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Author: Carl Shave-Director
Updated on November 28th, 2023

Bad Credit Mortgages

It’s possible to get a mortgage, whatever the situation with your credit score. At The Mortgage Centres, we have advisers who specialise in helping you get a mortgage with bad credit.

Get in touch for a free initial, no-obligation discussion about your mortgage situation.

Do you qualify?

If you have bad credit, getting a mortgage can be difficult. But we can help.

  • We have access to the whole market, so we can find the right lender for you.
  • We can make enquiries on your behalf and get you the best deal possible.
  • We can set you on the path to owning your home.
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What is a bad credit mortgage?

Bad credit mortgages are mortgages that are available to people with a poor credit history. They are also known as ‘adverse’ or ‘poor’ credit mortgages.

They usually come with a higher interest rate and a larger deposit requirement. This is because lenders will see you as high risk. However, there are now mainstream lenders that offer bad credit mortgages at standard interest rates.

The best way to find out if you qualify for a bad credit mortgage is to speak to a mortgage adviser.

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Fill out our quick and easy Bad Credit calculator below. We only require a few details to see how much you may be able to borrow.


Understanding bad credit

Bad credit can affect your ability to get a mortgage. It’s important to understand what bad credit is and how it can impact your finances. There are things you can do to improve your credit score and take control of your finances.

If you have bad credit, there are still mortgage options available to you. Our mortgage advisers will be able to assess your individual circumstances and recommend the best mortgage for you.

What bad credit events can I get a mortgage with?

Lenders view people with bad credit as a higher risk. Therefore, they may not approve your application or may charge you a higher interest rate.

Some events that you can still obtain a mortgage with are:

How do I find out if I have a low credit score?

There are three main credit reference agencies in the UK, ExperianTransUnion and Equifax. These will provide you with your credit score online or through the post.

  • Lenders will contact one or all of them to see your information when doing a credit check.
  • The lender will then make their own assessment on your credit rating.
  • Different lenders will interpret data in different ways. Keep in mind that lenders do not use the scores provided by all three agencies.

This table provides an indication of the health of your credit score based on the agency:

Rating Experian TransUnion Equifax
Very Poor 0 – 560 1 0 – 279
Poor 561 – 720 2 280 – 379
Fair 721 – 880 3 380 – 419
Good 881 – 960 4 420 – 465
Excellent 961 – 999 5 466 – 700

It is important to note that these are just guidelines, and your credit score may vary depending on the agency.

How to get a mortgage with bad credit

Getting a mortgage with a poor credit score can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. To enhance your credit score and improve your likelihood of mortgage approval, consider the following actions:

  • Get registered on the Electoral Roll.
  • Close any credit accounts you don’t use.
  • Get copies of your credit report from each of the three main credit agencies.
  • Check your credit reports for errors and have them corrected if necessary.
  • Show that you’re on top of your finances by listing all your income and expenses.
  • Create a realistic budget for your household.
  • Open a savings account and make regular deposits.

If you’re struggling to improve your credit score, consider speaking with a specialist adverse credit mortgage broker. Our team of specialist brokers have a wealth of knowledge about the adverse mortgage market. We’re happy to give you friendly, honest advice about your circumstances.

How much will a bad credit mortgage cost?

  • Interest rates will be higher than on the high street.
  • The amount you can borrow may be less.

This is because specialist lenders take on more risk when offering mortgages to poor credit individuals. They need to charge higher interest rates to cover their costs and make a profit. They may also require a larger down payment or other forms of security.

If you have bad credit, it’s important to shop around and compare different mortgage deals before you apply. You should also speak to a mortgage broker who can help you find the best deal for your individual circumstances.

What factors affect the cost of a bad credit mortgage?

  • The number and type of adverse credit events on your credit report.
  • When the adverse credit events occurred.
  • Whether you have settled historical debts.
  • The loan-to-value (LTV) of the mortgage.
  • Your presence on the electoral register.
  • Your level of debt compared to your income.
  • Your employment history and residential stability.

Lenders will consider all these factors when deciding whether to lend to you and how much interest to charge.

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Can I remortgage with Bad Credit?

Yes, it is possible to remortgage with bad credit. However, the lender will consider your individual circumstances and the severity of your bad credit. You may need to make a larger down payment or accept a higher interest rate.

