Getting a mortgage when you have an unspent convictionBorrowers with a criminal conviction may have difficulty obt... can be incredibly difficult, as lenders often don’t take into account the individual circumstances of people with convictions.
It is possible to get a mortgage with a criminal recordBorrowers with a criminal record may have difficulty obtaini..., however, and this article will provide guidance on how to do so. We’ll discuss the options available to you, what you need to consider before sending in your mortgage application form, and tips to help you secure an excellent mortgage deal with the highest chance of success.
What is an Unspent Conviction?
An unspent conviction is a criminal record that has not been removed from an individual’s criminal history and is still affecting them. It will remain visible to potential employers, landlords, and lenders for a set period of time. The type of conviction held and the seriousness of the criminal offence decide how much mortgage lending is affected. For example, if your future chances of approval won’t be significantly decreased if it was a minor offence such as a conviction for a motoring offence. If the criminal offence was financial fraud and you faced a long time in prison, it will negatively impact the lending decision much more, as risk is the biggest factor in the mortgage lending criteria
A conviction becomes spent when enough time has passed since the criminal offence, and this is based on the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. It’s important to note that even if a conviction has become spent, lenders can still take this into account when making a decision.
How to Apply for a mortgage with unspent convictions?
Applying for a mortgage with unspent convictions in the UK can be challenging, but it is still possible to get approved. Here are some steps to follow:
Check your credit report
It’s important to know your credit score and what’s on your credit report. You can get a free credit report from credit reference agencies such as Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
Be honest with the lender
When you apply for a mortgage, you will be asked about any criminal convictions you have. It’s important to be honest because the lender will carry out a credit checkA check of a borrower's credit history, which is used by mor... and background check to verify the information.
Find a mortgage broker
It’s a good idea to work with a mortgage broker who has experience in dealing with applications involving criminal convictions. They can help you find a suitable lender and provide advice on how to improve your chances of being approved.
Be prepared to pay a higher interest rate
If you have unspent convictions, lenders may view you as a higher-risk borrower, and you may be offered a higher interest rate to compensate for the risk.
Provide evidence of rehabilitation
If you have been convicted of a criminal offence, it’s important to show evidence of rehabilitation. This can include letters of support from employers or voluntary organisations you have worked with, as well as any relevant qualifications or training you have completed.
Consider a specialist lender
Some lenders specialise in providing mortgages to people with criminal convictions. These lenders may be more willing to consider your application and may offer more flexible terms.
Remember, it’s important to be honest, and upfront about your criminal convictions when applying for a mortgage. With the right approach, it is possible to get approved for a mortgage with unspent convictions.
Options for getting a mortgage agreement with an unspent conviction
High street lenders
Many high street banks and lenders will take into account any criminal convictions in a mortgage application process, so it’s worth looking into this option first. However, bear in mind that some banks may not be willing to lend to you if your previous conviction is serious enough. The type of conviction affects your chance of mortgage approval; for example, convictions for fraud like money laundering will likely deter potential lenders – it may be much harder to find a suitable lender.
There are a number of specialist mortgage providers who will consider applications from people with criminal records, and they may be more willing to take a risk on applicants with a chequered background history. However, it’s important to remember that these mortgage lenders are likely to charge higher less competitive interest rates than traditional lenders, so you should shop around for the best deal.
Another option is to approach your local credit union, as these organisations exist to help people who have difficulty accessing mainstream financial services – like those with a criminal record. Credit unions are often more sympathetic to cases with criminal convictions, and they can offer attractive loan terms.
Things to consider before applying for a mortgage
1. Your circumstances – Before applying for a mortgage, it’s important to assess your personal circumstances. You should consider whether you can afford the repayments on a loan and if you have the necessary savings or assets to back up your application.
2. Your credit score – Lenders will take into account your credit score in your mortgage application process, so it’s worth making sure that this is in good shape before you apply. It’s also important to check your credit report for any errors or inaccuracies that may be affecting your score.
3. Your employment status – Lenders will also want to know about your current employment type and whether you can afford the mortgage payments on a long-term basis. If you are self-employed, it’s important to provide evidence of stable employment and consistent income – mortgage companies want to see self-employed applicants’ average income.
Bank Statements as Evidence of Reliability
Bank statementsA record of a borrower's financial transactions often requir... are a crucial piece of evidence to demonstrate the reliability of an applicant’s financial situation. Mortgage companies will want to see bank statements from the past 3-6 months in order to get an accurate picture of their income sources and expenditure. Bank statements will provide insight into any regular payments, such as utility bills or loan repayments, and any unusual withdrawals or transfers that may indicate potential a difficult situation financially. Also shows whether you make payments on time; statement history is an essential factor in the lender criteria, and credit history is a key criterion in the final lending decision.
Which lenders will consider your mortgage application with unspent convictions?
Every mortgage lender will have their own policies when it comes to unspent convictions. A number of lenders are willing to take a nuanced approach and may consider the context of each case and the type of criminal offence before making a decision on whether or not to lend. Some lenders who may consider mortgage applications with unspent convictions include:
• The Co-operative Bank
• Nationwide Building Society
• Lloyds Banking Group (including Halifax and Bank of Scotland)
• Virgin Money
It’s important to note that even if a lender is willing to consider mortgage applications with unspent convictions, they may still decide not to lend. It’s worth shopping around and speaking to different mortgage brokers in order to find the most suitable option for your circumstances.
Getting a mortgage with unspent convictions is complicated, and it’s important to do your research and make sure that you’re informed of the risks and rewards associated with such a decision. The most important thing is, to be honest with lenders and provide evidence of your financial situation in order to demonstrate that you can afford the repayments.
If you need any help, you can contact our team of specialist mortgage brokers, who provide tailored advice and guidance with regard to mortgages for those with unspent convictions.