Does gambling affect your credit score?

If you gamble, and you’re worried that it could be showing up on your credit report, here are the facts.

Last updated:

As of 14 April 2020, you will no longer be able to use a credit card to gamble in the UK. Even if your credit card provider allows gambling transactions, it is highly unadvisable and can lead to serious financial difficulties.

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Will gambling be visible on my credit file?

The act of gambling in itself isn’t enough to affect your credit report.

Your credit report is an assessment of your ability to comfortably pay back a loan. It doesn’t exist to make judgements about how you spend the money you have.

Provided you’re not borrowing money to finance your gambling, your credit report won’t be affected by it.

Will gambling affect my chances of getting a personal loan?

Although gambling doesn’t affect your credit report, there are many side-effects of irresponsible gambling that definitely will.

If gambling causes you to fall into your overdraft, this could affect your chances of being approved for a personal loan, particularly if it’s an unauthorised overdraft.

If you use a credit card to gamble, going into credit could have an impact, too. The simple act of applying for a credit card affects your credit record, so you don’t want to be doing this more often than you need to. Lenders will also consider how much credit you already have access to before approving your new loan.

The reality is that many compulsive gamblers open multiple credit card accounts to fund their habit, and this affects their ability to access further credit.

The problem worsens if you’re unable to pay off your balance before the end of the month.

At this point, the debt cycle becomes hard to break and your credit score becomes worse and worse, especially if the gambling habit continues.

However, if you gamble responsibly using your own money and otherwise have a decent credit score, there is no reason why gambling should affect your chances of getting a personal loan.

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Will gambling affect my chances of getting a mortgage?

Mortgage lenders screen an applicant’s spending habits with far more detail than any other type of lenders.

When applying for a mortgage, it is common for the lender to request between three and six months of bank statements, and assess your creditworthiness based on your payments. The lender will also conduct an interview about your spending habits.

If a lender sees outgoing payments to gambling companies, this could put off lenders from approving you as an individual responsible enough to make mortgage repayments. If you are found to have borrowed money to finance gambling payments, that is likely to be seen as an even bigger red flag.

This communicates that you’re an individual who prioritises gambling over responsibly paying back your debts, and that you’re likely to gamble a lender’s money away in the future. Even if you’re found to have regularly transferred winnings back into your account , this might not be enough to sway their decision.

Gambling and your mortgage application

Compare personal loans

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Name Product Total Payable Monthly Repayment Representative APR Link
Hitachi Personal Finance Hitachi Personal Loan
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Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 3.2% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 3.2% and total payable £10,493.64 in monthly repayments of £291.49.
NatWest Existing Customer Personal Loan (specific eligibility criteria apply)
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Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 3.4% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 3.4% and total payable £10,524.24 in monthly repayments of £292.34.
Post Office Money® Personal Loan
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Representative example: Borrow £15,001.00 over 3 years at a rate of 3.1% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 3.1% and total payable £15,718.32 in monthly repayments of £436.62.
Royal Bank of Scotland Existing Customer Personal Loan (specific eligibility criteria apply)
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Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 3.4% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 3.4% and total payable £10,524.24 in monthly repayments of £292.34.
AA Member Loan
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Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 3.0% p.a. (fixed). Representative APR 3.0% and total payable £10,462.68 in monthly repayments of £290.63.
Zopa Personal Loan
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Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 5 years at a rate of 8.8% p.a. (fixed) with an application fee of £240.00. Representative APR 9.9% and total payable £12,602.87 in monthly repayments of £210.05.
Lending Works Personal Loan
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Representative example: Borrow £10,000.00 over 3 years at a rate of 5.8% p.a. (fixed) with an application fee of £0.00. Representative APR 10.0% and total payable £11,543.40 in monthly repayments of £320.65.

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Please note: You should always refer to your loan agreement for exact repayment amounts as they may vary from our results.

Late repayments can cause you serious money problems. See our debt help guides.

Tips

Do

  • Gamble responsibly.
  • Gamble using cash where possible.
  • Seek professional help if you suffer from gambling addiction.

Don’t

  • Borrow money to gamble.
  • Apply for credit jointly with an irresponsible gambler
  • Apply for a mortgage until your bank statements show responsible spending.

John's loan application and his credit score

John used to really enjoy online poker. Although he didn’t consider himself an addict, he had used one of his two credit cards to fund this habit within the last three months. He pays interest on outstanding debt from both of these cards.

Before he and his girlfriend made a joint mortgage application, they decided it would be beneficial to clear up John’s debts. Together, they helped clear John’s credit card debts and closed both accounts.

In the months leading up to their mortgage application, John stopped gambling online, so there was no proof of it on his most recent bank statements.

The couple believed that this would improve their chances of being approved for a good mortgage deal – and it did.

The bottom line

Gambling doesn’t affect your credit report, unless your borrow money to fund it.

However, mortgage lenders now consider more than your credit report while assessing your creditworthiness, so (if you have to gamble at all) it’s worth only gambling with cash in the months leading up to a mortgage application.

Read about how different factors can affect your score

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