I have bad credit but need a mortgage, help!

Answered on 3 February 2019 by Nick Morrey


I have bad credit. What are the chances of getting a mortgage if I am a first-time buyer? What would I need to do to improve my chance of being accepted?


The starting point for any mortgage enquiry is going to be an examination of your credit file and before you talk to anybody you should get a copy of this from one of the major Credit Reference agencies: Experian, Equifax or Callcredit. The maximum cost to see your statutory report is £2 and you can view it online or get a copy by post.

With any bad credit and defaults that have happened in the last 6 years will certainly count against you and you will probably fail the credit score of most if not all the high street banks and building societies. Fortunately there are other lenders who will consider you for a mortgage depending on how much deposit you have, how much you earn in relation to the mortgage amount and how any other credit has been conducted.  The greater your deposit, the lower the income multiple and the better for credit record then the better your chances of being offered a mortgage are.

Joint accounts?

If you have any joint financial connections, such as a joint current account, credit card or even rental agreement, a credit check on your partners name will bring up your credit history and will inevitably lead to you getting a lower score than you would on you own.

I’m afraid to say if you are a first-time buyer and are looking to borrow 90% with credit issues you will struggle to secure a mortgage in your present circumstances. I would recommend affordability permitting to try and pay extra each month to repay the debt quicker and realistically you will need around 15% or more deposit which also suggest to the lender that you are serious about securing a mortgage.

As an independent, whole of market broker, we also deal with those lenders who still manually underwrite cases and can therefore judge each application on its individual merits and would suggest you call us when your circumstances improve. We recommend that you call us on 0344 346 3672 and we can talk through your individual circumstances.

Answers provided in response to Ask the experts are based on the information provided and do not constitute advice under the Financial Services & Markets Act. They reflect the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views, positions, strategies or opinions of John Charcol. All comments are made in good faith, and John Charcol will not accept liability for them.

We recommend you seek professional advice with regard to any of these topics where appropriate.

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