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nigel woollsey

Nigel Woollsey

Online Writer
Published: 04/11/2019

A recent survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Pepper Money has revealed that nearly four in 10 (39%) British adults admit to having missed more than one credit payment against a debt, with this reducing to three in 10 (31%) of those aged over 55.

The research also showed that younger borrowers between 35 and 44 years old are more likely to have missed several payments on a credit card or loan.

Debt per household has increased

Latest figures published The Money Charity revealed that UK household debt increased by 3% to £1,650 billion in 12 months to the end of August 2019 and the Citizens Advice Bureau has seen a 14.3% increase in debt enquiries in England and Wales in the 12 months to September 2019.

Rising debts for the over-55s

While the research from YouGov shows fewer over-55s have missed credit payments, this traditionally less indebted audience has also seen levels of debt increase. Data from the Bank of England NMG Survey, Cebr analysis shows the levels of debt for the over 55s has increased by 47% in the past five years, and this is forecast to grow a further 35% to £397 billion by 2024.

How bad credit impacts mortgage applications

A bad credit history can have negative effects on your ability to access virtually all kinds of credit, as well as the terms on which these might be offered to you. Although we are primarily concerned here with mortgages, a credit history with missed payments or defaults can impact your chances of securing credit cards, loans and even bank accounts if these have an overdraft facility.

It comes as no surprise that many lenders are understandably wary of borrowers who may have a less than perfect credit rating. While in most instances this may not actually mean people will be refused a mortgage, it can very often lead to the lender imposing special restrictions. These can include charging a higher interest rate or only being willing to lend to those with larger deposits or equity in their present property.

Unsurprisingly, the market choices for those with a few skeletons or CCJs are more restricted than those with a clean credit score. However, according to Moneyfacts research, there are 13 providers offering a total of 920 mortgage products for the ‘credit impaired’ – in many instances these tend to be specialist lenders and do not reflect the cheaper deals that are available to those with a good credit history.

Our guide on how to obtain a mortgage if you have a bad credit rating goes into this problem in more detail, with ideas on guarantor loans or using a mortgage broker.  


Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time. Links to third parties on this page are paid for by the third party. You can find out more about the individual products by visiting their site. will receive a small payment if you use their services after you click through to their site. All information is subject to change without notice. Please check all terms before making any decisions. This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.

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