The Impact Of Pet Ownership And Other Possible Pitfalls On Your Mortgage Approval
11th February 2024
The complex waters of securing a mortgage in the UK can often feel like a straightforward journey—at first glance. Prospective homeowners are typically well-versed in the basics: maintain a good credit score, have a steady income, and save a substantial deposit.
However, beneath the surface of these well-trodden paths lie some rather unexpected, even weird pitfalls that could derail your application. ABC Finance's Finance Expert, Gary Hemming reveals the surprising obstacles that impact your mortgage approvals.
Your Name's Googleability
In an age where your digital footprint can be as important as your physical one, having a common name that yields thousands of search results—or worse, shares with a notorious figure—can actually cause issues. Lenders or their automated systems may perform basic online checks as part of their due diligence. If they find something concerning tied to your name, it might prompt further investigation, slowing down your application.
Frequent Cash Deposits
If your bank statements show regular cash deposits, lenders might raise an eyebrow. This could be interpreted as a lack of financial traceability, raising concerns about money laundering. Even if it's just a habit of depositing cash tips from your job, it might warrant additional explanation to assure lenders of the money's legitimate origin.
Believe it or not, owning certain types of exotic pets can impact your mortgage application. If the lender becomes aware that you own a pet that could potentially cause damage to the property (think large reptiles or certain breeds of dogs), they might see this as a risk to the property's value.
Social Media Footprint
Your social media presence can sometimes play a role in your mortgage application process. Lenders won't typically scour your profiles, but if a quick search brings up risky behaviours, such as boasting about evading taxes or engaging in illegal activities, it could undermine your application.
An abundance of monthly subscriptions or memberships could be perceived negatively. If your bank statements are littered with payments to various entertainment platforms, gyms, clubs, and so on, it might suggest to lenders that your lifestyle expenses are high, potentially affecting your ability to make mortgage payments.
Historical Debt with the Same Lender
If you're applying for a mortgage with a bank where you previously defaulted on a debt, even if it was years ago, this could come back to haunt your application. Some financial institutions have long memories and internal records that could influence their decision-making process.
Participation in Gambling Websites
Even if you're not regularly withdrawing cash for gambling, participation in online gambling platforms can be a red flag. Subscriptions or frequent transactions with gambling sites, regardless of amounts won or lost, suggest a risk-taking behaviour that might concern lenders.
Odd Spending Habits
Lenders reviewing your bank statements might be put off by unusual or erratic spending habits. This doesn't just mean large, unexplained purchases—it could also refer to a pattern of impulsive buying or erratic financial behaviour, indicating poor money management skills.
Unusual Occupation Types
If your profession is unconventional or hard to categorize, lenders might struggle to assess your income stability. Jobs in emerging industries, gig economy roles, or positions that rely heavily on commissions or bonuses can pose challenges in proving a reliable income.
Gary Hemming from ABC Finance
says, "Securing a mortgage is already a daunting task, and these unusual factors don't make it any easier. However, being aware of these potential pitfalls can help you navigate the process more smoothly. It's crucial to present yourself as a reliable candidate not just financially but in aspects of your life you might not have considered relevant. When in doubt, consulting with a mortgage advisor can help you address any concerns and improve your chances of approval."