When purchasing a house in the UK through a mortgage, you do not necessarily need a minimum credit score, but it is essential to have a credit score that meets the lenders’ requirements to qualify for a mortgage.
Lenders have different approaches to risk, so the score you need may vary depending on the lender. Some lenders may require higher scores than others.
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This article will explain how credit scores operate and the minimum score typically needed for purchasing a house.
What is a credit score?
Your credit score is determined by the three credit reference agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
Each agency has its scoring system, so you will receive different scores from each one. For instance, your Experian score will be rated out of 999, your Equifax score will be out of 700, and TransUnion’s score will be out of 710.
Credit agencies may provide different scores, but it won’t matter if their information about you is accurate. This won’t impact your borrowing capability.
Lenders will need a higher credit score to approve your mortgage application if you have a smaller mortgage deposit.
What is a good credit score?
Each credit reference agency has its definition of a ‘good’ credit score. Experian considers a score of 700 or more good, while a score of 800 or more is excellent. On the other hand, an excellent score with Equifax is generally around 475.
TransUnion provides a credit score rating of five based on your credit score. If your score falls between 628 and 710, you will receive the highest rating of 5, considered excellent.
Lenders are more willing to lend to individuals with high scores as they perceive them as less risky borrowers.
What is a bad credit score, and how will it affect my chances of getting a mortgage?
A low credit score increases the chances of your mortgage application being rejected. Nevertheless, if your score is lower than expected, it does not necessarily mean your mortgage application will automatically decline.
When you apply for a mortgage, lenders consider several factors besides your credit score. It can be beneficial if you have a positive history as their customer, a stable income that can cover monthly repayments easily, and a substantial deposit of at least 10% of the property value.
If you have experienced credit issues, you may still be eligible for a mortgage from a lender specialising in such situations. It is advisable to seek expert guidance to determine which lenders suit your needs.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a good credit score to buy a house?
A good credit score to buy a house is typically in the high 600s and 700s. Anything higher than that is considered “exceptional”, and helps borrowers get the very best mortgage rates. ¹
2. What is the minimum credit score needed to buy a house?
There isn’t a minimum credit score required for buying a house which means your score will vary between lenders. The majority of top credit rating agencies have 5 categories for credit scores: excellent, good, fair, poor and very poor. Ultimately, the higher your credit score, the better the chance of getting the mortgage you need. ²
3. How does my credit rating affect my mortgage rate?
Your credit rating can have a significant impact on your mortgage rate. The better your credit rating, the lower your mortgage rate is likely to be. ³
4. What interest rate can I expect with my credit score?
The interest rate you can expect with your credit score will depend on a number of factors including the lender you choose and the type of mortgage you are applying for. However, as a general rule of thumb, the higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate is likely to be. ³
5. Should I check my credit report and score before looking for houses?
Yes, it’s always a good idea to check your credit report and score before looking for houses. This will give you an idea of where you stand and whether there are any issues that need to be addressed before you apply for a mortgage. ³
6. What can I do if my credit score is too low?
If your credit score is too low, there are several things you can do to improve it including paying off outstanding debts, making sure you are on the electoral roll, and avoiding applying for too much credit at once. ⁴
7. How long does it take to improve my credit score?
The length of time it takes to improve your credit score will depend on how much work needs to be done. However, as a general rule of thumb, it can take around 6 months to see an improvement in your credit score if you are taking steps to improve it. ⁴
8. Can I still get a mortgage with bad credit?
Yes, it is still possible to get a mortgage with bad credit but it may be more difficult and you may have to pay higher interest rates as a result. ⁵
9. How can I improve my chances of getting approved for a mortgage?
To improve your chances of getting approved for a mortgage, you should make sure that your finances are in order, avoid applying for too much credit at once, and work on improving your credit score if necessary.
10. What should I do if I am struggling to get approved for a mortgage?
If you are struggling to get approved for a mortgage, you should speak to an independent financial advisor who can help you understand your options and find the right solution for your needs.
- Credit Score to Buy A House: Best to Minimum Score Needed | Zillow. https://www.zillow.com/mortgage-learning/mortgage-credit-scores
- Do I Need a Credit Score to Buy a House? | Charcol. https://www.charcol.co.uk/news-and-opinions/ask-the-mortgage-experts/do-i-need-a-credit-score-to-buy-a-house-10611
- What credit score do I need to get a mortgage? | Finder UK. https://www.finder.com/uk/credit-score-to-buy-house
- What credit score is needed to buy a house? | Equifax UK. https://www.equifax.co.uk/resources/mortgage/what-credit-score-is-needed-to-buy-a-house.html