Poor Credit Mortgages

Can I get a mortgage with poor credit?

Poor credit mortgages are defined as those offered to applicants with an event or multiple events of negative credit history that are unable to secure a mortgage through the more recognised channels.  Sometimes terms such as adverse credit mortgages or bad credit mortgages are used but collectively they all cover the same aspect of this type of lending. Due to the more specific nature of this type of mortgage, rarely are these advertised in best buy tables and therefore the services of a specialist mortgage broker can be of great use when looking to source the most appropriate scheme for a borrowers individual requirements.


You could pick up a poor credit rating for a number of reasons – either through one of the various types of defaults on repayments due on loans or lines of credit, or through simply not having enough (or any!) borrowing activity on your credit history. Your money issues may have occurred through not fault of your own – for example, because of a sudden illness or unexpected redundancy – or because you are simply yet to take the first steps on the credit ladder.

Either way, getting a mortgage with poor credit can create difficulties. High street banks and lenders may be willing to accept one or two very minor infractions in your past, but the majority will turn you down if they see any types of missed payments. However, this doesn’t mean that you will be unable to find a mortgage if you suffer from or have a history of poor credit mortgages – in fact, there could be several alternative options to those you find on the high street.

Mortgages for those with poor credit are generally found in the specialist sector of the mortgages market. As banks become far more cautious about who they lent to after the credit crunch, a number of new lenders entered the market with products and assessment methods designed to cater to poor credit borrowers being declined by mainstream lenders and provide them with the mortgages they so badly needed. It’s true that a so-called ‘poor credit mortgage’ might be more expensive than a standard product, but the difference is not quite as stark as it once was.

Lenders offering mortgages with poor credit are not usually found on the high street, and you won’t see their products online or on any ‘best buy’ tables. They tend to accept applications made only via a trusted intermediary or broker, so your chances of getting a mortgage will be much improved if you use a specialist adviser to help with your application. At IMC Mortgage Brokers, we have a deep understanding of the market and can guide you towards the most suitable deal available.


In this context, ‘poor credit’ is an alternative term for ‘adverse credit‘ or ‘bad credit‘. When applied to a mortgage application or any other kind of loan, it indicates a credit history that features one or more instances where the applicant fell into financial difficulties and failed to make repayments on a loan, resulting in further action by creditors. This can take many forms, depending on the severity of the case, from simple notes of late or missed payments, to default notices, Debt Management Plans (DMPs), Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), County Court Judgements (CCJs), repossessions and bankruptcy.

These instances of ‘adverse’, ‘bad’ or ‘poor’ credit will have been registered by your creditors or a court, and picked up by one or all of the three main UK credit agencies – Equifax, Experian or TransUnion. These agencies each use their own methods to create a ‘credit score’ by which lenders or any other organisation offering you credit will be able to judge your suitability for a loan, mortgage, credit card, bank account, etc. While specialist lenders will use their own assessment of a wider study of your circumstances, many of the mainstream lenders simply rely on the credit agency score to make their lending decisions.

Therefore, having a poor credit record can have an impact on your ability to borrow money or make purchases on credit when you might need it most. Unfortunately, some people only become aware of a problem with their credit record when they are actually applying for a mortgage, and were blissfully unaware of missed payment notices against their name. For this reason, it’s worth making checks with the credit agencies on an annual basis (especially if you plan to borrow money) – fortunately this is far more straightforward than it used to be, with most services being online and free.

Mortgage with poor credit record

If you have a poor credit record, then you could be forgiven for thinking that you will also face an uphill struggle when it comes to getting a mortgage. The majority of lenders you will find on the high street are still feeling the after-effects of the credit crunch of 2008, which exposed a lot of irresponsible lending, and they now apply quite narrow criteria to a number of potential borrowers who have a history of poor credit, effectively shutting them out of the conventional mortgage market.

However, all is not lost. To fill this gap in the market, a number of specialist lenders emerged to offer mortgages to those that do not meet the squeaky-clean criteria of the mainstream lenders, including mortgages for people with poor credit.

In technical terms, ‘poor credit mortgages’ are defined as mortgage products offered to prospective homeowners who have an event or multiple events of negative credit on their history, and who are also unable to secure a mortgage through the more recognised high street channels. You will sometimes find these mortgages referred to using terms such as ‘adverse credit mortgages’ or ‘bad credit mortgages’, but collectively they all cover the same aspect of this type of lending.

Due to the more specific nature of this type of mortgage, you will rarely see them advertised in best buy tables, and the lenders that offer them are usually specialist companies that generally do not advertise their services to the public, instead preferring to work with trusted third-party intermediaries or brokers. Therefore, the services of a specialist mortgage broker can be vital when looking to source the most appropriate mortgage scheme to meet a borrower’s individual requirements.


The most straightforward way of getting a mortgage with poor credit is to quickly admit there will be an issue with making a conventional application, and to talk to a specialist mortgage broker to find out what all your options will be in your particular circumstances. This will save you an enormous amount of time and possibly a number of rejected applications from high street lenders, which will only do further damage to your credit score.

