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Your gambling habit could affect your chances of getting a home loan

Gamblers hoping to lock in that home loan may have to rethink their gambling habit. (Photos: Getty)
Gamblers hoping to lock in that home loan may have to rethink their gambling habit. (Photos: Getty)

We all know lenders are cracking down on the conditions under which borrowers can take out home loans – but did you know even your gambling habits are going under the microscope?

Mortgage brokers are warning home buyer hopefuls that they need to rethink their gambling habit lest they be denied by lenders, as reported in Domain.

More than half a million Australians wager on sports, according to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, meaning a sizeable number of prospective borrowers could be affected.

The onus is now on borrowers to prove they're good candidates for a home loan – and banks don’t look favourably upon gambling, brokerage White Knight Finance director Steve Vicary told Domain.

“Any idea that someone has a gambling habit is a red flag to a lender,” he said.

“We’ve had a couple of clients who’ve had a direct impact on their finance applications because of their gambling.”

‘Their gold, their rules’

Taking out cash to fund your gambling? You’ll have to explain those big withdrawals, especially if they’re from ATMs near gambling establishments.

“We’ve seen a young fella withdrawing money from the ATM and giving money to his mum,” said Vicary.

“The bank identified that ATM was near a casino and said it was a gambling habit, and he had some explaining to do.”

Such a habit won’t put you in good stead with lenders, he added, who only have a certain amount of money they can lend.

“If a credit officer saw a regular expense for a gym or a regular expense for gambling, I know which application would be more likely to be approved.”

Banks will be be looking further back into potential borrowers’ habits, so those intending to quit their gambling habit will have to hop to it as soon as possible, he said.

Gamblers wanting to lock in that home loan will have to nip their habit in the bud at least three months before their application, Loanworx CEO Pauline Ryan told Domain.

How much will my gambling cost me?

If you earn $82,436 a year and are applying for a home loan, your $50 weekly bet will slim down your borrowing capacity by nearly $32,000, Vicary told Domain.

If your gambling habit is costing you $200 a week, you’ll see your borrowing capacity reduce even further by $127,000 – if you can even get the loan.

Some lenders “won’t touch” prospective borrowers if they see gambling habits, said Ryan.

“They’re worried you can’t pay your loan because you’re a gambler.”

Lenders will be assessing borrowers’ characters, and gambling is an indicator of character, 40 Forty Finance director Will Unkles told Domain.

But it’s not just your gambling habit – even ordering Uber Eats can injure your chances of getting a home loan.

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