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What to do if You’ve had a Santander Mortgage Application Declined

Updated: June 1, 2021

Pete Mugleston
Author: Pete Mugleston Mortgage Advisor, MD


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.

It’s not the end of the line! The expert brokers we work with can help keep your home-buying plans on track.

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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 of 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.

Whether you’ve been rejected because of bad credit, your age, your deposit amount or another reason entirely, we’ve got your back. We can match you with your ideal broker to make sure that you stand the best chance of salvaging your plans, whether that’s with Santander after some renegotiation or another lender who’s offering an even better deal

Common reasons why Santander decline mortgage applications

1. You’ve defaulted on a credit agreement in the last year
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.

Don’t let failing Santander’s credit check convince you that delaying your plans is the only option – we work with brokers who help customers with recent defaults every day.

Here’s the good news: there are specialist bad credit mortgage lenders who will consider a mortgage application from a customer who’s had a default registered in the last 3-12 months. While Santander will hit you with an outright ‘no’ under these circumstances, the right mortgage lender for you will take the amount of your default and the reason for it into account, as well as looking at the overall strength of your application.

The niche lenders who are willing to consider mortgage customers with a default that’s less than a year old are notoriously difficult to find if you go it alone, but with the help of a broker from our network, you can rest assured that you’ll be paired with the right lender.

2. Non-standard construction was found during the property surveys
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 they often give an outright ‘no’ when they’re present.Santander may have offered you a mortgage in principle but then declined 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, but if they’ve rejected you on these grounds, we’re here to offer you a lifeline.

Did you know that there are mortgage lenders and brokers who specialise in non-standard construction properties? If the home you’ve got your eye on has an unusual build type and you don’t apply through a broker who knows exactly which lenders to approach, there’s a good chance of a rejection, so speaking to us before you press ahead can safeguard you against potential disappointment and marks on your credit report.

3. Santander thinks you’re too old for a mortgage
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.

If you had a mortgage application rejected by Santander and were told that you’re too old to be considered for finance, that’s understandingly disappointing, but don’t lose sight of the fact that other mortgage lenders are happy to lend to customers in their retirement years.

You can absolutely get a mortgage over the age of 70; just not with Santander, in most cases. But if you were to re-apply through one of the specialist retirement mortgage experts that we work with, you’ll likely find a world of new mortgages options available.

4. You’re self-employed and made 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.If this is you, we understand if you’re frustrated about your prospects, but the advisors we work with are on hand to help you keep those mortgage plans alive.

There are brokers in our network who specialise in self-employed mortgages and have deep relationships with mortgage providers who lend to customers who made a loss in the last year.

Re-applying through one of the specialist brokers we work with could be the difference between finding a lender who overlooks your recent trading loss, and being hit with a second rejection that could tarnish your credit report and set your plans back even further.

5. You have 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.

What Santander considers “frequent” might not be a big deal to a more flexible lender. There are even lenders who offer mortgages for professional gamblers who want to use their winnings as declarable income.

Whether you’re a professional gambler or just someone who likes to bet often, Santander might not be the best bank to approach for your mortgage, but the brokers we work with know exactly which mortgage providers have the right appetite for risk to lend to you.

Been declined because of something else?

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.


If you’ve been offered an agreement in principle by Santander but fear your application could be declined before completion, it’s not too late to take a timeout for expert advice. The brokers we work with can tell you whether it’s best to stick with Santander or consider a superior deal that’s on offer elsewhere.

Been declined by Santander? Here’s what you should do next

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.
  3. 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.

It’s not the end of the line! The expert brokers we work with can help keep your home-buying plans on track.

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

How the right mortgage broker can help you turn that rejection into an approval

If you take home just one point from this article, it should be that a rejected mortgage application from Santander doesn’t mean the end of your home-buying ambitions. A mortgage broker with the right expertise could help you turn that rejection into an approval by renegotiating with Santander for you, or finding you an even better deal elsewhere.

Finding the right broker is key here, and that’s something we can help you with. We offer a free-broker matching service that will take your needs and circumstances into account and pair you with an advisor with the right knowledge and track record to get you a mortgage. This will be a fully-vetted expert who helps people who’ve been declined every day.

Call 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry online and we’ll set up a free, no-obligation chat between you and your perfect mortgage broker today.

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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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