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Don’t Let a Poor Credit Score Turn Your Mortgage Dreams into a Nightmare

James Jones, Head of Consumer Affairs at Experian, Looks at Why Your Credit Score is So Important


Buying your first home is incredibly exciting! From viewing your shortlisted properties to the anticipation of waiting for a response from the estate agent, there’s nothing more thrilling than your offer being accepted. However, that excitement could quickly turn to despair if, at the 11th hour, the mortgage lender refuses your application because your credit score isn’t up to scratch.

The Importance of Your Credit Score

A poor credit history is one of the most common reasons for mortgage application problems. It’s crucial to review your credit report and score before starting your new home search, giving you time to get your credit score in great shape.

What is Your Credit Score?

Your credit score is a three-digit number that summarises your creditworthiness. Public-facing scores, such as the Experian Credit Score, guide you on how your past track record shapes up in the eyes of lenders.

Experian Credit Score

Experian’s score runs on a scale of 0-999, split into five bands: Very poor, Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent. Checking your score regularly for free on the Experian website is advisable.

Building a Credit History

Ensure you’ve built a credit history, as it plays a crucial role in lending decisions. For those with a thin file, consider a “credit builder” credit card to strengthen your credit history.

Repairing a Poor Credit History

Repay past debts and update your credit report. If there are circumstances affecting your credit, use a “notice of correction” to explain them on your credit report.

Top Tips for Mortgage Application Preparation

  • Check your monthly budget to understand your income and expenditure.
  • Gather necessary paperwork, including bank statements and payslips.
  • Use Experian’s mortgage comparison service to explore options from over 90 lenders.
  • Understand that lenders scrutinise your financial behavior, especially in the months leading up to the mortgage application.
  • Be aware of issues that may affect your credit report and ask for corrections.
  • Register to vote at your current address to confirm your identity to lenders.
  • Pay down existing debts and avoid opening new accounts with hard credit checks before the mortgage application.


Take advice, especially if you’ve had credit problems. Consider seeking guidance from an independent mortgage broker, such as L&C Mortgages, to find the best deal for your circumstances.

Read the full magazine for comprehensive insights on first time buying at First Time Buyer Magazine.

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