Your credit report and score is a big clue to helping the banks and mortgage lenders answer those questions. It reveals many of your interactions with financial products, such as loans, credit cards, overdrafts, and even things like utility bill and mobile phone contracts.
Your credit score, the number that lenders use to estimate the risk of extending you credit or lending you money, is a key factor in determining whether you will be approved for a mortgage. The score isn’t a fixed number but fluctuates periodically in response to changes in your credit activity (for example, if you open a new credit card account).
They reveal which financial products you have applied for, which debts you have recently paid, how much credit you have at your disposal, and even which debts you have not paid.
Accumulated, these details reveal your credit score and if you have any negative marks on your file. The lower your score, the less likely a bank or lender will trust you with a mortgage.
You receive a lower score for having negative interactions with financial products, such as missing a payment, defaulting on a loan or applying for too many credit cards and loans within a short period of time.
Similarly, you are more likely to receive a higher score for paying your debts on time.
Separately, your credit score will be severely damaged if you are not registered on the electoral roll at your address. Nearly all lenders will reject your application on this basis.
In general, a credit score above 670 will allow potential mortgage borrowers access to prime or favorable interest rates on their loan.
Scores below 620 are considered to be subprime, and come with higher interest rates and more restrictions due to their greater risk to lenders.
To qualify for a low down payment FHA-backed loan, you’ll need at least a 580 FICO credit score.
Those with worse credit may still be obtain to obtain a mortgage from specialty lenders but will pay even higher rates, require larger downpayments, may require a guarantor or co-borrower, and be subject to income verification.