I have £ 25,000 in credit card debt – can I get a mortgage? | Mortgages

Q I am 47 years old and have a good annual income of £ 45,000 but owe £ 25,000 in credit card debt which is almost 90% of my available credit. My wife is 37 and has an income of £ 22,000 less, but no debt and a great credit rating. We are desperate to buy our first home and have saved around £ 16,000 to spend on the deposit.

With my high level of credit card debt – but no missed payments – is it likely that I will be approved for a mortgage on my own? I have agreements in principle, but I feel like when a full application is made horrible questions will be asked about my nine credit cards, mostly at most, and I will be rejected. I want to avoid a joint mortgage if possible because I don’t want my wife’s credit rating to be negatively affected by mine. California

A You are right to worry that your credit card debt will cause you to turn down a mortgage. While it is helpful to use credit cards to build a good credit score with an on-time payment history, you will also need to demonstrate to lenders that you are not overly dependent on them. Paying your bill in full each month shows that you are in control. However, according to Nationwide Building Society, if you don’t plan to pay in full each month, you must “aim to keep your regular borrowing on all of your credit cards below 25% of the total limit” to be an acceptable mortgage borrower. While other lenders share Nationwide’s point of view, a successful mortgage application doesn’t seem to be on the cards.

You are also right that when you apply for a full mortgage you will be faced with questions about your credit cards and may even need to show recent statements. You will also be asked detailed questions about other regular expenses to help the lender decide if you can afford a mortgage on top of all your other financial commitments.

You are wrong to think that if you took out a joint mortgage it would affect your wife’s credit rating. It is true that a financial connection with you would be written on his credit report and it could have an impact on how you are perceived by lenders, but your score does not change his. Having your wife on the mortgage could also work in your favor, as the ratio of debt repayment to household income, which is another factor considered by lenders, would be lower than if it were based solely on on your income.

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