Can I get a mortgage with recent defaults?

My partner and I have a combined income of ?56,000, We have a deposit of ?28,000 (inheritance) and are looking to become first time buyers at a price of ?230,000. We have defaulted debts that are being paid off, and previous history of payday loans from over 2 years ago from a time when our financial situation was much more difficult.

The defaults are about 18 months old. We started to try and tidy things up when we knew the money was coming to us. We currently owe around ?9,000 on the defaulted debts.

I have an active credit card, and we both have a mobile phone contract in our own names, but that’s all apart from the defaults.

When is a default “recent”?

Obviously a default a few months ago is recent and one 5 years ago is old. But many people have defaults in the middle, like Mr D.

  1. when did the default happen? the longer ago it was the less likely it is to show you have current problems.
  2. when did you repay the debt? High street lenders do not like you to have unpaid defaults, even small ones. And the longer ago the debts were cleared, the more obvious it is that you are now fine.

Pre pandemic, there was a common approach used by many high street mortgage lenders that defaults were OK on your credit record if they were all over three years old AND they had been repaid for more than a year. Mr D currently fails on both of those requirements.

During the pandemic, a lot of high street lenders stopped lending to anyone without a squeaky clean credit record. But in late 2021, mortgage lending has picked up a lot.

With recent defaults, your only option may be a bad credit lender

If Mr D wants a mortgage straight away, he will have to go to a “bad credit” broker. There are three big problems with doing this.

1. It costs more

The fees to arrange the mortgage will be larger. Be very clear about what the fees are before you sign anything. Can you you can try here get your money back if a mortgage is not arranged?

2. You may not be able to remortgage with a normal lender

“This will just be for a couple of years, then you can re-mortgage with a high street lender at a better rate.“

Your own financial situation may be more difficult in a few years – perhaps you have a baby on the way which will affect the mortgage affordability calculations.

And even if you are fine, who knows what the mortgage market will be like in a couple of years after the first lockdown? Will the economy and lending be back to normal? If house prices fall from their current highs, your 15% deposit may reduce to 5 or 10%

3. If you can’t remortgage, your interest rate may jump a lot

If you can’t remortgage at the end of the fix, then you will be stuck on your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR).

Anyone thinking that they can manage a bad credit mortgage needs to ask the lender what their SVR is at the moment. If interest rates go up over the next couple of years – which is what most economists are predicting – SVRs will also go up.

And there is the horror scenario that you may find a bad credit lender’s SVR is increased even when other mortgage rates are dropping. This happened to many people in 2009 and 2010.

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