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What To Do If Nationwide Have Refused Your Mortgage

See how expert advice could secure your mortgage application, even if you've already been refused

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: June 17, 2022

Like most high street lenders, Nationwide usually refuses to offer mortgages to anyone who doesn’t fit their criteria. But if they’ve turned you down for a mortgage, or you think they’ve probably going to, there’s no reason to think that’s the end of the line.

Sure, being rejected for a mortgage can feel like a major setback on your journey towards homeownership, but bear in mind that options could still be available. Read through our guide to find out what to do if Nationwide have declined you, or you fear they’re about to.

Are Nationwide a strict mortgage lender?

Nationwide are roughly as strict as other high street mortgage lenders, but are known to decline customers with certain types of bad credit, such as unsatisfied debt management plans. They can also be strict with their 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 afoul 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 to do if you’ve been declined by Nationwide

  • Don’t make a hasty re-application

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, if you don’t know the market inside out. 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 applications for finance.

  1. Find out exactly why Nationwide refused to offer you a mortgage

If you have the time, it’s a good idea to gather all of the facts around Nationwide’s rejection. Download all of your credit reports if bad credit was the culprit, 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…

  1. Make an enquiry with us so we can match you with a mortgage broker

If Nationwide have turned you down for a mortgage or you fear that they might, your best bet is to speak to a mortgage broker for advice about your options. 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 boat as you.

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.

Get Expert Advice

Common reasons Nationwide reject mortgage applications

  • They think the property isn’t worth what you’re paying for it

Some aspiring home-buyers find that they have a Nationwide 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 lend 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 homebuyers report or structural survey, the latter being ideal to obtain a thorough inspection of the property.

  1. You have a history of bad credit

If you had a Nationwide 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 others are a deal-breaker. Case in point, borrowers with a debt management plan are usually rejected outright after the underwriters’ hard credit check.

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. 

  1. You don’t have enough address history

Nationwide’s eligibility criteria explicitly states that all applicants have to provide a minimum of 36 months’ address history or they cannot even be considered for a mortgage. If this applies to you, it’s okay to feel disappointed at the thought of having to delay your plans, but the good news is that there are lenders who don’t ask for this much address history.

  1. You want a mortgage based on commission/bonus income

Some people earn a sizable chunk of their wages through regular bonuses and commission payments, and would 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.

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

Nationwide offer 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.

  1. Other reasons

There are countless reasons why Nationwide might decline a mortgage application, besides the ones we’ve listed above. But it’s important for you to keep in mind that we can still help you out, regardless of the circumstances surrounding your mortgage rejection.

The brokers in our network don’t discriminate when it comes to customers who’ve been declined for a mortgage. There are experts who specialise in virtually every kind of issue that can derail an application, and we’ll make sure you’re matched with the right one.

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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.

Hull, UK
I became a self-employed Personal Trainer last year, but I was refused a mortgage from Nationwide who told me I haven’t been self-employed for long enough to get approved. Online Mortgage Advisor found me a new broker and she secured my mortgage the same day I got in touch.
London, UK
Nationwide declined my mortgage application due to having no credit history, which felt so unfair. I've always been good with money, hence not needing any credit but that stung me. Online Mortgage Advisor found me a lender willing to accept my application, and I'm so thankful that they did!

How a mortgage broker can help you overcome these issues

If you think Nationwide 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 Nationwide, but if you don’t meet their criteria, they could help you find an alternative mortgage provider with a more flexible lending criteria.

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Speak to a broker who specialises in reviving declined mortgages applications

If you’ve had a mortgage application rejected by Nationwide or think that’s about to happen, your best option is professional advice from a mortgage broker. The right broker will have the knowledge and expertise to salvage your plans, whether that’s through a successful appeal at Nationwide 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.

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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.

How long after valuation will I get a mortgage offer?

The average time between valuation and 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.

Can I get a Nationwide mortgage with a history of gambling?

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.

However, Nationwide’s acceptance rate for mortgage customers who want to raise capital to pay off mortgage debts is non-existent, since this falls outside of their criteria.

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

What does it mean if Nationwide has referred my decision in principle?

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.

What should I do if Nationwide agreed to offer me a mortgage in principle and then declined my application?

This is a more common scenario than you might think since agreements in principle are by no means a biding 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 would progress to a full off, 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 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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