How mortgage lenders use your credit score

A guide to credit score assessment by Furness Building Society

When applying for a mortgage, there is an important process of assessment and affordability with your chosen lender. During this period, mortgage lenders like us will usually undergo a number of different checks to better understand your credentials and affordability.

Essentially, we want to look into your finances to determine whether you’ll be able to keep up with your mortgage repayments both in the short and long term. Taking these necessary steps ensures we always lend responsibly and we have a duty of care to protect the interests of our members.

two women looking at a laptop

A huge part of this process is supported by the buyer’s credit report; lenders will take a look at a number of different aspects of this report, conducting both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ credit searches before making their all important decision. In this article, we breakdown exactly what lenders see on your credit report and how we use this information to make that all-important decision.

What is a good credit score for a mortgage in the UK?

A ‘good’ credit score is actually quite relative, as this depends on your chosen lender and how risky they consider your application to be. For example, if your credit score alone is glowing, but other aspects of your application provide some risk, the score itself may be overruled by these other aspects. With this in mind, it’s always best to polish all aspects of your application - including your credit score - before you apply.

There are five categories that your credit score will fit under: Very Poor, Poor, Fair, Good and Excellent.

It’s worth noting that every credit agency will use slightly different information to gather these scores, making the scores unique to each Credit Rating Agency (CRA). Here’s a breakdown of the scores associated with the top two categories, according to the top three CRAs:

An ‘Excellent’ score
TransUnion - 628 to 710
Experian - 961 to 999
Equifax - 466 to 700

A ‘Good’ Score
TransUnion - 604 to 627
Experian - 881 to 960
Equifax - 420 to 465

What credit score do lenders use?

What do lenders see on your credit report?

Can you get a mortgage with bad credit?

Next steps

If home ownership is a dream of yours, we would always recommend you start by reviewing your financial footprint and take good care of your money. A mortgage deposit will be an important first step but polishing your credit score and making a concerted effort to evidence affordability will be your key in the door.

We hope this article has helped you better understand how we use your credit score when processing your mortgage application. If you have any questions, or you'd like to speak to a member of our team, get in touch either in branch, by sending us a message or giving us a call on 0800 834 312.