Bad Credit Mortgages in Scotland

Find out how to qualify for a mortgage in Scotland even if you have bad credit.

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We’ll explore whether it’s possible to get a bad credit mortgage in Scotland, what criteria you need to meet and how to find a mortgage broker who specialises in this market.

Can you get a bad credit mortgage in Scotland?

Yes, it’s possible. Most people with credit issues can still qualify for a mortgage in Scotland. That can include having no credit history, a low credit score, incidents of missed or late payments, decrees or even discharged sequestration.

However, you’ll have fewer lenders to choose from than someone outside of Scotland or with perfect credit history. This typically means that you won’t have access to the best mortgage rates or low deposit mortgages.

How to get a bad credit mortgage in Scotland

If you have poor credit, you’ll improve your chance of finding a mortgage in Scotland if, rather than applying directly with a lender, you first speak with a specialist bad credit broker who has experience helping people in similar situations successfully arrange the home loan they need.

Using our free broker-matching service you can speak straight away to the right mortgage broker by simply making an enquiry online.

They’ll be able to help with:

  • Downloading your credit reports: You can do this by accessing a free credit report trial and your broker will suggest ways to optimise them and help you prepare for your mortgage application.
  • Preparing your application paperwork: You will need documents including proof of ID, address history and three months’ bank statements. A mortgage broker can help you submit them correctly and give you a hand with the application itself.
  • Finding the right lender and the best rate for you: There are brokers in our network who know the Scottish mortgage market well and have deep working relationships with lenders there. They may even be able to secure you an exclusive deal through one of their contacts.

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What credit issues will Scottish lenders accept?

Out of approximately 70 UK mortgage lenders, 40 offer mortgages in Scotland. Each lender has its own policy on mortgage applications with bad credit, so you might have far fewer to choose from, depending on the type of credit issues you’ve had.

Here are some adverse credit examples:

Arrears

Most lenders in Scotland will still consider your application despite mortgage arrears or arrears on unsecured debts. However, many will only allow one, two, or three months of mortgage arrears in the last 24 months.

Debt management plans

Around 15 lenders in Scotland will consider your application if you are currently in a debt management plan. Once you have completed the debt management plan, that number rises to 35.

Decrees

Approximately 35 lenders will consider applications from people in Scotland with satisfied (i.e. paid off) decrees, while only around 20 will consider applications if the decrees are unsatisfied (i.e. unpaid). Some, but not all, lenders have a maximum number of decrees, which is usually between one and three.

Defaults

Almost all lenders in Scotland will consider your application if you have satisfied defaults in your credit report. Only around half will consider it if those defaults are unsatisfied. If these defaults were registered in the last three months, it will significantly reduce the number of lenders who will consider your application.

Sequestration

If you have one year of discharged sequestration, there is just one lender in Scotland who will consider your application. Two more will consider applications after two years of discharged sequestration and 13 more at three years. 15 require four, five, or six years.

Trust deeds

If you are currently paying off debt under a trust deed, you’ll have a limited choice of lenders. Three years after you’ve finished paying it off, you’ll have several more to choose from. Six years after paying it off, most lenders in Scotland will consider your application.

Please note that the criteria could change at any time. If you have a form of bad credit that is not listed above, get in touch below so we can match you with a mortgage broker.

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Differences between Scotland and the rest of the UK

If you are discussing adverse credit mortgages with a lender or broker outside of Scotland, it might help to know of these differences in debt solutions and the terms used to describe them in different parts of the UK.

Debt arrangement scheme

The debt arrangement scheme (DAS) is run by the Scottish government to give people in debt enough time to repay. It is an alternative to a debt management plan (DMP), which is available in Scotland, England, and Wales. It is often considered a preferable option as, unlike a DMP, it freezes your interest and protects you from calls from creditors.

Decrees vs CCJs

A decree, as it is known in Scotland, is called a county court judgement (CCJ) in England and Wales. Both are formal orders from the court to repay a debt to a creditor.

Sequestration vs bankruptcy

The insolvency process, which is called sequestration in Scotland, is called bankruptcy in England and Wales. In Scotland, this is governed by a document called the Insolvency (Scotland) Rules 1986. Changes are planned to bring this in line with the Insolvency Rules 2016 that govern the rest of the UK.

Trust deeds vs IVAs

A trust deed, also called a Scottish IVA, is the Scottish equivalent of an IVA, or individual voluntary arrangement, as it is known in the rest of the UK. It is an agreement to pay off your unsecured debts at a rate you can manage.

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Lenders that offer bad credit mortgages in Scotland

Some of the lenders a specialist might recommend you apply to if you have bad credit include Norton Home Loans, Aldermore, the Mortgage Lender, or HSBC. Which they recommend will depend on the type of credit issues you’ve experienced.

Your choice of lenders might be more limited if you live in the Scottish Isles or in the Highlands. Lenders including Aldermore, Bluestone, Metro Bank, the Mortgage Lender, and Kensington Mortgages only accept applications from mainland Scotland, and several others have postcode restrictions.

Take a look at our rates table below to get an idea of the current deals available.

Lender Product Details
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Looking for more rates and deals?

We can match you with a mortgage broker who can provide you with up-to-date bespoke rates and deals from across the entire market.

Last updated September 2023

The rates quoted above were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change at any time at the lender’s discretion. Speaking to a mortgage broker is the best way to keep track of the rates available at any given time. 

Do you need a Scottish mortgage broker?

No, not necessarily. We work with numerous bad credit mortgage brokers across the UK, all of whom can help you find a mortgage in Scotland.

However, if you’d prefer to work with someone in your area, we work with plenty of mortgage brokers in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen, Ayr, and across the rest of Scotland.

Get matched with a bad credit mortgage broker who knows the Scottish market

Getting a mortgage with bad credit often requires the help of a specialist, who understands all the requirements of the different lenders. We offer a free broker-matching service, which is designed to put you in touch with someone who has the right experience to help you.

To speak to a bad credit mortgage specialist, just call us on 0808 189 2301 or fill out a contact form online and we’ll get back to you.

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About the author

Pete, an expert in all things mortgages, cut his teeth right in the middle of the credit crunch. With plenty of people needing help and few mortgage providers lending, Pete found great success in going the extra mile to find mortgages for people whom many others considered lost causes. The experience he gained, coupled with his love of helping people reach their goals, led him to establish Online Mortgage Advisor, with one clear vision – to help as many customers as possible get the right advice, regardless of need or background.

Pete’s presence in the industry as the ‘go-to’ for specialist finance continues to grow, and he is regularly cited in and writes for both local and national press, as well as trade publications, with a regular column in Mortgage Introducer and being the exclusive mortgage expert for LOVEMoney. Pete also writes for Online Mortgage Advisor of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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