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How to get your credit score ready for a mortgage

Woman sits on a bench with a laptop on her lap. She has her fist pumping in the air and bears a huge grin. Her coffee mug sits next to her.
How to get your credit score ready for a mortgage. Source: Getty

This video is part of an exclusive 10-part series from the book: How to get mortgage-free like me, available at

If you think you’re ready to apply for a mortgage, Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon has news for you: check your credit score.

“Your credit score is like an intimate snapshot of your money self,” she says.

But new rules have meant that, unbeknownst to them, many Aussies’ credit scores have fallen overnight - and that score can make or break their chances of being approved for a loan.

“New rules mean that if you’re late by just 14 days with a credit repayment – think credit cards or other loans or finance – you’ll sink your score for two years.”

“And you’ll do the same for five years if you miss any other bill by 60 days – this counts as a far worse default. Your chances of getting a loan would go dramatically down.”

The front page of Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon new book How To Get Mortgage Free Like Me
Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon: How To Get Mortgage Free Like Me. Source: Supplied

Here are Nicole’s tips to get your credit score ready:

  1. Find out your score before the lender you want does

  1. Get a free copy of your credit report

  1. Don’t make credit mistakes

  1. Don’t apply for any other form of credit in the lead up

While you’re doing your credit research, Pedersen-McKinnon says you should find out any “black marks” impacting your score.

“The best chance you have of a quick fix is finding a mistake,” she said. “You can correct this directly with credit agencies.”

And staying away from credit is important in the lead up to applying for a mortgage.

“Every single time you stick your hand up to borrow money, it pushes your credit score down.

“That includes if you simply, smartly, want to transfer credit card debt to a 0 per cent deal. Or even if just apply to extend your credit card limit, as you eye property ownership.

And one last tip: the larger the limit, the lower your credit score.

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