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What To Do If Kensington Mortgages Have Refused Your Mortgage

See how expert advice help could still secure a mortgage approval even if you've already been declined

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: June 17, 2022

Kensington Mortgages are a specialist lender which means they have the flexibility to help customers that some banks and building societies can’t. So, if they’ve declined you for a mortgage or you think they’re going to, it’s all too easy to feel like you’re out of options.

Here’s the good news: it’s still possible to get a mortgage if a specialist lender has declined you, and in this guide, we explain exactly what you can do if Kensington have turned you down

Are Kensington a strict mortgage lender?

As a specialist mortgage lender, Kensington can be more flexible on things like bad credit than high street banks and building societies. That said, they are known to reject customers with severe credit issues such as bankruptcies and defaults that are under two years old.

Kensington can also be strict when major issues are uncovered during the property surveys, including the presence of Japanese Knotweed or asbestos.

What to do if Kensington have declined you for a mortgage

If you’ve had a mortgage application declined by Kensington, here are the steps you should take to boost your chances of getting your home-buying plans back on track…

  1. Don’t make another application just yet

Without professional guidance, there’s no guarantee things will turn out any differently with another lender than they did with Kensington. Another rejection at this stage could be costly since too many requests for finance in a short time can negatively affect your credit report.

  1. Find out why Kensington wouldn’t approve you

Some fact-finding can help you prepare for whatever deal-breaking issue Kensington found when you plan your next move. Download all of your credit reports so you can see exactly what the lender saw when they looked into your financial history. Make sure they’re fully up to date and challenge any information that isn’t current or fully accurate.

You should also try to get your hands on any reports that were carried out, but if you don’t have the time for this, no problem. Simply jump ahead to step three below.

  1. Get matched with the right mortgage broker

If Kensington have declined you for a mortgage, it’s important to remember that your plans could still be salvageable. A mortgage broker with the right expertise can give you the best chance of reviving your application, either with Kensington or a different lender.

We offer a free broker-matching service that will pair you with a mortgage specialist who is best positioned to help you. This will be an expert we’ve handpicked because of their track record offering lifelines to customers who’ve been declined by specialist lenders.

Get expert advice immediately if...

  • You have any form of bad credit
  • You have less than 10% deposit
  • You have supplemental income sources, including most types of benefits
  • You’re purchasing a non-standard construction property
  • You have been declined a mortgage previously

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James and Ella
Bristol UK
Despite having two incomes, we were declined on affordability because some of James' income is paid as commission. Our original lender didn't recognise this type of income, so Online Mortgage Advisor matched us with a lender who did and we managed to get our dream home.
York, UK
Being a single mum I really struggled to find a mortgage on my income alone. I didn't match most lenders affordability criteria even though I could afford my rent fine at the time! I was so frustrated, but luckily Ellen my broker found me a deal with a building society I'd never heard of, but were willing to accept me.

Common reasons why Kensington reject mortgage applications

  1. Your bad credit is too severe

Kensington offers a range of bad credit mortgages and is known to offer lifelines to customers with things like debt management plans and satisfied defaults, but there are some adverse credit issues that usually trigger an outright rejection from the lender.

It might be the case that Kensington Mortgages offered you a decision in principle only to decline your application after their underwriting team took a closer look at your credit history. This could be because an issue that Kensington won’t accept – such as a bankruptcy or a default that’s less than two years old – showed up on your report.

  1. You don’t have enough deposit

At the time of writing, Kensington offers mortgages with a maximum loan to value (LTV) ratio of 90%, which means you’d need at least 10% deposit for approval. Any less than that, and they’re likely to decline your mortgage application, if they haven’t already.

  1. You need to declare benefit income

Benefits such as Universal Credit can sometimes be used to bulk up income on a mortgage application, declared alongside a main source of capital to help borrowers meet the affordability requirements. Some people rely on this flexibility, but Kensington don’t treat most types of benefit as declarable income and will reject applications that hinge on them.

They do allow customers to declare some types of benefit, such as Child Benefits and Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, but Universal Credit, working tax credits and Personal Independence Payments (PIP) cannot count towards a Kensington mortgage.

  1. Issues were found during the property survey

Kensington Mortgages is able to overlook some of the issues that might come up during the property survey as they can be flexible with certain types of non-standard construction. But others are a deal-breaker and could derail your application late into the process. For instance, if asbestos or Japanese knotweed were found at the property, Kensington is unlikely to lend.

  1. There was an error on your application

Even the smallest error on mortgage paperwork can cause an application to break down at any stage in the process. If this has happened to you, try to treat it as an opportunity. Before you think about fixing the issue, take some time out to speak to a mortgage broker so you can double check that the Kensington product you’re applying for is the best one for you.

A mortgage broker can look into that Kensington deal and make sure it’s the best one on the market that you qualify for. If that’s the case, they can help you revive your original application and guide you through the paperwork to make sure it’s error-free next time.

  1. Other reasons

There are countless reasons why a mortgage application might fail to cross the finish line, so if you’ve been declined by Kensington for a reason other than those listed above, the brokers we work with could still help you. They help people overcome all kinds of issues on their way to homeownership, including ones most lenders consider insurmountable.

The circumstances surrounding your application aren’t important at this stage, as the brokers we work with don’t discriminate and will work tirelessly to help you get your mortgage plans back on track regardless of the reason Kensington wouldn’t lend to you.

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How we can help you overcome these issues

A mortgage broker with the right knowledge and expertise to help you can boost your chances of reviving that mortgage application, whether that’s through re-negotiation with Kensington or finding you a new lender who’s a better fit for your plans.

Mortgage advisors tend to specialise in different areas and different types of customer, so it’s vitally important that you find one who’s a perfect match for your case.

This is where we come in. We offer a free broker-matching service that will make sure you’re paired up with the right expert for your needs and circumstances. In this case, it will be an advisor with a track record of helping customers who’ve been declined by a specialist lender and someone who specialises in solving whatever issue stopped you getting a mortgage.

Call 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry online and we’ll arrange a free, no-obligation chat between you and your perfect broker today. And, don’t worry, this won’t leave any marks on your credit report.

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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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Will Kensington reject my mortgage application if I’m self-employed?

No, they won’t reject you outright on these grounds. Kensington offer a range of self-employed mortgages and you only need to have been self-employed for one year to qualify for them, assuming you meet the rest of the lending criteria.

They will, however, reject self-employed mortgage applicants under specific circumstances. For instance, if you have declining profits or made a loss in the last year, they are likely to turn you away. But keep in mind that a mortgage broker who specialises in self-employed customers could find lending options for you, regardless of your profits dipping.

Do Kensington offer limited company buy-to-let mortgages?

Yes. Kensington Mortgages offer buy-to-let mortgages to limited company borrowers and will also consider applications where the company is a special purpose vehicle (SPV), as long as all of the shareholders are able to provide personal guarantees.

They do apply some caveats here, though. For example, if the application is from a trading limited company it will be rejected outright. If you’ve encountered any restrictions like this, it’s worth speaking to a broker who specialises in limited company buy-to-let mortgages.

Do Kensington Mortgages offer fee refunds after a rejection?

If you think there are grounds to appeal for a refund of any upfront fees you paid to Kensington Mortgages, speak to a mortgage broker. They can tell you whether your appeal is likely to be successful and will advise you on the best way to go about it.

If it turns out that said fees are non-refundable, your broker will factor this into the overall cost of re-applying with Kensington compared to taking your business elsewhere.

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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