Securing a mortgage with a default on your credit file can seem like a challenging journey. Especially if you’re dealing with mainstream street lenders, credit issues such as late payments, missed credit card payments, and defaulted debts might stand between you and your dream property.

This article offers comprehensive guidance on obtaining a mortgage with a 3-year-old default, covering various aspects of mortgages and exploring how different types of lenders approach defaults.

Damian Youell

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How We Work

1: We contact you and take down your details, income outgoings, name, address etc.

2: We will research the whole market and email you a detailed quote as well as a list of documents to proceed.

3: You upload the documents and information needed via our channel our online portal.

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Understanding Defaults and Their Impact

A default occurs when you fail to meet your financial commitments. This could relate to a range of credit agreements, from mobile phone contracts to secured loans and credit cards. After a series of payments have been missed, the creditor, whether it’s a mobile phone company or a utility supplier, issues a default notice.

This negative event is then recorded on your credit file for six years, regardless of whether you pay the overdue balance (a satisfied default) or leave it outstanding (an unsatisfied default). Both types of defaults negatively impact your credit score, often resulting in unfavourable rates or outright rejection of mortgage applications by street banks and mainstream lenders.

However, various lenders, including specialist lenders and adverse credit mortgage lenders, are willing to consider applicants with defaults. They can offer a range of mortgage products and competitive mortgage deals for those looking for standard or commercial mortgages.

Importance of Time and Default Type

A 3-year-old default is generally considered less detrimental than a recent one. Over time, if there have been no further adverse credit events, the impact on your credit file diminishes. Satisfied defaults are also viewed more favourably than unsatisfied defaults.

Types of defaults also influence lenders’ decisions. For instance, severe defaults on secured loans might carry more weight than missed payments on a mobile phone contract. Knowing the exact details of your default is important when approaching the mortgage process.

If your default is more than 3 years, you can read our article on mortgages with 5-year-old defaults.

Affordability and Income

Affordability calculation is a crucial part of the application process. Lenders assess your regular income against your outstanding debts and financial circumstances to determine whether you can comfortably manage monthly mortgage repayments. This review includes credit commitments, such as personal loans or payday loans, and considers both your employment status and annual income.

Lender Considerations

Mortgage lenders have strict rules and individual lending criteria. These might vary depending on the type of lender – from specialist lenders who focus on bad credit mortgages to the largest mortgage lenders in the mainstream market. The type of mortgage also factors into their decision. For example, a buy-to-let mortgage might have different criteria than a joint mortgage.

Specialist mortgage brokers, such as bad credit mortgage brokers and experienced advisors, can provide personalised mortgage advice, helping navigate lenders’ lending policies and improving your chance of approval. They have access to a wide range of lenders, including bad credit mortgage lenders and specialist mortgage lenders, who may take into account factors like the type of default, outstanding balance, and time since the default occurred.

Seeking Assistance from Mortgage Brokers

A knowledgeable mortgage broker can be a valuable ally in the application process, providing specialist advice on aspects such as default mortgage lenders’ criteria and the state of the default mortgage lender market. They can also give you an overview of your credit history, provide advice on improving your financial situation, and assist with the application forms.

Moreover, an experienced broker will understand the intricacies of dealing with a range of lenders and can offer invaluable financial advice. They can guide you towards mortgage options that best fit your individual circumstances, improving your mortgage chances.

Final Thoughts

Despite a 3-year-old default, your aspiration of homeownership is not impossible. A history of defaults can complicate the process, but with the right guidance from a mortgage advisor, understanding your credit history and maintaining a regular income, you can improve your financial records and find a suitable mortgage product.

Financial challenges like defaults are not uncommon, and numerous factors can lead to such situations. However, the mortgage market offers various avenues for borrowers with defaults. Remember to seek advice, consider your options, and stay patient. Securing a mortgage with a 3-year-old default is indeed achievable, as many default success stories can attest to.

Damian Youell

Feel Free To Start WhatsApp Chat With Us...

How We Work

1: We contact you and take down your details, income outgoings, name, address etc.

2: We will research the whole market and email you a detailed quote as well as a list of documents to proceed.

3: You upload the documents and information needed via our channel our online portal.

Feel Free to Contact Us


What does it mean to have a “3-year-old default” on my mortgage?

If you have a “3-year-old default” on your mortgage, it means that you missed payments or defaulted on your mortgage repayments approximately three years ago. This can have a significant impact on your credit history and make it challenging to secure future mortgage loans.

Can I still get a mortgage with a 3-year-old default in the UK?

While having a 3-year-old default on your mortgage can make it more difficult to obtain a new mortgage, it’s not impossible. Lenders will typically assess your overall financial situation, including your current credit score, income stability, and the circumstances surrounding the default. Some specialist lenders may be willing to consider your application, but you may face higher interest rates or stricter lending conditions.

How does a 3-year-old mortgage default affect my credit score?

A 3-year-old mortgage default can have a negative impact on your credit score. Defaulting on your mortgage payments is considered a serious financial delinquency, and it stays on your credit report for several years. This can lower your credit score and make it harder for you to qualify for new credit, including mortgages, loans, or credit cards.

How long does a 3-year-old mortgage default stay on my credit report?

In the UK, a mortgage default typically remains on your credit report for six years from the date of the default. This means that even after three years, the default will still be visible to lenders and may affect their decision when considering your mortgage application.

What steps can I take to improve my chances of getting a mortgage with a 3-year-old default?

To increase your chances of getting a mortgage with a 3-year-old default, you can take several steps:

Improve your credit score:

Make sure you make all your payments on time, reduce your overall debt, and maintain a healthy credit utilization ratio.

Save for a larger deposit:

A larger deposit can demonstrate your financial stability and reduce the lender’s risk, making them more likely to approve your mortgage application.

Seek specialist lenders

Some lenders specialize in providing mortgages to individuals with adverse credit history. These lenders may be more willing to consider your application despite the default.

Should I disclose my 3-year-old mortgage default to potential lenders?

Yes, it’s essential, to be honest and disclose your 3-year-old mortgage default to potential lenders. Lenders will conduct thorough checks on your credit history, and if they discover undisclosed defaults, it can severely impact your credibility and chances of getting approved. Being transparent allows lenders to assess your situation accurately and provide you with appropriate mortgage options.

Can I remove a 3-year-old mortgage default from my credit report?

Generally, you cannot remove accurate information, such as a 3-year-old mortgage default, from your credit report before the designated time period expires. However, you can add a “notice of correction” to your file, explaining any extenuating circumstances surrounding the default. This notice may be taken into account by lenders when reviewing your application.

About The Author

mortgage broker damian youell

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Damian is an experienced mortgage broker, founder of Ltd and company director. With over a decade working as a mortgage broker he has a strong understanding of hard to place mortgage cases. With hundreds of 5 star client reviews. hundreds of repeat clients his work speaks for himself.

He started as a one man band with the philosophy of putting clients needs ahead of his own. This ethos of offering excellent customer service has helped the business grow over the years. He gets satisfaction on getting cases pushed through to offer stage where other mortgage broker and companies have failed.

Throughout his time as an adviser he has carved out a niche area of advice helping clients with their business protection requirements too. Having helped hundreds of client with Relevant Life Policies, Shareholder Protection Insurance, Keyperson Policies and other important protection requirements of large to small businesses.

At home he is a family man and likes to spend his time with his four children and wife Lisa. He enjoys going on holidays spending time with friends and going for walks.