How car finance affects mortgages

How car finance affects mortgages

If you’re thinking of applying for a mortgage, you might be wondering if car finance has any effect on your chances of being successful. The answer is yes, car finance can impact your ability to get a mortgage, especially if your finance arrangement still has a long time to run.

Does car finance affect your ability to get a mortgage?

When you apply for a mortgage, lenders look at your overall financial situation to decide if you can afford to repay the loan. Car finance is a form of debt, and having any kind of debt can impact your mortgage application (or any other kind of finance application, for that matter). Lenders look at your existing debts to work out if you’re a reliable borrower and if you can manage additional debt from a mortgage. Having a large amount of debt outstanding from your car finance could mean a higher APR on any mortgage offer or being offered a reduced amount.

If you already have a mortgage and then decide to get car finance, this won’t have any impact on your mortgage, so you can breathe a sigh of relief if this is the case. You’ll need to be sure you can comfortably make both your mortgage and car finance payments, however. As always, you should only ever apply for finance that you know you can afford.

What is debt-to-income ratio and how can it affect mortgages?

You may also have heard of debt-to-income ratio and wondered what it is. The debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is a measure that compares your monthly debt payments against your monthly income. It’s a key factor that lenders use to work out your financial health.

  • High DTI: If you have car finance and other debts, your DTI may be high. This means a large portion of your income is already going towards paying off debts. A high DTI can make it harder to get a mortgage because lenders might think you have too much debt already.

  • Low DTI: If your DTI is low, it means you have fewer debts compared to your income. This is a much better position to be in when applying for a mortgage.

To work out your DTI, add up all your monthly debt payments (including car finance) and divide by your monthly income. The lower the DTI, the better your chances of getting a mortgage.

Credit score and mortgage rates

Your credit score is another important factor that affects your mortgage application. It’s a number that shows how well you manage borrowed money. Car finance can impact your credit score in different ways:

  • Positive impact: If you make your car finance payments on time, it can actually improve your credit score. Lenders want to see evidence that you can manage your debts successfully and making your car finance payments on time is one way of doing just that. A higher credit score can help you get better mortgage rates.

  • Negative impact: On the other hand, if you miss car finance payments or default on the loan, this can damage your credit score. A lower credit score can make it harder to get a mortgage and can result in higher interest rates.

Lenders use your credit score to decide if you’re a trustworthy borrower. Keeping your credit score high is important for getting the best mortgage rates. If you are planning on applying for a mortgage, don’t apply for other forms of credit at the same time as too many hard checks can also have a negative impact on your credit rating. 

Read more about how to improve your credit score.

Affordability and budgeting

When applying for a mortgage, lenders also look at how affordable the loan is for you. They want to ensure you can comfortably manage your mortgage payments without financial stress. Car finance affects your affordability in several ways:

  • Monthly payments: Car finance requires monthly payments. These payments reduce the amount of money you have available for other expenses, including a mortgage.

  • Savings: Having car finance might make it harder to save money for a deposit on a house. A larger deposit can help you get a better mortgage deal.

  • Budgeting: You need to carefully plan your budget to ensure you can afford both your car finance payments and potential mortgage payments. Lenders will look at your budget to see if you can handle the financial responsibility.

To improve your chances of getting a mortgage, think about doing the following:

  • Reduce the outstanding balance on your car finance as much as possible, or pay it off entirely, if you can.

  • Clear any other debts as much as possible.

  • Make all debt payments on time to maintain a good credit score.

  • Save money for a larger deposit.

  • Create a budget to manage your finances effectively.

Understanding how car finance affects mortgages can help you to make better financial decisions and increase your chances of getting approved for a mortgage – both now and in the future.


How much finance is left on my car?

How does car finance impact your credit score?

How much is a car on finance in the UK?

Read next

Read next