Mortgage Guides

What credit score do I need for a mortgage?

Credit scoring for a mortgage

Just like when you take out an overdraft or apply for a credit card, a mortgage is a form of credit that you can apply for if you want to borrow money to buy a property. Like other responsible lenders, we use a credit scoring system when we assess your mortgage application.

You can learn more about the ins-and-outs of credit scoring with our credit scoring guide. The main thing to note is that you need to have both a high enough credit score and also meet our other requirements, such as monthly income, so we know you can afford the mortgage repayments.

What's the minimum credit score I need for a mortgage?

There isn’t a specific credit score that you need for a mortgage, but the higher your score the more likely your application will be accepted.

  • This is because having a higher score makes you a lower risk, and suggests that you are more likely to be able to keep up with the repayments.
  • If you have any outstanding debt, or have struggled in the past to repay a credit card or other forms of credit, you will be seen as a higher risk.
  • Even if you’ve never been in debt, not having any credit history could also affect an application. It’s important that as a lender we can see you have a good track record of sensible borrowing.

For more information about how we make credit decisions, read our helpful credit score guide.

Can I get a mortgage with a fair credit score?

When applying for a mortgage, credit reference agencies give your credit history a rating which can range from ‘Very poor’ to ‘Excellent’ based on how you have managed your current/previous debt(s).

If you have a mid-range rating of ‘Fair’, you may still be able to get a mortgage however it is likely that you will have fewer options available to you than people who have an ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’ rating.

Does taking out a mortgage affect your credit score?

A credit reference agency will normally carry out a ‘hard’ search on your file when you apply for a mortgage. This shouldn’t have too much of an impact on your credit rating, although your score could go down if a number of these searches are made in a short period. Having a mortgage could potentially improve your credit score over time, so long as you stay up to date with your payments.

How can I improve my credit score for a mortgage?