Can’t get a mortgage? Martin Lewis says these are the credit files you need to ask for

The Money Saving Expert offers sound advise to see where we stand on credit ratings

If you're struggling to secure a mortgage, you might benefit from this Martin Lewis mortgage advice, handed out on today's This Morning. ‘I can’t get a mortgage despite a high credit score,’ was the issue being discussed.

During the Money Matters section on This Morning caller Rebecca asks the money expert for his help. Her predicament is probably a familiar one for many, she has a sound credit score but can't secure a mortgage.

Read on to see how the Money Saving Expert was able to offer his expertise...

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martin lewis mortgage advice

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‘I’ve been trying twice now for a mortgage, and the only information I’ve been able to get is that it was something to do with communications, not paying something for two months in 2016,' explains caller Rebecca.

'But I’m on a credit score of 998 out of 999 and I’ve got no negative. I don’t know what the problem was in 2016, I’ve never knowingly not paid a bill or anything like that?! I was told I would need to appeal in order to get my mortgage but I don’t know which company I should be appealing because I don’t know what the problem is?!

Martin’s first question is, ‘Where did you get your credit score from?’ To which Rebecca answers Experian, a company that in Martin’s words is the ‘biggest credit reference agency in the UK’.

house calendar with pen and flower vase on table

(Image credit: Future PLC/Alun Callender)

He then follows up by asking, ‘Have you asked the mortgage company which credit reference agency they use for their information?’

After being told they also use Experian, Martin is left slightly baffled, because he’d expect it to be a different credit agency. He suggests it could be an identification issue?! He suggests going back to them to ask to see the actual credit file.

Rather than a report, Martin is talking specifically about just the file that details item by item, for the last six years, who you’ve had debt with.

When Rebecca hesitatingly says she’s not sure she’s seen the file Martin fires in, ‘Forget everything else, it’s your actual credit reference file [you need]'.

bunch of files

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Wreford)

He also advises Rebecca to consult the other two major credit score agencies to get their feedback.

When Holly asks, ‘that doesn’t put a mark against your credit history?' Martin offers some reassurance, ‘people perceive it does, because applying for our credit file goes in the soft search section of your file, which YOU can see as a mark... but lenders can’t’.

A money myth dispelled, thanks to Martin!

Martin also advises against paying the £15 fee to subscribe for the full credit report. Saying 'you don’t need the full report, you don’t need to pay £15 a month – you just have a right to get your credit file. You can do it for a couple of quid offline or there are lots of places to get it for free.’

More from Martin: Martin Lewis explains how you can save £100s with auto-saving apps

Martin concludes by saying that once Rebecca has source the credit file and checked it over, if she still finds no problem go back to the mortgage lender and the broker to get them to give more specific details to resolve the issue.

What would we do without him?!

You can check your Experian Credit Score for free here

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Tamara was Ideal Home's Digital Editor before joining the Woman & Home team in 2022. She has spent the last 15 years working with the style teams at Country Homes & Interiors and Ideal Home, both now at Future PLC. It’s with these award wining interiors teams that she's honed her skills and passion for shopping, styling and writing. Tamara is always ahead of the curve when it comes to interiors trends – and is great at seeking out designer dupes on the high street.