What credit score do I need to get a mortgage?

illustration of What credit score do I need to get a mortgage?

There are a few different credit referencing agencies in the UK, and all of them work out your credit score in slightly different ways. Because of this, there isn’t a particular credit score you need to get a mortgage. 

In this Guide, you’ll find all the information you need for understanding what kind of credit score can help you get a mortgage, plus links to lots of other helpful guides to how your credit affects your mortgage application.

What is the minimum credit score to get a mortgage?

There isn’t a minimum credit score you need to get a mortgage in the UK. That’s because there’s no such thing as a 'universally recognised credit score'. It’s possible to get a mortgage whatever your credit rating, but generally the higher your score, the more likely you are to find a lender to loan you the money to buy a house.

Can you get a mortgage if you have bad credit?

Yes, you can get a mortgage with bad credit. But you'll have fewer options compared to someone with a good credit rating. If you're thinking about getting a mortgage with bad credit, it's best to work with a bad credit mortgage broker (like us). Specialist brokers can look at all your options, find you the right deal, and make your application look great. Mortgages with bad credit are a lot tougher when doing it on your own - you could even be asked to pay higher interest rates or put down a bigger deposit.

Specialist lenders offer mortgages that are specifically designed for applicants with a bad credit rating. Our Mortgage Experts have a proven track record of making poor credit mortgages possible, and have great relationships with these lenders. Make an enquiry to find out your options.

Read more about how to get a mortgage with bad credit in our Guide.

What is a good credit score out of 700? 

A good credit score out of 700 depends on which credit reference agency you’re getting your credit score from. Each agency has a different scoring system. 

This table shows how Experian, Equifax and TransUnion rank credit scores. Experian credit scores are out of 999, whereas with Equifax, it’s out of 700. So if you had an account with Equifax and your credit score was 700, that would be marked as an ‘excellent’ credit score. But if you checked your score through Experian, a credit score of 700 would be ‘poor’. A bit confusing, we know.

checkmyfile* is a good way to find out how your credit looks across all agencies, and it's free with a 30 day trial.

If you want to improve your credit score before you apply for a mortgage, check out our Guide: How to improve your credit score before you apply for a mortgage.

*Heads up, when you click through to our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only recommend sites we truly trust and believe in.

Experian Equifax TransUnion
Excellent 961-999 466-700 628-710
Good 881-960 420-465 604-627
Fair 721-880 380-419 566-603
Poor 561-720 280-379 561-565
Very Poor 0-561 0-279 0-550

Frequently asked questions

Here’s a collection of the most frequently asked questions we’ve seen about credit scores and what they mean for you when you apply for a mortgage.

Is a credit score of 595 good? 

This depends on what credit reference agency you’re using to check your credit score. If you’re checking Experian, a score of 595 is categorised as Poor. That means you might struggle to get a mortgage approved by a lot of the high street banks, so we'd recommend talking to one of our bad credit Mortgage Experts and we can help with that. 

If you’re checking on Equifax, 595 is categorised as Excellent. If you’re checking on TransUnion, 595 is categorised as Fair.

Can I get a mortgage with a credit score of 745? 

Yes, you can get a mortgage with a credit score of 745. This score sits between a Fair and Excellent credit rating, depending on which credit reference agency you check. You shouldn’t struggle to get a mortgage with a score of 745, but it's always best to understand all of your options by talking to a mortgage broker before applying for a mortgage.

What kind of mortgage rate can I get with a credit score of 750?

A credit score of 750 sits between a Fair and Excellent credit rating across all the UK credit reference agencies. It's generally a good score and will mean you’ll have a few different options of mortgage lenders. The exact mortgage rate you’ll be offered will depend on your unique circumstances, such as your employment status, the kind of property you want to buy, and the amount of deposit you have. 

Is 520 a good credit score? 

If you’re checking your credit score on Experian or TransUnion, a credit score of 520 is categorised as Very Poor. This means most high street mortgage lenders won’t offer you a mortgage. If you're looking for a mortgage with a 520 credit score, it's best to work with a specialist bad credit mortgage broker, like us. Get in touch to speak to one of our friendly Mortgage Experts.

