Get credit fit

Before you apply for a mortgage, it’s good to understand that mortgage lenders will take into account your financial history and credit rating when you do apply.

Each lender has its own criteria but here are some things you can do now to make sure your credit profile is in the best shape possible. So, you’ll stand the best chance of getting the mortgage you apply for.

 

8 steps to help you get credit fit
 

  1. Register to vote
    Contact your local authority to register on the electoral roll (or to check if you’re registered already). This is so that lenders can confirm your address and trace your credit history. If you’re not registered, they might not have enough information to progress your mortgage application.

  2. Be choosy about applying for credit
    If you make too many applications for credit, it can affect your mortgage application. The lender may think you’re not creditworthy or that your finances are in a bad state, and then question if you’re able to make mortgage repayments.

  3. Review your credit history and score
    Before starting your mortgage application, look into your credit history using a credit checking agency. This allows you to spot anything that’s not correct and request it’s updated, so that mortgage lenders receive correct information on your ability to repay.

    And, look at your credit score. If it’s low, see if you can improve on any of your credit habits by following the below tips. Scoring bands can vary among different credit checking agencies.

  4. Work out your debt-to-income ratio
    This is the amount of borrowing you have in relation to your money coming in. Mortgage lenders typically prefer a lower ratio, because it means you’re more likely to be able to afford your monthly mortgage repayments.

  5. Cut out any unnecessary borrowing
    You can reduce your debt-to-income ratio by avoiding borrowing too much. Try not to take out new credit in the six months before applying for a mortgage as it could increase your debt-to-income ratio.

  6. But keep active credit accounts open
    These show lenders that you’re always able to make repayments on time. It might be an idea to close inactive accounts as they show lenders that you’ve got access to too much credit that you don’t need or you’re not using.

  7. Pay your bills on time
    It’s always important to pay any bills on time. As any missed or late payments will be recorded on your credit history, and be seen by the mortgage lender. This could make them doubt whether you’re able to repay a mortgage on time, or at all.

  8. Know your joint applicants’ credit history
    Mortgage lenders will assess the creditworthiness of all of those named on your application. So, if you’re making a joint one, get the other person to check their credit history and score are in order. And pass these tips on to them to help them get credit fit too.

You could lose your home if you don’t keep up your mortgage repayments

Calculators and tools

We have a range of mortgage calculators to help you:

  • Find out how much you could borrow from Halifax
  • See how much you could save if you make overpayments on your mortgage
  • Get an idea how a change to the Bank of England Base Rate could affect your monthly payments
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