Can I Get a Bad Credit Mortgage in Northern Ireland?

Yes, though it does come with its own set of hurdles. Similar to the rest of the UK, your credit history might show some old wounds that can make getting a mortgage in Northern Ireland a bit of a challenge.

But don’t despair! The situation is far from being a lost cause.

With the right advice and by teaming up with a lender who’s a good match for your situation, you can secure a mortgage. It’s all about knowing where to look and who to ask.

How Does the Northern Irish Mortgage Market Differ from the Rest of the UK?

The mortgage market in Northern Ireland has a few characteristics that set it apart from the rest of the UK. Here are some factors that can influence the decisions of lenders:

Market Size

Northern Ireland’s mortgage market is smaller than the mainland UK. With fewer lenders to choose from, competition is less intense, which can result in slightly higher interest rates.


The physical location of the property you want to buy can also impact a lender’s decision. Some lenders may hesitate to offer mortgages in rural areas due to their postcode restrictions. 

So, it could be trickier to secure a mortgage outside of major cities like Belfast or Bangor, especially with bad credit.

Loan Term

The terms of loans can also differ in Northern Ireland. Mortgage terms are often shorter, and lenders may offer you a lower income multiple than in England or Wales.

Understanding these unique aspects of the Northern Irish market will put you in a better position when looking for a bad credit mortgage.

How is Bad Credit Assessed in Northern Ireland?

Lenders in Northern Ireland consider the applicant’s credit history when assessing applications, just like lenders elsewhere. But, they may apply stricter criteria due to the region’s higher average debt levels.

It’s important to note that every lender has its unique risk appetite and assessment procedures. Some may be willing to look past minor credit issues, while others might view the same issues as significant obstacles. 

It’s a nuanced landscape where a decline from one lender doesn’t necessarily spell doom for your mortgage prospects. The trick is to find a lender whose criteria you meet, which is where expert guidance can be invaluable.

What Factors Do Lenders Consider in Northern Ireland?

When evaluating mortgage applications in Northern Ireland, lenders typically consider the following factors:

Age of Credit Issue – The older your credit issues, the less impact they may have. A financial misstep from several years ago is usually less concerning to lenders than a recent one.

Severity of Credit Issue – Some forms of bad credit, such as bankruptcies, are difficult to overlook. But, minor issues like a missed payment may not be a significant hindrance.

Reason for Credit Issue – Lenders may be more understanding if your credit problems were caused by unexpected life events, such as an illness or job loss. But, they may be more concerned about credit issues that resulted from poor financial management.

Deposit Amount – Lenders may require a larger deposit if you have a history of credit issues. The exact amount may vary depending on the specifics of your credit history.

Why Should You Consider a Local Bad Credit Broker?

Getting a mortgage with a less-than-perfect credit history can be a challenge. However, local bad credit brokers can play a crucial role in making this task more manageable. 

Local brokers, especially those familiar with Northern Ireland’s specific financial conditions, have the knowledge and network to match you with the right lenders.

These experts understand the unique characteristics of the Northern Ireland market and have established relationships with local lenders. 

Consequently, they can tailor their advice to your circumstances and connect you with the most suitable lenders, improving your mortgage chances. 

If you need help with this, don’t hesitate to inquire with us. We’re more than ready to match you with a mortgage broker who can guide you through this process.

Which Lenders Offer Bad Credit Mortgages in Northern Ireland?

Northern Ireland’s bad credit mortgage market has many different lenders. Each one has its way of looking at bad credit. Understanding how each lender views bad credit can help when you apply for a mortgage.

For example, Finance Ireland looks at each case individually. But, they typically require any arrears from unsecured loans (like credit cards and overdrafts) to have been cleared for 2 years.

In contrast, any arrears from secured lending (e.g., a mortgage or hire purchase of a car) should be cleared for 4 years.

Halifax is another lender that operates in Northern Ireland. They consider lending to applicants with a default on a case-by-case basis, showing that they are open to some forms of bad credit.

Lastly, Natwest takes a more lenient stance towards County Court Judgements (CCJs). They consider applicants with a CCJ, provided it was registered more than a year ago.

What about other forms of bad credit? 

If you have an active debt management plan, a handful of specialist lenders might consider your application. The condition here is usually that you approach via a broker. 

The criteria for getting a mortgage after a debt management plan can vary from lender to lender. But usually, you will need to have waited at least 3 to 6 years since the end of your plan.

If you’ve had an Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA) or bankruptcy, the situation could be trickier. Lenders in this niche generally expect them to have been discharged for at least 2-3 years before your application.

Key Takeaways

  • Getting a mortgage in Northern Ireland with bad credit is challenging but possible.
  • The Northern Irish mortgage market has unique features that can impact your application.
  • Lenders assess bad credit with varying criteria or factors age and severity of the credit issue, the nature, and your deposit size.
  • It’s important to find a lender whose criteria match your circumstances.

The Bottom Line

Teaming up with a local broker who’s well-versed in the Northern Irish mortgage market can make a world of difference. They can provide valuable advice and introduce you to lenders open to applicants with credit issues.

Taking the step towards securing a mortgage with bad credit doesn’t have to be a lonely endeavour. Professional guidance can shed light on the process, adding a sense of certainty and confidence to what might seem like an overwhelming process.

So, what’s stopping you? If you’re considering a mortgage in Northern Ireland and have concerns about your credit history, drop us a line today. We offer a free broker matching service that connects you with experts who will cater for your needs and the local market.