On the flip side, if you’re checking on Equifax, 520 is categorised as being ‘Excellent’. That means you shouldn’t struggle to get a mortgage offer.

What does an Equifax credit score of 658 mean?

A credit score of 658 means you’re categorised as having a Poor credit score on Equifax. That means most mortgage lenders won’t offer you a mortgage. To get information on how to improve your credit rating before applying for a mortgage, read our Guide: How to improve your credit score before you apply for a mortgage

Can I get a home loan with a 450 credit score?  

A credit score of 450 is categorised differently depending on the credit checking agency you’re using. For example, a credit score of 450 on Experian or TransUnion is categorised as ‘Very Poor’, which means you’ll have less options available to you when you apply for a mortgage than you would if you had an ‘Excellent’ rating. But, there are specialist mortgage lenders who will consider your application. You just need a specialist broker. We can help with that. Get in touch and get matched to the perfect mortgage broker for you now. 

If your credit score is 420 and you’re with Equifax, you’re categorized as having an ‘Excellent’ rating, so shouldn’t struggle to get a mortgage from most lenders.

Can you get a mortgage with a 550 credit score?      

Yes, you can. It’s possible to get a mortgage whatever your credit score, but the lower your score, the fewer options you'll have when it comes to lenders willing to offer you a mortgage. 

What is a good credit score out of 710?   

Equifax and TransUnion categorises a score of 710 as Excellent. Whereas Experian categorises a credit score of 710 as ‘Very Poor’. 

Can I get a 658 credit score mortgage?        

Yes, you can get a mortgage with a credit score of 658. If your credit score is 658 and you checked your score with Experian, it means your score is categorised as ‘Poor’, which means you’ll have less mortgage lenders willing to lend to you than if you had an ‘Excellent’ score, but you still have options. 

A ‘Poor’ credit rating often means you’ll need a specialist lender because they’ll be willing to consider your application on a case-by-case basis. Often, specialist lenders are only available through a specialist mortgage broker. That’s where we can help. We have a network of specialist mortgage brokers who can help get you a mortgage even if you have a ‘Poor’ credit rating. Get in touch now and get matched to the perfect broker. 

If your credit score is 658 and you checked with TransUnion or Equifax, it means you have an Excellent credit score and you should have lots of mortgage options available to you.

Can I get a 600 credit score mortgage?      

Yes, you can. If you’ve got a credit score of 600, the first thing you need to do is check which credit checker you’re using. If it’s Experian, a score of 600 is categorised as ‘Poor’ which means most mortgage lenders won’t want to offer you a mortgage. However, specialist mortgage lenders will still consider you. The best way to find a specialist mortgage lender is by working with a specialist mortgage broker who knows the market. Get in touch and one of our friendly Mortgage Experts will give you a call to chat through your options.

If your 600 credit score was given by Equifax or TransUnion, that means your score is categorised as Fair to Excellent. So you’ll have more options of lenders who’ll offer you a mortgage.

What is a typical credit score for a mortgage?

A lot of mortgage lenders like your credit score to be as high as possible because it shows them that you've been good with credit in the past. But because there isn't a universally recognised 'typical' credit score, and because of this, there isn’t a 'typical' credit score for a mortgage. There are specialist lenders who will consider your mortgage application even if you don’t have a typically ‘good’ credit score. 

Often, mortgages for people with bad credit aren’t available directly to you as a borrower. They’re only available from specialist lenders via bad credit mortgage brokers (like us) who work closely with them.

Our Mortgage Experts are all specialists who deal with bad credit mortgages every day. Make an enquiry and one of them will call you back.  

Can I get a mortgage with a Fair credit score?

Yes! You can get a mortgage with a Fair credit rating. Generally, mortgage lenders like applicants to have a high credit rating, but they all have different lending criteria. If you’re thinking of getting a mortgage and want a clear view of how mortgage lenders will see you, it could be worth signing up for checkmyfile*. checkmyfile shows data from across four of the major UK credit reference agencies – Experian, Equifax, TransUnion and Crediva. 

When you apply for a mortgage, a mortgage lender will do a thorough check on your credit report. checkmyfile lets you see what they will see, so you’ll know exactly how your credit appears and what kind of score you have. Once you have a clear view of your credit history and how each of the major credit reference agencies have rated you, you’ll know how likely most lenders will be to offer you a mortgage. 

