7 Tips For Improving Your Credit Before Applying for a First-time Buyer Mortgage

Before you apply for a mortgage, it’s important to make sure that your credit score is up to par. Your credit score has a major impact on the interest rate and terms of the loan, so even just a few points of improvement can make a big difference.

6 min read

Improving your credit score is crucial when preparing to apply for a first-time buyer mortgage. A high credit score is a key contributor to getting approved for a mortgage with a low-interest rate. To achieve this, there are several steps you can take, starting with paying your bills on time and reducing your debts. A good way to increase your credit score is to review your credit report and dispute any errors you find. Additionally, refrain from closing any credit card accounts, as this can negatively affect your credit utilisation ratio. By implementing these tips, you can significantly increase your chances of securing a first-time buyer mortgage with favorable terms.

What is a First-time Buyer Mortgage?

A first-time buyer mortgage is specifically designed for those taking their first step onto the property ladder. It typically offers smaller deposits and lower interest rates, making it a more affordable option for those starting out. Some types of first-time buyer mortgages include fixed-rate, variable-rate, 95% LTV mortgage and help-to-buy mortgages. Fixed-rate mortgages give you the security of knowing exactly what your mortgage payments will be each month, while variable-rate mortgages have the potential to fluctuate with the housing market. If you’re struggling to save for a deposit, a help-to-buy mortgage could be the solution, offering a government-backed equity loan on your deposit.

Why Improving Your Credit Matters for a First-time Buyer Mortgage

If you're a first-time buyer looking to get a mortgage, one of the most important things you can do is work on improving your credit score. Having a positive credit history can make a huge difference in your ability to secure a loan with favorable terms, including a lower interest rate and lower monthly payments. Not only that, but having good credit can also help you qualify for a higher loan amount or put a larger down payment on your home, ultimately giving you more purchasing power. So, whether you're just starting to think about buying a home or you're further along in the process, taking steps to improve your credit score can greatly benefit you in the long run.

Can I still apply for a mortgage if I have a bad credit score?

Yes, it is possible to get a mortgage even if you have bad credit. However, the interest rate and other loan terms may not be as favorable as they would be with a good credit score. In addition, having a lower credit score can also affect your ability to qualify for certain types of mortgages or loan amounts.

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7 Tips for Improving Your Credit Score

  1. Check Your Credit Report and Score Regularly using the Check My File website.
    Keeping track of your credit score and report might not be high on your priority list, but it's crucial for your financial well-being. That's where the Check My File website comes in. Not only does it allow you to monitor your score and report from all the major credit referencing agencies, but it also provides you with useful tips and tools on how to improve your creditworthiness. With their easy-to-use platform and comprehensive range of features, Check My File will help you stay on top of your credit status and help you achieve your financial goals. Don't let your credit report be a mystery.

    Sign up for Check My File today and stay ahead of the game. - Try it FREE for 30 days, then £14.99 a month - cancel online anytime
  2. Pay Your Bills on Time
    Paying bills on time can be a hassle, but it's essential for maintaining a good credit score and avoiding late fees. Luckily, there are some easy methods you can use to make sure you never miss a payment. Firstly, set up automatic payments with your bank or credit card company so your bills are paid automatically each month. Another option is to use a budgeting app that sends reminders when bills are due. Additionally, consider setting up alerts on your phone or email to remind you of upcoming due dates. With these simple tips, you can stay on track with your payments and avoid unnecessary stress.
  3. Avoid Applying for Multiple Loans at Once
    It can be tempting to apply for multiple loans at once in hopes of increasing your chances of approval. However, this approach can do more harm than good. Submitting multiple loan applications can negatively impact your credit score and signal to lenders that you are desperate for money. This can result in higher interest rates and less favorable loan terms. To avoid these consequences, it is important to research lenders and their requirements before applying for a loan. Be honest about your financial situation and only apply for loans that you qualify for and truly need. By being strategic with your loan applications, you can increase your chances of approval and secure the best loan terms available.
  4. Reduce Your Credit Card Balance
    If you're struggling with credit card debt, reducing your balance may be a top priority. But knowing where to start can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there are several strategies you can use to tackle your credit card balance and ultimately become debt-free. One approach is to focus on paying off your highest interest-rate debts first, while making minimum payments on your other cards. Another option is to transfer your balance to a card with a lower interest rate or a 0% introductory period. Whichever method you choose, make sure to also create a budget and stick to it, so you can avoid adding on more debt in the future. By taking proactive steps to reduce your credit card balance, you can regain control of your finances and work towards achieving your financial goals.
  5. Dispute Any Errors on Your Credit Report
    It's important to keep track of your credit report and ensure there are no errors affecting your credit score. Should you come across an incorrect entry, it's vital to dispute it with your credit reference agency right away. By doing so, you'll be able to correct any misinformation, protecting your credit score from negative impacts. It's a quick and easy process - simply report the error to your credit reference agency and they'll investigate. You'll be notified of their findings and any steps taken to correct the error. Don't overlook the importance of a thorough credit report, and if you spot something amiss, don't hesitate to take action.
  6. Are you registered to vote at your current address
    Did you know that something as simple as being registered on the electoral roll at your current address could boost your credit score by up to 50 points? Surprisingly, only 45% of people are aware that this is the case. Being on the electoral roll is a relatively small and straightforward step to take, but it can have a significant impact on your creditworthiness. Lenders use the electoral roll to verify your identity and residency, which is why it is such an essential factor in determining your credit score. So, if you want to improve your chances of being approved for credit, make sure that you're registered to vote at your current address. It's quick, easy, and could make a real difference to your credit score.
  7. All good things come to those who wait
    If you're dreaming of owning your own home, the journey to get there can seem daunting. It takes patience, time, and careful planning. But knowing your credit status is a crucial step towards achieving your goal. A good credit history can make all the difference when it comes to securing a mortgage with a favorable interest rate. It may take years of responsible financial behavior to build your credit, but the effort will be worth it in the end. With a bit of perseverance and determination, you can make your dream of homeownership a reality.


Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you'll ever make, so it's important to be prepared. Understanding your credit score and taking steps to improve it can help you get the best loan terms available, saving you money in the long run. Paying off debt, disputing any errors on your credit report, registering to vote at your current address, and having patience are all essential elements in building a strong credit history. With the right knowledge and strategy, you can work towards achieving your goal of homeownership.

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