What To Do If Santander Have Refused Your Mortgage

See how expert advice could help secure your mortgage despite being declined by Santander.

Firstly, have you had a mortgage declined in the last 12 months?

Home Mortgage Application What To Do If Santander Have Refused Your Mortgage
Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston

Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: March 13, 2024

In this article, we’ll look at why Santander may have rejected your mortgage application, what steps you should take if you’ve been declined and how a mortgage broker can still help secure the mortgage you need.

How strict is Santander as a mortgage lender?

Santander are just as strict as other high street banks and building societies with their mortgage lending criteria. You might, however, find it particularly 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 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 another lender with more flexible criteria.

How long does Santander take to process a mortgage application?

The average amount of time a mortgage application takes to process from start to finish is usually 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.

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What to do if they 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 the 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 led to this outcome.
  3. Make an enquiry with us so we can match you with your perfect broker
    Speaking to the right mortgage broker is the best course of action if you’ve had an application rejected by any mortgage lender. Make an enquiry to get started with an advisor today.

Can you appeal against the decision?

Yes, you can. All the information needed about the process can be found 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 is your best bet, your broker can help you prepare your appeal and give you the best chance of approval the second time around.

Get expert advice immediately if…

  • You have 1 or more defaults on your credit report
  • You have any form of bad credit, particularly a CCJ
  • You are purchasing a property of Non-Standard construction
  • You are 65 or older
  • You are self-employed with loss in the last year
  • You are classed as having higher appetite for risk eg: you occasionally gamble

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 based on their own rules and criteria. 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 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

If you’re aged 70 or over your mortgage application will be declined. Below this age you’re fine but the maximum age at the end of the mortgage term is 75 for this particular mortgage lender.

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 it to be withdrawn 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 state that applicants who take part in “frequent and recurring gambling transactions” won’t be considered for a mortgage. If you gamble regularly or are a professional gambler there are other specialist lenders available who will still consider your application.

Valuation Problems

Whilst Santander doesn’t impose a minimum property value (unlike most other major mortgage lenders), it could still decide to decline your application or revise it’s mortgage offer if the valuation report recommends the purchase price is above the property’s true value.


If you’ve only recently become self-employed it can be tricky to get a mortgage with Santander if you only have one year’s trading history. A minimum of two years is typically required for a mortgage with this lender. Professional landlords using rental income as their primary source of earnings will also not be accepted.

Other reasons

There are a host of other reasons why Santander might decline your mortgage application, these include:

  • Having had an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA)
  • Employment salary paid in cash
  • Submitting a mortgage application with a guarantor
  • The property is located in either the Channel Islands or Isle Of Man
  • Proof of earnings are from stipend income
  • The property was purchased at an auction
  • A remortgage application to raise equity was submitted to pay a tax bill or to purchase a commercial property
  • Receiving a gifted deposit from someone who will be living in the property with you but not named on the mortgage
  • The source of the deposit was from cryptocurrency/bitcoin

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.

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

This all depends on the reasons why you were initially declined by Santander. If, for example, you have severe adverse credit on your record or you need to use a guarantor as part of your application then this may not be something that can be rectified 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.

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How Online Mortgage Advisor can help

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 an advisor with the right experience in this specific area.

Make an enquiry or give us a call on 0808 189 2301 and we’ll match you with an appropriate mortgage advisor today.

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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.

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 this.

See our article on getting a mortgage with a criminal record for more information.

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 dedicated article on getting a mortgage with a CCJ for more information.

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

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

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 this offer is the absolute best you could qualify for.

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

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