Having adverse credit can make you feel like obtaining a mortgage is impossible, but there are a few things you can do to boost your credit score and improve the merit of your application.
Start by checking your credit report with credit referencing agencies, Experian or Equifax for example, to see what your credit rating is and see what it says about your credit history. Don’t get too hung up on your credit score it self, as the background information is more important from a mortgage lenders point of view. You should dispute things that you believe are incorrect. For example if you had a default a number of years ago which you settled, but it does not show as settled on your credit report, you need to get this changed as it will be detrimental when applying for a mortgage.
Also avoid opening multiple lines of new credit as repeated applications for credit can have a negative impact on your credit file. Be careful not to overspend on any available credit you have and make sure it is paid off in full each month. Additionally avoid withdrawing cash from any credit card as lenders may take a negative view on this, to a lender repeated cash withdrawals could indicate you struggle to manage your finances.
You should make sure you are on the electoral roll at your current address. This is important as it allows the credit referencing agencies to confirm your name and address, but it also helps them to trace your credit history when you have moved, thus expanding the picture of your credit worthiness. If you aren’t on the electoral roll it can have an impact on your overall credit score and prolong your mortgage process when you come to apply. To register to vote, go onto the government website and follow their instructions.
Finally be wary of debt management plans. Yes they may help bring your debts under control and can help get you out of a rut, but mortgage lenders don’t take the best view on them as you effectively defaulting every month. Maybe consider them as a last resort.
When you are ready to apply for your mortgage you should consult an independent financial adviser to help steer you through the process.
Daniel Brown BSc (Hons), Cert SMP
16th July 2018