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What to Do if You Have Had a Mortgage Application Declined

If you’ve been declined a mortgage, you are one of many thousands of people who are declined mortgage borrowing, and the most important step is to determine the reasons the lender chose to decline mortgage offer and work out the next move.

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Most lenders will let you borrow 4.5 times your annual salary so, as long as you have a standard 10% deposit, you should be able to borrow this much.


Depending on your personal circumstances, some lenders may let you borrow 5 times your salary.


Lenders usually cap the amount they lend at 5.5 times your salary, so it’s unlikely you’ll be able to borrow more than this.

Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

Almas Uddin2023-05-09
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What to Do if You Have Had a Mortgage Application Declined

Being turned down for a mortgage can be disappointing, but there are countless reasons you might be declined mortgage lending – and many of them are relatively simple to overcome.

If you’ve been declined a mortgage, you are one of many thousands of people who are declined mortgage borrowing, and the most important step is to determine the reasons the lender chose to decline mortgage offer and work out the next move.

As a whole-of-market, independent team, Revolution Finance Brokers can steer you through the decision-making process, looking at when will mortgage rates decline and improve affordability or why one lender has returned a declined mortgage decision – and which alternative lenders might be more suitable.

Mortgage Application Declined: What Next?

One of the crucial things to recognise is that millions have been declined a mortgage, and there is often nothing you could or should have done differently. Lenders might decide to decline mortgage offer applications because of changes to their own policies and lending rules.

Around 50% of homeowners have been declined mortgage borrowing for one reason or another, and even though one lender might decide to turn you down, if your mortgage get declined, it can be a good opportunity to take stock.

In most cases, the primary factor isn't so much your application but the lender you have chosen, so even if you've been declined a mortgage with one provider, that doesn't preclude the outcome you'll get from another.

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How Long to Wait After Mortgage Declined to Reapply?

Reapplying immediately is rarely a good move, partly because you should have a thorough understanding of the reason for the declined mortgage before you apply again. An alternative lender may be a much better match, so after having a mortgage application declined, it is important to assess your options.

Choosing a new lender with comparable lending policies will inevitably mean they decline mortgage offer and could negatively affect your credit report if you accumulate multiple hard searches.

Why Would a Mortgage Application Be Declined?

There are thousands of reasons a lender might use their mortgage decline letter sample to reject your application. In some scenarios, they simply aren't offering the product any longer.

Credit is one of the most common issues, so we recommend you review your credit scoring and history before applying. Can underwriters decline mortgage applicants even for minor credit issues?

They can indeed, so if you have even small issues, such as a late payment a couple of years ago, this will influence your choice of lender, so you don't have a further mortgage application declined.

Independent Advice After Being Declined Mortgage Lending

Our recommendation is always to contact Revolution Finance Brokers to discuss the reason for your declined mortgage, the possible options, and how to ensure you significantly reduce the prospects of being declined mortgage lending again.

It may be a case of switching to a different lender if your mortgage declined by underwriter is likely to be a similar response from another mainstream provider.

How Often Are Mortgages Declined, and What Is the Most Common Reason for Being Declined Mortgage Approval?

The most typical reason people have a mortgage application declined is that their requirements, circumstances, income, or assessed risk are incompatible with the lender they have chosen.

That could be because of poor advice, relying on a regular bank, or a lack of awareness of lender policies that mean they are very likely to decline mortgage offer.

High street banks do offer mortgage products, but they have very strict lending criteria. How often are mortgages declined? Probably far more often than you might expect!

Why Would a Mortgage Application Be Declined By a Bank?

Next, we’ll run through some of the most frequent reasons for a bank to decline mortgage offer – although this isn’t an exhaustive list, and your lender could have a different reason altogether!

Declined Mortgage Application Due to Affordability

If your income isn’t sufficient to meet the lender’s affordability assessments, you will have a declined mortgage application. Lenders tend to use multiples of your annual income to decide on the maximum to lend, but if your mortgage get declined due to affordability, it may also be because of your income structure.

For example, people who earn a proportion of their income through commissions, bonuses or self-employment may be more likely to have a mortgage declined by underwriter if the lender’s policies exclude non-standard earnings.

Declined Mortgage Because of Bad Credit

Applicants with bad credit or a low credit score are often declined mortgage borrowing immediately by mainstream lenders who have exceptionally low-risk tolerances. Other lenders might not decline mortgage offer applicants outright but will have caveats and conditions.

Adverse credit is far from unusual, but you need a lender with appropriate policies to ensure you don’t have a declined mortgage application based on your credit history.

Having a Mortgage Application Declined Because of an Insufficient Deposit

Most lenders will decline mortgage offer applications if the deposit is less than 10%. Some lenders have much higher minimum deposit requirements, so you could have been declined a mortgage on this basis alone.

Mortgage Declined By Underwriter Due to Debt

Almost everybody has some level of debt, including overdrafts, credit cards or finance agreements. However, overdraft usage can lead to being declined mortgage borrowing because the lender perceives that your finances aren’t under control.

