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Mortgage Declined? Here is what to do next

See how expert help could still secure your mortgage despite being refused elsewhere

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No impact on credit score

Pete Mugleston

Author: Pete Mugleston - Mortgage Advisor, MD

Updated: October 15, 2021

Have you had a mortgage application rejected? No doubt you’re feeling disappointed and frustrated right now, but you’re not alone.

  • Declined mortgage applications are actually very common
  • Being rejected by one lender doesn’t mean that you won’t have other options.
  • With the right advice, it could be possible to salvage your mortgage plans and get a great deal!

So, if you’ve just been declined for a mortgage or you’re worried about having your mortgage application rejected, you’ve come to the right place.

Mortgage application declined? Here’s what to do next…

We want to reassure you that mortgage rejections happen all the time, for all kinds of reasons; and in many cases, there are fallback solutions to help aspiring homeowners reclaim control.

Almost half of the customers we’ve helped onto the property ladder came to us because they had been declined a mortgage and were fearing the worst. Turns out they simply approached the wrong mortgage lender or broker the first time around.

Here are the steps to take to boost your chances of turning that rejection into an approval…

1. Resist the temptation to re-apply straight away

You could be forgiven for rushing out to search for alternative lender, it’s natural to want a quick fix, but this is a temptation you should resist at all costs, since re-applying so soon is never a good idea.

If you go it alone and pick another mortgage lender, there’s no guarantee things will turn out any differently. It’s important before re-applying that you understand the reason why you ere declined before, and a specialist broker can help you to understand that.

2. Think about your credit report

A big consideration when re-applying again is the impact this can have on your credit report – too many requests for finance in a short space of time can raise a red flag to lenders, putting future applications at risk.

Rather than rush out in search of a new lender, take a pause, and get in touch with us. We’ll make sure you get the right advice to boost your chances of reviving those mortgage plans.

3. Get the right advice

If you’ve been declined for a mortgage, you don’t want to speak to a random broker or even the same broker – you need an advisor who specialises in securing mortgage approvals after rejection. They have the expertise you need to reclaim control of your plans, and have long standing working relationships with the lenders best positioned to approve you.

By using our free broker-matching service, you will be paired with the perfect mortgage advisor for you – an expert we’ve handpicked based on your needs, circumstances and the reason your original application was rejected, which will significantly boost your chances of approval.

4. Take a breather… we’ll take things from here

Make an enquiry with us so we can get you started with a mortgage advisor who specialises in previously refused mortgage applications. After that, you can rest assured that you’re in the best possible hands.

Your mortgage broker will take it from here. First, they will carry out a quick fact find to understand why your mortgage was rejected. This will help them work out whether there are grounds for an appeal with your current lender.

If an appeal is possible, your broker will guide you through the process and lead the negotiations – but they will also search the entire market for a more suitable lender, one who is better positioned to approve you at the second time of asking, or one who’s offering an even better mortgage deal.

Common reasons why a mortgage application would be rejected

The vast majority of the time, mortgage applications are rejected because the applicant approached the wrong lender or was given bad advice by the wrong broker. The market is vast and there are many mortgage providers out there with flexible lending criteria. 

Just because you went to your bank and were declined, that doesn’t mean the right mortgage broker can’t find you an alternative lender who’s willing to overlook whatever issue stopped you from getting the mortgage you want the first time around. 

Here are some of the most common reasons that mortgage applications are declined…

Bad credit
Deposit requirements

Income and affordability issues

Some aspiring homeowners are declined for a mortgage because they either don’t earn enough or have a complex income type that the lender they used didn’t understand. The good news is that we work with brokers who specialise in higher-income multiple mortgages, so you could potentially borrow more, as well as advisors who help people with non-standard income overcome mortgage rejection every day.

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Bad credit or failing credit report checks

Some mortgage lenders decline customers with bad credit on the spot, while others will only consider approving them with caveats in place. Bad credit isn’t uncommon, but some lenders have a much stricter criteria than others so it’s important to find a lender who’d be willing to set aside any bad credit issues. If you were declined because of an issue with your credit report, the brokers we work with could help you overcome this by finding a specialist bad credit mortgage lender for you.

