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Mortgages for Discharged Bankrupts

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By Pete Mugleston  | Mortgage Advisor Pete has been a mortgage advisor for over 10 years, and is regularly cited in both trade and national press.

Updated: 27th September 2019 *

Getting a Mortgage After Bankruptcy in 2019

UPDATED FOR 2019: We are regularly approached by customers asking ‘can I get a mortgage after bankruptcy?’ and to many of those we can happily say ‘yes!’. The information in this article is accurate as of the time of writing, Criteria can change regularly so it is important you make an enquiry and speak to one of the experts who can provide you with specific, up-to-date advice.

Arranging mortgages after bankruptcy (also known as sequestration in Scotland) is a scenario we deal with every day, and we are helping customers work with specialists to find the finance they need, where other lenders or brokers have let them down or turned them away.

These types of mortgage are certainly trickier to set up which is why many borrowers come to us having been declined elsewhere, but because the experts we work with have placed so many bankruptcy mortgages already, they know exactly which lenders will consider your application before you even enquire - the benefit of using the market specialists.

You'll find the following topics covered in this guide...

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Can I get a mortgage after a bankruptcy?

Yes, despite what you may have heard to the contrary, it is indeed possible to get a mortgage if you've been declared bankrupt in the past.

As with any type of bad credit, bankruptcy can cause real problems with many mortgage lenders, who just flat out decline anyone who's ever had one. The good news is that there are a handful of mainstream lenders (and one or two specialists) that are happy to consider mortgages for people who have been bankrupt. Read on for more information, or fill out a bankruptcy mortgage enquiry form to find out which lenders you may be eligible for.

Pete and the other specialists we work with have experience helping the following borrowers secure mortgages...

  • Customers with a bankruptcy discharge from 1 - 6+ years ago
  • Borrowers with a history of bankruptcy and repossession
  • Individuals with bankruptcy discharge and just 10% - 15% deposit
  • Those with a historic bankruptcy and 5% deposit
  • Those with a bankruptcy discharge and a large deposit
  • Prospective buy to let landlords with a bankruptcy on their file
  • Customer who need to re-mortgage after a bankruptcy
  • Borrowers with a bankruptcy who want to borrow on a second charge basis

Make an enquiry to speak with one of the expert bankruptcy mortgage advisors we work with today. You won't be charged a fee for getting in touch and there's absolutely no obligation on your part.

How long after a bankruptcy can I get a mortgage in the UK?

Post-bankruptcy, many potential homeowners aren't sure if they can actually get a mortgage, or how much time needs to have passed before it’s possible to even apply. Well, as per the terms of a bankruptcy, you'll not be able to apply for a mortgage (or any credit) before you've been discharged. Usually, this is a 12 month period but it can be less depending on the courts’ decision. Once discharged, you may still find it takes months/years of good conduct before lenders will start to trust your creditworthiness again.

In terms of a mortgage application, the exact point at which you'll become eligible really differs lender to lender. Some are happy to offer you a mortgage at day 1 of discharge - but for these you'll need to meet very strict criteria, have a huge deposit, and be expected to pay a princely sum on fees and rates.

The longer you've been discharged, the more lenders in the market that will consider an application and at higher loan to value ratios. Those discharged over 4/5 years with great credit history may find they can borrow up to 90/95% LTV like any other borrower - and for those eligible, there are some main lenders at top competitive rates too. Those recently discharged, say, in the last 0-24 months will find it much harder, but can still get a mortgage with at least 25% deposit in most cases.

Matrix of mortgages for ex-bankrupt people: This table should make things more clear as it outlines the likelihood of you obtaining a mortgage if you've been made bankrupt in the past, depending on how long ago you've been discharged.

