Declined a mortgage

After a mortgage rejection, pause to reflect before reapplying with another lender.

Declined a mortgage


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Was Your Mortgage Application Declined?

Having a mortgage application declined can be a real blow. However, while you may be tempted to put in another application with another lender, it’s best to take a moment to think about why you may have been declined. We answer some of the most common questions we get about rejected mortgage applications. We’ve helped others get a mortgage in various circumstances, so we may be able to help you too.

Don’t give up

Firstly, don’t give up! A mortgage is a huge step to make, both for yourself as a homeowner and the lender. The more stability you can show them in your financial life, the better your chances of being accepted.

Banks and Building Societies often have stricter lending criteria than other lenders. We know the lenders more likely to say yes!

Typical reasons for a mortgage application declined

  • Poor credit history
  • No credit history
  • Not registered to vote
  • Too many credit applications
  • Too much debt
  • Affordability
  • Payday loans
  • DMP, CCj, Defaults
  • Administration errors
  • Not matching the lender’s profile
  • Small deposit
  • Self-employed or a contract worker

Take advantage of some help from the team at Clever Mortgages

It’s worth speaking to a broker with experience in dealing with mortgages that have been declined. That way, we can assess your situation, see which lenders will work with you and only do one application.

If you’ve been turned down for a mortgage and you are unsure why, or simply need some expert advice to turn the odds in your favour, speak to the experienced mortgage advisers at Clever Mortgages today. With extensive knowledge of bad credit mortgages and specialist lending requirements, it could be just the input you need.

Mortgage application process

4 simple steps for applying for a mortgage. See more about the mortgage application process here

Complete our
pre-qualify form

Let us know a few details about the mortgage you require

A mortgage specialist will call

One of our brokers will call and get a few more details of your requirements

We search for your perfect mortgage

We will search the market for the best rates for your circumstances

A Decision in Principle is made

We will secure a DIP with a lender, if you approve we move forward with a full application.

Whatever your mortgage goal, there will be something for you​

goal to save money

We're on a mission to save you money on your mortgage

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What should I do next?

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Enquire online – our simple online form takes just a few minutes.

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Declined a mortgage FAQ

If the lender you applied through turns you down, ask them why they made that decision. This is important information that could help you when you make your next application, assuming you eventually do so.  Not all lenders will tell you why they declined you and may just suggest you check your credit file.

The most important thing you can do in this scenario is not to head off to another lender and immediately apply with them instead. They may accept you, but you won’t know for sure. And if they don’t, they may end up rejecting you for the same reason the first lender did. You would also end up with another search on your credit history, which could have an impact when you try another application. In short, this could mean you’re sabotaging your own efforts to get a mortgage.

If you’re wondering why you might get a rejection, keep reading. We’ll cover some of the most common reasons next.

To give yourself the best chance of getting mortgage approved next time, you need to first understand why you’ve been declined and then try and correct the issues. For instance, you might need to pay your bills on time, cut back on your spending, clear overdrafts etc. and pay any outstanding debts off.

Speak to a mortgage broker that has experience dealing with people that have been declined a mortgage.

It can depend on age. Research discovered that 41% of people aged 18-24 who now own a property had previously been rejected for a mortgage. In stark contrast, a mere 4% of those aged 60 or over said the same thing. The research did, however, only focus on those who now had mortgages. It is possible others may still be trying and failing to get approved.

There are various reasons why this might occur. However, some happen more often than others.

  • Poor credit history
  • Not registered to vote
  • Too many credit applications
  • Too much debt
  • Affordability
  • Payday loans
  • Administration errors
  • Not matching the lender’s profile
  • Small deposit
  • Self-employed or a contract worker

For example, if a lender sees that you have a poor credit history, they could be wary of lending to you. You can ask for a copy of your credit report from all the agencies that hold it, including Equifax and Experian. Check it and look for any bad credit items, such as missed payments, defaults or CCJs (County Court Judgments), you can also look for any errors that may affect how a lender looks at you. You have the right to get them corrected.

Low credit score

You may also have a low credit score, could have been due to bad credit, but it can also be due to not having any or much credit in the past.  When you’ve not had any or much credit in the past, there is little to no evidence that you are going to be good at making monthly payments.  Therefore, the first company to lend to you is taking the bigger risk.

