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Reasons you may have been declined a mortgage

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

At Twin Pine Mortgages, we understand how frustrating it is when you are declined a mortgage application. Buying a house is an extremely exciting time, and a declined mortgage application can make you feel like this process has put a stop to your plans. If you've recently had a mortgage application declined and you would like some clarity on the matter, then this is the blog for you. In this post, we will be discussing the possible reasons your mortgage application may have been rejected and will discuss what your next steps should be.

Why can’t I get a mortgage?

There are several reasons why you might have your mortgage declined, including:


There is a lot that comes under this category. From the amount of debt you have to a lower credit score, affordability is one of the most common reasons to be declined a mortgage (Which, 2019). When you apply for a mortgage, your affordability is tested, which means the mortgage lender will be looking at any current debt that you may have. So, while you may have thought that your car finance would work in your favour, it can sometimes work against you and be the reason for getting your mortgage declined, especially if you have a lot to pay on it and aren’t showing signs of paying it off any time soon.

If you are struggling to pay off your debt, then we have found a great source of information on The Money Advice Service’s website for you to read through.

Credit score

In addition to the amount of debt you have, having a low credit score can also be one of the major factors that have contributed to getting your mortgage application rejected. If you don’t have any idea what your credit score is, then we recommend checking it for free on Experian, Clear score or Totally Money, most of which will provide you with a free trial for a limited time.

While it may be possible to get a mortgage with an average credit score, in certain circumstances, lenders have to be very careful with who they lend money, so you’re much less likely to be accepted for a mortgage if you have a bad credit score. This is because you will flag up on their system as a high-risk applicant.

Your vote counts

A surprising factor that you may not have thought about when going over the possible reasons that you have been declined a mortgage, is being registered to vote. This may seem very out of the blue, but simply registering to vote at your current address has a big effect on whether you are declined for a mortgage or not, as it confirms who you are and where you’re currently living.

A Mortgage in Principle Declined

A mortgage in principle is a preliminary agreement between a lender and borrower, which states that the lender is willing to provide a mortgage to the borrower subject to certain conditions being met.

A declined mortgage in principle may be due to a number of reasons such as not meeting the affordability criteria or having an insufficient credit history. If you have a mortgage in principle declined, it’s important to find out why and take steps to address any issues

The lender may be able to provide advice on how the borrower can improve their chances of getting a successful mortgage in the future and avoid further declined mortgage applications.

What can you do now?

Being declined a mortgage can seem like a big blow, but it’s important that you remember that this will leave a mark on your credit file, which will be visible to other lenders that you apply to in the future. So we advise that you don’t rush into your next mortgage application. Instead, in order to give yourself the best chance of getting a mortgage approved next time, you first need to understand why you’ve had your mortgage application declined. Only after this can you try and address the issues we’ve discussed above.

For example, if you were unaware of your low credit score, then we advise you to work on trying to build a better credit score over time. However, it is very important that you don’t just start taking out lots of credit agreements in your name, as this will work against you and could result in a further declined mortgage application. If, on the other hand, you are struggling to pay things off in time, then we recommend cutting your costs on non-essentials to prove that you can budget and make your pay go further.

If you would like more advice on your mortgage application, feel free to contact us. Alternatively, for more mortgage related content, you can find our full list of blogs here.

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