How to get a mortgage with bad credit?

Having bad credit does not mean getting a mortgage is out of the question. Learn how to get a mortgage or remortgage with bad credit.

Your home could be repossessed if you don't keep up repayments on your mortgage. You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage.

Key takeaways

  • Check your credit report so you can fix any issues before you apply for a mortgage.

  • If you build a stronger credit history, you improve your chance of getting a better mortgage deal.

  • You can check your credit report for free using a credit agency, such as Experian or Equifax.

  • A credit agency may ask you to sign up for a free 30-day trial to access your report. Remember to cancel it within the time period if you do not want to subscribe to their monthly paid plan.

  • You can improve your chances of getting accepted for a mortgage with bad credit by:

    • Saving a bigger deposit

    • Buying with someone else

    • Sorting out your finances (by paying off any outstanding debt or cancelling unused credit cards, for example)

Can you get a mortgage with bad credit?

Lenders run credit checks to see how likely the borrower would be to make their mortgage payments.

If your mortgage application shows a poor credit history, some lenders:

  • will not accept your application

  • will ask you to provide a larger deposit

  • might only lend to you at higher interest rates

Talking about your finances can also be uncomfortable. Particularly if you’re applying for a mortgage with a partner for the first time.

It's important to know and be honest about any issues straightaway to avoid surprises later on.

It’s particularly important to be upfront with your mortgage broker. This way they'll have a better chance of finding you the most suitable lender. This will also help them to give you the best advice for your situation.

What is a bad credit score?

Credit reference agencies, such as Equifax or Experian, can calculate your credit score and assess whether it is excellent, good, fair, poor or very poor. 

Your credit score is based on your history of debt repayment, or lack of. You can have a low credit score if you owe money or are often late to pay back debt as well as if you have no history of borrowing. 

You could have bad credit if you have:

  • made many late payments 

  • missed payments

  • declared bankruptcy

  • not signed up for the electoral register

  • a CCJ (County Court Judgement)

  • been a victim of identity fraud

How to improve your credit score to get a mortgage

There are things you can do to improve your rating if you're finding it hard to get a mortgage due to a poor credit score.

  1. Stop applying for credit and avoid too many hard credit checks

  2. Check your own credit score with major credit reference agencies Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion

  3. Pay off any outstanding debts 

  4. Set up direct debits so that you do not miss payments

  5. Get on the electoral roll

  6. Review your accounts and close or cancel any unused credit accounts or cards

  7. Use credit like planned overdrafts and credit cards sensibly

  8. Keep job titles and phone numbers consistent on credit applications

  9. Wait for CCJs or loan defaults to be removed from your credit report

Are there bad credit mortgage brokers?

Some mortgage brokers focus on getting mortgages for bad credit applicants. 

At, we may be able to help you even with adverse credit. However, adverse credit customers may be subject to a fee when applying for a mortgage with us.

Bad credit lenders

You can also get specialist lenders, like Pepper Home Loans or Precise Mortgages who offer mortgages for people with poor credit.

You do not always need to go to a specialist lender to get a mortgage if you have bad credit. Many high street banks and building societies may help, depending on what the bad credit is from.

Apply for a mortgage online with bad credit

As a mortgage applicant, you should think about using a mortgage broker if you’re finding it hard to get a mortgage.

Brokers have wider access to lenders and deals than if you went straight to a lender. With more options, you're more likely to find a deal that suits you. can manage your entire application online. This saves you from lots of paperwork and having to take time out to visit an office.

We search for mortgages from lots of lenders. This means we can often find mortgages for people who lenders have rejected in the past. can generally help you if, in the past 6 years, you have not had:

  • any unsatisfied CCJs

  • any bankruptcies

  • your home repossessed

  • an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) or Debt Management Plan. Unless it was discharged more than three years ago, and you have a mortgage deposit of at least 20% may charge you a fee for the administration of your application should you be deemed as having adverse credit.

Read the terms here and visit our page for adverse credit mortgages here.

Adverse credit mortgages at

Got adverse credit? See how can help you and apply for a mortgage with us.

Our guide to credit scores

Learn about credit scores, how they affect getting a mortgage and see how you can improve yours

Compare mortgages

Use our comparison tool to see and compare our best mortgage rates and deals

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Important info & marketing claims

You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage. Your savings will depend on personal circumstances.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

*The savings figure of £420 is based on remortgage customers in October 2023. Read more on our marketing claims page.

We can't always guarantee we will be able to help you with your mortgage application depending on your credit history and circumstances.

Average mortgage decision and approval times are based on's historic data for lenders we submit applications to.

Tracker rates are identified after comparing over 12,000 mortgage products from over 100 mortgage lenders.

As of January 2023, has access to over 100 lenders. This number is subject to change.

For buy-to-let landlords, there's no guarantee that it will be possible to arrange continuous letting of a property, nor that rental income will be sufficient to meet the cost of the mortgage.