How To Get A Mortgage If Leeds Building Society Declines Your Application

Find out what you can do if Leeds Building Society has rejected your mortgage application and how a broker can improve your chances of success.

Firstly, have you had a mortgage declined in the last 12 months?

Home Mortgage Application How To Get A Mortgage If Leeds Building Society Declines Your Application
Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: March 13, 2024

In this article, we’ll explain what steps you can take if Leeds Building Society has declined your application, why this might have happened and how a broker can help secure the mortgage you need.

Are Leeds Building Society a strict mortgage lender?

Leeds Building Society is just as strict with their mortgage lending criteria as most other high-street lenders. They might be willing to overlook some minor forms of bad credit, but usually reject customers with more severe issues like unsatisfied defaults and debt management plans on the spot.

They can also be tough on customers who are self-employed with less than two years of accounts as well as those with non-traditional deposit sources.

How long does it take to approve a mortgage?

Between three to six weeks, depending on the complexity of the application.

If it’s a straightforward, standard application with no adverse credit, sufficient disposable income and a healthy deposit then Leeds, much like all other large mortgage lenders, would look to complete their process towards the lower end of this timescale.

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What to do if you’ve been declined for a mortgage by Leeds Building Society

If you’ve had a mortgage declined by Leeds Building Society or think you’re about to be, here are the steps to take to give yourself the best chance of salvaging your plans.

Don’t make another application just yet

So many people make the mistake of rushing out to another lender in the hope of getting a better outcome the second time around, but if you don’t know the market inside out, there’s no guarantee that things will be any different than they were on this occasion.

By rushing into a second application straight away, you’d be running the risk of another rejection, and too many finance applications over such a short period can negatively impact your credit report. This might set your plans even further back by jeopardising any future mortgage applications. Also, bear in mind that the associated costs of starting an application with another lender at the wrong time could be quite high.

Gather all of the facts

If Leeds Building Society wouldn’t approve you, find out exactly why so you can explore a workaround solution armed with all of the facts. Request a copy of any reports they had carried out and download all of your credit files so you can see any issues first-hand and have any outdated information corrected. A broker can help you optimise your credit report for next time.

If you’re short on time or unable to get hold of the relevant documents, simply jump ahead to step three.

Speak to a mortgage broker

A broker is your best possible defence against mortgage rejection as their advice could be the difference between another rejection and mortgage approval. The right broker will know how to re-negotiate with Leeds Building Society on your behalf, and if there are no grounds for appeal, they might even be able to find you another lender who is more likely to approve you.

We offer a free broker-matching service that will pair you up with the broker who’s best positioned to help you overcome whatever issue stopped you from getting a mortgage. This will be a specialist advisor we’ve vetted ourselves, simply make an enquiry and we’ll do the rest.

Can you appeal the decision?

Yes, you can usually appeal straight away. This can normally be done either online or via email to the appropriate department (this information is typically found on the lender’s website, with instructions as to how to follow the correct procedure).

It’s probably best to wait until you have all the details as to why this happened and then consider all of your options before appealing.

Get expert advice immediately if…

  • You have any form of bad credit
  • You are self-employed and have one year’s accounts
  • You are purchasing an unusual property or a non-standard construction property
  • You are using a ‘non-standard’ deposit source
  • You are using supplemental income sources, including benefits
  • You have already been declined for a mortgage elsewhere

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Common reasons why Leeds Building Society reject mortgage applications

There’s an issue with your credit report

Leeds Building Society does offer bad credit mortgages for customers with a range of credit issues but, as is the case with all other mortgage lenders, there are types of bad credit that they will not consider. For example, customers with unsatisfied defaults, debt management plans and county court judgements (CCJs) are usually rejected on the spot.

You’re self-employed and want to borrow based on your latest year’s accounts

If you’ve been self-employed for at least 24 months and have evidence of your income over that period, there’s no reason why Leeds Building Society won’t at least consider you for a mortgage.

However, issues may arise if you want your affordability assessment to be based solely on your latest year’s accounts. Maybe you only have one year’s trading under your belt, or perhaps you had an exceptional last 12 months but struggled the year before. Either way, Leeds Building Society isn’t the lender for you if you want to borrow based solely on your latest year of trading.