How long after bankruptcy? Bankruptcy registered Years discharged Eligible? Typical deposit required
Mortgage if I’m just bankrupt

0 year ago




Mortgage 1 year after bankruptcy

1 year ago



Min 40%

Mortgage 2 years after bankruptcy

2 years ago



Min 25%

Mortgage 3 years after bankruptcy

3 years ago



Min 25%

Mortgage 4 years after bankruptcy

4 years ago



Min 15% (poss 95% in some cases)

Mortgage 5 years after bankruptcy

5 years ago


Very likely

Min 10% (poss 95% in some cases)

Mortgage 6 years after bankruptcy

6 years ago


Very likely

Min 5%

Mortgage 6+ years after bankruptcy

6+ years


Very likely

Min 5%

Note: The information in this table is accurate as of December 2018, Criteria can change regularly so it is important you make an enquiry and speak to one of the experts who can provide you with specific, up to date advice.

In no way does this guarantee you a mortgage, it is simply a collection of info and knowledge from our experienced advisors to act as a guide for anyone wanting to establish the likelihood of being approved by a lender. It doesn’t take into account the numerous other factors such as credit score, income, affordability, or other credit problems since the discharge.

Jump to enquiry: If you’re not sure you’ll be eligible, please get in touch and one of the bankrupt mortgage experts will be in touch. 

Give yourself the best chance of a mortgage approval after bankruptcy

If you've been made bankrupt in the past and are looking for a mortgage, there are a few things you can do to make sure you have the best chance of being approved.

1. Check and correct ALL your credit reports

This is paramount. There's 3 main credit reference agencies lenders use (Experian, Call credit, and Equifax), and the information on each can differ greatly. Often we have borrowers come to us and the info on their credit files don't match the date of the bankruptcy discharge and the settlement dates of their credit accounts they once held. This is often due to the creditors not updating their records correctly. As a result, many creditworthy borrowers are declined because it appears as though they have outstanding balances and/or defaults that happened since the bankruptcy. Getting this info updated on all 3 reports is crucial.
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2. Check your eligibility

Make an enquiry with one of the experts and allow them to establish which lenders would consider an application as things stand - if you would qualify now, great. If not then they will advise you on what changes you'll need to make to be eligible, for instance correcting your report, waiting until your bankruptcy discharge is older, or perhaps saving a little extra deposit.

3. If you're not eligible now, rebuild your score until you are

Your advisor will point you in the right direction and let you know exactly what steps you need to take to qualify ASAP. If you want more info visit our guide to rebuilding your credit score.

What is the Hunters report?

A common issue: Those discharged over 6 years ago should have no trace of bad credit on their credit files, and may think they can apply with just any lender. They approach their bank and pass the initial credit score, but are later declined after a full application. Why? Usually this is due to the Hunters report…

You may or may not be aware of what's referred to as the hunters report. It's a register of anyone made bankrupt in the UK, including those who may have been discharged over 6 years ago. Lenders do check this report, but it doesn't usually form part of the initial credit scoring, and as a result some applicants find they get accepted at initial application but are later declined when further checks bring the bankruptcy to light.

This can be massively frustrating to borrowers who are handed a decision in principle certificate, and pay for a valuation and make a full application, to then be declined days/weeks down the road.

If this sounds like you, or if you're thinking of applying for a mortgage having been bankrupt in the past, don't worry - there's several lenders that will still consider your application.

How credit issues after bankruptcy impact mortgage applications

If you've had other credit issues before the bankruptcy, such as missed payments, mortgage arrears, defaults, CCJs, a debt management plan, and so on, then the bankruptcy is designed to effectively wipe them off as settled. This then resets your credit file, and following a year being of being unable to borrow or take any credit agreement, discharged borrowers are able to start to rebuild their credit files from scratch.

If however, you've had new credit issues after the bankruptcy this can start to cause problems. Lenders will, of course, consider you higher risk if you've been bankrupt in the past and as we've covered, some will never offer a mortgage, but most of those who do will want to see a clean credit file thereafter. This also includes ensuring the credit that defaulted as part of the bankruptcy is marked as up to date on the credit file, as often this needs correcting before you make an application.

