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You bought WHAT? Here’s why you should avoid joke payment references

Satnam Sidhu - Mortgage Expert 23rd June 2022

“This payment from ‘Steve’ for ‘saucy night’ could you explain please?” Not a conversation anyone wants to be having when it comes to mortgage time. As part of the application process, your mortgage broker and lender will need to check your bank statements in detail. And we mean in proper detail. 

All your payments, direct debits, and the individual transfers to and from your account will be looked at. Transferring money with a joke reference might be a laugh at the time, but it could prove tricky explaining to a mortgage lender later down the line.   

Wait, why do you need to see my payment references?

When you’re going through the process of applying for a mortgage, both your mortgage broker and lender will need to go through your bank statements - usually from the last three months. We do this to get an idea of your income and outgoing, spending habits, and making sure everything’s legal and above board before submitting your application to the lender. See the full list of what mortgage lenders check.

Your payment references are all a lender’s underwriter has to go on when they’re checking your statements, so when you add a silly reference to your share of the takeaway, it’ll probably get flagged meaning you’ll need to explain the transaction.

Oh no! Is it going to affect my application?

Although it’s not necessarily the most sensible thing to do, we’re all guilty of silly banter with our friends. And thankfully at Haysto we approach applications like a human rather than a robot, so we can usually just check the payment with you to make sure that the payment of £5.00 for “drugs and strippers” is just paying your mate Emma back for the taxi. 

However, it’ll probably delay your application a bit as the lender will need to clarify anything unusual or seemingly illegal.

We don’t want anyone to feel embarrassed or nervous to talk to us about their bank statements - we promise we’ve seen it all. All we care about is getting you the right deal and making your mortgage possible. 

Keep the banter away from the bank

Unless you’re talking about illegal or harmful activity, your funny payment references shouldn’t be an issue when you’re applying for a mortgage, as we’ll chat to you if we ever come across something we’re not sure about. However, it might be worth thinking twice about any banking banter in the months leading up to your mortgage application - just to save any unnecessary delays and embarrassment. 

We’re human, and there’s nothing we haven’t seen a million times before. So whether it’s credit issues or naughty websites, we’re a judgement-free zone. 

Get started online to chat to an expert. 


Our Mortgage Experts are fully-qualified with experience in bad credit, self-employed and complex mortgages. They have a proven track record of getting mortgages for people who’ve been rejected elsewhere.

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