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How gambling affects your chances of borrowing money

Written by: Emma Lunn
As England prepare to take on Ukraine, concerns about the rise in gambling continue to be raised by experts.

Football tournaments are notorious for attracting a rise in betting and gaming, with the National Gambling Helpline reporting a 5% rise in calls during the 2018 World Cup.

Whether you win or lose, gambling can have an impact on whether banks and lenders will lend you money. Betting can be considered a form of ‘irresponsible spending’ and seeing gambling transactions on your financial records could be enough to make lenders nervous.

Car finance provider Zuto has looked at the ways gambling could affect your odds of borrowing money.

Frequency of gambling

UK finance companies are increasingly adopting Open Banking which potentially lets other financial organisations see your financial details. For gamblers who authorise Open Banking when applying for credit, this means lenders will have a broader snapshot of income and expenditure.

Although there are no set rules, and every lender operates differently, most lenders will look at the frequency of gambling activity, the amount spent on gambling, and how your gambling spend relates your income and account balance.

Underwriters will want to see that there’s no signs of financial distress relating to gambling activity before approving any kind of credit.

Risk indicators

Lenders typically look at a list of ‘risk indicators’ when deciding whether customers can afford to be borrowing money or not.

These include unarranged overdraft usage, returned direct debits, debt collection agencies relationships, recent borrowing, payday loans, and gambling activity

If customers have more than one of the above factors, it is likely to affect their chances of being approved for a loan.

Getting a mortgage

If you frequently gamble a large portion of your income and your bank statement shows a pattern of high-risk spending, you could find it difficult to get a mortgage.

Lenders might consider how much you are gambling in relation to how much you are earning. This might make buying a weekly lottery ticket acceptable, but gambling a week’s wages on a football match unacceptable.

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