How gambling affects your chances of borrowing money

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Written by: Emma Lunn

02/07/2021

As England prepare to take on Ukraine, concerns over increased play continue to be raised by pundits.


Football tournaments are known to attract an increase in betting and gambling, with the National Gambling Helpline reporting a 5% increase in calls during the 2018 World Cup.

Whether you win or lose, gambling can impact the willingness of banks and lenders to lend you money. Gambling can be considered a form of “irresponsible spending” and seeing gambling transactions in your financial records could be enough to make lenders nervous.

Auto finance provider Zuto has looked at the ways gambling could affect your chances of borrowing money.

Frequency of play

UK financial firms are increasingly embracing Open Banking, which potentially allows other financial organizations to see your financial information. For players who allow Open Banking when applying for credit, this means lenders will have a broader view of income and expenses.

Although there are no set rules and each lender operates differently, most lenders will look at the frequency of gambling activity, the amount spent on gambling, and how your gambling spending relates to your income. and your account balance.

Underwriters will want to see that there are no signs of financial distress related to gambling activity before approving any type of credit.

Risk indicators

Lenders typically look at a list of “risk indicators” when deciding whether or not customers can afford to borrow money.

These include the use of unarranged overdraft, returned direct debits, dealings with debt collection agencies, recent borrowings, payday loans and gambling activities

If clients have more than one of the above factors, it will likely affect their chances of being approved for a loan.

Get a mortgage

If you frequently gamble a lot of your income and your bank statement shows a high-risk spending pattern, you might have trouble getting a mortgage.

Lenders might consider how much you play versus how much you earn. This might make buying a weekly lottery ticket acceptable, but betting a week’s wages on a football game is unacceptable.

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