66 . 7 %
Mortgages and Furlough: How to get a mortgage after being on furlough. Read more Chevron


Customers helped

5 Star Rated

5 Star Rated

On Feefo

FCA Regulated

FCA Regulated

Financial Conduct Authority

What to do if You’ve had a Nationwide Building Society Mortgage Application Declined

Updated: March 24, 2021


Pete Mugleston
Author: Pete Mugleston Mortgage Advisor, MD


Nationwide Building Society is a good, well-respected mortgage provider but no lender in the UK is able to accept every single application they receive. The aim of this article is to help you understand what your options could be if your mortgage application has fallen outside of Nationwide Building Society's lending criteria.

The brokers we work with could help you turn that rejection into a mortgage promise

  • Check mark Whole of market mortgage experts
  • Check mark FCA regulated
  • Check mark Rated 5 star on Feefo
Get Started

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. The right mortgage broker could help you keep that home-buying dream alive, either through a successful appeal with Nationwide or a re-application with another lender who’s offering a better deal.

5 reasons why Nationwide might refuse to offer a mortgage

1. 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 on the property.

If Nationwide has rejected your mortgage application on these grounds, it can feel like a major blow, but don’t lose sight of the fact that options might still be available. If you speak to a mortgage broker, they may find ground to appeal against Nationwide’s valuation, or find you an alternative lender whose valuation survey throws up different results.

2. 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. If you’re one of them, being declined after the agreement in principle (AIP) stage must have felt frustrating, but it might not be the crippling blow you think it is.

With guidance from an expert broker, it may be possible to find a specialist bad credit mortgage lender who helps customers with unsatisfied debt management plans every day.

3. You don’t have enough address history

Before your Nationwide mortgage application is referred to the underwriters, they will want to verify your personal details, including your income and address history. Some applications are knocked back early on because the customer doesn’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.

There are mortgage providers who will lend to customers with 24 months’ address history, one year’s address history, or even none at all, under the right circumstances (usually with the caveat that you need to be in long-time employment with the same employer).

4. 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 will.

This is because Nationwide doesn’t allow mortgage applicants to declare bonus and commission income, and the same applies to overtime. If you’re now wondering how you can qualify for the amount you need to borrow, try to stay upbeat about your prospects, because there are lenders who are more than happy to accept bonuses and commission.

We work with brokers who specialise in customers with complex income and they know exactly which lenders will allow you to declare the highest percentage of your extra income. Finding the right lender could make a huge difference to the amount you can borrow.

5. 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, and they might have already told you that you need to postpone your plans until you’ve worked in your current capacity for long enough. Nobody likes the idea of having to delay something as potentially life-changing as a home purchase, so it’s okay to feel less than thrilled about this.

There’s good news, though: we work with brokers who specialise in self-employed applicants and they have a firm understanding of their needs. These brokers might be able to find lending options for you with less than two years’ accounts, as there are mortgage providers who don’t ask for as much income proof as Nationwide.

Had a Nationwide mortgage application declined because of something else?

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.

What to do if you’ve had a Nationwide mortgage application declined

1. 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.

2.  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…

3. 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.

The brokers we work with could help you turn that rejection into a mortgage promise

  • Check mark Whole of market mortgage experts
  • Check mark FCA regulated
  • Check mark Rated 5 star on Feefo
Get Started


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.

How the right broker can help you turn that rejection into a mortgage promise

If you’ve had a mortgage application rejected by Nationwide or think that’s about to happen, your best fallback 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 for you.

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Whatever your situation we've got it covered. Find your perfect mortgage broker

Get the ‘YES’ you’ve been waiting for 👍

Our broker matching service will match you to a real human being who’s a specialist in your circumstances – for free!

Your expert will find you the best deal that’s right for you and be with you every step of the way.


Get Started