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Can I get a mortgage with bad credit?

Here at Moving & Improving, we help people across the country from all walks of life to buy, sell and make improvements to their homes.

One of our most popular services is our mortgage broker service, where we can connect you with one of our trusted and rated mortgage brokers who will provide you with choice, flexibility and importantly, the best advice. 

We often get asked ‘can I get a mortgage with bad credit?’ - the simple answer to this is yes, you can still get a mortgage if you have a poor credit score. 

Almost all lenders will run a credit check on you before granting your application for a mortgage. However, it’s worth knowing that some ‘black marks’ on your credit history will impact your credit score more than others. The impact the mark has depends both on the amount(s) of money involved and how long ago it happened. 

Some examples of incidents that result in black marks include: 

  • Missed payments, including on your mortgage and any loans or credit cards, will show up on your credit report for up to seven years. 

  • Defaults on payments are considered to be significant black marks on your credit rating.

  • Collections. If your debts have been sold to a third-party collection agency that comes to collect on the debt, then this will result in a damaged credit raging.

  • Any court judgments, including bankruptcy, civil judgements or tax liens can all stay on your report for 7-10 years depending on the circumstances.

  • Foreclosure and repossession (defaulting on a mortgage which results in your home being repossessed). 

  • If you have been given account in credit counseling by Consumer Credit Counseling Services (CCCS) then this may also be noted on your credit report. 

  • Credit inquiries, including inquiries about personal loans, mortgages and credit cards, can all remain on your credit report for up to two years, regardless of whether they are approved.

If you think or know that you have a less than glowing credit history, then some high street banks may refuse to lend to you, but that’s no reason to give up. As we’ve said, it is still possible to get a mortgage with a poor credit score. Specialist lenders provide an alternative to many banks and often cater their mortgage options to those with marked credit reports.

These lenders are more likely to accept people with a poor credit rating and tend to offer more flexibility on applications and assessments. However, specialist lenders like these can tend to charge higher-than-average interest rates and/or require larger deposits. For example, banks may require a minimum of a 5% deposit for some of their mortgages, whereas specialists may require a minimum of 20% (or sometimes more). 

Every circumstance is unique and our mortgage brokers will work closely with you to find the right mortgage to buy your property. Generally, credit scores are improved slowly over time, but if you think you have a poor credit score, then we’ve listed some positive steps you can take to potentially improve your score if needed:

  • Register on the electoral roll. If you’re not registered to vote then you’ll find it more difficult to get credit.

  • Check for mistakes on your file. Even a slight error on a listed address can damage your credit score.

  • Check who you’re linked to. Having your credit linked to another person can impact your personal rating if the individual you are linked to has a bad score.

  • Clear existing debt. High levels of existing debt will damage your credit rating so if you can, pay off any existing debts.

  • Stay in one location for a long period of time. If you have moved house frequently (even between rental properties), then this can make lenders uneasy. 

If you’re looking for a trusted, checked and recommended mortgage broker that can help you to secure a mortgage, even if you have bad credit, then visit our mortgage brokers page to get a quote today.

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