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What To Do If Skipton Building Society Have Refused Your Mortgage

See how expert advice can still secure your mortgage approval, even if you've previously been declined

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Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: June 17, 2022

Like all UK building societies, Skipton will decline mortgage applications that fall outside of their standard lending criteria. If you approached them for a mortgage and were turned down, no doubt you’re feeling disheartened right now, but don’t give up yet! While rejection can feel like a setback, that’s all it is. It doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get a mortgage, full stop.

In this guide, we’ll explain how you can reclaim control of your mortgage plans if Skipton have just rejected you, or you think that they’re about to.

Are Skipton Building Society a strict mortgage lender?

Like all major UK building societies, Skipton can be strict towards customers who don’t fit their criteria for a mortgage. They do offer mortgages to people with certain types of minor bad credit, but issues such as debt management plans, recent defaults and payday loan usage can trigger an automatic rejection.

Skipton can also take a strict stance on property issues, including contaminated lands and build types such as Wollaway or wholly timbered construction.

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What to do if Skipton have declined you for a mortgage

If Skipton have rejected your mortgage application or you think it’s inevitable that they will, there are steps you can take to give yourself the best chance of salvaging your plans…

  1. Think twice before making another application
    Don’t rush into another mortgage application straight away, as there’s no guarantee things will turn out any differently than they did with Skipton, unless you have in-depth knowledge of the market. By approaching another lender so soon, you’d be running the risk of another rejection, and two in such a short space of time could harm your credit report.
    Immediately after a mortgage rejection is a good time to take a pause and seek professional guidance from a broker. They will be able to advise you on your next move.
  2. Find out why Skipton wouldn’t approve you
    Gather as many of the facts around your rejection as possible, as this will help you avoid whatever deal-breaking issue Skipton found next time. Download all of your credit files so you can see what Skipton saw when they looked into your financial history, and try to get your hands on any reports the lender had carried out. If you don’t have time to gather these things, no problem! Simply jump ahead to step three below…
  3. Let us match you with the right mortgage broker
    The best way to boost your chances of turning that rejection into a mortgage promise is by speaking to a mortgage advisor. The right broker for you will have the knowledge and expertise to re-negotiate with Skipton if there’s grounds for appeal, but they might even be able to find you a much better mortgage deal with another lender who’s a better fit for you.
    We offer a free broker-matching service that can pair you with the mortgage expert who’s best qualified to help a customer with your needs and circumstances. This will be someone we’ve personally vetted, who has a strong track record helping customers just like you – make an enquiry to be matched with a broker today.

Get expert advice immediately if...

  • You need to borrow between 5 – 6 times your salary
  • You’re purchasing an unusual property type including non-standard construction
  • You have any form of bad credit
  • You’re purchasing in Northern Ireland and further afield
  • You need an expat mortgage
  • You’ve been declined for a mortgage previously

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York, UK
Being a single mum I really struggled to find a mortgage on my income alone. I didn't match most lenders affordability criteria even though I could afford my rent fine at the time! I was so frustrated, but luckily Ellen my broker found me a deal with a building society I'd never heard of, but were willing to accept me.
James and Ella
Bristol UK
Despite having two incomes, we were declined on affordability because some of James' income is paid as commission. Our original lender didn't recognise this type of income, so Online Mortgage Advisor matched us with a lender who did and we managed to get our dream home.

Common reasons Skipton decline mortgage applications

1.Skipton saw something they didn’t like in the property survey

Skipton Building Society might have offered you an agreement in principle (AIP), but decided not to progress to full mortgage offer when they saw the results of the property surveys. There are many things that could come up in a property survey that might put Skipton off.

For example, they don’t lend on Grade 1 listed buildings, properties on contaminated land, or anything that was built using Wollaway or wholly timbered construction.

  1. The underwriters found a problem on your credit report

It’s not uncommon for lenders like Skipton to offer a mortgage in principle, only to think twice about a full mortgage offer when the underwriters have carried out the final credit check.

Although Skipton does offer bad credit mortgages under some circumstances, they won’t lend if you’re in a debt management plan, have a default that was registered in the last 3-12 months, or have a history of payday loan use, to name a few examples.

  1. Your income won’t stretch far enough

Skipton caps the amount they’re willing to let eligible customers borrow based on 4.75 times their income. So, for example, if the combined earnings of all applicants named on the mortgage is £70,000, they could potentially borrow £332,500 on a Skipton mortgage.

