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Mortgage Rejection

Has your bank rejected your mortgage offer, and you're unsure where to turn? Let's run through the best advice to respond to a mortgage rejection and get your application back on track.

Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

Almas Uddin2024-02-14
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Rejected Mortgage Application

Being turned down for a mortgage can feel like a big blow.

However, it's crucial to remember that there are thousands of lenders out there, and, likely, you've simply applied to the wrong one!

The key to getting over the hurdle or working out what if mortgage declined is to work out the mortgage declined reasons and what you can do differently next time - whether that's submitting a more robust application, providing a higher deposit, or applying to a more suitable mortgage lender.

In this guide, the Revolution Brokers team pools our years of experience to help you understand what you can do if your mortgage application has been rejected and the benefits of professional advice in moving forward successfully.

For help with your mortgage needs or further advice on any of the information in this guide, please get in touch at 0330 304 3040 or email us at [email protected].

Mortgage Application Declined - What Next?

There are all sorts of reasons you could have been turned down for a mortgage. Usually, it's because of something within your application that doesn't align with the lender's policies.

What if mortgage declined by one lender? Note that those eligibility criteria vary widely between lenders, so that absolutely doesn't mean you won't be approved elsewhere!

Some of the common mortgage declined reasons include:

  • Credit issues - that could be missed or late payments, CCJs or defaults in the last six years, or having a low credit score if you're not registered on the electoral roll.
  • Debt to income ratio - lenders need to check your income, expenses and other debt. If they feel you're overstretching, they might refuse the application.
  • Types of mortgage - some banks simply don’t offer all mortgage products! If you're after a self-employed or contractor mortgage, you might be best with a specialist lender with experience in that niche.
  • Affordability - if the lender is concerned you won't keep up with the repayments, they can decline you due to affordability issues.

That's by no means an exhaustive list of mortgage declined reasons but just a few of the potential causes.

The best course of action is not to panic! If you don't know the mortgage declined reasons, get in touch with the lender and ask for the reason - they will usually be happy to explain.

Next, give us a call, and we'll walk through the alternative lenders and options to improve your chances of approval after having a mortgage declined by underwriter.

A whole-of-market broker is crucial since Revolution Brokers has an overview of every lending product from every lender in the UK regardless of your mortgage declined reasons.

We'll match your borrowing requirements and circumstances with the right deal and negotiate directly with our recommended lenders to make sure your application gets over the finish line.

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What Are the Mortgage Declined Reasons to Be Turned Down on Affordability?

Affordability isn't a static concept across every lender - they all use different calculations and assessment methods to decide whether they perceive you can afford the mortgage you're applying for.

For example mortgage declined reasons might relate to these factors:

  • Some lenders use averages and others exact figures. That could be from last year, the last three, or the last six!
  • If you're on probation in a new job, some providers will outright refuse. Others won't be concerned, as long as you've got a contract in place.
  • Many people have multiple income streams, perhaps due to being self-employed or having a rental home and an employment role. Again, it's up to the lender whether they consider all of your income or just a fraction. The same applies to commissions, overtime or bonuses.

Generally, a lender will work out four times your annual income and set that as the upper limit for what they'll offer - others will go up to five or even six times.

Others work on a stress test, so they'll take a worst-case scenario interest rate, apply it to the mortgage value, and see if they believe you'd pass an affordability assessment on that basis.

Therefore, it's impossible to quantify precisely what the mortgage declined reasons are linked to affordability without asking the lender - the methods used to make these decisions can vary substantially.

Mortgage Declined: When Can I Apply Again on Affordability?

First, check-in with the lender and ask for information about your mortgage refusal - you'll need to know the mortgage declined reasons.

Next, look at your income structure and see if there are any apparent mortgage declined reasons.

Perhaps they've eliminated a chunk of your earnings from the calculations or work on a three-year income average, and you now earn considerably more.

