This could be anything from identity fraud to money laundering. It's important that you keep all documents related to your purchase safe and secure to avoid any potential issues. Make sure you have proof of address, proof of income and provenance of deposit funds, as well as other relevant documents that the lender may require.

Inaccurate Information

Inaccurate information or a lack of full disclosure can also lead to your mortgage offer being withdrawn. It's extremely important that you provide all the relevant and accurate information requested by the lender during the mortgage application process. If there are any discrepancies, this could delay or even prevent your loan from going through. It's also worth noting that some lenders may require further documents if they have any concerns about your application, so it's important to be aware of this and prepare for the possibility.

Are Mortgage Offers Being Withdrawn Due to the Rise in Interest Rates?

No, mortgage offers are not being withdrawn due to rate rises. If this was even a possibility, the lender would have stressed it to you before offering you the mortgage.

What to Do if You Have Your Mortgage Offer Withdrawn on Day of Completion or Earlier

If a lender withdraws your mortgage offer at any time – let alone on the day of completion - it can be very stressful. It's important that you act quickly to try and resolve the situation as soon as possible. Here are some steps you could take.

Find Out What Went Wrong

You can’t know what to do next if you don’t know what went wrong in the first place. Speak to your lender or mortgage broker about what happened to see if it can be prevented in the future. For example, if you’ve had a recent credit issue, you can then focus on working on improving your credit profile and avoiding taking out any new lines of credit when you reapply.

Get Some Professional Advice

Consult with an independent and specialist mortgage broker like John Charcol. We’ll be able to explain to you what went wrong with the mortgage offer and what your options are. As we have access to the whole market of mortgage lenders and products, we can find you a lender who is willing to lend, even if your mortgage has been withdrawn. If your offer was withdrawn due to a minor issue, such as a paperwork error, we may be able to dispute this with the lender on your behalf to get your offer back on track. Alternatively, we may be able to negotiate a new deal with the lender to align with your new circumstances.

It's important to keep in mind that high street mortgage providers have strict lending criteria and may not be suitable for everyone. Other options may be available to you and are worth considering.

At What Stage of the Process Can a Mortgage Offer Be Withdrawn?

A mortgage offer can be withdrawn at any stage of the process, from the initial application to the day of completion. However it’s extremely unlikely you would have a mortgage offer withdrawn after exchange of contracts. The later you are in the process, the more likely it is that you could lose non-refundable fees. This would depend on who is “at fault”.

Can My Mortgage Offer Be Withdrawn after Completion?

Your mortgage offer cannot be withdrawn after completion as the funds have already transferred.

If you have a change in circumstances after completion, such as loss of income or redundancy, it’s important to inform your lender as they should have options to support you and help you manage your monthly payments.

Can I Pull Out of a House Sale or Purchase?

In England and Wales, you may back out of any purchase or sale up until the exchange of contracts without serious repercussions. After this point, however, all parties must abide by the terms laid forth in their signed contract. Otherwise, they can face legal action and financial penalties for breach of agreement.

If you choose to terminate a sale or purchase prematurely as either buyer or seller, it can be expensive. Losses can be incurred through the forfeiture of deposits and non-refundable services like conveyancing and surveys already carried out. So, take extra caution when making this choice.

If you're looking to buy or sell a home in Scotland, the process is slightly different. It's only possible to back out of an agreement prior to concluding the missives — a correspondence between solicitors representing both parties that comprises the contract for sale. Once those letters are sent, neither party can withdraw their offer any longer.

What Happens if I Pull Out after Exchange?

If a buyer decides to withdraw from a sale after the exchange of contracts is finalised, they could end up losing tens of thousands in their deposit. Additionally, the seller may be entitled to claim additional damages such as market depreciation if it results in a decrease in property value.

As a seller, if you withdraw after contracts have been exchanged, you may still be liable for paying your estate agent's fee. You may also need to pay your conveyancer, depending on your contract with them. Your buyers will also be eligible to recover their full deposit under these circumstances.

Can I Cancel a Mortgage Application?

You're legally allowed to cancel your mortgage application any time before it reaches completion. But you may forfeit any charges that have already been made. It's important to talk with your lawyer and read the terms and conditions of your offer first. That way, you'll know what cancellation will mean for you in terms of costs and future options.

Withdrawing from a property chain late in the process can also negatively impact your future borrowing options, as lenders will see you as a less reliable potential borrower.


The mortgage process can be intimidating and confusing, but it's important to remember that there are options available even if you've had an offer withdrawn. With the guidance of a specialist mortgage broker, you'll be able to determine the best possible solution for your individual situation.

At John Charcol, we strive to provide the best advice and assistance so that you can take full advantage of the opportunities available when purchasing a property. Whatever the reason behind the withdrawal of your mortgage offer, we're here to ensure that you find a way to secure the home you want. Simply contact us today and one of our team will be happy to help. We look forward to helping you on your homebuying journey. ​

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