What To Do If Nationwide Has Refused Your Mortgage

Find out what you can do if Nationwide has declined your mortgage application and how a broker can improve your chances of success.

Talk to a specialist broker today

  • Bespoke advice from a specialist in refused applications

  • Complex mortgage applications made simple

  • Mortgage success with a money-back guarantee

Get Started Phone Icon 0808 189 2301

Contact our network of specialised mortgage brokers for expert advice on your specific situation.

Home Mortgage Application What To Do If Nationwide Has Refused Your Mortgage
Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: March 13, 2024

In this article, we’ll explain what to do if Nationwide has rejected your mortgage application, why this may have happened and how a broker can help secure the approval you need.

Are Nationwide a strict mortgage lender?

Nationwide’s mortgage approval policy is in line with most high-street lenders in the UK, in the sense that they all carry out thorough eligibility checks and due diligence around affordability and usually reject applications that fall outside of set criteria.

It is known to decline customers with certain types of bad credit, such as unsatisfied debt management plans. It can also be strict with its income requirements and won’t approve self-employed applications with less than two years’ accounts or accept bonus and commission income.

If you think you’re likely to fall foul of Nationwide’s lending criteria, try to stay upbeat and remember that a broker could help you find an alternative lender who’s far more flexible.

What is the timescale for a Nationwide mortgage application?

It usually takes around two weeks from application to offer when you apply with Nationwide. The time frame might be longer if the deal is less straightforward, due to things like bad credit, a non-standard property type or complex self-employed income.

Maximise your chance of approval with a dedicated specialist broker

Get Started Phone Icon 0808 189 2301

What to do if you’ve been declined by Nationwide

  1. Don’t re-apply straight away. There’s always the temptation to find another lender as quickly as possible in the hope that things will turn out differently than they did with Nationwide, but there’s no guarantee of that. Rushing into another mortgage application so soon could mean getting the same outcome, and too many rejections in such a short time could damage your credit report and jeopardise future finance applications.
  2. Find out exactly why Nationwide refused to offer you a mortgage. It’s important to gather all of the facts around your rejection. Download all of your credit reports if bad credit was the reason, as this will give you the chance to challenge any inaccuracies in your file and optimise it for next time. It’s also worth trying to get your hands on any surveys and reports that were carried out. If time is of the essence or you’re unable to get your hands on this information, simply move on to step three…
  3. Make an enquiry with us so we can match you with a mortgage broker.  The right broker will have the knowledge and expertise to give you the best chance of salvaging your mortgage ambitions, whether that’s through an appeal with Nationwide or another lender entirely.

We offer a free broker-matching service that will take all of the circumstances around your rejection into account and pair you with the expert best positioned to solve the issue. This will be a fully-vetted advisor with a track record of helping people in the same position as you. Make an enquiry to get started with the right mortgage broker today.

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 lodging an appeal.

Get expert advice immediately if…

  • You have severe types of bad credit eg: Bankruptcy
  • You have little-to-no previous address history
  • You have supplemental income sources, such as bonuses and overtime
  • You are self-employed with one year’s accounts
  • You have had a mortgage application declined already

If any of the above apply to you and your application it’s important to get expert advice. These are common reasons any Nationwide refuse mortgages and an expert broker could help you find a more lenient alternative lender.

Common reasons why Nationwide rejects mortgage applications

The property isn’t worth what you’re paying for it

Some aspiring home-buyers find that they have a mortgage application declined after valuation, and this is often because the property was valued at less than the mortgage they’re applying for. Most lenders are unwilling to continue the process under these circumstances because it means they might struggle to recoup the loan if the property was repossessed and sold on.

Nationwide will conduct a standard valuation to determine a property’s value and overall condition, though they won’t share this with you, even if they decline your application. To see how your potential property performs, you’ll need to get either an independent homebuyer report or a structural survey, the latter being ideal to obtain a thorough inspection of the property.

You have a history of bad credit

If you had a mortgage agreed in principle but were then declined after the underwriting process, this might be because there was an issue with your credit file. Nationwide does offer mortgages to people with certain types of bad credit, such as county court judgements (CCJs), but not necessarily with more severe issues – bankruptcy or previous repossessions, for example.

Nationwide will consider mortgage applicants with satisfied debt management plans, though not everyone is in a position to delay their plans until their debts have been paid off.

