Article by Richard Catlin - 17th July 2020

Will I Be Credit Checked If I Remortgage?

There is, at least in practical terms, a big difference between getting a mortgage to help move house and remortgaging to get a better deal on your current property.

Moving house is widely acknowledged as one of the most stressful things you can do – and that’s without the added complications that a global pandemic throws into the mix. Remortgaging on the other hand doesn’t require you to leave the sofa, and in some cases, won’t even involve a credit check.

But what determines whether a lender will dig into your Credit Report when assessing a remortgage request?

There are a few considerations that help answer that question.

The first is whether you are looking to remortgage with your existing lender or switch to another provider. If you are looking to stay with your existing lender and not increase the amount you currently pay each month, in most cases, the lender won’t assess your Credit Rating again (it will have done this when you first took out the mortgage). Similarly, you shouldn’t have to produce things like wage slips or bank statements – the lender will basically assume that (as long as you’ve made payments on time so far) where nothing is really changing in terms of how much you’re paying each month, your ability to pay won’t change either.

It’s important to state that the impact of Covid-19 on jobs, the housing market, and the economy in general is likely to be felt for many years, so lenders may introduce new assessment criteria, but at the time of writing, simply moving existing borrowing and term to a new product with your existing lender shouldn’t involve your creditworthiness being scrutinised.

There are two main situations where you will be credit checked when remortgaging, though.

When will my Credit Report be checked during a remortgage?

Even if you stay with your existing mortgage provider, if you decide to alter the amount you repay each month, the term, or the amount you’re borrowing, it is likely that your ability to repay will be reassessed. That’ll mean a check on what’s currently held at one or more Credit Reference Agencies, a detailed look at your income and expenditure and the need to provide supporting documents. Even if your monthly repayment goes up by a penny, it will probably be enough to trigger the extra checks.

Even when you’re staying with your existing lender, the fact that you are changing the amount you’re borrowing or repaying each month means that it will want to assess your ability to meet payments on time.

The other situation where you will definitely be credit checked is where you switch your existing mortgage balance to a new provider.

Given that this lender is unlikely to know what sort of customer you’re likely to be, it’ll start from the beginning and assess your ability to meet the scheduled payments. This will definitely involve a credit check and given the size of the borrowing will likely dig into as much information as possible – looking at what’s held by at least two, if not three Credit Reference Agencies. Should it find anything awry at any of those data sources, it could curtail the application.

Much the same as with a new mortgage application, it’s important to consider what will be checked as far in advance of applying as possible. Even using a service like checkmyfile, where we can dispute incorrect information on your behalf directly with all relevant agencies, it can still take a number of weeks for any change to take place. It’s no good waiting for your fixed term to come to an end before you think about checking, you need to make sure everything is correct before you’re ready to speak to your lender.

Even if you do think you’ll avoid a credit check when you remortgage, it pays to check what’s held for yourself to make sure it’s all as it should be.

How do I check my Credit Report?

You can see what’s held about you at all three Credit Reference Agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – with checkmyfile. You can try us free for 30 days, and then £14.99 a month. You can cancel online easily at any time.

You’ll be able to see what a typical mortgage lender will see, and get speedy, expert help should you need it via our team of professional Credit Analysts. You’ll save time, and potentially a whole lot of stress.

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