Mortgages after Bankruptcy

It can be daunting and disheartening to have been declared bankrupt in the past, and you may have deep concerns about the impact on your borrowing in future, even after the bankruptcy has been discharged.

Fortunately, the team at Just Mortgage Brokers have been assisting customers with discharged bankruptcies for many years, and we have a huge amount of experience in advising people in the same situation as you on how to get a mortgage.

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Author: Carl Shave - CEO and co-founder
Last updated: 14 Jul 2024

Mortgages for discharged bankrupts

Without doubt, a previous bankruptcy will have an impact on any mortgage application, and the majority of mainstream lenders will turn down your application, as they are not geared to offer much flexibility in these circumstances. However, the length of time since your bankruptcy was discharged and any improvements you have brought to your financial situation in the intervening period will have a positive impact on any assessment, and it’s likely that a specialist mortgage lender will be willing to consider offering you a home loan.

We have access to lenders across the UK market, many of whom take a more understanding approach than those on the high street, and who may even be able to offer a mortgage the first day after a discharge of bankruptcy. However, in order to qualify, you should expect to need to provide a larger deposit or to have a reasonable amount of equity already in your current home. To get an accurate idea of your options, please contact us to arrange a no-obligation discussion.

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

Can I get a mortgage after bankruptcy?

In answer to the first point, most lenders will consider discharged bankrupts and for those that do it predominantly comes down to how long ago the discharge was.  The longer it has been the greater number to choose from.

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Mortgage advice for discharged bankrupts

The phrase specialist mortgage broker can encompass a multitude of meanings however in simple terms this best describes a mortgage advisor that predominantly focuses on one specific aspect within the market.  This could be in relation to bad credit mortgages or limited company buy to lets to name but two.  By dealing with a specialist mortgage broker you should be safe in the knowledge that as this is their area of expertise, that they will be best placed to assist you in regard to your borrowing needs.

At Just Mortgage Brokers we look to have teams of specialist advisors who focus on their respective areas and who also have the support of other team members who specialise in their areas to assist in any cross over business thus ensuring expertise is at hand regardless of a customer’s requirements.

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Getting a mortgage after bankruptcy

Many people are, as you would perhaps expect, concerned about getting a mortgage after bankruptcy. It can seem like the black mark on your record will hang over your head forever. The good news is that this is not necessarily true and, whilst it is the case that some lenders – especially those on the high street – will simply decline anyone with a history of bankruptcy, you will still find a fair amount of choice in the market.

The date an applicant’s bankruptcy was discharged will have a lot of bearing on which lenders will be available, with the more historic the adverse event, the better the choice.

At the time of writing, virtually all lenders will consider an application after 6 years – the length of time that bad credit events remain on your financial history anyway – with this length of time also being more than enough for any steps taken to repair your credit score to have had a positive effect. You can also see much choice still available on the market after 3 years, especially from specialist mortgage lenders you won’t find on the high street or online.

There are a few lenders who will look at customers who have been discharged for 12 months, and even on day one, although your options would now be far more limited. You should expect to experience much tighter criteria for the latter, and will likely need to supply a larger than standard deposit, accept a higher interest rate and show that you have taken steps to bring your finances under sound management and rebuild your credit score.

If you are a discharged bankrupt looking for a mortgage you will likely be asking yourself who are the best lenders. Perhaps the first place to begin is which banks lend to discharge bankrupts and then from this list which of these does your individual circumstances meet criteria. By establishing these first two points you should now be on your way to finding the best lender for you.

Why is it difficult to get a mortgage when bankrupt?

When applying for a mortgage a lender will make an assessment using many factors of your personal circumstances including your past credit history. If a record of a bankruptcy is declared this indicates to the lender that the applicant has historically had debt problems and as such likely to represent a higher risk. When assessing this risk it may be deemed too high for some lenders and as such they will decline an application. You will also likely find that certain borrowing restrictions are imposed upon you during the bankruptcy period.

The good news however is that following a discharge from the bankruptcy, that is typically after 12 months, although it will still have an influence over your options it may now be possible to obtain a mortgage.

In regard to the second part, this is where it becomes slightly more complex.  As all lenders have differing criteria you will have to research this much more.  Alternatively look to utilise the services of a mortgage broker.  One main aspect however is that the shorter the time your discharge the expected larger deposit or greater amount of equity you will require.  For example, it is unlikely that you will be considered for a 95% mortgage for discharged bankrupts until after 6 years however at 50% you could be considered on day one and after 2-3 years this would be nearer 75% i.e. a 25% deposit.

Ultimately the best lender will be the one that you fulfil the criteria and in turn who offers you the most appropriate and likely best priced mortgage for you at the time.

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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.

Mortgages after Bankruptcy FAQs

Yes, it is possible to apply for a mortgage after bankruptcy however not all lenders will accept this and for many it will depend on how long ago you were discharged. The size of your deposit or amount of equity will also likely be a key factor.

