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Nearly third of adults could be ‘locked out of mortgage market’ for minor credit ‘blips’

Nick Cheek
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Nick Cheek

Around 30% of UK adults have had a credit blip on their record in the past, usually from a missed utility bill, rent, credit card payment or being in an overdraft, research has shown.

Research from specialist lender Together, which surveyed 2,000 adults, found that more than half were aware of their credit history status before applying for a mortgage and 14% said they were unsure of how likely they would be approved.

Younger borrowers were more likely to be negatively impacted when applying for a mortgage, with 45% of 18 to 34-year-olds hit compared to 16% of over 55s.

Together said that this showed a “glaring awareness gap” as many potential mortgage borrowers weren’t “aware of their credit score and how it can significantly impact the success of high street applications”.

Internal data from the lender showed that 66 %more middle class borrowers with adverse credit were taking out mortgages between 2019 and 2022.

This year, 14% of first charge mortgages the lender has funded have had credit issues, with this trend expected to continue.

A quarter said they were rethinking mortgage and property plans, with inflation and interest rates key factors.

Around 64% of those who were not confident in their ability to keep up mortgage repayments had a previous credit blip, which compares to 32% without any blips.

‘Homeowners locked out by minor adverse credit’

Alan Davison, personal finance distribution director at Together, commented: “Would-be homeowners across the UK are being locked out of the mainstream mortgage market, simply because they have minor adverse credit of a few hundred pounds.

“Banks and other high street lenders often stick rigidly to strict criteria and automated processes when deciding whether to approve a mortgage application, and credit blips even if they’re historical and have been caused by a debt that has been paid off –  can easily lead to rejection.”

He added: “With more borrowers likely to accrue blips in the current climate, it’s important to remember there are still specialist lenders out there who will still consider blips or County Court Judgements (CCJ) on applications, so long as a clear repayment plan has been set up. At Together, we recognise the need for lenders who are agile enough to meet the needs of an increasingly specialised market.”