If you've had new credit issues since your bankruptcy then it depends what they are and how recent. A lot of the bankruptcy lenders will decline if you've had new issues, but there are some that will lend to you in the right circumstances.

Make an enquiry and one of the experts can find you the best deal.

We’ll find the perfect mortgage broker for you - for free

Save time and money with an expert mortgage broker who specialises in cases like yours

  • We've helped over 100,000 get the right advice
  • Our form only takes a minute, then let us do the hard work
  • Save up to £400 per year with the right advice (source: FCA)
  • All the brokers we work with have whole of market access

Which mortgage lenders accept bankrupts?

Currently there’s about 20 discharged bankrupt mortgage lenders, and as mentioned above, some are mainstream lenders offering top rates and ignoring the bankruptcy once it’s over a certain number of years discharged (usually 4). Specialist mortgage lenders are for bankrupts discharged less than 3 years ago and tend to come with higher fees and slightly higher rates.

Because each lender and each customer is different, it’s impossible to say which you’ll be eligible for without knowing more about your situation. Please make an enquiry today and one of our experts will establish the best lender for you.

Buy to let mortgages after bankruptcy

It is possible to obtain a buy to let mortgage if you've been bankrupt in the past, depending on your circumstances. Ideally, you'll need to meet the following criteria:

  • have been discharged for 3 years, and had clean credit since
  • have at least a 15% deposit
  • own at least one other property
  • have a personal income (no minimum threshold needed but you do need some form of personal income, whether self-employed, employed, or retired.

Can I get a mortgage after an IVA?

Yes, this is possible. Like bankruptcy debt, IVAs can put off some lenders altogether but there are mortgage providers who specialise in various types of credit issues, and they often take a wider, more flexible view of the application.

IVAs stay on your credit report for six years, but there are lenders who will consider a mortgage application if the debt has been settled for more than three, and a minority who will lend to someone with an active IVA.

The lowest interest rates on the market will be more difficult to come by if you've ever had an IVA, which is why seeking specialist advice is recommended.

The advisors we work with know exactly which lenders are the most flexible when it comes to IVAs, and would be more than happy to introduce you to them if you make an enquiry with us.

Repay bankruptcy debt with equity in your home

Raising finance to repay a bankruptcy debt can actually remove the bankruptcy from your record if done in the right way and within a certain timeframe - this is called an annulment, and is a practice that's seldom exercised, but can often be life-changing when it means borrowers are given the opportunity to get their debts back up to date.

Depending on the reason for the bankruptcy, finding the right lender can be a difficult process. For example, if you have been maintaining all payments on your personal borrowing (credit cards, loans etc.) but had a bankruptcy forced by HMRC if you're self-employed and owe a tax bill, your credit report may actually look clean but most mortgage lenders would still decline to lend.

There are however some secured loan lenders who would allow refinancing to get things settled - which would then allow the borrower to remortgage later down the line with a clean credit file without the bankruptcy.

Conversely, if you have defaulted on numerous accounts and/or had payments missed, the chances of mortgage lenders considering the finance can also be slim, but secured lending with a specialist second charge mortgage might still be a viable option. If you are looking to settle a bankruptcy then it would be worth talking to a specialist, so get in touch.

Do you lose your house if you declare bankruptcy?

This is a possibility, but don't panic just yet. There could be options available to you.

While you may not lose your home as part of the bankruptcy itself, it could be repossessed if you're behind on your mortgage payments. Your lender has the option to take action to recover the debt if you're in arrears. This could include repossessing the property.

There are a number of scenarios where you may be able to prevent or delay a repossession, including...

  • If you have family or dependents living with you
  • If you're in negative equity
  • If somebody buys your share of the property

If you're facing bankruptcy, it's always a good idea to contact your lender to discuss how this could affect your mortgage. You can also find useful information on the Citizen's Advice website as well as our repossession rescue and bankruptcy annulment guides.

Updated: 27th September 2019
OnlineMortgageAdvisor 2019 ©

FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The info on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs. Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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