It is not possible to apply for a mortgage whilst in your bankruptcy however following your discharge this is something that you could do. How long it’s been since your discharge will dictate who you may be able to use.

If you’ve been made bankrupt this is likely to have an impact on your mortgage options. A mortgage application will likely ask if you have ever been bankrupt regardless of it showing on your credit file. Some lenders will always decline any applicant with a previous bankruptcy however most will consider you depending on how long ago the discharge was recorded.

It is impossible to calculate exactly how soon your credit score will improve after bankruptcy as it will still very much depend on many other factors. Also all lenders and credit reference agencies calculate your score in different ways. One thing to be sure however is that by maintaining your credit and ensuring you are registered on the electoral register will help.

A record of your bankruptcy will remain on your credit file for at least 6 years or until you are discharged should this be longer. You will however still need to disclose this when asked on your mortgage application regardless of this showing on your report and it could still impact upon your approval.

Many mortgage applications will ask the question of, have you ever been made bankrupt. This still needs to be answered yes regardless of it being over 6 years ago and possibly no longer appearing on your credit file. Giving false or misleading information on a mortgage application is fraudulent.

The situation and criteria for obtaining a remortgage on your property is very similar to that with a standard mortgage. Whilst you are in a current bankruptcy, it is extremely unlikely that a mortgage lender will approve your application for a remortgage, and you will unfortunately probably find that certain borrowing restrictions will have been imposed upon you as part of your bankruptcy order.

However, when you are discharged (usually after 12 months, or sometimes later if you have a delayed discharge for any reason), then it may then be possible to remortgage. In fact, at the time of writing there are a few lenders who are willing to grant a mortgage on the first day straight after your discharge, but you should expect this to come with a very large deposit or existing equity requirement, as well as with some fairly strict criteria for approval – usually a proven high personal income, and a much higher interest rate.

After 12 months from discharge, the choice of deals and interest rates available to you tend to become more favourable, with this trend continuing as more time goes by. Usually, you will be able to find mortgages at the typical high street rates and with 5-10% deposits after 3-4 years. As ever, the mortgage market is constantly evolving to meet market needs and reflect current trends in the financial industry, so you be well-advised to check with a specialist mortgage broker to find out the full range of options currently available in your circumstances.

People may find themselves in a bankrupt position for a number of reasons, and in some cases the best thing would be to find a way to repay your bankruptcy and bankruptcy expenses, to get it cancelled and put you on a clean sheet. This is legally referred to as an annulment, and will return you to the same position financially as you were before the court registered your bankruptcy.

Typically, remortgaging is a good way to raise capital to consolidate your debts, as the interest rates are usually lower than that for personal loans. However, while serving a bankruptcy period, you are likely to have had restrictions placed on your borrowing, so it will be highly unlikely that you will be able to get a new mortgage on your property using a standard mortgage provider, on the high street or otherwise.

However, there could be options available to you through specialist second charge lenders, who do not advertise on the high street or online, and who usually on work through trusted third parties like specialist mortgage or lending advisors. Be aware that interest rates may be quite high, and you will need to have a certain amount of equity already in the property. If successful, this new lending, and keeping up with regular repayments, could improve your credit rating and therefore enable you to transfer to a normal main mortgage in the future, if this is the best thing for your circumstances.

Although this may look like a favourable option, and can be very beneficial for some, please ensure you get professional advice prior to proceeding.

Getting a mortgage after a bankruptcy can seem like an uphill struggle – having a bankruptcy of any description on your credit report will present a red flag to the majority of lenders, and you will be understandably concerned over reactions if you try to apply for a mortgage. This said, while you will not likely be able to obtain a mortgage during a bankruptcy period, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of getting a mortgage after a discharged bankruptcy.

  • Let time pass. This is obviously very simplistic, but the longer it has been since your bankruptcy was discharged, the more favourably lenders will look at your application. While a few lenders will provide a mortgage under strict criteria and at higher cost straight after the discharge, most will offer far better terms 3 or 4 years down the line, if you have had no further adverse credit events. This will also allow you enough time to rebuild your credit score.
  • Take action to improve your credit score. There are a number of ways to remedy your credit score, from closing unused accounts and store cards to correcting errors on your credit reports and taking out a credit card to use for everyday spending, making sure you pay off the balance at the end of the month. Always keep up with any ongoing repayments!
  • Pay down your other debts. Or pay them off all together. The fewer financial commitments you have outside of your mortgage payments, the better.
  • Show you’re responsible. Get yourself in a position where you have a regular income, and be well-prepared for the application. Documents showing a good understanding of your income, outgoings and budget, will reveal you are able to live within your means and allow for the mortgage payments.
  • Raise a sizable deposit. The larger the deposit, the less the perceived risk on the part of the lender. A very large deposit, or reasonable amount of existing equity, goes a long way to offset the impact of a previous bankruptcy.
  • Talk to an expert mortgage advisor. People like ourselves here at Just Mortgage Brokers will be able to advise you on any further actions you can take according to your individual circumstances, and then help you to frame the information in your mortgage application in such a way as to give it the best possible chance of acceptance.