While overdrafts don’t automatically mean you will be declined mortgage borrowing, any ongoing reliance on short-term debt can make it harder to secure a mortgage.

How Often Are Mortgages Declined Due to Gambling Income?

Gambling carries negative connotations within the lending sector. Some providers will refuse to lend to anybody with gambling income – you could even have a decline mortgage offer because of occasional gambling as a hobby.

Applicants can also have a mortgage declined by underwriter after an initial agreement in principle if the lender concludes that a proportion of their income derives from gambling.

Having a Declined Mortgage After Exchange

If you have been declined a mortgage after exchanging contracts, it can be very stressful, particularly if you are part of a chain and dependent on your mortgage borrowing to complete the transaction.

Fortunately, an independent broker can help you appeal the decision or determine the right way to offset the lender’s concerns and ensure you aren’t declined mortgage borrowing altogether.

What to Do If Your Mortgage Get Declined After Agreement in Principle

Agreements or decisions in principle (AIP or DIP) are tentative. They are not a surefire indication that you won't be declined mortgage borrowing once the underwriter conducts more thorough checks and calculations.

Most borrowers are rejected at the AIP stage, and it is less common to have been declined a mortgage after the original offer – although far from unheard of.

Receiving a Declined Mortgage Notice After Valuation

Property valuations are an important part of the mortgage process. A lender could decline mortgage offer applicants at any point if the valuation shows that the property is worth less than they intend to pay.

You can also have mortgage declined by underwriter if the building has structural issues, defects, a lower-than-expected market value, or is made from non-standard materials such as a timber frame.

These common reasons for being declined mortgage borrowing demonstrate the vast range of circumstances that can end up having a mortgage application declined. There are multiple other scenarios where being declined mortgage lending is possible.

Why Would a Mortgage Application Be Declined for Any Other Reason?

Every lender has a range of rules, policies, calculation methods, and conditions they apply, and you could have a mortgage application declined for any reason that your finances, income, or intended property fall outside of the terms the lender is comfortable with.

We strongly recommend contacting Revolution Finance Brokers if you have had a mortgage application declined to work through the justifications and decide whether to amend your application or look for a more suitable lender.

Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

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Frequently Asked

Most applicants don’t have any prior knowledge of the lender's policies or terms and make decisions based solely on advertised rates or the reputation of their bank. If you apply directly to a bank you use for other services, it may be marginally easier since they’ll have your financial transaction history to hand, but that does not make it less likely you will be declined mortgage lending.

Above, we've worked through some general guidelines that help you understand why you might have a mortgage application declined, but anything could influence the lender's decision.


If you’ve not had a declined mortgage notice but received an offer with conditions or costs that you are unhappy with, you are under no obligation to accept.

Choosing to decline mortgage offer terms from the lender is perfectly fine, and because you haven’t proceeded to the full application, there won’t be a record on your credit history.

Sample letters simply show you what information you might expect to be included in a decline mortgage offer notice; these are commonly sent via email. You can review mortgage decline letter sample images to find out what to expect, such as a reason for the declined mortgage.

When interest rates are higher, it is inevitably a little harder to be approved for a mortgage because lenders will apply more stringent affordability assessments, and you will need to pass a stricter stress test to ensure the lender doesn’t decline mortgage offer.

Rates are always subject to change, and although they have dropped slightly of late, if your mortgage get declined because of affordability, an independent broker is your best opportunity to proceed.

You don’t necessarily need to wait a specific period before applying to a different lender after you have been declined a mortgage. However, it is important to have a thorough understanding of why your original declined mortgage occurred and use that knowledge to inform your further applications or choice of lender.

It may also be worth waiting until any adverse credit issues, particularly severe credit problems, are removed from your record if you have been declined a mortgage because of IVAs or CCJs.

The worst-case scenario is that you have a hard credit search on your credit file and will be unable to recoup fees already paid, such as product charges or solicitor's fees.

However, being declined mortgage lending from one provider does not mean you can’t apply elsewhere, either by evaluating the right niche lenders who are a great fit for your requirements or working with an independent broker to negotiate on your behalf.

In most cases, yes, you can use formal appeal processes to object to the lender's decision to decline mortgage offer. However, the chances of success depend on the reason for the rejection.

You must have grounds to appeal, which could, for example, be if you feel you have been declined a mortgage due to incorrect information or an error on your credit report, which you have since removed.

Yes, lenders have discretion about who they lend to, under what terms, and how much. The underwriter is responsible for assessing your affordability, creditworthiness, and reliability – if they have any doubt or feel the application is too high risk, they can decline mortgage offer.

Our recommendation is to consult our experienced team to evaluate why you've been declined a mortgage, work out whether there are opportunities to rectify the cause or decide whether applying to a different lender is less likely to end up with a declined mortgage.

Many of our clients find that they have been declined a mortgage for a reason outside their control, such as their income structure or earning a proportion of their wages through bonuses or commissions.

In these scenarios, a lender with more appropriate affordability assessment policies is a far better option than reapplying, which will almost always mean having another declined mortgage to contend with.

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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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