There are a few different credit referencing agencies in the UK who can give you a credit score. Because of this, you could have a different score depending on which credit reference agency you have an account with. That means there isn’t a particular credit score you need to get a mortgage.
In this Guide, you’ll find all the information you need for understanding what kind of credit score you might need to get a mortgage, plus links to lots of other helpful guides to how your credit affects your mortgage application.
There isn’t a minimum credit score you need to get a mortgage in the UK. That’s because there’s no such thing as a 'universally recognised credit score'. It’s possible to get a mortgage whatever your credit rating, but generally the higher your score, the more likely you are to find a lender to loan you the money to buy a house.
Yes, you can. However, it’s not always clear what defines a credit score as ‘fair’, and lenders do have different lending criteria and standards change between different mortgage companies. But it’s definitely possible to get a mortgage whatever your credit score.
Yes, it’s possible, but you’ll need a specialist broker to find you the best possible deal because otherwise you might have to pay higher interest rates or put down a bigger deposit. There are mortgages specifically designed for you if you have a poor credit rating. Our platform uses a clever algorithm to match you to the perfect bad credit mortgage broker for your unique situation. Someone who’s up for the challenge, and has a proven track record of making bad credit mortgages.
A good credit score out of 700 depends on which credit reference agency you’re getting your credit score from. Each credit reference agency has a different scoring system.
This table shows how Experian, Equifax and TransUnion rank credit scores. Experian credit scores are out of 999, whereas with Equifax, it’s out of 700. So if you had an account with Equifax and your credit score was 700, that would be marked as an ‘excellent’ credit score. But if you checked your score through Experian, a credit score of 700 would be ‘poor’.
If you want to improve your credit score before you apply for a mortgage, check out our Guide: How to improve your credit score before you apply for a mortgage.
Here’s a collection of the most frequently asked questions we’ve seen about credit scores and what they mean for you when you apply for a mortgage.
This depends on what credit reference agency you’re using to check your credit score. If you’re checking on Experian, a score of 595 is categorised as ‘poor’. That means you might struggle to get a mortgage approved by a lot of lenders, so we recommend working with a specialist mortgage broker to help. Get in touch and we can help with that.
If you’re checking on Equifax, 595 is categorised as ‘Excellent’. If you’re checking on TransUnion, 595 is categorised as ‘Fair.
Yes, you can. 745 is a ‘Fair - Excellent’ credit rating depending on which credit reference agency you check. You shouldn’t struggle to get a mortgage with a score of 745. But it’s best to talk to a mortgage broker before you apply so they can explain your options to you.
A credit score of 750 is a ‘Fair- Excellent’ score across all the UK credit reference agencies. This is generally a good score and will mean you’ll have options of mortgage lenders. The exact mortgage rate you’ll be offered will depend on your unique circumstances. It’ll depend on things like: your employment status, the kind of property you want to buy, and the amount of deposit you have.
If you’re checking your credit score on Experian or TransUnion, a credit score of 520 is categorised as ‘Very Poor’. This means most mortgage lenders won’t offer you a mortgage. so we recommend working with a specialist mortgage broker to help. Get in touch and we can help with that.
If you’re checking on Equifax, 520 is categorised as being ‘Excellent’. That means you shouldn’t struggle to get a mortgage offer.
A credit score of 658 means you’re categorised as having a ‘Poor’ credit score on Experian. That means most mortgage lenders won’t offer you a mortgage. To get information on how to improve your credit rating before applying for a mortgage, read our Guide: How to improve your credit score before you apply for a mortgage.
A credit score of 450 is categorised differently depending on the credit checking agency you’re using. For example, a credit score of 450 on Experian or TransUnion is categorised as ‘Very Poor’, which means you’ll have less options available to you when you apply for a mortgage than you would if you had an ‘Excellent’ rating. But, there are specialist mortgage lenders who will consider your application. You just need a specialist broker. We can help with that. Get in touch and get matched to the perfect mortgage broker for you now.
If your credit score is 420 and you’re with Equifax, you’re categorized as having an ‘Excellent’ rating, so shouldn’t struggle to get a mortgage from most lenders.
Yes, you can. It’s possible to get a mortgage whatever your credit score, but the lower your score, the less lenders will be willing to offer you a mortgage.
Equifax and TransUnion categorises a score of 710 as ‘Excellent’. Whereas Experian categorises a credit score of 710 as ‘Very Poor’.
Yes. You can get a mortgage with a credit score of 658. If your credit score is 658 and you checked your score with Experian, it means your score is categorised as ‘Poor’, which means you’ll have less mortgage lenders willing to lend to you than if you had an ‘Excellent’ score, but you still have options.
A ‘Poor’ credit rating often means you’ll need a specialist lender because they’ll be willing to consider your application on a case-by-case basis. Often, specialist lenders are only available through a specialist mortgage broker. That’s where we can help. We have a network of specialist mortgage brokers who can help get you a mortgage even if you have a ‘Poor’ credit rating. Get in touch now and get matched to the perfect broker.
If your credit score is 658 and you checked with TransUnion or Equifax, it means you have an ‘Excellent’ credit score and you should have lots of mortgage options available to you.
Yes, you can. If you’ve got a credit score of 600, the first thing you need to do is check which credit checker you’re using. If it’s Experian, a score of 600 is categorised as ‘Poor’ which means most mortgage lenders won’t want to offer you a mortgage. However, specialist mortgage lenders will still consider you. The best way to find a specialist mortgage lender is by working with a specialist mortgage broker who knows the market. Get in touch and we’ll match you to a specialist bad credit mortgage broker.
If your 600 credit score was given by Equifax or TransUnion, that means your score is categorised as ‘Fair - Excellent. So you’ll have more options of lenders who’ll offer you a mortgage.