You don’t have enough address history

Nationwide’s eligibility criteria explicitly state that all applicants have to provide a minimum of 36 months’ address history or they cannot be considered for a mortgage. There are other mortgage lenders who can look at applications with less (12-24 months).

You want a mortgage based on commission/bonus income

Some people earn a sizable amount of their wages through regular bonuses and commission payments and rely on a lender accepting these forms of income to qualify for the mortgage amount needed. If this is you, then Nationwide may not be the right lender to approach. If they haven’t rejected your application already, there’s a good chance they might.

You’re self-employed but can’t provide two years’ accounts

Nationwide offers a range of mortgage products for self-employed people, but you’ll likely struggle to qualify for them without at least two years’ accounts to prove your income. This is the bare minimum you need before Nationwide will consider you for a mortgage.

Other reasons

There are countless reasons why Nationwide might decline a mortgage application, besides the ones listed above, such as:

  • You’re only employed on a seasonal contract basis
  • You’re currently repaying the balance for a payday loan
  • You receive your employment income in a foreign currency
  • You’ve submitted a mortgage application with a guarantor
  • The property is located in either the Channel Islands or the Isle Of Man

Regardless of the reason why you’re application was rejected by Nationwide, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t need to be the end of your plans to buy a home.

The brokers in our network specialise in virtually every kind of issue that can derail an application, and we’ll make sure you’re matched with the right one.

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

This all depends on the reasons why you were initially declined by Nationwide. If, for example, you have severe adverse credit on your record or the property you want to buy is outside the UK then these issues may not be simple to rectify quickly.

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.

We're so confident in our service, we guarantee it.

We know it's important for you to have complete confidence in our service, and trust that you're getting the best chance of mortgage approval at the best available rate. We guarantee to get your mortgage approved where others can't - or we'll give you £100*

Happy approved couple

How Online Mortgage Advisor Can Help

The right broker will have the knowledge and expertise to salvage your plans, whether that’s through a successful appeal or a new application with a more suitable lender.

We offer a free broker-matching service that will take the circumstances around your unsuccessful application and pair you with the advisor who’s best equipped to turn it into a mortgage promise. This will be a broker we’ve vetted ourselves, so we can vouch for their track record helping customers who have been rejected by a high street lender.

Call 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry online and we’ll set up a free, no-obligation chat between you and a broker who could help you revive your home-buying ambitions today.

Ask us a question

We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with mortgage brokers who are experts in handling applications that have previously been declined.

Ask us a question and we'll get the best expert to help.

Our Brokers

Get in touch today

Make an enquiry and we'll arrange for an experienced mortgage broker we work with to contact you straight away.

1 of 3
2 of 3
3 of 3 Send!


The average time between valuation and a mortgage offer is around one week. It can take around five days for the report to come back, and if no issues were flagged up, Nationwide will usually make you a formal offer within a matter of days.
While you’re waiting for a mortgage offer, it’s a good opportunity to speak to a broker to double-check that the deal Nationwide is offering is the best available to you.

Yes. Nationwide doesn’t have an issue with gambling showing up on your bank statements, as long as the transactions are “well managed” and within your means.

If you’re a professional gambler looking for a mortgage based on your betting income, see our dedicated article on mortgages for gamblers to find out what your options could be.

According to Nationwide, this means that your application “needs more investigation and will be reviewed by an underwriter”. This could be because they were unable to verify the personal information you’ve provided or an issue with your credit report has come to light.

If you’re concerned that this means Nationwide are about to reject you, speak to a mortgage broker. They might be able to allay your fears or find you an alternative lender.

This is a more common scenario than you might think since agreements in principle are by no means a binding mortgage offer. Many lenders, including Nationwide, might offer one based on your income, personal information and a soft credit search, only to refuse to offer you a mortgage when the underwriters have taken a more in-depth look at things.

If this has happened to you, don’t worry, you could still have options. First, find out exactly why Nationwide wouldn’t progress to a full offer, then speak to a mortgage broker to find the best solution to the issue that stopped your application in its tracks. A broker can take another look at your case and explore potential grounds for an appeal against Nationwide’s decision, or refer you to another lender who’s more likely to make you a full mortgage offer.

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!

Read more about Pete

Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Continue Reading

Maximise your chances of approval, whatever your situation - Find your perfect mortgage broker