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Why do bad credit lenders care about credit scores?

When you apply for a mortgage or any form of credit, the lender will check your credit report and score to understand your credit history. Credit reference agencies produce a score for you that shows your credit as bad to excellent. Lenders care about credit scores as they base their decisions on whether this record shows you as reliable enough to pay back any future lending. If you have a history of adverse credit lending can be harder to find as a lot of mainstream lenders may automatically decline you once they find this.

However, bad credit lenders are more concerned with the information on your credit report than the actual credit score you have been given. This is because they will expect you to have a low score already and therefore will base their offer on how severe your bad credit is, how large the debt was and how much time has passed since it was registered. It is important to use a bad credit broker for this as they will package your application and send it Ito the lenders who specialise in offering flexibility to bad credit. 

Bad credit lenders will all have different criteria for you to meet and you may have to provide a larger deposit or expect to pay higher interest rates depending on your situation. We have provided tables below to show criteria from some bad credit lenders but we recommend you get in touch for a true indication based on your sole circumstances. 

Not severe:

ProviderAccepts no credit history?Accepts low credit scores?Accepts a history of late payments?
HalifaxCase-by-case basis. Dependent on deposit and credit score.Potentially / case-by-case basisYes
Accord MortgagesCase-by-case basis. Dependent on deposit and credit score.Potentially / Max 1 missed payment in 2 yearsYes
BarclaysCase-by-case basis. Dependent on deposit and credit score.Potentially / case-by-case basisYes
BluestoneYesPotentially / no arrears in last 1 yearYes
NatWestCase-by-case basisPotentially / no arrears in last 1 yearYes
SantanderCase-by-case basisPotentially / no arrears in last 1 yearNo
Virgin MoneyNoPotentially / no arrears in last 6 monthsYes


ProviderMissed mortgage payments?DefaultsCCJ?DMP?IVA?
HalifaxYesYesYesYes, if satisfiedIf satisfied over 6 years 
Accord MortgagesMax 1 in last 2 yearsUp to £500If satisfied over 3 yearsYes, if satisfiedIf satisfied over 6 years
BarclaysMax 3 in last 2 yearsUp to £200 and satisfied Ignored after 3 years. Yes, if satisfiedIf satisfied over 3 years
BluestoneMax 4 in last 2 yearsMax 4 in last 3 yearsUp to 3 registered in last 3 yearsYesIf satisfied over 6 years 
HSBCNoIgnored after 3 years. No max valueIgnored after 3 years. No max valueYes, if satisfiedIf satisfied over 3 years 
NatWestYes – cannot be in last yearYes, if satisfiedYes, if satisfiedYes, if satisfiedOver 6 years passed
SantanderNoYes after 1 year Yes, if satisfied YesNo
Virgin MoneyMax 2. Ignored after 6 monthsYes, if satisfied (max value £2k)Yes – max value £500Yes, if satisfiedNo

Very severe:

ProviderBankruptcy?Repossession? Multiple credit issues?
Accord MortgagesDischarged after 6 yearsAfter 6 yearsYes
BarclaysDischarged after 6 years Discharged after 6 yearsNoYes
BluestoneDischarged after 6 yearsAfter 2 yearsYes
HalifaxDischarged after 3 yearsAfter 6 yearsYes
HSBCDischarged after 5 yearsNoNo
NatWestDischarged after 6 yearsAfter 6 yearsPotentially – depends on date and severity 
Virgin MoneyNoNoYes

As you can see mortgages can be impossible to predict as each lender interprets your information in a different way. You may be offered a high loan to value (LTV) with one lender and then nothing at all from another. In some cases, your options may be limited and if that is the case our mortgage experts can advise you on how you can improve your score.

Download your credit reports 

It is a hard task to predict how every lender will view your credit report, but a good broker will know how to read your file with ease and use it to match you with the right lender without the need for multiple hard checks on your file. 

We recommend you download your credit report from all three major credit reference agencies: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion as different lenders will use different agencies. This way you will know what your credit looks like to all lenders. You can also check for any errors which have been recorded inaccurately by companies. If you do find any you can ask the company who made the error to file a notice of correction. 

Do all credit reference agencies use the same scoring system?

The three main credit reference agencies all use a different scoring system that determines whether your score is ‘very poor’, ‘poor’, ‘fair’, ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.

Here is a snapshot of the score ranges:

  • Equifax – 0-1000
  • Experian – 0-900
  • TransUnion – 0-710

I have a 600 credit score, can I get a mortgage?

Mortgage lenders are usually more interested in the content of your credit report than the actual score, but the number you are given can be used as an indication of where your credit stands. Equifax and Experian have scoring systems that see 600 as a fair score. But this is only useful if you can meet the lender’s other eligibility criteria. Many other factors such as income, age, debts, monthly commitments and the type of property you need the mortgage for will be used to evaluate your application. 

I have a 550 credit score, can I get a mortgage?

A low credit score does not automatically mean a mortgage is not possible. You will just need help from a specialist broker to help you find lenders who are willing to take a more flexible approach to your bad credit. Our superheroes can also advise you on ways to improve your credit score also.

How can I improve my credit score quickly?

There is no quick fix for improving your credit score quickly but any actions you take can have a positive impact in time. Ways to build your score could include registering with the electoral role or taking out a flexible credit builder credit card. 

Get in touch and we will match you with a bad credit mortgage broker who is experienced in all things credit scores and bad credit mortgages. Our mortgages superheroes are waiting to help you as soon as you call them to the action!


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