Does gambling affect your mortgage application?

If you’re a recreational punter or even a professional gambler, you’re just as likely to want to own your own home – and that means getting a mortgage. So, how does gambling affect your mortgage application? Let’s take a look.


Why does gambling affect your mortgage application?

If you have ever had a mortgage declined for gambling, you’ll be only too aware that the activity can significantly impact a mortgage application – especially if it’s resulted in your losing a substantial amount of money.

If you have a history of gambling and make a mortgage application, it is likely to fall into one of two categories depending on the lender:

• some lenders will have such strict criteria for eligibility that they will scrutinise your gambling history – to detect even occasional forms of betting – and take a particularly dim view of any significant losses you have incurred;

• other lenders may have more flexible policies and attitudes so that your gambling mortgage application might be welcomed.

The extent to which your application is entertained will depend on several factors, including:

• the type of gambling in which you participate;

• how often you gamble and how much money you are spending on it;

• the sums you are winning or losing over time;

• the most recent instances of your gambling;

• whether your gambling is also associated with a poor credit rating; and

• the particular lender’s propensity for risk.

Despite these caveats, it is possible to secure a mortgage with gambling history if there is evidence of your gambling – on a sporadic or regular basis – and some few lenders may even consider as income the winnings you have brought home from the gaming tables.


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What do mortgage lenders classify as “gambling”?

Does gambling affect a mortgage in the UK? If you want to understand the answer to that question, it helps to know what mortgage lenders define as gambling.

The examples that can be cited are numerous – and you’ll be aware of them just from the world around you. They include such innocuous pastimes as bingo, lotteries, and scratch cards and progress through to heavier-weight forms of gambling such as casino games and slot machines (including those played online), betting at bookmakers, and online betting sites.

Whatever the particular gambling methods, your potential lender will be paying the closest attention to the regularity with which you play and the proportion of your disposable income that you risk.

Of course, different lenders will draw the line at a different limit, so assessing how much is too much is likely to be made on a case-by-case basis.


How long do I need to stop gambling to get a mortgage?

The principle to keep in mind is that any lender will want to see your latest bank statements for the last three and six months to assess the spending habits they reveal. Therefore, for that period in question, you want to present as favourable a picture as possible in the bank statements.

That means avoiding overdrafts if possible – and certainly unarranged overdrafts – and transactions in payment of your gambling. If you are tempted to place a bet, try to use cash so that the transaction does not appear in your bank statement.

You’ll get around any potential issues entirely, of course, if you can stop gambling for the duration of your mortgage application. The money you save can then go towards clearing any debts, improving that all-important ratio of debts to income to which the prospective lender will be paying close attention.


Does gambling affect my credit score?

Your history maintained by the credit reference agencies reflects how well – or otherwise – you have managed past debts and credit. In other words, your credit score will reflect the extent to which you have paid your debts as they fall due and have avoided action such as County Court Judgments (CCJs) when creditors have sought repayment.

Provided you have been meeting all your gambling debts, therefore, the impact of that activity on your credit rating is likely to be fairly indirect. What will count most of all is the inscription of your name on the Electoral Roll, those individuals with whom you maintain any kind of financial relationship, and the absence of any court judgments or orders.

If you want to know what information will be revealed to any potential mortgage lender, remember that you have a legal right to receive that information from the credit reference agencies. Furthermore, as Citizens Advice explains, you have the right to request such a “statutory credit report” free of charge upon request.


Can I get a mortgage with gambling?

In summary, therefore, your gambling habit – or even profession – is in itself no obstacle to arranging a mortgage. While some lenders might take a dim view, others are likely to take a more relaxed approach – provided your credit rating has not been adversely affected, and any gambling activity is under control.

Next steps

Whenever there is a question or doubt about the likely success or otherwise of a mortgage application – especially if you consider yourself little more than a recreational gambler – you might want to draw on the experience and expertise of brokers such as ourselves here at NeedingAdvice.co.uk.

We are always pleased to help you identify those mortgage lenders most likely to entertain your application and assist you with the application process.

Further reading: Gambling and Mortgages – Affect of Gambling on Mortgage Application and Credit Score


FAQs – Gambling and Mortgages

Does gambling affect a mortgage application?

When you apply for a mortgage or any other type of loan, you’ll need to provide proof that you have the ability to repay the amount lent. You’ll also need to prove that you won’t default on the loan. If you’re looking at getting a mortgage, lenders will look to see whether you’ve gambled before. Lenders may consider it risky to lend money to someone who’s had problems with gambling.


How does gambling affect a mortgage application and credit score?

Gambling can affect your chances of getting approved for a home loan. It could also negatively affect your credit score. When you apply for a mortgage, lenders will check your credit score. They may use this number to determine whether you qualify for a loan. A high credit score means you probably have good payment habits. But if you gamble too much, your credit score could suffer. If you have gambling transactions in your bank statement, you should always contact a mortgage broker before starting your application for credit products.


What happens if I’m denied a mortgage because of my gambling history?

While lenders don’t necessarily deny mortgages based on your gambling history, they do keep an eye out for people who have had trouble paying their bills. If you find yourself struggling to pay off debt, it’s important to seek professional advice from a mortgage adviser. Your financial situation could be improving, but you still need to make sure that you stay on top of your finances. This includes making regular payments on your debts. If you have a problem with gambling, you should speak to a counsellor or psychologist. The sooner you get treatment, the better.

Can I get a mortgage while I am gambling?

A mortgage advisor can help you arrange a mortgage regardless of how much time you spend playing cards or betting on horses. However, you must ensure that you are able to afford the repayment of the loan when it comes due. If you cannot afford to meet the monthly repayments, then you shouldn’t take out a mortgage.


Are there things I can do to improve my mortgage application if I gamble?

If you’re worried about being turned down for a mortgage because of your gambling habit, you can start by contacting a mortgage advisor. He or she can advise you on what steps you can take to improve your chances of approval. These include cutting back on your spending, saving more money, and finding ways to earn extra income. If these measures don’t work, you might want to think about seeking counselling.


How do lenders detect gambling?

When you apply for a mortgage, your lender will ask for three months worth of bank statements. Underwriting teams will then review your income and spending for any signs that you are not telling the truth about your income. They will also check if there are any suspicious transactions like gambling activity. If they suspect something, they will contact your employer to verify your income.