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What To Do If Santander Have Declined Your Mortgage

No impact on credit score

Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: September 20, 2021

If Santander have just rejected your mortgage application it can feel like a crushing blow, but being declined by one lender is by no means the end for your homeownership ambitions. We work with a network of specialist brokers who help people in this exact scenario every day, as well as those who think they’re about to be rejected for a mortgage.

Regardless of why you’ve been rejected, we’ve got your back. In this guide, you’ll learn what to do if Santander have declined you, why this can happen and how a broker can help you out.

Are Santander a strict mortgage lender?

Santander are roughly as strict as other high street banks and building societies with their mortgage lending criteria. You might, however, find it difficult to get approved by them if you have certain types of bad credit such as a default in the last 12 months or a recent CCJ.

The bank is also strict when it comes to self-employed customers with declining profits, non-standard construction properties and borrowers over the age of 70.

If you’ve been declined by Santander for any of these reasons, or think you might be, don’t forget that the right mortgage broker might be able to help you get your plans back on track, either with Santander after an appeal or with another lender with a more flexible criteria.

Common reasons Santander reject mortgage applications

  • Recent defaults

Many people who have defaulted on a credit commitment in the last year have a mortgage declined by Santander. They might tell you that you need to wait until your default has been satisfied for at least 12 months before you reapply, but that’s not necessarily true. The brokers in our network have deep working relationships with other mortgage lenders who can accept customers with more recent defaults than this.

  • Non-standard construction 

Santander will consider mortgages for many unusual property types and are one of the more flexible high street lenders for this, but there are types of ‘non-standard’ construction that they consider a deal-breaker, and often give an outright ‘no’ when they’re present. Santander may have offered a mortgage in principle but then declined you when the survey results came in.

This could be because build types such as single skin construction or non-repaired prefabricated reinforced concrete were found. Santander’s underwriting criteria does not allow them to lend when these construction types are present.

  • Age limits

Santander are strict lenders when it comes to upper age limits. Their mortgage approval rate is relatively low for customers approaching their 70th birthday, as the maximum age they will consider mortgage applications from is 69 years old. They also prefer it if the mortgage term doesn’t extend past your 75th birthday, under most circumstances, at least.

  • Self-employed with a loss in the last year

Some self-employed people might find that they’re offered an agreement in principle, only for Santander to withdraw their mortgage offer when the underwriters have taken a closer look at their finances. This is often because Santander won’t consider offering a mortgage to a self-employed professional who has made a loss during the last 12 months.

  • A history of gambling

Like many high street banks, Santander are cautious of mortgage applicants with a history of gambling. Their criteria states that applicants who take part in “frequent and recurring gambling transactions” won’t even be considered for a mortgage. This might be bad news if you enjoy a flutter every weekend, but the positive to take home is that not all lenders are as strict as Santander on this.

  • Other reasons

There are all kinds of reasons why Santander might decline your mortgage application, from a bankruptcy to the fact you need support from a guarantor, but that doesn’t matter to us at this stage. Whatever the reason you were declined, we can match you with a broker who specialises in solving that issue and has a track record of helping customers overcome it.

The brokers we work with don’t discriminate. Regardless of your background and the circumstances behind your rejection, they will work tirelessly to help you get the outcome you want, whether that’s a successful appeal with Santander or a better deal elsewhere.

We're so proud of our customers

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.

James and Ella
Bristol UK
Despite having two incomes, we were declined on affordability by Santander because some of James' income is paid as commission. Santander wouldn't accept this type of income, so Online Mortgage Advisor matched us with a lender who did and we managed to get our dream home.
Martin
Chippenham UK
I applied for a mortgage with a high street bank but was told I don’t qualify because I’m still paying off a CCJ. I was gutted. After to speaking to Online Mortgage Advisor things started to go smoothly and we got approved! I can’t thank you enough!

What to do if Santander have declined you for a mortgage

If Santander have declined your mortgage application or you think there’s a good chance they’re about to, here are the steps to take to keep your home-buying plans intact…

  1. Don’t rush into another application yet
    So many customers who are turned down for a mortgage by a high street lender make the mistake of rushing out for a second opinion, but this isn’t the best course of action. Without guidance from an expert, there’s no guarantee you’ll approach the right lender next time and having two rejections in such a short space of time could damage your credit report.
  2. Find out why Santander wouldn’t approve you
    Gathering all of the facts surrounding Santander’s decision will help you correct any issues that harmed your application, or at least prepare for them next time. If bad credit was the problem, download all of your credit reports so you can see the issue for yourself and have any inaccuracies corrected. Also be sure to request any survey reports that were carried out, especially if an issue with the property is what led Santander to decline you.

