Top 5 Tips for Getting a Mortgage With a Poor Credit Score

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Obtaining a mortgage can often be a complex process, made even more challenging for those with a poor credit score. A less than ideal credit history can present unique hurdles in the journey towards homeownership. However, understanding these challenges and knowing how to approach them can open up opportunities for securing a poor credit mortgage. This article offers helpful tips and advice for anyone looking to get a mortgage with a poor credit history. These insights are tailored to provide practical guidance and support, whether you’re stepping onto the property ladder for the first time or are just looking to remortgage.

Understanding Poor Credit Mortgages

When it comes to getting a mortgage, your credit score is a key factor. But what does it mean if you have poor credit? This term is often used by lenders to indicate a higher risk when lending money, usually due to past financial issues like missed payments, defaults, or CCJSs (County Court Judgements).

Having a poor credit score doesn’t mean you can’t get a mortgage. It’s crucial to know that lenders have different criteria, some are more open to considering applications despite past credit challenges whilst others will not consider it at all. Being well informed and prepared can significantly enhance your prospects.

Tip 1 – Review and Understand Your Credit Report

One of the first steps in preparing for a mortgage application, especially with a poor credit history, is to thoroughly review and understand your credit report. Your credit report is a detailed record of your credit history, including loans, credit cards, and any other credit agreements, along with your repayment history.

Understanding your credit report can help you identify any inaccuracies or areas for improvement. It’s not uncommon to find errors that could be negatively impacting your score. If you do find inaccuracies, it’s important to contact the credit reference agencies to get these corrected.

Additionally, understanding the specifics of your credit history can help you explain any past issues to potential lenders. This transparency can be beneficial when applying for a mortgage. We guide our clients through their credit reports, helping them understand the implications and preparing them to address any concerns lenders might have.

Tip 2 – Improve Your Credit Score Where Possible

Enhancing your credit score is a crucial step in improving your chances of mortgage approval. While this process can take time, there are several proactive steps you can take –

Pay Bills Regularly and On time

Consistently paying your bills on time can positively influence your credit score. This includes all repayments, from loans to utility bills, credit card dues, and even mobile phone contracts.

Reduce Your Outstanding Debts

Lowering your overall debt can make you more appealing to lenders. Focus on paying down your existing debts and try to avoid incurring new debts if possible.

Limit Credit Applications

Each application for credit can slightly lower your credit score. It’s advisable to limit new credit applications and avoid numerous credit searches in a short span.

Register On The Electoral Roll

Being registered to vote at your current address can boost your credit score, as it assists in confirming your identity and residence.

Build a Positive Credit History

If you have a limited credit history, consider using a credit building credit card. Utilise it for modest purchases and ensure you pay off the full balance each month to establish a positive credit record.

By adopting these good financial habits you can effectively work towards improving your credit score. These combined efforts reflect a responsible financial profile, which is crucial for a healthier credit rating.

Tip 3 – Save for a Higher Deposit

Saving for a larger deposit can significantly improve your chances of securing a mortgage, especially with a poor credit history. Here’s why –

Lower Loan to Value Ratio

A larger deposit means borrowing less, leading to a lower loan to value (LTV) ratio. Lenders often view a lower LTV ratio as less risky, which can be particularly beneficial if you have a poor credit history.

Access to Better Rates

Generally, the higher your deposit, the more competitive mortgage rates you can access. This can result in more affordable mortgage repayments over time.

Demonstrates Financial Responsibility

A substantial deposit can also show lenders that you’re capable of saving and managing your finances effectively, which can be reassuring, especially if your credit history is less than perfect.

We understand that saving can be challenging, but even small, consistent efforts can accumulate over time, making a significant difference in your mortgage application.

Tip 4 – Explore Specialist Lenders

Having a poor credit history means that mainstream lenders might not always be the best option for you. This is where exploring specialist lenders becomes crucial –

Understanding Complex Situations

Specialist lenders are often more open to considering applications from individuals with complex financial histories, including those with poor credit.

Flexible Criteria

These lenders may have more flexible criteria compared to traditional banks, offering tailored solutions that mainstream lenders might not provide.

Expert Guidance

Finding the right specialist lender can be a complex task. As a whole of market broker, we have access to a broad spectrum of lenders, including those specialising in poor credit mortgages. We can assist you in identifying the most suitable lenders for your specific needs.

Personalised Approach

We take the time to thoroughly understand your situation, ensuring that we connect you with lenders who are more likely to view your application favourably.

It’s important to remember that each lender has their own policies and criteria. What might be a stumbling block for one could be acceptable to another. Our role is to help you uncover those opportunities and maximise them.

Tip 5 – Prepare Your Documentation

When applying for a mortgage with a poor credit history, thorough and accurate documentation is key. Here’s how you can prepare –

Detailed Financial Records

Keep comprehensive records of your income, debts, and assets. This includes payslips, bank statements, and any other relevant financial documents.

Credit History Explanation

If there are specific reasons for your poor credit, such as unexpected life events or past financial difficulties, prepare a clear and concise explanation. This can help lenders understand the context behind your credit score.

Professional Assistance

Preparing and presenting your financial information can be daunting. We can help you organise and present your documentation in a way that best represents your financial situation to lenders.

Remember, the more clearly you can present your financial history and current situation, the easier it is for lenders to assess your application. Well prepared documentation can make a significant difference, especially when your credit history is less than perfect.

At The Mortgage Stop, we focus on more than just numbers. We understand that everyone’s financial story is different. Our role is to help you showcase your financial situation positively to potential lenders. By comprehensively understanding your credit history and its impact, we aim to explore and identify mortgage options that might be right for you.


Securing a mortgage with a poor credit score might feel overwhelming but with the right guidance and steps, it’s a journey that can lead to success. Understanding your credit report, improving your credit score, and preparing your financial documentation are all part of building a strong foundation for your mortgage application. Saving for a larger deposit and exploring options with specialist lenders further enhance your prospects. Remember, your past credit history is just one part of your story. With determination and right support from The Mortgage Stop team, you could still secure the mortgages you need.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage. You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage 

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