Final Credit Check Before Completion

Do mortgage lenders perform a final credit check before completion? Read on to find out more.

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Home Mortgage Application Final Credit Check Before Completion
Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: March 13, 2024

It’s not uncommon for mortgage lenders to carry out a final credit check before they’re happy to make you a binding offer, and this sometimes makes people nervous.

In this article, we’ll explain what final credit checks entail, how to boost your chances of passing one and what to do if your mortgage has been declined.

What do final mortgage credit checks involve?

Some mortgage lenders like to double-check applications before they’re willing to make a final, binding offer. This is to make sure that your circumstances are unchanged since the ‘agreement in principle’ stage and to ensure nothing important was missed earlier on.

A final credit check can take place at any time in the latter stages of the process, including before the exchange of contracts, on the day of exchange after the contract exchange or right before completion. This will usually be a hard credit check that the mortgage lenders carry out.

They will take a thorough look at your application and cross-check the following details…

  • Your income
  • Outgoings and debts
  • Credit history
  • Age
  • Number of dependents
  • Whether any risk factors are present, such as a history of gambling

What lenders look for during these checks

Above all, the lender will be keen to see that nothing has changed since you filed your application. Changes in circumstances such as a substantial pay cut or new credit issues appearing on your file can make the lender think twice about making you an offer.

Many people feel nervous ahead of a final credit check because they’ve noticed their credit score dipped when they made their mortgage application.

But you can rest assured that this is common and temporary. Lenders are aware that credit scores can dip after a mortgage application and most will overlook this, assuming this is the only reason your credit score has dropped.

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How to increase your chances of passing these assessments

If you’re worried you might fail your mortgage lender’s final credit checks for a reason more serious than a slight dip in your credit score, speak to a mortgage broker.

This is very much in your best interest as the right mortgage broker can increase your chances of passing the final credit check by providing the following services…

  • Oversee the exchange of contracts and suggest ways to avoid delays or withdrawals
  • Advise you about how to keep your credit report intact ahead of the final checks
  • Spot any issues that might derail your application and help you solve them
  • Renegotiate with the lender on your behalf if your circumstances have changed
  • Help you avoid losing any upfront fees you paid if the lender finds an issue
  • Approach a new lender if they feel you have a better chance of securing the mortgage you need, in light of any new information that is now showing on your credit history

Your mortgage broker can also increase your chances of approval if you’ve requested any changes to your application since it was filed. For instance, the lender might be more thorough with their checks if you’ve increased the amount you want to borrow or asked to add another person to the application since the agreement in principle stage.

Your broker will take the lead on the renegotiations and can advise you about whether these changes are likely to cause problems during the final credit checks.

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What to do if you’ve failed them

Keep in mind that you could still have options. There might be grounds to appeal against the lender’s decision or a better deal out there with another mortgage lender.

Following these steps can help you get things back on track as quickly as possible…

  • Find out why: It’s important to speak directly with the lender to establish exactly why they have reached this decision. Once you have this information you can take the appropriate steps to resolve this issue. 
  • Don’t reapply straight away: The lender will likely have carried out a hard credit search during the final checks, so lodging another application so soon could negatively impact your credit file and set your plans back even further.
  • Get professional advice: Your application has hit a setback, so it’s vitally important that you do everything the right way from this point, and that means seeking advice from a professional who can guide you through the next steps. The right mortgage advisor could help you appeal against the lender’s decision to withdraw your application or find you an alternative lender who’s offering a better deal.
  • We can match you with the right advisor: We work with mortgage advisors who specialise in helping customers who’ve fallen at the final hurdle. They’re experts when it comes to finding better deals for these borrowers and renegotiating with the lenders who declined them during the final credit checks.

Key takeaways from this guide

  • 01

    Before completion lenders often carry out a credit check

    You can still get a mortgage if your circumstances have changed, but bear in mind that lenders can withdraw or alter a mortgage application at any point before completion.
  • 02

    The right mortgage broker can help you pass these checks:

    They can flag up any issues you might encounter in advance and help you prepare for them. They can also negotiate with your lender if your circumstances have changed.
  • 03

    They can also help you if you fail the checks:

    If your mortgage lender decides not to approve you during the final checks, a broker is your best bet to salvage your plans. They can assess whether there are grounds to appeal against the mortgage provider’s decision, and might even be able to find you a better deal elsewhere.
  • 04

    We can match you with the right mortgage broker:

    Ideally, you’ll want to use a broker who specialises in helping customers get over that final hurdle, and our free broker-matching service can find you exactly that. We will pair you with a mortgage advisor who specialises in turning mortgage rejections into approvals.

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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!

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Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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