Can I remortgage with bad credit?

Having an adverse credit score can be an obstacle and present a real challenge to overcome. It is certainly possible to remortgage with poor credit. Different bad credit situations will require different mortgage solutions.

Don’t worry if you have a bad credit score, it doesn’t always mean you can’t remortgage your property. There are likely to be options available to you.

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Author: Carl Shave - CEO and co-founder
Last updated: 26 May 2024

Remortgaging with poor credit

If you have suffered with financial problems since your initial mortgage, you might find that certain doors are now closed to you. That will also likely include the door to your existing lender.

Most lenders treat bad credit remortgage applications the same as initial mortgage applications from people with bad credit. Having a poor credit history or score indicates poor money management skills, making individuals a risky choice for lenders.

Negative credit events impact a person’s credit score. However, they should not be viewed as a permanent barrier to obtaining a remortgage.

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Whether it be late payments, defaults or CCJs, we’re here to help you secure a mortgage.

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Poor credit remortgage lenders

Remortgaging can have added complications if the applicant has a history of bad credit. The good news is that some mortgage lenders will consider applications from people in this situation. In recent years, there has been more choice as lenders are more willing to lend to these individuals. Your overall situation will be used to determine your own possibilities.

High street lenders have their own criteria to determine an individual’s credit score. Based on this, they will say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a remortgage application. If the decision isn’t clear-cut, they might say ‘yes’, but charge higher fees and/or a higher interest rate.

An initial consultation with Just Mortgage Brokers is free and comes with no-obligation.

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Is it better to improve my credit rating before I remortgage?

You can help your case by taking steps to improve your credit rating before applying for a remortgage by:

  • correcting any errors on your credit record,
  • paying off as many debts as possible,
  • keeping up with your regular commitments,
  • closing any credit accounts that you no longer use,
  • or finding extra income.

All this can all go some way to showing you are a reliable borrower and improving your credit score.

Many specialist lenders on the market could be willing to agree to a remortgage with you. You might be able to get a competitive rate if you have done everything you can to improve your credit rating.

We have helped hundreds of homeowners secure a remortgage deal with bad credit events on their records.

A remortgage with bad credit may not always be possible. However, specialist lenders will evaluate each application individually.

Arguably, one of the best things you can do is to improve your credit score. Improving your credit score takes time and effort, it’s not something that happens quickly. You need to keep working at it to see results. If you are taking the right steps, you will soon begin to see small improvements.

We recommend speaking to a qualified adviser regarding putting together a plan to improve your credit score. There are some immediate actions you can take to put your credit rating back on track. These include:

  1. Check your credit report from each of the UK’s three credit reference agencies – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Check that the details they hold are correct. Each may hold different details, so get your report from all three.
  2. Regularly update the personal details held on your credit report, such as your address and email address.
  3. Make sure you are registered on the electoral roll.
  4. Keep track of your credit card balances; ideally try to always pay more than the minimum to drive the balance down. Take care not to go over your agreed credit limit. If possible, never utilise more than 50% of what you have available.
  5. Make sure you pay your bills on time and manage your monthly income.
  6. Cancel all lines of credit that are not in use, such as store cards or ‘just in case’ credit cards.
  7. Build up a positive credit history by utilising a dormant credit card to buy petrol or groceries. Make sure you pay it off in full every time, don’t build up additional debt.
  8. Resist the temptation to take out payday loans. They are considered to be a red flag, showing that you cannot manage your finances month to month.

For more suggestions as to how you can repair your credit rating, check out our simple tips page.

 

 

 

Every application for a mortgage or a remortgage is subject to an affordability assessment. This is the case no matter what your credit status might be. Potential lenders look at income versus outgoings, taking everything into account to understand your affordability. Since June 2014, the FCA’s recommendation is that the debt-to-income ratio should be no higher than 45% for an offer of a mortgage or remortgage to be made.

MoneyHelper have a great budget planner tool that can help you understand your income and expenditure.

 

How can I remortgage with bad credit?

There are lenders who specialise in working with people with low credit scores. They offer deals that you can’t get from regular lenders. So, how does bad credit affect remortgaging?

In many cases, to get a remortgage deal you will have to go to a lender that specialises in mortgages for defaults.

The terms you are able to get for a remortgage with defaults may be influenced by:

  • the amount of money in the default,
  • how long ago the default notice was served,
  • and if there is any amount still outstanding.

Read our guide about getting a mortgage with a default.

A County Court Judgement is one of the more severe adverse credit events that can be registered against your name. You will find it more difficult to apply for a mortgage with one on your record. However, it is possible to get a remortgage, even if you have one or more CCJs on your credit file.

Every lender will have their own criteria for assessing your case. They will take into consideration all these factors in combination to make a lending decision:

  • when the CCJ was registered,
  • the number of CCJs,
  • how much money is/was owed,
  • if it was satisfied,
  • and the age of the CCJs.

