Does Gambling Affect A Mortgage Application?

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If you are in the market for a mortgage but concerned that any gambling or betting activity you have undertaken might affect your mortgage application, how serious is the risk? Read on to understand how gambling could impact your chances of getting a mortgage.

Affordability & Risk

First and foremost, lenders assess the risk a borrower is likely to be based on their financial circumstances. They take into account affordability and ability to meet the monthly repayments and won’t be overly concerned about someone who has the occasional flutter on a horse race, football match or online game.

It is when someone’s gambling activity gets out of hand and starts to affect their ability to meet their monthly outgoings, pay utility bills etc, and affects their credit score or causes them to go into debt that gambling becomes a cause of concern for those seeking a mortgage.

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Does gambling affect your credit score?

Gambling itself doesn’t directly affect your credit score, rather it’s the outcome of excessive gambling and any resultant financial problems that can impact on credit score that can be an issue for those looking to make a mortgage application.

Gambling can affect your finances and put your household budget under financial strain. If you have a gambling addiction and are always chasing your losses trying to win back what you’ve previously lost, then it’s very easy for your debt to spiral. Resorting to credit cards or loans can all start to impact your credit rating.

When will gambling affect a mortgage application?

While we have said that gambling activities appearing on your bank statements won’t in themselves impact on a mortgage application, the sums involved could be a cause of concern. If a lender sees multiple large sums regularly coming out of a bank account frequently which are clearly for gambling purposes that puts the account in debt, or perilously close to it each month, there will be a reluctance to lend to that potential borrower.

Mortgage lenders will examine any application carefully and if substantial amounts are invested in betting and other forms of gambling, this will be a red flag. The lender will be concerned how the gambling behaviour could affect the ability to meet the monthly repayments and might consider you high risk.

For so-called professional gamblers, who rely on gambling as a primary source of income, they would be unlikely to be able to take out a mortgage based on their projected winnings as their income cannot be guaranteed.

What about occasional gambling and mortgage applications?

While lenders will usually want to see your bank statements in order to understand your outgoings and calculate affordability, you may be concerned that signs of outgoings to gambling or betting companies may have a negative impact on a mortgage application. Even if those transactions appear in your payment history regularly but your finances are still in good shape, it really won’t matter to the lender.

Where gambling does affect a mortgage application is where the level of gambling is such that it is clearly causing you financial difficulties. You’ll likely be struggling to meet bills, have perhaps gone over your credit limit, may have taken on additional debt or new credit on one or multiple credit cards. All these are signs that your financial well being is not in the best shape, and this will be reflected in your credit history.

Assessing the impact of gambling on your finances

Gambling, whether betting, online gaming, or something else where you are risking a financial stake, can have significant financial consequences, especially if it gets out of hand. While occasional gambling is usually completely harmless, excessive gambling can be harmful to both your financial and physical health.

Despite what a lot of people may think, gambling has no direct effect on credit scores. It’s the missed payments, low credit balances, and build up of debt resulting from gambling losses that can impact the credit scores of individuals, and this is what will impact on a mortgage application.

Financial difficulties, and debts owed to others that you are struggling with, can lead to county court judgments which can also impact on your credit rating and lead to facing greater difficulty when seeking a mortgage.

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Improving your credit report after gambling problems

If you’ve got into financial difficulty because of gambling debts and been turned down for a mortgage previously, is there a way back? Yes, previous gambling doesn’t have to put a stop to your home-owning dreams.

You will have to make the necessary steps to improve your credit reports. Reducing your level of debt, consistently meeting monthly payments deadlines, closing unused credit cards and all unused credit accounts can all be indications that your financial situation is much improved, increasing the chances of the lender being willing to lend to you.

Protect your financial health by avoiding gambling

While a little casual betting isn’t a big deal and shouldn’t affect the chances you have of getting a mortgage, it’s just a fact that many people who gamble happen to be people who already have bad credit. It is therefore advisable not to gamble if you are someone with poor finances in general already.

If you know you are going to be seeking a mortgage in the near future, take care of your credit score and protect your financial situation by not over-spending and avoiding debts, especially those built up through gambling. Stop gambling to avoid any negative marks that could impact on how some lenders might view you.

Applying for a mortgage

When preparing to make a mortgage application you should do everything you can to make you appear as financially sound as possible. The lender will conduct an affordability analysis of your situation so you should try to clear off any debts to show you can be responsible with your finances.

If you have gambling issues, reduce your level of gambling or quit entirely. This will boost your chances of meeting the affordability criteria if your household income is not being stretched each month.

If your bank statements aiming to show proof of income can demonstrate that the gambling activity has ceased, or at least been significantly reduced, this will aid your mortgage application. One of our expert mortgage advisors can advise you about the factors to avoid that could negatively impact your application to give you the best chance to borrow money that you need.

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Gambling and mortgage FAQs

Does gambling look bad on bank statements?

Most lenders will not look unfavourably at someone with gambling transactions on their bank statements when you come to demonstrate your income and levels of affordability for a mortgage. The lender’s primary concern is about your level of risk and whether you are likely to be able to afford the actual repayments.

Can a professional gambler get a mortgage?

A person who is considered to be a professional gambler, and therefore relying on the proceeds of gambling as their main source of income, is likely to have difficulties getting a mortgage. This is because their income is uncertain and therefore considered too much of a risk.

Can you be refused a mortgage if you gamble?

Gambling isn’t reason enough to refuse a mortgage. A person who gambles excessively is unlikely to have a good credit score and would be unlikely to meet the affordability criteria. It is for this reason that they would be likely to be turned down for a mortgage rather than the gambling itself.

However, if the mortgage applicant is making large transactions frequently and these are clearly for gambling purposes, many lenders would consider that person as ‘unreliable’ when it comes to lending.

Who can help me get a mortgage if I gamble or have previously gambled?

If you are facing difficulties getting a mortgage, perhaps because gambling has affected your credit score, there is still hope. Mortgage and financial advisors from When the Bank Says No can help you access lenders more willing to lend to people with a less than perfect credit history.

If you’ve made steps to improve your credit score and stopped, or reduced your gambling to more manageable levels where it is not overly affecting your affordability for a mortgage, then you have a good chance of being accepted when making a mortgage application. Contact us today and don’t let gambling put to an end your home owning ambitions.

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Emma Jones
Emma Jones
Emma began her career in Lloyds Banking Group, first in the unsecured & secured loans department at Halifax and later as a mortgage advisor at Lloyds. During 9 years in these roles and a further 2 years at Yorkshire Building Society, Emma was able to observe the impact of the recession, and how the banks let their customers down by denying loans and mortgages. Wanting to be a driving force for change, she stepped into a market advice role where she has been able to help clients when others couldn’t. Identifying a gap in the mortgage space, Emma went on to establish When the Bank Says No. As a keen property investor, she has been the focus of features in publications including The Sunday Times and This is Money. Emma’s greatest joy is overcoming the low expectations of their customers, many of whom have all but given up on getting a mortgage due. One thing Emma has learned through her own personal struggles is every client must be treated like a human and understood better by advisors and lenders in the industry. “We all have to navigate life events which can ultimately impact your financial status. It shouldn’t mean dreams of homeownership or business growth should have the breaks applied”. Emma and her team’s passion for helping people overcome the challenges they may face when applying for a mortgage have fuelled the success of When the Bank Says No.