Typically, a lot of mortgage lenders like your credit score to be as high as possible because it shows them you have been good with credit in the past. But, there isn’t a typical credit score for a mortgage. Because of this, there isn’t a minimum credit score for a mortgage. It’s possible to get a mortgage whatever your credit score. There are specialist lenders who will consider your mortgage application even if you don’t have a typically ‘good’ credit score.
Often, mortgages appropriate for people who don’t have a high credit score aren’t available directly to you as a borrower. They’re only available from specialist lenders via specialist mortgage brokers who have relationships with the lenders. We can help with that. Our brokers are all specialists who can help you get a mortgage even if you have a bad credit score.
Yes! You can get a mortgage with a ‘fair’ credit rating. Generally, mortgage lenders like you to have a high credit rating, but they all have different lending criteria. If you’re thinking of getting a mortgage and want a clear view of how mortgage lenders will see you, the best thing to do is create an account with checkmyfile. Checkmyfile shows you data from four of the major UK credit reference agencies – Experian, Equifax, TransUnion and Crediva.
When you apply for a mortgage, a mortgage lender will do a thorough check on you and be able to see your credit history. Checkmyfile lets you see what they will see, so you’ll know exactly how your credit appears and what kind of score you have. Once you have a clear view of your credit history and how each of the major credit reference agencies have rated you, you’ll know how likely most lenders will be to offer you a mortgage.
Read more about checkmyfile in our Guide: Checkmyfile Explained.
Most mortgage lenders will want you to have a credit score before they’ll be willing to offer you a mortgage. But there are specialist mortgage lenders who will consider you with a very low or even no credit score. There’s a few reasons you might not have a credit score, for example, if you’ve never taken out any kind of credit like a utility bill in your name, or maybe you’re still living at home with parents so haven’t yet had a chance to build a credit profile.
Generally, it’ll be specialist lenders who’ll be willing to consider your mortgage application if you don’t have a credit score yet. To find a specialist lender, you’ll need a specialist mortgage broker. Get matched to your perfect mortgage broker, go to our homepage and click ‘Get started’.
The credit score you’ll need as a first-time buyer to get a mortgage will depend on the lender. Every mortgage lender has different lending criteria. Which means they each have different terms and conditions to help them decide whether or not to lend to you. Some mortgage lenders won’t give someone a mortgage if they have a credit score under a certain number. But not all lenders have a strict criteria like this.
Lenders like high credit scores generally. As a first-time buyer, it’s good to have a decent credit score because then you’ll have as many options open to you from as many lenders as possible. A high credit score indicates you’ve got a history of paying back your credit on time, for example, you pay your energy and gas bills on time, or your mobile phone bill etc. All these kinds of things add up to give you a good credit score.
If you’re worried you don’t have a high credit score, or have struggled paying back bills in the past, you can still get a mortgage. You’ll probably just need a specialist mortgage broker to get you a specialist mortgage. We can help with that. We specialise in bad credit mortgages. Get in touch and get connected to one of our specialist mortgage brokers who can help.
Mortgage lenders don’t use one credit report or credit agency. When you apply for a mortgage, lenders will look for as much information as they can see about you before they offer you a mortgage. When they do this it’s called a ‘hard check’. This means they’ll look carefully at your credit history and the check will appear on your credit history too. They do it to check they’re happy to lend to you. A hard check will only ever happen if you’re making a new application, and the creditor will always have to ask your permission first before they do a hard search.
There are three main credit report agencies in the UK: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. They all use a different formula to give you a credit score, and all use different parameters. For example, Experian rates your score out of 999, whereas Equifax rates you out of 700. So you’ll have a different score depending on which one you check.
The credit checking agencies also decide what category you fall into depending on what your score is, for example, excellent, good, fair or poor. Lenders don’t take these categories into consideration when making a lending decision. Instead, they look at the detail of your credit history like:
What credit issues have you had in the past – any history of bankruptcy, defaults, CCJs, Individual Voluntary Arrangement or Debt Management Plans?
What is the total amount of credit you owe across all your accounts?
How have you managed your credit accounts in the past, did you pay on time and in full?
Do you make the minimum monthly payment or do you overpay?
Do you use your overdraft, and if so, how often and what’s the limit on it?
For the most thorough view of your credit history, we recommend checkmyfile. Checkmyfile shows you the data from four credit reference agencies so you can get a better idea of what a mortgage lender will see when they check your credit profile. Read more about checkmyfile in our Guide: Checkmyfile Explained.
Because credit reference agencies have different scoring systems, it can be hard to understand what credit score you need to get a mortgage. Generally, most lenders prefer a high credit score categorised as being ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ than a low credit score categorised as being ‘fair’ or ‘poor’.
For example, a high credit score if you check your credit score with Experian would be between 881 and 999. If you checked with TransUnion, a high credit score 604 to 710. And if you checked with Equifax, a high credit score would be anywhere between 410 and 700.
If you have a ‘fair’ or ‘poor credit score, you can still get a mortgage, but you’ll have less options of mortgage lenders willing to give you a mortgage. Read our Guide on How to improve your credit score before you apply for a mortgage if you want to know how to improve it before applying. If you need to get a mortgage soon and are worried you won’t be able to due to a poor credit score, get in touch with us for expert bad credit mortgage advice.
50% of mortgages for people who are self-employed or have bad credit aren’t available directly to you. They’re only available through specialist brokers. Using our platform guarantees you’ll be matched with a broker who has a proven track record of making mortgages possible for people like you. Less processing, more understanding.
Applying for a mortgage or understanding your options shouldn't be confusing, yet there are just so many myths doing the rounds and it's not easy to know where to turn to get the right advice.
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