Last reviewed on 21st November 2023 by Martin Alexander (Mortgage Advisor)
Getting a buy to let mortgage with bad credit is possible with the right lender. Poor credit can affect your mortgage chances, so you must speak to an advisor before applying.
Earning an income from rent can provide you with a financial boost. Extra income can also help to alleviate pressure on your credit file. So, let’s find out what you can do to get a buy to let mortgage, despite having a bad credit rating.
Can I get a buy to let mortgage with bad credit?
You can get a buy to let mortgage with bad credit. You’ll need to find a lender that accepts the credit issues you’ve faced, as not every lender will consider poor credit.
Credit issues can range in severity. Highstreet lenders may accept landlords with light credit issues such as missed payments. For severe problems such as bankruptcy, you’ll need a specialist lender.
Which credit issues can I get a buy to let mortgage with?
It’s possible to get a buy to let mortgage with a range of credit issues. Any credit issues over six years ago won’t affect your application. Still, you may be asked to declare whether you’ve been made bankrupt or had an IVA in the past.
Late payments aren’t considered a severe credit issue and shouldn’t get in the way of your buy to let mortgage. However, you’ll still need to check if your lender accepts missed payments, as there will be a record on your credit file.
Most lenders understand if you’ve missed the odd payment, but having accumulated arrears can be a huge warning sign.
Having paid your mortgage late is the most severe type of arrears. If you’re still in arrears, we recommend making payments before applying for a buy-to-let mortgage.
A buy to let mortgage won’t be possible if you’re in arrears on another mortgage.
You can get a buy to let mortgage with defaults on your credit report. Defaults registered within the 12 months will make it harder to get a mortgage, but some lenders will consider you.
Older defaults will affect your mortgage less, but lenders will check the amount of each default and whether they’re settled.
More than two defaults in the past three years will also leave fewer lenders.
County Court Judgments (CCJs)
Getting a buy to let mortgage with a CCJ is possible with the right approach. Applying with an advisor is recommended to check which lenders are eligible.
Buy to let lenders assess CCJs by looking at factors such as:
- Date your CCJ was registered
- Value of your CCJs
- The number of CCJs you have
- Whether your CCJs are satisfied
CCJs registered in the past 12 months will leave you with fewer lenders to approach.
The value of your CCJs and the number of CCJs you have will also play a part in a lender’s decision to offer you a mortgage. Having satisfied your CCJs helps to strengthen your buy to let application.
Debt Management Plan (DMP)
Securing a buy to let mortgage whilst in a DMP is possible. If you have a DMP, you’ll likely need a specialist lender. A DMP over three years old will have less effect on your mortgage, but you’ll still need the help of an advisor.
The main issue with having a DMP is that it often involves other credit issues. These credit issues can become stumbling blocks rather than the DMP itself.
The purpose of a DMP is to help manage debt. Lenders will assess how you’ve managed your debt during your DMP. Good financial conduct will help your mortgage assessment, whereas further debt will be detrimental.
Buy to let mortgages that involve debt management plans are considered specialist cases. Most lenders require you to be discharged for at least three years before applying for a mortgage.
Attempting to get a buy to let mortgage with an IVA is difficult. The number of lenders available will be limited, so you must check your lender accepts IVAs before you apply.
Lenders will assess whether you’ve made repayments on time if you have an active IVA. Some lenders may investigate your credit file further, along with the details of your IVA.
Applying for a buy to let mortgage after discharge from an IVA is more straightforward. If your discharge date is over three years old, you’ll have many lenders to approach.
An IVA is a severe form of bad credit, so you must plan your application before applying for a mortgage.
Read more: Can I get a mortgage with an IVA?
You’ll need to be discharged from bankruptcy to get a mortgage. Getting any type of mortgage during bankruptcy is very difficult.
Speak to an advisor if you’ve been discharged from bankruptcy recently, as you’ll likely need a specialist lender.
It’s better to apply for buy to let mortgage once you’ve been discharged from bankruptcy. Being discharged for over three years will give you a better choice of lenders and mortgage rates.
After six years of discharge, your bankruptcy won’t be visible on your credit report. However, some lenders won’t accept bankruptcies even if you were discharged over six years ago.
If you need a buy to let mortgage after being repossessed, in all honesty, you will struggle. That said, it all depends on when the repossession occurred and the circumstances around why it happened.
Some specialist lenders will consider you if you’ve had a property repossessed in the past. Many clients who were previously repossessed typically have other credit issues. Lenders will assess every credit issue as part of your application.
Repossession is a severe type of adverse credit. As a result, buy to let lenders will carry out extensive checks during your mortgage application.
Lenders may take a more lenient stance if you’ve previously had a buy to let property repossessed. Landlords can often be victims of rogue tenants who don’t pay rent. If you’ve been in this situation but can document an otherwise strong financial profile, it can help your application.
Which buy to let mortgage lenders accept bad credit?
Some lenders that accept adverse credit include:
- Barclays accept applicants with CCJs under £200 if no more than one has been registered in the last three years.
- Saffron will consider applicants with IVAs if the discharge date is over three years ago.
- Vida accepts defaults on a credit file, but only if they’re at least six months old.
- Metro will consider applicants discharged from bankruptcy for over three years and have had a clean credit file since.
There are many different credit issues that lenders each have criteria for. We’ve included some lenders on this list, but there are many other lenders, each with unique criteria for credit checks.
How can I apply for a buy to let mortgage with bad credit?
Despite having bad credit, there are certain things you can do to improve your chances of getting a buy to let mortgage. Underwriters will check your credit file and, more importantly, you’ll need to meet a lender’s buy to let criteria
To get a buy to let mortgage with bad credit, it helps to have the following:
- A large deposit – Aim for at least a 25% deposit. 40% deposits will unlock the best rates and more lenders.
- Evidence that you’ve recovered from financial trouble can show lenders that you’re now in control of your finances. You can do this by clearing your debt and showing a monthly increase on your bank statements.
- A recent period of good credit – Making payments on time will support your application and help your credit score to recover. You can do this by repaying your credit card each month.
- Speak to an expert – Finding a lender alone isn’t easy, especially if you have poor credit. An advisor can check your credit file to find suitable lenders with the best rates.
- Ensure your rent is high enough. Your rental income must be at least 125% of your monthly mortgage to get a buy to let mortgage.
Some lenders can be quite forgiving when it comes to bad credit. Many borrowers face financial hardship at least once in their life. Showing lenders you’ve recovered financially can significantly improve your chances of getting a buy to let mortgage.
How can an advisor help me if I have a poor credit rating?
Experienced advisors can prepare your mortgage application to make sure it’s watertight. Furthermore, buy to let lenders will largely base their affordability checks on the rental income of the property.
Consult an advisor who has experience in adverse credit and buy to let. All of our advisors are specialists in both fields and you can ask them your questions at any time.
If you’re still experiencing credit issues, it may be better to wait until you’re financially stable before applying. You can make an enquiry if you’re still unsure about what to do. Our specialists can also help you with your application.
Buy to let with bad credit FAQs
About the author
Martin is a senior mortgage advisor and has held a CeMAP qualification for over 15 years while also completing an MBA in Global Banking & Finance.