1. Check your credit score

First of all, check your score. You can do this easily online with the two main credit reference agencies; Experian and Equifax. Ensure all information is correct and if it isn’t, write to the agency and request that they change it. If you have a poor score, you will be able to start making changes to improve it.

2. Understand your limits

If you have existing credit such as credit cards and loans, you must ensure that you keep up with the minimum repayments. If you are really struggling to pay, speak to your lender as this may show favourably on your credit score. Similarly try not to get too close to your credit limit, if you do, lenders may view this as ‘excessive’ debt. 

Missed payments, County Court Judgements (CCJs) and defaulting on credit can be why up to a third of applicants are rejected for mortgage finance.  A growing percentage of applicants are also being rejected for taking payday loans and betting patterns being evident on bank statements.

3. The family connection

Details of your family’s credit score are not kept on your file, so long as you don’t have any joint finances.  If you do, you are likely to be co-scored and this could stop you securing a mortgage. So if a family member, partner or housemate has a poor credit score, keep your finances rigidly separate. This includes joint accounts and bills under both names.

4. It’s all in your history

You may not realise, but as many as 1 in 10 house hunters looking to buy a home - have no credit history.  They are often viewed as less credible as lenders have no information to base their decision on. 

Although you should never get in debt to build up a credit history, by taking out a credit card and using it regularly (ensuring you pay off the bill at the end of the month with a direct debit) you will begin to build a credit history. Another good way to build your score is by taking out a mobile phone contract.

5. Get on the electoral roll

You should try to show lenders that you have a ‘stable’ lifestyle, for example you are in full-time employment and live at a fixed address. If you aren’t already, register for the electoral roll as you’re unlikely to get credit without it. Also if you can, provide information such as a landline number rather than a mobile number.

6. Be consistent and double check

It sounds simple, but one slip up on the application form could scupper your chances for securing a mortgage. This could be from a simple mistake, such as putting a salary of £3,000 instead of £30,000 but it could also be from inconsistent information (even on other mortgage application forms) as this can flag up possible cases of fraud and could slow down or stop your application altogether.

Also bear in mind that submitting numerous applications in a short space of time could have a negative effect as lenders will worry about why you have been rejected before.

Once you're mortgage fit and ready, why not visit one of our developments and view one of the many luxurious Ward Homes today.