A mortgage broker with access to a huge variety of mortgage products will be able to advise you on a far wider range of mortgage lenders and deals than a broker tied to a banking group or a particular portfolio of products. With their in-depth knowledge of the market – both the high street and specialist lenders who don’t advertise to the public – and the lenders’ individual criteria for applications, they will know for sure which mortgage deal will be the right one to meet your requirements.

A specialist mortgage broker will be able to canvas lenders on an informal basis before you even need to make an application, to ascertain what deal might be possible and your chances of being accepted. They will also be able to find you the most suitable rates, often on an exclusive basis.

If you have poor credit mortgage, then there are also a few things you can do for yourself to improve your chances of getting a mortgage:

  • Save for a larger deposit.
  • Close any unused credit accounts that you no longer use.
  • Check your own credit records for inaccuracies.
  • Settle as many outstanding debts as you can.
  • Use a credit card for day-to-day spending and pay off the balance promptly every month.
  • Open a savings account and put in a small amount each month.
  • Make sure you are registered on the electoral roll.

Mortgage rates with poor credit

Mortgage interest rates for people with a history of poor credit will typically be a little higher than those for conventional applicants. While mortgage rates will vary from lender to lender, and from one product to the next, a history of poor credit – or perhaps a low credit score because of a total lack of credit – can adversely affect your ability to obtain a mortgage from a mainstream lender at the most competitive rates. Their products are usually designed for the simplest circumstances, and people with no credit issues.

On top of this, as the mortgage market is highly dynamic, with rates shifting sometimes on a daily basis, it would be impossible to try to list some of the best rates here.

The good news is that there are a number of specialist lenders who are willing to take a view on an applicant’s individual circumstances, rather than make a simple judgement based on a credit score provided by the three main UK credit reference agencies, and this is where the best rates for those with poor credit will be found.

With the wide-ranging knowledge of the mortgage market that we have here at IMC Mortgage Brokers, we will be able to identify the lenders with the right mortgage rates on products suitable to your situation at the time of applying, and very often we will be able to place an application with them successfully.

Specialist mortgage interest rates are likely to be slightly higher than for people with a ‘clean’ credit profile. However, as time passes and any credit issues on your file become more historic, we would expect to be in a position to renegotiate your mortgage onto better terms – especially if you have been keeping a clean record in the meantime.

Poor credit mortgage lenders

On a day-to-day basis, we deal with numerous people with poor credit records and have therefore become intimately familiar with the wide range of mortgage lenders available to you if you have had financial problems in the past, and can use our relationships to ensure that you get the most suitable deal. Our team of specialist advisers will regularly assist those with a poor credit history to identify and apply to one of the many lenders who are the solution to their needs.

These specialist poor credit mortgage lenders have been set up to help those who are unable to secure a mortgage through the more commonly-known mortgage providers. They will have a greater understanding of an applicant’s credit file, and will often pay personal attention to an applicant’s individual circumstances during and since any adverse credit events. They will be entirely familiar with the terminology and rules around such items as defaults, CCJs (County Court Judgements), DMPs (debt management plans) and Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), to name but a few, and their criteria will be set specifically in regard to such events.

Depending on their final assessment of the overall risk, the rate a specialist lender will offer is likely to be higher than that given to an applicant with a clean credit history applying for a conventional mortgage. However, with poor credit, time is on your side – hopefully, with an improved credit file after a period of making prompt, regular repayments (and adverse credit events slipping off your credit history after six years), a borrower can work towards improving their interest rate during the mortgage term.

In our role as advisers and brokers to individuals with a poor credit history, we have significant experience in working with people on both sides of the equation when it comes to mortgages with poor credit. Specialist mortgage lenders do not generally advertise to the public and usually accept mortgage applications made only through reliable third parties, such as ourselves at IMC Mortgage Brokers, and it is often also the case that potential borrowers will need help with their application to give it the best chance of success.

To find out which lender will work best for your situation, get in touch with our team today.


Finding a mortgage to suit your needs when you have a poor credit record can seem like an uphill struggle. Depending on the nature and severity of the bad credit issues on your file, you will likely be declined by most of the mainstream high street lenders and will be wondering where you are able to turn for help.

The good news is that there are many lenders out there who specialise in mortgages for people with poor credit. However, these lenders don’t tend to advertise publicly – you won’t find them on the high street or in online best-buy lists. Whilst being very helpful when you get to deal with them, they are not easy to find, and even harder to research and compare. You can never know what deals you are missing, or what other lenders might be able to offer the mortgage you need.

This is where a specialist mortgage broker comes in. With access to over 12,000 mortgage products, and a deep knowledge of every lender’s assessment criteria, deals and rates (high street as well as specialist), a broker such as ourselves here at IMC Mortgage Brokers can quickly identify which lender will be the most suitable to your needs and circumstances. All we’ll need to do first is take a proper look at your situation – your history, current financial footing and mortgage aspirations – before offering honest, unbiased advice.

Thanks to healthy relationships with specialist lenders, a specialist broker will also be able to approach them informally in the first instance to test their opinions and reactions to the particular situation a client may be in, before making the full application. This can save a lot of time, and help you to make informed choices that would not have been able to consider otherwise. And when the time comes to make your application, we can help you to make it as strong as possible in order to give it the best chance of success.

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