Getting a remortgage can be difficult and if you have credit card debt on top of it, that can certainly make things even more hard.
However, there are certainly some steps you can take to improve your chances if you’re looking for a remortgage.
Today, I’ll be going over how you can tailor your mortgage application to ensure the highest rate of success.
What is a Remortgage?
A remortgage involves the act of replacing your current mortgage with a different one.
It may be done with your same lender under different terms and/or different products involved or it could be done with a different lender entirely.
You may be looking for a remortgage because you may have found a new mortgage deal that provides a much better interest rate than your old mortgage.
It could also be because the new mortgage deal you’re looking towards has reduced payments compared to your current mortgage.
This could free up some money for you that you could use for other living costs or payment towards any other debts you may have such as credit cards.
How Do I Apply for a Remortgage?
The process of applying for a remortgage is pretty much exactly the same as that of an ordinary mortgage.
You will hand in a mortgage application to the lender and they will look at your income as well as your expenditure and perform an affordability assessment.
Depending on the results of the affordability assessment, they will determine how much you can afford and how much they can allow you to borrow.
Keep in mind that since you’re applying for a remortgage, you will have to pay the application fees involved in your new mortgage all over again.
Furthermore, you will most likely have to pay some type of early repayment/redemption fee to your old mortgage lender.
These fees vary depending on mortgage lenders so it’s very important that you ask them in detail about it so you have a good idea of the costs involved.
If you have credit card debt, this will definitely have a negative impact on your chances of securing a remortgage.
However, lenders will be more favourable towards you if you can effectively explain to them why you ended up accumulating so much debt and what you’re doing right now to repay it.
Lenders are most likely to approve your application if you can pinpoint a significant event in your past that caused you to accumulate so much debt.
You must also be wary of how much equity you have in your property. It’s very important that you consider this and even if you have enough equity to get a remortgage, I highly suggest you look towards all other options before opting for it.
This is because if, for example, your current mortgage is around 85% of the value of your home, then a remortgage on it could prove to be extremely costly and thus, not worth it.
Most, if not all, mortgage lenders registered in England are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
This means that they have to abide by guidelines set by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Thus, if you feel that a mortgage provider is trying to take advantage of you in any way, you can report them to the FCA.
All these guidelines and regulations are put in place in order to protect you from any unfair practices and to ensure that you’re only paying what you can afford.
Will My Credit Card Debt Affect how Much I can Borrow?
When a lender is making affordability assessment calculations, they are going to assume that you will be paying 3-5% of your monthly income towards your credit card debt.
This will factor into how much you will be able to afford towards your mortgage payments each month.
Hence, if your debt is high, then your remortgage will most likely be a lot smaller.
Keep in mind that if you’re applying for a remortgage with another person such as your spouse, then the amount of money you can borrow will be much higher.
However, if your spouse also has credit card debt, then this will factor into the lender’s affordability assessment calculations as well.
Will My Credit Score Affect my Chances of Getting a Remortgage?
If you already have a mortgage as well as credit card debt, it’s highly likely that you have a fairly poor credit score.
This will definitely negatively impact your chances of your mortgage application being approved.
You can check your credit score on Experian.
That being said, if you’ve been making regular payments towards your old mortgage loan as well as your monthly minimum payments towards your credit cards, then your credit score may not be in such bad shape.
That’s why I always say that being in debt does not hurt your chances of securing a mortgage as much as being tardy with your debt repayments does.
If you have your old mortgage with defaults or if you’ve been missing payments towards your credit card debt, it’s highly unlikely that your application is going to be approved.
That’s why you should always make sure that you’re making regular payments towards all of your debts in the months leading up to your application for a remortgage.
What Can I Do to Reduce Credit Card Debt Before Applying for a Remortgage?
There are a number of options you can pursue in order to reduce your credit card debt.
If you have a large lump sum of money that isn’t quite as large as the debt you owe but is still close, then you might be able to get a ‘full and final’ settlement offer with your credit card company.
A ‘full and final’ settlement offer would involve you paying this lump sum to your creditor and them writing off the remaining debt you may have.
You can also opt to balance transfer the debt you have on your credit card onto another card which may have a lower interest rate.
Using this method, you can effectively reduce the amount of money you owe.
If you opt for the balance transfer method, you must make sure to be wary of the balance transfer fees involved.
If you’re thinking of getting a remortgage, I highly suggest that you spend a few months reducing the debt on your credit cards before actually applying for one.
Firstly, debt on your credit card would reflect poorly in your application. Thus, addressing it beforehand would be very beneficial.
Secondly, if you spend a few months addressing the debt on your credit card, this will do wonders for your credit score.
Having an improved credit score will immensely approve the chances of your application getting approved.
Getting a mortgage with credit card debt is difficult as it is but getting a remortgage with one is even harder.
I highly suggest that you look towards other options if you’re in such a situation.
However, if you’ve thoroughly assessed your financial circumstances and feel this is the best option, then you must make sure to take steps I described above.
They will improve your chances of getting your application approved as well as make the entire application process relatively stress-free.