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 Introduced in 1980, the Right to Buy scheme has helped millions of council tenants to purchase their rented properties, including those with bad credit. 

The changes made to the scheme in 2015 mean that tenants are now able to purchase their properties after renting for three years rather than five, and the maximum discounts available under the scheme have increased to £78,600 (or £104,900 in London). 
 
In its 2016 Autumn Statement, the government announced plans to extend the scheme to include housing association properties, and five housing associations have piloted the scheme throughout 2017. 

Whilst the sales numbers are yet to be released, it is anticipated that over 3,000 tenants have been able to purchase their properties.  

Can I qualify for Right to Buy if I have bad credit? 

If you have credit problems or have had issues in the past, it could affect the decision on your application for a mortgage. 

However, there are still things you can check to ensure that you give yourself the best chance of getting your application accepted. 

How do I know if I have bad credit?  
 
If you’ve defaulted on any debts, had a County Court Judgment (CCJ) registered against you or have been declared bankrupt, especially within the last six years, your credit rating will have been affected. 

Even less ‘serious’ credit issues - a late catalogue payment or missed phone contract payment - can also hinder your application. 

Is credit just affected by credit cards and loans?  

Despite the name, your credit rating is affected by many other things other than your credit card. 

Anything ranging from your utility bills, mobile phone contract and gym membership payments can affect your record. 

Your payment history, amount of outstanding debt and how long you’ve had a credit history for all also go towards determining your credit score. 

I’ve checked my score and it shows bad credit. What should I do? 

Ensure that your record is accurate. 

Mistakes can be made by credit agencies so if you believe that any of your information is incorrect, then you have the right to have it corrected.  

Agencies can also add notes to your record that explains discrepancies if they were down to something out of your control – like being made redundant. 

Whilst this isn’t a correction, it may be enough for a lender to accept your application. 

You can also take steps to repair your rating like making sure that you’ve closed unused credit cards, are on the electoral register and that you don’t make a number of credit applications in quick succession.  

What are my chances of being accepted for a Right to Buy mortgage?  

Lenders use complex scoring systems to assess whether you qualify for a mortgage and it’s based on a wide range of criteria.  

 

This ranges from your affordability every month, to your credit history. 

 

If you still feel that your credit rating is going to hinder your mortgage application, there are specialist lenders who deal with applicants that have bad credit history.  

Even if you’ve been turned down by the high street banks or building societies, it’s still possible that you can secure a Right to Buy mortgage deal. 

For advice on getting a Right to Buy mortgage with bad credit, speak to one of our expert advisers who will be able to help you with the next steps.