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What To Do If Halifax Have Refused Your Mortgage

See how expert advice could help secure your mortgage approval despite already being declined by Halifax

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: May 20, 2022

If Halifax have declined you for a mortgage, or you think they’re going to decline you, it’s okay to feel disheartened, but don’t worry, we’re here to help! The right mortgage broker can still help you get approved, whether that’s with Halifax after some re-negotiation or another mortgage lender who’s a better fit for you.

The key thing to remember is that being declined by Halifax is by no means the end of the road for your mortgage plans, and this guide will explain why.

How strict are Halifax as a mortgage lender?

All high street mortgage lenders are strict in the sense that they’re likely to reject an application that falls outside of their lending criteria. That said, Halifax are known to cater for first-time buyers, low-income customers and even people with certain credit issues.

One thing to keep in mind, though, is that specialist lenders can be even more flexible than high street ones when it comes to customers who fall into these niche categories, and Halifax are not classed as a specialist lender.

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What to do if Halifax have declined you for a mortgage

If you’ve been turned down for a mortgage by Halifax, here are the steps you should take…

  1. Resist the temptation to re-apply right away
    There’s always the temptation to rush out to another mortgage lender in the hope of a better outcome, but it’s important to hold your horses in the short term. Too many applications for finance in a short space of time can be detrimental to your credit report and might even jeopardise your chances of mortgage success the next time you apply.
  2. Gather the facts surrounding the rejection
    In the meantime, ask your lender exactly what the issue is as this will help you be prepared for it next time, whether that’s during a re-negotiation or a new application with a different lender. If the issue was something that came up during the surveys, ask for a copy of the report. If bad credit was the problem, download all of your credit reports so you can see the issue for yourself.
  3. Make an enquiry with us so we can match you with your perfect broker
    Speaking to the right mortgage broker is the best course of action if you’ve had an application rejected by Halifax, or fear that they will turn you down.
    We will match you with a tightly-vetted broker who has the right expertise and experience to turn your rejection into an approval or even find you an alternative lender that will accept you without any hiccups, and maybe even on more favourable terms.Whatever needs to happen to get your mortgage over the line, whether that’s a re-negotiation, an appeal or a fresh application with a different lender, using our free broker-matching service will increase your chances of a successful outcome – make an enquiry to speak to an expert today.

Get expert advice immediately if...

  • You have 10% deposit or less
  • You have some form of bad credit
  • You are self-employed with just one year’s accounts
  • You want to borrow more than 4.5x your salary
  • You’re purchasing a non-standard property
  • You are classed as having higher appetite for risk eg: gambling

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We hate to see mortgage applications get denied, so we're extra proud when our customers find a mortgage through one of the brokers we work with.

Amy and Anton
Manchester, UK
Amy had banked with Halifax since she was 16, and I had a savings account with them, so when we needed a mortgage Halifax were our go to bank. After an agreement in principle was approved, they then declined our application after the valuation. We were never 100% sure why it was declined but luckily Online Mortgage Advisor were able to find us an alternative.
Birmingham, UK
I applied for a mortgage with Halifax after seeing a great deal online, but straight away my application was declined. They told me it was due to my credit history but didn't give much more detail than that. I came to Online Mortgage Advisor and they matched me to my broker Riyad who was able to identify the issue and find me a lender willing to accept my application.

Common reasons Halifax decline mortgages applications

  • Not enough deposit

With the exception of first-time buyer products that Halifax recently brought back to the market, the lender typically offers residential mortgages with a maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 85%, which means you’ll need a mortgage deposit of at least 15%.

Customers with anything less than that amount might find that Halifax will turn down their application, while first-time buyers are now able to apply for products with up to 90% LTV.

  • Bad credit

You may have been offered an agreement in principle (AIP) by Halifax only to be declined on full application due to bad credit. This is because they’ll often consider granting an AIP after carrying out their initial checks and a soft credit search. But during underwriting, a hard credit check takes place and the full extent of any credit problems will come to light.

Halifax do sometimes consider offering mortgages to customers with most types of bad credit. However, depending on the severity of the issues, they have been known to reject borrowers with CCJs, IVAs, mortgage arrears and even discharged bankruptcies.

  • Newly self-employed applicants

If you recently turned self-employed, there’s a good chance you’d have a mortgage application declined by Halifax. The lender specifies that self-employed applications must have at least 12 months’ trading under their belt before they can be considered for a mortgage. In fact, they prefer customers with at least two years’ accounts.

