Credit score for a mortgage application | NatWest

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How does my credit score affect my mortgage application?

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Credit scoring for a mortgage


Just like when you take out an overdraft or apply for a credit card, a mortgage is a form of credit that you can apply for if you want to borrow money to buy a property. Like other responsible lenders, we use a credit scoring system when we assess your application.


You can learn more about the ins-and-outs of credit scoring with our credit scoring guide (PDF. 310 KB). The main thing to note is that you have to have both a high enough credit score and also meet our other requirements, such as monthly income, so we know you can afford the repayments.


What credit score do I need for a mortgage?

There isn’t a specific credit score that you need for a mortgage, but the higher your score the more likely your application will be accepted. This is because having a higher score makes you a lower risk, and suggests that you are more likely to be able to keep up with the repayments. So if you have any outstanding debt, or have struggled in the past to repay a credit card or other forms of credit, you will be seen as a higher risk.


Even if you’ve never been in debt, if you don’t have any credit history this could also affect an application. It’s important that as a lender we can see you have a good track record of sensible borrowing. For more information about how we make credit decisions, read our helpful guide.


How can I improve my credit score?

Make all your regular payments on time

Always try to make at least the minimum payments on any credit product you have, on time. Missing or making late payments (even to your mobile-phone operator) can often be registered on your credit report and this may harm your chances of getting credit in the future. An easy way to help you avoid late payments is to set up a Direct Debit.


Check you’re registered on the Electoral Roll at your current address

The Electoral Roll is used to confirm both your name and address, so if you’re not registered your application could be delayed or you might even be turned down. You can check with your local council to see whether you’re on the current Electoral Roll.


Close any accounts you no longer use

Having a large amount of credit that you do not use can affect your credit score. For example, if you have a credit card with a limit of £5,000 but you never use the card. Keeping accounts open that you don’t use can also make you more vulnerable to fraud. If you have old accounts, such as mobile phone or credit cards, they might be registered at a previous address that can affect your ID checks.


Check the information on your credit report is accurate and up to date

If you don’t agree with something on your report, let the credit reference agency know straight away. You can also ask to add a note to your credit report if past credit problems were due to special circumstances. This is called a ‘notice of correction’ and is a short statement of no more than 200 words that you can attach to your file.


Manage your applications carefully

Making lots of credit searches in a short space of time can affect your score, so it may help to space out any credit applications, and those for things like car insurance and mobile phones. Moving house can also disrupt your score, so try to make important applications before you move. Finally, check if the product you’re interested in offers eligibility check facility so you can check any terms before applying, and, without your credit search being recorded.

Find out how much you could borrow without affecting your credit score

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