Here at Clever Mortgages, we can run a credit file on your behalf (with no impact to your file or score) and discuss the contents with you, this could give the immediate reason why you were declined and what the next course of action is.

Not enough affordability

There are two other common reasons that may show on your credit report too. The first is having too much debt in relation to your income. The second is applying for too many sources of credit. This doesn’t need to be repeated mortgage applications either; any request for credit, whether it is for a credit card, store card, or any other loan, will likely appear on your credit file.

Electoral register

Another common reason is that you’re not on the electoral roll for your existing address. Fortunately, this is quick to fix by visiting the official Electoral Commission website.


Some lenders may also think the numbers don’t add up. For example, your deposit could be too small in relation to the amount of mortgage they will offer you.  They may think you aren’t able to afford the mortgage… or your earnings may not reach their required level to be able to lend to you. You may not be able to afford the amount you think you can. You can use our mortgage calculator to get an idea of your borrowing potential.

In some cases, you may not be their ideal customer. Sometimes, a lender specialises in a certain section of the market, and if you don’t fit that mould, you won’t be accepted.

With many other reasons also possible – including recent self-employment, Debt Management Plans (DMP), Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) , and even Bankruptcy.

There is no limit on how long you should wait. However, that comes with a vital message. If you’ve been rejected, you should take a step back and review your application again with fresh eyes. Check your credit report as we highlighted above. Make sure you ask the lender why you were turned down (they may not tell you). It could be there is a reason you can do something about, such as an error on your credit file that looked bad when the lender spotted it, even though that info was incorrect.

As lending criteria and acceptance levels can vary from lender to lender, one decline doesn’t mean that the next lender will decline you.  However, its important you choose the right lender to approach next.  This is where we can help you and armed with your credit history, income and affordability we know the lenders are more likely to accept you.  These could be high street lenders or what are called ‘non-high street’ which are not always available directly to customers.  This is just due to the nature of their business and their desire to deal with mortgage advisers who will give the advice to a customer.

If you’ve applied in joint names and been declined, it could be that one or both of you have something on your credit file, as mentioned above or you’re not meeting the lenders criteria.

We can take a look at both your credit files, income and affordability, then look at which lenders might accept a joint application or discuss applying in a single name for the time being.

Yes, a mortgage in principle can be declined. An agreement in principle (AIP) is a provisional offer from a lender, based on the information you have provided them. It is not a guarantee of a mortgage, and the lender may decline your application for a number of reasons.

There are a number of reasons why a mortgage might be declined. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Poor credit history. If you have a history of missed payments, defaults, or other negative items on your credit report, this will make it difficult to get approved for a mortgage.
  • Not enough income. Lenders will want to make sure that you have enough income to afford the monthly mortgage payments. If your income is too low, you may not be approved for a mortgage.
  • Too much debt. Lenders will also want to make sure that you don’t have too much debt. If you have a lot of outstanding debt, this will reduce your available income and make it more difficult to afford a mortgage.
  • Unstable employment. Lenders prefer to lend to people who have stable jobs and incomes. If you are self-employed or have a variable income, this may make it more difficult to get approved for a mortgage.
  • High debt-to-income ratio. Your debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of your monthly income that goes towards debt payments. Lenders typically prefer borrowers with a debt-to-income ratio of 36% or less. If your debt-to-income ratio is higher than this, it may make it more difficult to get approved for a mortgage.
  • Buying too expensive of a property. Lenders will want to make sure that you can afford the monthly mortgage payments. If you are buying a property that is too expensive for your income, this may make it more difficult to get approved for a mortgage.
  • Other factors. There are a number of other factors that can affect your chances of getting approved for a mortgage. These include your age, marital status, and the type of property you are buying.

If your mortgage application is declined, it is important to understand why so that you can take steps to improve your chances of getting approved in the future. You can talk to a mortgage broker or a financial advisor to get more information about your options.

Watch our video on declined a mortgage

Below are some of the lenders we work with

Declined a Mortgage

Having a mortgage application declined can be a real blow. However, while you may be tempted to put in another application with another lender, it’s best to take a moment to think about why you may have been declined.