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Deposit requirements

Most mortgage lenders will reject applications where the borrower has less than 10% deposit to put down, some lenders have even higher deposit requirements than this, depending on the circumstances. If you’ve been declined because you don’t have enough deposit, remember that the brokers we work with could help you find another lender who’s more lenient with loan-to-value ratios, or even re-apply for your mortgage through a government support scheme.

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Gambling history

Arranged or unarranged overdrafts

In the eyes of some mortgage lenders, being in your overdraft is a sign of financial mismanagement. This can include both an arranged overdraft (that your bank has agreed to) or an unarranged overdraft (where you have overspent on your account past a limit the bank has agreed to). If you have been rejected by one of these lenders, we’ve got good news: there are brokers in our network who specialise in salvaging mortgage applications that have stalled due to the customer’s overdraft.

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A history of gambling

If you have a history of gambling, some mortgage lenders might think you’re too much of a risk and reject you outright. This can include anything from playing the lottery to regularly gambling large amounts online. If this has happened to you, keep in mind that the advisors we work with have deep relationships with lenders who have a higher appetite for risk than most – high enough to offer lifelines to customers who’ve been declined due to a history of gambling.

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It’s also not impossible for a lender to decline an application further on down the process, even if it had already been accepted. Throughout a mortgage application a mortgage could be declined after the lender has concluded it’s valuation, after it’s been referred to an underwriter or even as late as exchange of contracts.

Here’s more detail about those specific circumstances.

Declined after contract exchange
Declined at AIP
Declined at valuation
Declined by underwriter

Declined after contract exchange

We understand that hitting a snag so close to completion can be frustrating and upsetting, not to mention stressful, but don’t for a second think that you’re out of options. In this guide, we’ll tell you exactly what to do if you’ve had a mortgage declined after the contract exchange and explain how to get your plans back on track as quickly as possible.

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An agreement in principle (AIP) is a tentative deal between you and a mortgage lender that lays out how much they’d be willing to let you borrow. Many AIP applications go through without a hitch, while others are rejected, and some people even find that they’re offered an agreement in principle only to be declined later on.

If you’ve been declined after an agreement in principle or have had an AIP rejected here’s what to do if your mortgage application has fallen down at either of these stages, why this can happen and where to get the right advice if it has.

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Declined at valuation

During a mortgage application, lenders appoint a surveyor to carry out a valuation of the property to make sure it’s worth the amount you’re paying and check whether there are structural or build issues.

If they don’t like what they read in the report, there’s a chance they could decline your application. If this has already happened to you, it’s understandable if you’re stressed and disappointed, but don’t throw in the towel just yet. We’ve put together this handy guide to tell you exactly what to do to salvage a mortgage application that broke down at valuation.

Read More

Declined by the underwriter

Underwriters can decline an application for reasons including bad credit and application discrepancies, but the right mortgage broker could help you overcome these issues.

These are merely a handful of the issues the mortgage advisors we work with can help you bounce back from. If your mortgage application has been rejected for any other reason, we can match you with an advisor who specialises in overcoming that specific problem.

Having a handpicked expert in your corner will dramatically improve your chances of successfully renegotiating with a lender who has rejected you, or even finding a new lender who’s willing to approve you the second time around on an even better deal.

Been declined for another reason? We can still help you out…

The above are merely a handful of the issues the mortgage advisors we work with can help you bounce back from. If your mortgage application has been rejected for any other reason, we can match you with an advisor who specialises in overcoming that specific problem.

Having a handpicked expert in your corner will dramatically improve your chances of successfully renegotiating with a lender who has rejected you, or even finding a new lender who’s willing to approve you the second time around on an even better deal.

See why customers love us

Helping customers that have been declined in the past is what we do best. Read how we've helped customers that were declined before coming to us, and how we got their mortgages approved!

Nottingham, UK
I followed my dream of becoming a self-employed fitness instructor but I was turned down for a mortgage from a well-known bank, who told me I haven’t been self-employed for long enough to get approved. Online Mortgage Advisor found me a new broker and he secured my mortgage straight away!
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!