  • Affordability issues

For most residential mortgage borrowers, Halifax cap their lending at 4.75 times the applicant’s income. If they declined you for a mortgage on affordability grounds, it’s likely that the combined earnings of each applicant didn’t add up to the full amount they need to borrow when this calculation was applied. Your outgoings may also have been factored into the equation, especially if you have other substantial financial commitments.

  • A problem with the property

One of the main reasons Halifax might decline a mortgage application after valuation is because deal-breaking property issues were detected during the surveyor checks. Halifax accepts various build types that are classed as ‘non-standard’ including 100% timber construction and mundic block, but if, for example, non-repaired prefabricated reinforced concrete was flagged up during the surveys, the mortgage application might be declined.

Other issues which may come up during the surveys, such as the property being built on contaminated land or near a mineshaft, might have an impact but Halifax will likely consider the severity of it on a case-by-case basis after all of the facts have been weighed up.

  • Other reasons

There are many other reasons why your Halifax mortgage application might be rejected. Having no credit history, the lender finding evidence of excessive gambling in your financial history, being considered too old for a mortgage or failing to fill out the paperwork correctly are just a few of the other common reasons mortgage applications break down.

If Halifax turned you away for one of these reasons or another that we haven’t listed, the steps to take are exactly the same. Find the right mortgage broker as they will boost your chances of approval. And remember, being initially turned down by Halifax might end up being a positive in the long run, as the right broker could potentially find you an even better deal.

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How a mortgage broker can help you overcome these issues

If you think Halifax are likely to decline you for a mortgage because of any of the above issues, keep in mind that it could still be possible to get approved for the finance you need with the help of the right mortgage broker.

There are brokers in our network who occasionally have access to exclusive deals with Halifax, but if you don’t meet their criteria, they could help you find an alternative mortgage provider with a more flexible lending criteria. 

Get matched with a broker who specialises in salvaging declined mortgages

The right mortgage broker can boost your chances of a positive outcome and help you salvage that homeownership dream. If there’s room to re-negotiate with Halifax and that’s in your best interest, they can thrash out a new agreement without you having to lift a finger. And keep in mind, if the deal isn’t salvageable, your mortgage advisor could track down an even better one elsewhere.

We offer a free broker-matching service that will introduce you to the best mortgage expert for your needs and circumstances. Call 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry online and we’ll pair you up with a mortgage expert who helps people who’ve been declined by Halifax every day. Maybe that rejection was a blessing in disguise.

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We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with mortgage brokers who are experts in all different mortgage subjects.

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How long does Halifax take to approve a mortgage?

Halifax state on their own website that a typical mortgage application with them can take up to three months. Their actual processing times can vary depending on how long the conveyancing takes and whether there are any issues surrounding the property seller as well as the buyer’s personal circumstances.

Can I get a Halifax mortgage based on gambling income?

Halifax are likely to reject your mortgage application if the income you’re declaring came from gambling, but there are specialist lenders who offer bespoke mortgages for pro gamblers. See our guide to getting a mortgage if you’re a gambler for more information.

Recreational gambling, meanwhile, is only likely to lead to a mortgage rejection if the lender finds what they think is evidence of excessive betting. Like most mainstream mortgage providers, Halifax is likely to assess this on a case-by-case basis.

Does reaching valuation mean my Halifax mortgage has been approved?

No, but it means you’ve reached an advanced stage in the process if the surveys have come back without any issues. Having your mortgage application declined at this late stage is unlikely since any deal-breaking issues should have been identified by now.

However, a mortgage lender has the legal right to withdraw a mortgage offer at any point up to completion if a major problem comes to light.

Can I appeal if Halifax has rejected my mortgage application?

Yes, if you think you have grounds to appeal against Halifax’s decision to decline your mortgage, you can challenge the rejection by writing to the lender’s underwriting team. Grounds to appeal include the lender basing their decision on incorrect or outdated information, or if you failed to declare capital or assets that are held with another bank or financial institution.

You can increase your chances of lodging a successful appeal by enlisting the services of a mortgage broker and have them do the legwork. They will be able to handle the paperwork this involves, and will know exactly how to negotiate with Halifax.

Do Halifax check your credit report after a mortgage offer?

They might be happy to offer you a mortgage in principle based on a soft credit check, but there will be a more in-depth look at your credit report when the application goes to underwriting. Some mortgages are declined after the AIP stage because a credit problem has been discovered when the underwriting team carries out its hard credit search.

What is Halifax’s credit score pass mark?

Halifax does use credit scoring to assess mortgage applications but doesn’t specify a number that yours needs to be for approval. The lender takes many factors into account when deciding whether you’re creditworthy and you’ll be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

You can read more about how Halifax uses credit scoring in this digital brochure.

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 OMA of course!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

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FCA disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the 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 information 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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