You can improve your chances of remortgaging with bad credit by:

  • Making all your payments on time.
  • Paying down your debt.
  • Closing unused credit cards.
  • Requesting a copy of your credit report and disputing any errors.

Bad credit mortgage lenders

The financial crisis made it harder for people with bad credit to get a mortgage. Specialist mortgage lenders for bad credit have stepped in to fill this gap. They have different criteria for accepting borrowers, so it’s important to speak to a specialist mortgage broker.

What do mortgage lenders look for in your credit score?

Mortgage lenders look at your current debt level, repayment history, and any bankruptcy or County Court Judgements. They also consider how many credit applications you have made recently.

They primarily focus on your credit history over the past 3 years. However, they will consider everything on your file. The more recent or severe, the bigger role they will play in the lender’s decision.

Who are the best bad credit mortgage lenders?

We cannot provide a list of the ‘best lenders’ as each application will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Instead, you will need to focus on who will offer you a mortgage.

However, some specialist bad credit lenders that The Mortgage Centres work with are:

If you have bad credit, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Do I have to stay with a bad credit mortgage lender?

As mentioned, bad credit mortgage rates are typically higher than those of a standard mortgage. Therefore, you would want to find a cheaper deal as soon as possible. You’ll be pleased to know that it’s possible to move away from bad credit lenders if you improve your credit score.

But you cannot rely on your mortgage payments to improve your score. Keeping up with other payments will be essential too.

Using a mortgage broker for a bad credit mortgage

A specialist mortgage broker’s job is to help you find a lender and a product that will suit your situation. They can also give you advice on how to improve your credit history in advance of your next application.

There are many mortgage lenders in the market, however some do not deal directly with the public. A specialist mortgage broker can help you access their products.

We are an unlimited mortgage broker, which means we have access to some of the most competitive deals available. If you have bad credit and need help getting a mortgage, contact us today.

How does a broker help you with your application?

They will discuss the following with you:

  • Your specific credit issues. For example, do you have a County Court Judgement or did you have to declare bankruptcy?
  • The loan-to-value (LTV) of your mortgage. The lower the LTV, the better the chance of you obtaining a mortgage. Your deposit or equity amount will determine this.
  • Your income and expenditure. Each lender will have their own criteria for income. Some may be more inclined to accept self-employed income, whereas others might not be.
  • The type of property you are looking to buy. Certain properties aren’t seen as suitable for a mortgage. This can include high-rise flats or timber-framed buildings.

How much do mortgage brokers cost to use?

Specialist bad credit mortgage brokers will usually charge a flat fee or a percentage of the loan value. Although, some may charge a both. It’s always best to check with the broker before proceeding with anything.

In many cases, using a mortgage broker can save you money, even after you factor in their fees. For example, if you take out a £250,000 mortgage at 3.95% over 25 years, you will pay £393,810 in total.
If you can get a better rate of just 0.1%, you will only pay £389,692 in total. This means you will save £4,118 over the life of the mortgage.

Of course, the actual amount you save will depend on your individual circumstances and the market at the time. However, in general, using a mortgage broker can save you money, even if you have bad credit.

Bad Credit Mortgage FAQs

  • Do overdrafts make credit scores worse?
  • Can I apply for a joint mortgage if my partner has bad credit?
  • Does marrying someone with bad credit give you bad credit?

If you’re careful with your overdraft and use it responsibly when you need to, then it shouldn’t have an impact. However, if you are often on the limit of your overdraft, then that might have an impact on how a lender views your creditworthiness.

If you are making a joint application for a mortgage, then lenders will take both of your credit histories into account. The acceptance of your application depends on a range of factors. This can include the severity of the event, how much time has passed, and the borrowing behaviour since it occurred.

Some lenders will accept people who have a discharged bankruptcy, CCJs or an IVA. These specialists take more into account than the simple facts and figures, understanding that people and circumstances can change.

No, this will not impact your credit records in reference to any loans, credit cards, or mortgages you have taken out yourself. This is because, generally, things are treated individually.

If credit accounts are taken out jointly, your partner’s poor credit history could impact how lenders view you. They may decline an application or accept it with a higher rate of interest.

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