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What Can I Do Next if my Mortgage Application has Been Rejected?

What Can I Do Next if my Mortgage Application has Been Rejected?

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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 is to work out why you were turned down 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 info@revolutionbrokers.co.uk.

The following topics are covered below:

Mortgage Declined - What Next?

Why is a Mortgage Declined on Affordability?

Actions to Take After a Mortgage Declined on Affordability

Can I Have a Mortgage Declined After Agreement in Principle Offer?

Actions to Take After a Mortgage Declined After Agreement in Principle

Why Might I Have a Mortgage Declined by Underwriters?

Actions to Take After a Mortgage Declined by Underwriters

Can I Have a Mortgage Declined Due to Late Payment?

Actions to Take When You Have a Mortgage Declined Due to Late Payment

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

Actions to Take After a Mortgage Declined Gambling-Related

Professional Assistance After a Mortgage Refusal

Mortgage 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.

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 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, but just a few of the potential causes.

The best course of action is not to panic! If you don't know why you've been declined, 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.

A whole-of-market broker is crucial since Revolution has an overview of every lending product from every lender in the UK.

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.

Why is a Mortgage Declined 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:

  • 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 why a mortgage has been declined for affordability reasons without asking the lender - the methods used to make these decisions can vary substantially.

Actions to Take After a Mortgage Declined on Affordability

First, check-in with the lender and ask for information about your mortgage refusal - you'll need to know why you've been turned down.

Next, look at your income structure and see if there is an apparent reason.

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 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.

Can I Have a 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 turn you down.

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:

  • Too short an employment history.
  • Too short an address history.
  • Applying for a high Loan to Value.
  • Having recent bad credit issues.
  • Using a gifted deposit.

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 the underwriter has uncovered 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.

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Actions to Take After a Mortgage Declined After Agreement in Principle

As with any mortgage refusal, 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 as your broker to dig a little deeper and determine which policy resulted in the refusal.

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 rejected at underwriting, particularly if you're keen to push on with your purchase.

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 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 the underwriter is 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.

It's not likely to be successful, but if you think they've made a mistake, 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, although note that it's unusual for an underwriter to overturn an adverse decision.

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

Can I Have a Mortgage Declined Due to Late Payment?

Late payments aren't generally a severe credit issue, so it might be surprising to be turned down for a one-off late payment in the last six years!

Most rejections 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 reasons you could be turned down, 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.

Actions to Take When You Have a Mortgage Declined Due to Late Payment

If you've been rejected for a mortgage 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.

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 a Mortgage Declined Gambling-Related?

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.

Actions to Take After a Mortgage Declined Gambling-Related

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. 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.

Professional Assistance After a Mortgage Refusal

Whatever the situation, Revolution Brokers 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 info@revolutionbrokers.co.uk, and we'll work with you to identify the best deals, with the right lenders, at a competitive rate to get your mortgage approved.

FAQs - What to Do If Your Mortgage Application Has Been Rejected

Let's run through a few of the most common questions the Revolution Brokers team receives from mortgage applicants who have been turned down by their selected lender.

Can Mortgage be Declined After Decision in Principle Has Been Agreed?

Unfortunately, yes. An agreement in principle, is an initial offer to lend, not a rock-solid loan agreement. Lenders can and do withdraw an offer when the application proceeds to the next underwriting stage.

If your mortgage has been declined after an agreement in principle, it's probably because of one of the following reasons

  • Adverse credit - Underwriters take a deep dive into your credit history. If they find something you omitted from your original application, they might turn you down. Non-disclosures are serious and can be perceived as deliberate lying to secure a mortgage, so you must disclose everything relevant to your initial application. Revolution resolves this potential inadvertent mistake by performing due diligence checks before we send your application off. That means we know the adversities on the table and can explore the options with the lender before risking rejection.
  • Criteria issues - As we've already seen, lenders have stacks of policies and eligibility criteria related to everything from income to types of employment, age, to debt. Some underwriters will decline an application because of a policy clause, even if the applicant passed the initial assessment with flying colours.
What to Do If You Have a Mortgage Agreement in Principle Then Declined

If a pre-approved mortgage is declined, the most probable reason is that the internal credit scoring process has thrown up an issue.

Some lenders use a nominal 'pass mark', and even if the application is otherwise sound, an underwriter can refuse a loan because of a simple score difference.

Specialist lenders are considerably more flexible, so they'll usually ask for context and assess the likelihood that the same credit issues will occur again.

Others don't use credit scoring at all - they assess each application on a case-by-case basis and look at more relevant factors such as your affordability and deposit without as much emphasis on a credit bureau score figure.

What Are the Most Common Reasons to Have a Mortgage Application Declined?

Revolution Brokers often hear from first-time buyers who have been turned down for a mortgage, and this is probably the most common scenario.

Usually, it's down to affordability or bad credit - or a combination of the two.

Lenders can also place additional demands on first-time buyers so that they might require a minimum annual salary of £20,000, for example.

There are plenty of solutions, such as a first-time buyer mortgage designed to help new homeowners get onto the property ladder, government backed mortgage guarantee schemes, or financial support through programmes like Help to Buy.

How to Find Out Why Has My Mortgage Been Declined?

You shouldn't expect to reach the contract exchange stage and then be suddenly rejected for your mortgage, but it can happen.

If you're declined after having a full offer, it's usually because of an error on your application, such as incorrect income or incomplete address history.

In this scenario, the first stage is to try and get more information from your lender to establish what went wrong.

An independent, whole-of-market broker is a solution to pretty much any mortgage refusal.

Our UK mortgage experts can analyse your application, identify potential causes, and match your borrowing with a specific lender who we know will be happy to proceed.

The good news is that a declined mortgage with a hard credit search will only stay on your credit file for 12 months, so it's not a permanent issue.

Can I Have a Mortgage Declined Because of Asbestos?

Yes, if your mortgage is refused after valuation, it's probably because something in the surveyor's report causes concern.

That might be around the materials on the building, the construction type, or a higher risk situation such as a substantial amount of asbestos, which lowers the property's market value.

Otherwise, the surveyor might feel that the property will need extensive repair to become habitable and be deemed unsuitable for a conventional mortgage.

Down valuations are frustrating, but they do happen.

The correct action depends on the reason for your refusal, so that might be to carry out an independent appraisal, apply for an alternative borrowing product (such as development or bridging finance), or use a lender who is comfortable lending against non-standard properties.

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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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