Read our helpful guide about getting a mortgage with a CCJ.

It is entirely feasible for people with a DMP to successfully apply for a remortgage on their property. You might have to go to a little more trouble than for a standard remortgage. With access to the right lender, you should be able to find the right product to meet your needs.

A remortgage could be a useful way to pay off existing debts and replace them with a new mortgage. The interest rate on a remortgage could be significantly more favourable than that on any unsecured loan. Settling the debts named under a DMP would help improve your credit rating in the future.

Read our useful guide on getting a mortgage with a DMP.

Trying to obtain a remortgage after completing an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (or IVA) can seem like a huge challenge. If you are with a high street lender, it’s likely they will decline your application for a remortgage.

Fortunately, there are a range of specialist lenders who cater to people who have completed an IVA. The key factor with getting a remortgage after an IVA will be affordability.

Read out latest guide on getting a mortgage after an IVA.

If you have been declared bankrupt in the past, and the bankruptcy has been discharged, you should be able to apply for a remortgage. Your options could be restricted depending on a few factors.

You will need to work with a specialist mortgage broker, who will be able to assess your circumstances and advise you on what will be the right option for you going forward.

Read our guide on getting a mortgage after bankruptcy.

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Bad credit remortgage FAQs

Unless you’re making legal changes to your property ownership, there is usually no need to have legal representation. However, the new lender will require a conveyancing solicitor to be involved. This is to ensure all the legalities are in order before they take on the debt.

You may be aware of relevant legal matters from your previous home purchase or remortgage. If so, it can be best practice to notify your broker or lender in advance so they can be prepared. The legal work is mostly for the new lender, so many offer packages that cover standard legal costs.

If you remortgage to a new deal with a different lender, then you may be able to borrow extra money depending on the equity available in your property, the lender’s maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, and your ability to afford the repayments.

Some people remortgage to consolidate and clear existing debts such as unsecured personal loans and credit cards. This can have the advantage of reducing the amount of interest you are being charged on your outstanding debt, as mortgage interest rates are usually considerably lower than the interest rates charged on unsecured borrowing.

If you are considering remortgaging to clear your debts, it is important to remember that you may be repaying the amount you owe over a much longer term, and that even at a lower rate of interest, you might actually end up paying more in the long term. By securing the lending against your property, you also risk losing your home should you fall into arrears on your mortgage repayments.

If you have sufficient equity in your property, it may be possible to remortgage and borrow extra money to pay off money you owe your creditors. However, if you have existing credit problems, such as defaults or CCJs, you may find it more difficult to get a mortgage or to qualify for better mortgage deals.

There are, however, lenders on the market who specialise in mortgages and remortgages for people with a poor credit history. You also need to be aware that by securing additional lending against your property, you may be at risk of losing your home if you fail to make your mortgage payments.

If you have sufficient equity in your property and a tax bill to pay, it may be possible to remortgage and borrow extra money to pay the amount you owe to HM Revenue & Customs. It’s important to be aware that each lender has its own set of lending criteria, and at the time of writing, most lenders will not lend on a remortgage to clear an outstanding tax bill.

However, there are lenders in the market who are happy to lend for this purpose; using a mortgage broker with experience of different lenders and their lending policies is the easiest way to start looking for a mortgage for this purpose. Be aware that by securing additional borrowing against your property, you risk losing your home if you fall into arrears on your mortgage payments.

Most mainstream lenders do not allow money raised on residential mortgages or remortgages to be used for business purposes or investment. However, some more specialist lenders do accommodate remortgaging for business purposes; mortgage brokers with access to the whole mortgage market should be able to connect you with a lender who can help. However, it is important to be aware that by securing business-related borrowing against your property, you risk losing your home if your business or cash flow should run into problems.

If you currently have a standard residential mortgage on your property, it is possible to remortgage to a new buy-to-let mortgage with a different lender, even if you have a poor credit history.

However, it is important to be aware that affordability assessments for buy-to-let mortgages are much stricter now than they have been previously. This is because of tougher rules set down by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Bank of England. A history of adverse credit could potentially hinder your chances of getting a mortgage.

Using an impartial mortgage broker can increase your chances of finding a lender able to accommodate a poor credit score.

Just Mortgage Brokers have experience of working with property owners at all levels, from those who are relatively new homeowners to highly experienced landlords with extensive property portfolios.

We know exactly where to turn to find a mortgage to suit the particular needs of every client, regardless of your credit history.

Why choose Just Mortgage Brokers for your Bad Credit Mortgage?

  • This is our speciality – it’s what we do
  • Direct access to lenders underwriters enabling us to discuss your situation in detail
  • Exclusive deals available
  • Broker only bad credit lenders available to us giving you greater choice
  • Unlimited mortgage broker – giving a wide range of lenders at our disposal
  • Great customer reviews

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