If your salary multiplied by 4.75 does not amount to the sum you need to borrow, there’s a good chance Skipton will turn you down on affordability grounds, if they haven’t already.

  1. You’re buying a property in Northern Ireland or off the UK mainland

Skipton is a viable choice of lender if you’re buying a property in England, Scotland or Wales, but if you’re purchasing anywhere else in the UK, you’ll likely find they’re not right for you.

Properties based in Northern Ireland and certain islands away from the UK mainland (Channel Islands, Isle of Man etc) fall outside of Skipton’s lending criteria, so they’ll almost certainly reject a mortgage application if any of these locations are listed on it.

  1. You’ve been living abroad and only recently returned to the UK

If you’ve been living aboard, are returning to the UK and want to buy a house here, Skipton won’t be the right lender for you.

They reject mortgage applications outright from customers who are relocating back to these shores, even if you have a full-time job lined up.

  1. Other reasons

If the exact reason Skipton turned you down for a mortgage doesn’t appear on this list; don’t worry, the brokers we work with could still help you out. They offer lifelines to customers who have been declined for every reason you can possibly think of, and they never discriminate when it comes to the circumstances surrounding a mortgage rejection.

Whatever problem stopped you from getting a mortgage, there will be an expert who specialises in solving that issue, and our broker-matching service will find them for you.

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How we can help you overcome these problems

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

Speak to a broker who specialises in overturning declined mortgage applications

Our broker-matching service – which is completely free to use – will pair you with the right mortgage advisor, a fully-vetted expert with the knowledge and expertise to help a customer just like you get a mortgage after a rejection from a high street building society.

Call 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry online and we’ll set up a free, no-obligation consultation between you and your perfect broker today. One rejection shouldn’t mean the end of your homeownership dreams, and the right broker can help you keep them alive.


How much deposit do I need to get a Skipton mortgage?

The minimum amount of deposit you would usually need to get a residential mortgage with Skipton is 10% of the property’s value. The building society introduced a new range of 90% loan-to-value (LTV) products in January this year.

If Skipton has turned you down for a 90% LTV mortgage or you have less than 10% deposit, keep in mind that a broker might be able to help you find a lender with a more flexible criteria for low deposit customers, or one who is still offering 95% LTV mortgages.

Can I get a Skipton mortgage with a gifted deposit?

Yes, but only if it’s a gift from an immediate family member. They will need to fill out a gifted deposit declaration form with Skipton to confirm their personal details, their relationship to the borrower and state that the gift is unconditional and non-returnable.

If your deposit funds were gifted by somebody other than a blood relative, Skipton is likely to decline your application, but it’s worth speaking to a broker who specialises in gifted deposits. They will know which lenders to approach for non-family gifted deposits.

My Skipton mortgage is at the ‘referral’ stage. What does that mean?

This means that Skipton have referred your mortgage application to its underwriters. It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a problem with your application, nor is it any indication they’re likely to reject you. Underwriting is part and parcel of the mortgage application process, and it’s necessary so the lender can double check everything.

Your mortgage might be referred for underwriting at two points in the process: when you apply for an agreement in principle or before the lender makes you a full offer.

If your mortgage has been referred to the underwriters, it’s not too late to speak to a broker to double check that Skipton is the right lender for you. If there’s a better deal elsewhere, there might be time to switch to another lender and complete with them.

Do Skipton offer mortgages for self-employed people?

Yes. Skipton offer a range of mortgage products for self-employed people, but to qualify for them, you will need to have been self-employed for at least 24 months.

If you’ve been declined for a mortgage by Skipton because you don’t have enough accounts, keep in mind that a specialist broker could potentially find you a lender who’s willing to consider self-employed mortgage applications based on just one year of trading.

How long does Skipton take to process a mortgage application?

Skipton Building Society has an average processing time of 14 days for mortgage applications. If your application is more complex, because of factors such as bad credit or complex self-employed income, this timeframe might vary.

Are Skipton mortgages portable?

Yes. Skipton Building Society offers a mortgage porting facility, which means some of its products can be transferred across to a new property if the borrower moves house. There are no early repayment charges (ERCs) to foot with these agreements, as long as the borrower completes their new mortgage and repays the original one at the same time.

If you’re moving house, it’s a good idea to speak to a mortgage broker before you commit to a mortgage port. They can search the entire market to find out whether there’s a better deal out there with another lender, or at least confirm that porting is your best option.

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We know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with mortgage brokers who are experts in finding the right solution.

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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!

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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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