Getting a mortgage with Bad Credit

A borrower who has experienced financial difficulties can still obtain bad credit mortgages arranged with specialist lenders.

Do you qualify?


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Author: Carl Shave - CEO and co-founder
Last updated: 21 Jun 2024

Can I get a mortgage with bad credit?

Yes, you can. While it can be more difficult to secure a mortgage with a bad credit history, it’s not impossible. There are steps you can take that could improve your chances of being accepted for a bad credit mortgage. We have compiled a list of things that can stop you getting a mortgage.

Lenders who can offer a mortgage to a borrower with bad credit are often specialist niche-market companies. They will outline the advantages and disadvantages of different types of adverse credit events.

In some cases, they may also require a larger deposit, typically around 15%. They may also offer slightly higher interest rates. This  is because they see you as higher risk.

An introduction to bad credit mortgages

Bad Credit Topics

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

Useful Information

What is a bad credit mortgage & are they different from other mortgages?

A bad credit mortgage, sometimes known as a ‘poor credit’ or ‘adverse credit’ mortgage , is the term used to describe a mortgage arranged with a specialist lender for a borrower who has experienced financial difficulties in the past.

Usually, lenders offering bad credit mortgages will provide them at a slightly higher interest rate compared to mortgages offered by typical lenders. They may also require a slightly bigger deposit or a larger amount of equity.

How much will a bad credit mortgage cost?

It’s impossible to give an exact figure for how much a bad credit mortgage will cost.

However, the best way to lower the cost of the mortgage is a high deposit. If you can provide at least 25%, then you may be able to access deals closer to standard interest rates.

Speak to our advisors

How do you know if you have bad credit?

For some, they may find out if they have an application declined. However, many people will likely already be aware of a bad credit event. This will therefore be something that can be factored into any research from the outset.

Whatever your plans or knowledge, we strongly recommend you get a copy of your credit report. This will enable you to see exactly what’s on your file. This will help give you an idea of your potential mortgage options.

Get a copy of your credit report from the three main UK credit agencies. These are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Each collects information and scores it in a different way. It’s advisable to get a copy from all three.

Getting your credit report should be a simple process. Reports are usually available for immediate viewing or after a short delay if additional security checks are required.  For those that do not have access to online facilities, reports can still be requested in the post. See our Checkmyfile page for an in-depth guide.

How to improve your credit for a mortgage

You can take steps to increase your likelihood of being approved for a poor credit mortgage.

  • If you’re not on the electoral roll, make sure to register.
  • Request copies of your credit report from the three main UK agencies.
  • Close any accounts you don’t use, such as store or credit cards.

  • When you get your credit reports, check that the information they contain is accurate. If anything is wrong, get in touch to get it corrected.
  • Make a list of all your sources of income and outgoings, so you understand how money flows in and out of your household. Use this to work out a realistic budget and stick to it.
  • Begin to settle any debts you may have or consolidate them into a manageable loan.

  • If you’re struggling with your budget, look at the figures again. Maybe you haven’t allocated enough for groceries (for example), or you forgot about something.
  • Open a savings account and put something into it every month – no matter how small a sum. When you have a little bit extra, such as your ‘free’ council tax months, put that money into your savings account.

Take a look at our in-depth guide for more guidance on how to boost your chances of being approved.

What credit issues will mortgage lenders accept?

There are a variety of credit issues that lenders will consider during your application. This chart shows whether bad credit factors might affect an adverse credit mortgage offer.

Late payments

0-12 Months Yes (any number)
1-2 years Yes (any number)
2-3 years Yes (any number)
3-4 years Yes (any number)
4+ years Yes (any number)


Mortgage Arrears

0-12 Months Yes (usually max 3 late)
1-2 years Yes (any number)
2-3 years Yes (any number)
3-4 years Yes (any number)
4+ years Yes (any number)



0-12 Months Maybe (if good LTV)
1-2 years Maybe (if good LTV)
2-3 years Maybe (if good LTV)
3-4 years Yes (any value)
4+ years Yes (any value)