Read more in our Guide: Checkmyfile Explained.

*Heads up, when you click through to our affiliate links, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only recommend sites we truly trust and believe in.

Do I need a credit score to get a mortgage?

Most mortgage lenders will want you to have some credit history before they’ll be willing to offer you a mortgage. But there are specialist mortgage lenders who will consider you with a very low or even no credit score. It's fairly common for someone to not have a credit score, for example you might have never taken out any kind of credit (like a utility bill in your name), or maybe you’re still living at home with parents so haven’t yet had a chance to build a credit profile. 

Generally, it’ll be specialist lenders who’ll be willing to consider your no credit mortgage application. Our Mortgage Experts can help you find one, and make your application look as good as possible.

Read more about getting a mortgage with no credit history in our Guide.

What credit score do you need as a first time home buyer?

The credit score you’ll need as a first time buyer will depend on which mortgage lender you apply to. Every mortgage lender has different terms and conditions to help them decide whether or not to lend to you. Some mortgage lenders won’t give someone a mortgage if they have a credit score under a certain number. But not all lenders have a strict criteria like this. 

Lenders like high credit scores generally. As a first time buyer, it’s good to have a decent credit score because then you’ll have as many options open to you from as many lenders as possible. A high credit score indicates you’ve got a history of paying back your credit on time, for example, you pay your energy and gas bills on time, or your mobile phone bill etc. All these kinds of things add up to give you a good credit score. But it's not game over if you need a mortgage with a poor credit rating.

If you’re worried you don’t have a high credit score, or have struggled paying back bills in the past, you can still get a mortgage. You’ll probably just need the help of a specialist mortgage broker, like us! Get in touch to find out your options.

What credit report do mortgage lenders use?

Mortgage lenders don’t use just one credit report or credit agency. When you apply for a mortgage, lenders will look for as much information as they can see about you before they offer you a mortgage. When they do this it’s called a ‘hard check’. This means they’ll look carefully at your credit history and the check will appear on your credit history too. They do it to check they’re happy to lend to you. A hard check will only ever happen if you’re making a new application, and the creditor will always have to ask your permission first before they do a hard search. 

There are three main credit report agencies in the UK: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. They all use a different formula to give you a credit score, and all use different parameters. For example, Experian rates your score out of 999, whereas Equifax rates you out of 700. So you’ll have a different score depending on which one you check. 

The credit checking agencies also decide what category you fall into depending on what your score is, for example, excellent, good, fair or poor. Lenders don’t take these categories into consideration when making a lending decision. Instead, they look at the detail of your credit history like:

  • What credit issues have you had in the past – any history of bankruptcy, defaults, CCJs, Individual Voluntary Arrangement or Debt Management Plans?

  • What is the total amount of credit you owe across all your accounts?

  • How have you managed your credit accounts in the past, did you pay on time and in full?

  • Do you make the minimum monthly payment or do you overpay?

  • Do you use your overdraft, and if so, how often and what’s the limit on it?


For the most thorough view of your credit history, we recommend checkmyfile*. Checkmyfile shows you the data from four credit reference agencies so you can get a better idea of what a mortgage lender will see when they check your credit profile. Read more about checkmyfile in our Guide: Checkmyfile Explained.

Can I get a mortgage if my credit score is___?

Because credit reference agencies have different scoring systems, it can be hard to understand what credit score you need to get a mortgage. Generally, most lenders prefer a high credit score categorised as being ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ than a low credit score categorised as being ‘fair’ or ‘poor’. 

For example, a high credit score if you check your credit score with Experian would be between 881 and 999. If you checked with TransUnion, a high credit score 604 to 710. And if you checked with Equifax, a high credit score would be anywhere between 410 and 700. 

If you have a ‘fair’ or ‘poor credit score, you can still get a mortgage, but you’ll have less options of mortgage lenders willing to give you a mortgage. Read our Guide on How to improve your credit score before you apply for a mortgage if you want to know how to improve it before applying. If you need to get a mortgage soon and are worried you won’t be able to due to a poor credit score, get in touch with us for expert bad credit mortgage advice.

WE MAKE MORTGAGES POSSIBLE

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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