Your mortgage application process could be made a little more difficult after a bankruptcy – mainly due to the adverse event showing up in your credit history and lowering your credit rating, but also because of the impact a bankruptcy can have on your other borrowing and lines of credit. This can in turn have an effect on getting a mortgage.

During a bankruptcy, you will be restricted from taking out many forms of borrowing, and in effect most lines of credit are withdrawn, including mortgages. After a bankruptcy has been discharged, if you are trying to obtain a business loan or other type of credit without showing that you have taken measures to put yourself on a secure financial footing and reduce the perceived risk to the lender, you may also be turned down. A string of declined loan applications on your credit history is then likely to harm your credit rating even further, having a negative impact on any future mortgage applications.

A bankruptcy can remain on your financial records for up to ten years, depending on the type of bankruptcy it was and if you paid it off. Fortunately, the impact of a bankruptcy lessens over time, and if it was dealt with properly then it will drop off your credit history after six years, just like any other adverse credit issues.

If, however, you find yourself facing further credit issues after the bankruptcy was discharged, like defaults, CCJs or IVAs, then this could have a serious impact on your ability to get a mortgage, as lenders will want to see an impeccable credit report in the time following a bankruptcy. Hope is not entirely lost, as there will still be lenders who may grant you a mortgage, but it will be vital for you to get expert help from an experienced mortgage broker to ensure success.

If you have had no further bad credit issues following the bankruptcy discharge, have taken steps to repair your credit rating and can show you are dealing competently with your day-to-day finances, then you should find things are a lot easier after a year has passed. You could be offered standard interest rates by a number of lenders after 3 or 4 years, although the high street banks may still hesitate to offer you a mortgage.

Here we are dealing with two specialist fields in mortgage services coming together: getting a mortgage for a buy-to-let property and obtaining a mortgage following a bankruptcy. However, this does not mean that you will be facing twice the problems – in fact, the process could be made all the more smoother because you will almost certainly need to work through an expert mortgage advisor to obtain your mortgage.

A Buy-To-Let mortgage is closer to a business deal than a standard mortgage. Your personal income, while still relevant, will matter less than the anticipated revenue from rent that you can expect from the property. If you can show that the incoming rent from tenants will cover your mortgage, plus any fees, maintenance costs and contingency plan in case the property stands vacant for a period (plus a profit, of course), then the lender is likely to look favourably on your application, especially if you have had an exemplary credit record since the discharge of your bankruptcy.

An expert mortgage advisor, such as a member of our team here at Just Mortgage Brokers, knows the mortgage market inside out and can dramatically improve your chances of getting a mortgage in these cases. They’ll be familiar with the varying criteria and terms of a very wide range of mortgage providers (both mainstream and specialist), and will have established relationships with lenders that will ensure your case has the best possible chances of success. In fact, they can even check informally with some lenders in advance to see if your needs and circumstances can be met.

Give us a call or drop us a line today to arrange a free, no-strings chat and find out your options.

A typical scenario for some couples is that one party will have a good credit background and the other has a history of bad credit, with the latter likely to impact upon the chances of a mortgage being approved or possibly at best a less favourable rate being offered to them.  It is therefore perhaps expected that a common question asked is, can a joint mortgage be arranged where one party has bad credit and where this is not possible, or less attractive terms are available, can it be arranged in a sole name only.

As with many things in the mortgage industry there are many variables that could affect this.  Two of the most common questions that lenders will ask to make a decision are:


Can the party being named on the mortgage pass the lenders affordability checks.  Do bear in mind that it will only be this actual applicant’s income that is used in the calculations.


Where is the deposit coming from.  Is the deposit from the sale of a property that is already jointly named or any part of the funds coming from the party that is not to be included on the new mortgage.  This may not be acceptable by all lenders and those that may consider it will likely need the funds to be provided as a non repayable gift.

You also need to establish, where you may be considering a sole mortgage where your partner has a bad credit score, what the legal ownership of the property will be and what the lender will permit. If the mortgage is in the sole name then the property will also need to be in that person’s name only. Therefore give thought to if it would still be best to have a joint mortgage even when one party has bad credit. By still arranging your mortgage in joint names, whilst this may result in a slightly higher interest rate for you when you first obtain your mortgage, with good planning and as time passes by, you will hopefully put yourself in a position to change to a more attractive interest rate.

One scenario that very few, if any lenders will find acceptable is where there is already a joint mortgage on a property where one party has bad credit and it is requested to transfer this into a sole name purely to obtain a better interest rate or more suitable product.

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
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