0-12 Months Yes
1-2 years Yes
2-3 years Yes
3-4 years Yes
4+ years Yes


Debt Management Plans

0-12 Months Yes
1-2 years Yes
2-3 years Yes
3-4 years Yes
4+ years Yes



0-12 Months 30% deposit
1-2 years Possible with 25% deposit or Shared Ownership
2-3 years Possible with 20% deposit
3-4 years Yes
4+ years Yes



0-12 Months Unlikely
1-2 years Possible with 25% deposit or Shared Ownership
2-3 years Possible with 15% deposit
3-4 years Possible with 5% deposit
4+ years Possible with 5% deposit



0-12 Months Unlikely
1-2 years Possible with 25% deposit or Shared Ownership
2-3 years Possible with 25% deposit
3-4 years Yes
4+ years Yes

Who are the best bad credit mortgage lenders?

Typically, mortgage lenders for bad credit are specialist niche-market companies. This means their product options will be limited, but their criteria will be more flexible when compared to mainstream lenders. The good news is that every year, there are more and more of these specialists appearing.

So, who are the best adverse credit mortgage lenders? We don’t recommend a ‘best’ lender, as each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Essentially you need to find one who will offer you a mortgage based on your own circumstances. Using an experienced broker can help you do so.

Due to the high bad credit mortgage rates on these mortgages, eventually, you would want to move to a mainstream lender. With the correct planning, this can be achieved.

To do so, you will need to continually improve your credit rating. However, you cannot solely rely on repaying your mortgage to improve this. Make sure you keep up with things such as credit card payments and phone bills.

Lenders focus mostly on the last three years of your history. Nevertheless, all information on your credit file is considered. The details on your file are retained for seven years. The more severe the event, the more relevant the time scale of when it occurred.

Sometimes, lenders will not agree on a mortgage application regardless of when an event happened or if it still shows on your credit file. Events such as repossessions are one example.

We strongly recommend you try to have any records registered in error removed. Try to do this before you apply for a mortgage where possible.

Bad credit mortgage brokers

A bad credit mortgage broker is an advisor who specialises in this specific market. They have experience in the market and can recognise if a bad credit mortgage is genuinely required.

As specialist brokers, we understand the nature of these mortgages and the individuals trying to apply. We have access to specialist lenders that aren’t available on the high street or online, increasing your options compared to if you applied for a mortgage with a poor credit score on your own.

Most mortgage brokers for bad credit will likely discuss the following with you:

  • What the events in question are – i.e., the amounts and time/date of any issues on your credit file.
  • Your loan-to-value ratio (LTV) – the lower this is, the better chances of success you have, and possibly an improved interest rate. The amount of deposit or equity you possess will determine this.
  • Your income and expenditure – different lenders accept different forms of income. For example, some will accept benefits whereas others won’t. It will also vary on how one lender assesses self-employed income to another.
  • Whether the property is of standard construction – not all properties are seen as suitable for a mortgage. Some bad credit lenders may decline properties, including concrete, timber-framed, or high-rise flats, among others.

Not all brokers charge, however, typically a specialist bad credit mortgage broker will charge for their services. This can be a flat fee, a percentage of the loan amount, or on occasion, a combination of the two. A good bad credit mortgage broker in the UK can be the difference between you being accepted or declined. If you want to know more about our costs, read our regulatory statement or get in touch.

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Carl Shave

CEO and co-founder

About the author

Carl Shave has been involved in the mortgage & finance industry since leaving education and is one of the co-founders of Just Mortgage Brokers. He has written guest posts and provided journalist comments for companies such as The Times, FT Adviser, Mortgage Strategy, Mortgage Solutions and others, demonstrating his extensive industry knowledge.

Bad credit mortgage FAQs

Used responsibly, an authorised overdraft shouldn’t impact your credit rating. However, exceeding your limit or having unpaid items can be detrimental to your chances of approval.

In a joint application, the credit histories of both borrowers will be taken into consideration. This can include discharged bankrupts, those in an IVA, or those who have defaults and CCJs on their credit report.

Being married to someone with bad credit doesn’t necessarily give you bad credit. However, if financial accounts are jointly established, it forms a financial connection. This can sometimes affect the other person’s credit.

It could still be possible to refinance your mortgage if you have a history of bad credit. Lenders will consider your overall financial situation, and it is advisable to obtain a copy of your credit file. It may be advisable to speak to a specialist mortgage broker to evaluate your options.

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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