Let's take a quick example:

  • Mr B earns £20,000 a year, plus £60,000 in commission.
  • Lender X includes 50% of commissions in their affordability assessment, so they consider Mr B as earning £50,000 (not the actual £80,000!) and offer a maximum mortgage of £250,000.
  • Lender Z incorporates 80% of commissions, so they calculate Mr B earns £68,000 a year and offer a mortgage of up to £340,000.

That basic example illustrates the point. You can't earn more and probably won't want to apply for a smaller mortgage if you've found your dream home.

The answer to what if mortgage declined is usually to contact an independent broker who will assess your income and match you to a lender with suitable policies that enable them to approve you, based on their affordability calculation method.

What if Mortgage Declined After Agreement in Principle Offer?

If you've got an agreement in principle on the table, you might be surprised to find that you've been turned down when it comes to making the final application!

In short, a lender works through two assessment stages:

  1. They'll check you meet their basic lending criteria. If everything looks good, you get an agreement in principle.
  2. The complete application process undergoes a more rigorous analysis and a risk assessment by the underwriter. If they decide that the agreement doesn't meet their risk profile, they can still issue a mortgage declined by underwriter decision.

Now, the basic qualification criteria are also variable, so if you don't get past the mortgage in principle stage, there is likely something specific that doesn't comply with the lender's policies.

That could be:

If you've been declined after the agreement in principle, it means you've passed all of these evaluations, and there is something more particular.

Perhaps the property valuation has come in lower than expected, or you have had a mortgage declined by underwriter due to a previous credit issue that wasn't declared on your initial application.

The good news is that if you've had an agreement in principle, it's usually not too tricky for an experienced broker to switch your application and get you complete approval.

Why Has My Mortgage Been Declined After Agreement in Principle

As with any mortgage declined reasons, step one is to check what went wrong. Some lenders might not disclose the reason if it's related to credit, and they can't reveal information due to data protection rules.

However, in that scenario, they'll usually advise you to check your credit report since that gives you a nudge in the right direction.

Most of the time, it's possible for Revolution Brokers as your broker to dig a little deeper and determine which policy resulted in the mortgage declined reasons.

Don't worry if you're finding it hard to get feedback from your lender - we can usually assess your application and the lender's policies and use our experience to pinpoint the driving factor.

The next stage is to go back to the drawing board, signpost your application to a better-suited lender, and negotiate terms.

You may also strengthen your application to mitigate any perceived risks and start fresh with a new lender.

Why Might I Have a Mortgage Declined by Underwriters?

It can be massively frustrating to have a mortgage declined by underwriter assessments, particularly if you're keen to push on with your purchase and haven’t been given any mortgage declined reasons.

Sometimes, you can resolve this by speaking with your lender and solving any concerns raised by the underwriter to request a new appraisal.

Most underwriter refusals and mortgage declined reasons relate to:

  • Information on your application or missing from your application.
  • Documents submitted being deemed unacceptable.
  • Difficulties including all of your income streams.
  • Being concerned with the reasons for the mortgage.

The trick here is to ensure your application is packaged in a way that mitigates risk and covers every point - so providing complete supporting documentation and evidence of deposit sources, so you don’t subsequently have a mortgage declined by underwriter departments and they are comfortable with your application.

Actions to Take After a Mortgage Declined by Underwriters

One option after an underwriter declines a mortgage is to appeal their decision based on the mortgage declined reasons.

It's not likely to be successful, but if you think they've made a mistake on your mortgage declined reasons, or you simply forgot to include a supporting piece of evidence, you can appeal and ask for the decision to be reconsidered.

Alternatively, you can provide new information to prompt a favourable decision after knowing the mortgage declined reasons, although note that it's unusual for an underwriter to overturn an adverse decision.

As with most of these mortgage declined reasons, the best solution is often to seek out a lender with alternative policies who won't have the same challenge in approving your application.

What if Mortgage Declined Due to Late Payment?

Late payments aren't generally a severe credit issue, so it might be surprising to have mortgage declined reasons linked to a one-off late payment in the last six years!