Article key takeaways

  • 01

    You can still get a mortgage after being rejected

    It’s okay to feel disappointed, stressed or frustrated after being rejected for a mortgage. This can feel like a major setback, but bear in mind that, with the right advice, it could be possible to renegotiate with the lender who declined you or find a better deal elsewhere.
  • 02

    The right broker can boost your chances of success

    We can improve your chances of reclaiming control of your mortgage application by matching you with the advisor who’s best positioned to help you. They will take the lead on any renegotiations and search the entire market to see if there’s a better deal out there.
  • 03

    Going it alone is risky

    Trying to find an alternative lender yourself, without the help of an expert, means that there’s no guarantee things will turn out any differently than they did before. You’d also be in danger of setting your ambitions back further, since too many applications in a short space of time can impact your credit report.
  • 04

    We can help you find a solution quickly

    We understand that timing is of the essence if you’ve just been declined for a mortgage. You’ll want to get your house purchase back on course as quickly as possible, and the brokers we work with can help you do exactly that. Our advisor-matching service is simple, fast and free, and the expert we pair you up with will make sure you find the ideal lender this time. Call us on 0808 189 2301 or make an enquiry and we’ll set up a free, no-obligation chat between you and an actual human being with the mortgage expertise you need today.


Will I be refused for a mortgage?

You can read about the general eligibility criteria for a mortgage in the UK in our complete guide to mortgage applications. This should give you a rough idea of whether you qualify for a mortgage, but if you’re still unsure about your prospects, speak to a mortgage broker.

What happens if a mortgage application is declined?

This can be a setback to your homebuying ambitions, and in a worst-case scenario, the deal can collapse altogether, you might be left with marks on your credit report, and lose any non-refundable fees you paid upfront, depending on how far into the process you are.

But it isn’t all bad news: it’s absolutely possible to bounce back from a mortgage rejection by either renegotiating with the lender who turned you down or finding an alternative lender. A mortgage broker can boost your chances of a successful outcome the next time around.

How long should I wait before I re-apply?

Most mortgage lenders will only pay attention to hard credit searches that appear on your credit reports in the last 3-6 months, but how long you should wait to re-apply for a mortgage can vary dramatically depending on the reason you were rejected.

For example, if you were rejected because you have severe bad credit, your choice of lenders is likely to increase over the coming months and years. A mortgage broker can advise you on exactly how long you should wait based on your needs and circumstances.

Can I appeal against a lender’s decision to decline my mortgage application?

Yes, most mortgage lenders have an appeals process that you can speak to them about. This usually involves stating in writing why you think you have grounds to appeal, and it will be at the discretion of the lender whether they take a second look at your application.

Will having a mortgage declined affect my credit report?

Other finance providers will be able to see any hard credit checks that were carried out when you applied for your mortgage, and they usually stay on file for two years. But your credit reports won’t show other lenders whether your mortgage application was successful.

Too many hard credit checks in a short period of time can, however, raise suspicion among lenders that you’re trying and failing to secure finance. This might cause them to question why other lenders are turning you down and therefore proceed with caution.

Why might a buy-to-let mortgage application be rejected?

For all of the same reasons we’ve discussed in this guide, but in addition to those, you might be declined for a buy-to-let mortgage if the property’s projected rental income isn’t high enough to cover the mortgage payments by at least 125%.

You might also have trouble getting approved if you’re a first-time buyer, since most lenders prefer buy-to-let borrowers to have landlord experience.

Can you be refused a remortgage?

Yes. It’s at the mortgage lender’s discretion whether you’re eligible for a remortgage. They will want to make sure nothing has changed since you took out your original mortgage before they approve the agreement and if, for example, you have recent bad credit or had to take a pay cut at some point, you might no longer fit their eligibility criteria.

If you’re having trouble remortgaging, speak to a mortgage broker. They will search the entire market on your behalf to see whether it’s possible to refinance with a new lender.

What can I do if I’ve had a mortgage porting application rejected?

Not all lenders allow mortgage porting and some have a different eligibility criteria for it to others. If your mortgage lender won’t allow you to transfer your current mortgage to your next home, speak to a broker to find out what your options are. It might even be possible to get approved for a new mortgage with similar rates and terms to your current one.

Tell us your situation

Still not sure we can help? At Online Mortgage Advisor, we know everyone's circumstances are different, that's why we work with mortgage brokers who are experts in previously declined applications,

Give us more detail and we can get back to you with more guidance today.

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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!

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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