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Can I get a mortgage…? Bad Credit, Defaults and CCJs

It goes without saying that how your credit has been conducted is going to impact on what mortgage options you have available. However, one of the biggest misconceptions people have is that the credit score they see when they logon to a credit checking website is what the mortgage will be based on, this isn’t correct.

Most mortgage companies have their own internal scoring systems, and some do not use credit scoring at all. Internal scoring systems do get the data from credit reference agencies, but the mortgage lender applies their own score for example one may score an application so that County Court Judgements below £300 are acceptable, whilst others will make this an instant decline.

If you have had any problems with credit and are unsure on your situation, it is always good to check your credit profile from a reputable credit reference agency such as Experian, Equifax or Call Credit. As best practice I would also show this report to your mortgage broker to avoid any confusion and so they can fully understand your situation.

If you wish to discuss your situation with us, please get in touch.

Helpful Hints

A couple of very basic things can go a long way to improving people’s chances of getting a mortgage and I wanted to summarise two quick tips below, that we come across all the time.

  • Make sure all applicants are registered on the voters roll for your current address.
  • Make sure your bank and credit accounts are registered to your current address.

What do we mean by adverse credit?

Adverse credit can mean many things but can include the following:

Payday and Doorstep Lending

Payday and doorstep lending may not seem like adverse credit, especially if you have repaid them within the terms of the agreement. They can however still impact on your mortgage as lenders can view them as a sign of affordability concerns. How much of an impact they have will depend on the frequency and amounts of money taken, as well as the mortgage situation overall.

Please get in touch with us to discuss your situation today.

Arrears and Missed Payments

If you have multiple cases of missing payments on credit commitments such as credit cards, loans or even mobile phone bills, it can impact on applying for a mortgage. One of the reasons why is because to a lender it looks as though you are struggling to afford what you currently have.

The impact that missed payments have will depend on the frequency, how far in arrears you are and the amount of deposit you have available. It is also important to note that why this has occurred is also important and this can be a deciding factor for many mortgage companies.

To give an example, if you missed one credit card payment 12 months ago, this is going to have much less of an impact than if you missed 3 months’ worth of credit card payments within the last 12 months. The amount of deposit is combined within this, as the larger the deposit you have, the less risky the whole application becomes for the mortgage lender. How this happened is also important, for example if this happened due to no fault of your own, it looks very different than if you just didn’t pay and didn’t sort it out.

County Court Judgements (CCJs) and Defaults

I have put these two categories together as they are often looked at by mortgage lenders in the same way and even one small CCJ or default can mean some mortgage companies will not look at the application.

The impact that these have depend on how many defaults or CCJs are present, the amount of the debt that was defaulted, how long ago this was, has the debt been settled, why it happened and what deposit is available.

Debt Management Plans

Debt management plans are something we see often and if you are currently in a debt management plan or just finished one, it is going to be more difficult to obtain a mortgage. One of the reasons for this is, if you are in a debt management plan from a lenders perspective you are saying you cannot afford to service the debts you already have, so why would you want more debt?

Although it is more difficult to obtain a mortgage with a debt management plan, in many situations it is not impossible, but it is likely that a more specialist lender will be required. In general, these lenders will want to understand how the debt management plan has come about and often want to see that you have been able to pay the debt management plan successfully for a period. This period is often between 12 to 24 months.

Please get in touch with us to discuss your situation today.

Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs)

The situation with IVAs is very similar to that of debt management plans above, although as they are a form of insolvency, many lenders view them in a similar light to bankruptcy. There are some specialist lenders who may consider the situation, but it is likely a larger deposit of at least 25% would be needed.

Please get in touch with us to discuss your situation today.


Bankruptcy is the legal process by which people who cannot repay debts seek relief from some or all their debts by declaring themselves insolvent. As you can imagine, any bankruptcy is going to make obtaining a mortgage more difficult, although after 6 years from the bankruptcy and if credit has been maintained since, this situation can change. It is also possible in some situations for lenders to look at a mortgages for people within that 6 year period after a bankruptcy.

If you have been declared bankrupt in the past it is worth discussing your situation with us, so that we can give you the appropriate mortgage advice you need.


A history of home repossessions will make getting a mortgage more difficult and the more recent this was, the harder obtaining a new mortgage will be.

If you have been repossessed in the past it is worth discussing your situation with us, so that we can give you the appropriate mortgage advice you need.

The above is not an exhaustive list of all kinds of adverse credit and is only a general overview of the types of credit situations we often see. Please get in touch today to discuss your situation.