Most mortgage declined reasons due to credit scores are more likely to be around a low credit score or a more serious credit issue that makes the mortgage too high a risk.

Low credit scores can happen because you haven't used much credit borrowing before, so it doesn’t mean you won't find a great deal elsewhere.

There are all sorts of mortgage declined reasons , such as:

  • Not being registered on the electoral roll.
  • Using your bank overdraft.
  • Having high debts elsewhere.
  • Being new to your job.
  • Offering a low deposit.
  • Having a high-risk occupation - which could include being a lorry driver or roofer.

Mortgage Application Declined What Next When it Is Due to Late Payment

What if mortgage declined due to credit issues? There are several available actions:

  • Review your credit file. Request any errors be removed and ensure everything is up to date.
  • Improve your credit score. That could mean closing unused accounts, paying back small outstanding debts, registering to vote or driving up your score with a specialist credit card.
  • Waiting it out. Credit reports disappear from your file after six years. If you have a long series of large late payments, it might be worth hanging fire until they've been removed and won't pose an ongoing problem.

You can also look into bad credit lenders, who take a more flexible approach to assess mortgage applicants with late payment or other credit history problems without as much likelihood of having a mortgage declined by underwriter.

Give Revolution Brokers a call if you have any concerns about your credit file, and we'll run through a few options to help you make an informed decision.

Is it Common to Have Gambling-Related Mortgage Declined Reasons?

Gambling recreationally isn't likely to have a massive impact on your mortgage application. However, severe gambling expenditure or being a professional gambler might make it tough to get a mortgage through a mainstream lender.

As a profession, gambling is a high risk since there isn't much stability or guarantee that your income levels will remain high.

Therefore, a lender will usually look for a long-term financial review to see how likely they think you are to keep up with your repayment schedule or whether to indicate that you’ll have a mortgage declined by underwriter.

Mortgage Declined: When Can I Apply Again if Gambling-Related

What if mortgage declined due to gambling? One of the possible options is to put down a larger deposit.

If you're paying a higher down payment, the LTV is lower, and the risk reduces, which might bring your mortgage file down into an acceptable risk profile for the lender to approve it.

It's also worth using personal funds rather than a gifted deposit if possible to avoid mortgage declined reasons. The lender will perceive that you have a more significant investment in the property and may reverse their decision.

Otherwise, many niche lenders consider alternative income streams and non-standard employment, so get in touch, and we'll help you find a mortgage based on your gambling revenue averages.

Why Has My Mortgage Been Declined? Professional Assistance After a Mortgage Refusal

Whatever the situation, mortgage advisors is on hand to provide independent, impartial advice to resolve your mortgage rejection issues and get your application back on track.

Give us a call on 0330 304 3040, or drop an email to the team at [email protected], and we'll work with you to identify the best deals, with the right lenders, at a competitive rate to get your mortgage approved.

Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

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FCA disclaimer

The content included in our articles, blogs, web pages and news publications is based on information accurate at the time of writing. Note that policies and criteria can change regularly throughout the UK mortgage lending market, and it remains essential to contact the consultation team to receive up to date guidance. The information included on the Revolution Brokers site is not bespoke to any circumstances or individual application scenarios and therefore is not intended to be used as financial advice. The content we share is designed to be informative and helpful but cannot be relied upon to provide individual advice relevant to your mortgage requirements. All Revolution team members are fully qualified, trained and experienced to provide mortgage advice of an independent nature.

We collaborate with lenders and providers who are regulated, authorised and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Should you require specific mortgage borrowing types, some products such as buy to let mortgages may not be FCA regulated. The Revolution team can provide further information about regulated and unregulated lending as required. Please remember that a mortgage is a debt which is secured against your home or property. Your home can be at risk of repossession if you do not keep up with the repayments or encounter any other difficulties in managing your mortgage borrowing responsibly. This also applies to any remortgage or home loan secured against your property, including equity release products.

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