How we can help you overcome these problems

If you think Santander 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 Santander, 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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Make an enquiry with us so we can match you with the right broker

Seeking advice from the right mortgage broker will give you the best chance of turning that rejection into a mortgage promise. Whether the best course of action is to renegotiate with Santander or launch a fresh application with a lender who better understands your needs, your broker will take the lead and increase the likelihood of a positive outcome. We offer a free broker-matching service that will make sure you’re introduced to a fully-vetted advisor who helps customers who’ve been declined by a high street lender every day. Remember, the right advice could help you revive your mortgage plans, and save time, money and potential marks on your credit report in the long run.

Important

Santander 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 Santander’s lending criteria.

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FAQs

How long does Santander take to process a mortgage application?

The average amount of time a Santander mortgage application takes from start to finish is around three weeks. Very straightforward applications might be completed quicker, but if issues such as bad credit or complex income are a factor, it might take longer.

What happens after Santander has issued a mortgage offer?

After Santander has made you a final offer for your mortgage, you would have between three and six months to accept or decline it. Now is a good time to talk to a mortgage broker to double check that what Santander is offering is the best deal on the market.

If pulling out at this late stage to take your business elsewhere means losing money, your broker is obligated to be fully transparent about this and factor it in when explaining the cost difference between taking Santander’s offer and switching to another lender.

Do Santander offer mortgages to customers on furlough?

Yes, Santander is one of the lenders who is offering mortgages to customers who have been furloughed during the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re applying for a mortgage while on furlough, it’s doubly important to see expert advice since getting the best deal can be trickier.

See our guide to getting a mortgage while on furlough for more information.

Can I get a Santander mortgage with a gifted deposit?

Yes. Santander considers mortgage applications from customers with a deposit gifted from immediate family members and even friends, under the right circumstances. What they won’t accept, however, is a deposit gifted from someone who will be living at the property but won’t be named on the mortgage – there are a number of lenders who do accept this, though.

See our guide to gifted mortgage deposits for more information.

Can I get a Santander mortgage with a criminal record?

Santander doesn’t offer mortgages to anyone with a criminal record, unless the conviction is for a minor traffic offence or is spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. There are, however, lenders who are more flexible than Santander on this.

See our guide to getting a mortgage with a criminal record for more information.

Can I get a Santander mortgage with a CCJ?

Yes. Santander considers mortgage applications from people with a county court judgement (CCJ) against their name, as long as the CCJ was not registered in the last three months. They will also reject customers outright if their CCJ is unsatisfied.

A specialist bad credit mortgage lender is often called for if you have a very recent or unsatisfied CCJ. See our guide to getting a mortgage with a CCJ for more information.

Can I appeal against Santander’s decision to reject my mortgage application?

Yes. You can appeal against Santander’s decision to reject your mortgage loan, and you can find information about the process you need to go through on Santander’s website. But before you press ahead, it’s advisable to speak to a broker first. They can tell you whether an appeal with Santander is a better option than finding an alternative lender.

If it turns out that renegotiating with Santander is your best bet, your broker can help you prepare your appeal and give you the best chance of approval the second time around.

Does Santander offer self-build mortgages?

No. Self-build mortgages for people with the means and knowhow to build their own home are not available through Santander.

See our guide to self-build mortgages to find out how to find the right advice and the best lenders for these DIY development products.

Does passing valuation mean Santander have approved my mortgage?

If your application has made it through the valuation stage without a hitch, Santander have approved your mortgage and the next step is a formal offer from them.

You’d usually have between three and six months to accept their offer, but it’s not too late to seek advice from a broker before you sign on the dotted line. It’s always a good idea to get professional advice about whether Santander’s offer is the absolute best you could qualify for.

Santander have withdrawn my mortgage offer. What should I do?

First of all, try not to worry as there are many reasons why this might have happened and it’s no indication that you won’t ultimately get a mortgage. Try to find out exactly why Santander withdrew your offer, then speak to a mortgage broker, as they can help you find a solution.

The withdrawal might be because of something as simple as an error on your application form, in which case, your broker can help you lodge an appeal against Santander’s decision. If it was a more serious problem, they might still find grounds to appeal, and if this isn’t an option, find you another lender who’s willing to be more accommodating.

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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