There’s an issue with the valuation or you’re buying a specific property type

Some aspiring homebuyers have found that Leeds Building Society offered them a decision in principle (AIP), but ultimately rejected their application when it came to the full mortgage offer stage. Sometimes this is because the lender’s survey results suggest the property is worth less than what the buyer is paying for it, but it might also be because a building type that falls outside of Leeds Building Society’s lending criteria has been found.

They usually reject mortgage applications on properties with British Iron & Steel Federation construction, wholly timbered construction or non-repaired prefabricated reinforced concrete.

The lender is wary of your deposit source

One of the reasons why Leeds Building Society might decline your mortgage application early on is because they’re uncomfortable with the source of your deposit. This is something you’ll need to provide evidence for to get an agreement in principle, and while Leeds Building Society are happy with many of the more traditional deposit sources, they’re not keen on unsecured loans or gifted deposits (unless they’re from an immediate family member), and overseas capital from outside of the European Union and European Economic Area.

Your income is made up primarily of benefits

Many people on benefits such as Universal Credit have other capital to declare on a mortgage application, and with some mortgage lenders, the total amount they’re receiving across all of their income sources is enough to get them onto the property ladder. It’s even possible to get a mortgage with an income made up primarily of benefits, under the right circumstances.

Unfortunately, Leeds Building Society doesn’t consider applications where benefits are listed as the primary income source.

Other reasons

There are countless other reasons why this particular lender might decline you for a mortgage, such as:

  • You’re currently employed on a zero-hours contract
  • You’ve submitted a mortgage application with a guarantor
  • Proof of earnings are from stipend income
  • You’re a professional landlord
  • The source of the deposit was from cryptocurrency/bitcoin

Whatever problem is blocking your path to the property ladder, we can match you with a broker who can help you overcome it, whether that’s through re-negotiations with Leeds Building Society, or starting afresh with a new mortgage lender who is offering a better deal.

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How long does it take to re-apply for a mortgage?

This all depends on the reasons why you were initially declined by Leeds. If, for example, you have severe adverse credit on your record or you currently work on a zero-hours employment contract then these issues may not be simple to rectify.

But, if it’s something quite straightforward or specific to this lender’s criteria, there’s a good chance you can consider re-applying straight away.

Once you know why you’re application was rejected you can then take steps to resolve these issues thoroughly. When this has been done, with the help of a mortgage broker, your new application should hopefully take as long as is standard to process and get the approval you need.

How Online Mortgage Advisor can help

We offer a free broker-matching service that will ensure you’re paired up with the best expert for your needs and circumstances. The advisor we match you with can check whether there are grounds to appeal against Leeds Building Society’s decision and re-negotiate with them for you if that’s the best option. But you might even find that they can get you a better mortgage elsewhere.

Call 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry online and we’ll arrange a free, no-obligation chat between you and your ideal mortgage advisor today.


This will depend on the property type and value. For ‘standard’ residential properties worth between £300,000 and £400,000, Leeds Building Society asks for at least a 10% deposit, though they will consider 5% deposit deals for customers buying a home valued at under £300,000. For newly built homes, a higher deposit of at least 15% is usually needed.

If you think you might be declined for a mortgage because you don’t have enough deposit, see our article on low-deposit mortgages to read about your potential options.

They typically lend to eligible customers based on a multiple of their income. The income multiple Leeds Building Society bases its mortgage offers on is between 4.5 and 4.75 times the combined income of all of the applicants who will be going on the mortgage.

If you’ve been declined for a mortgage because your salary multiple wasn’t high enough to cover the property you want to buy, keep in mind that there are lenders who offer higher income multiples than this, as well as mortgage providers who will let you declare other sources of income, such as benefits and freelance work on the side, on your mortgage application.

Leeds Building Society asks for at least 24 months of UK address history before they’ll confirm an agreement in principle or mortgage offer. If you were declined because you couldn’t provide this much address history, the good news is that a broker could introduce you to a lender who asks for less than two years’ history. Some lenders ask for 6-12 months and even none at all.

This means that the lender has passed your application on to its underwriting team for further checks. This is common practice for any mortgage application and is by no means an indication that there’s a problem or that Leeds Building Society is likely to reject you.

It is, however, a good opportunity to double-check that Leeds Building Society is the right lender for you and compare the deal they’re offering with products from other mortgage providers. If you speak to a broker, they can check this for you and advise on whether staying put is the best option.

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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