How Does Gambling Affect Your Mortgage Application?

Read Time: 2 minutes

The ability to pay back what you owe at the agreed time is a critical factor in securing a mortgage. A history of gambling or an income dependent on gambling funds will often prevent borrowers from being able to get a mortgage.

Here’s how gambling affects your chances of getting a mortgage.

When Does Gambling Affect Your Mortgage Application and Approval?

When gambling harms your finances, you are not likely to get approved for a mortgage. If you regularly take out credit to place bets, or the money you spend on gambling represents a significant portion of your income, the underwriter will consider you too big a risk.

Also, professional gamblers (people for whom gambling is a primary source of income) are unlikely to be able to take out loans based on their gambling winnings because gambling is generally regarded as an unstable profession. Gambling is very high-risk, and winnings rarely come in very consistently.

Even if you can afford a mortgage now, there is no way to know if that will remain the case for the rest of your loan term. The interest rate on your loan is likely to be higher than average, and you may also need to pay more as a down payment to compensate for the increased risk associated with your gambling.

When is Gambling Not Likely to Affect Your Mortgage Application?

During the loan approval process, lenders look at a lot of things. One is your bank statement for the previous 3-6 months. The lender will notice any deposits to gambling sites.

However, this will likely be fine if you bet only occasionally and within your means. The primary concern is how much of a risk you are. As long as you are not a compulsive gambler, and you don’t make most of your income from betting, it shouldn’t be a problem—your responsible, one-time weekend vacation in Vegas two years ago shouldn’t ruin your chances of getting a mortgage.

Tips to Improve Your Chances of Loan Approval as a Gambler

1. Stop gambling

You should stop all forms of betting at least three months before your mortgage application, even for occasional gamblers.

If you are having trouble quitting, it could be indicative of an addiction. You should seek help from medical professionals and postpone your mortgage plans.

2. Clear your debts

Your debt-to-income ratio is important to lenders. Clearing as much of your debt as possible will improve your chances of getting approved for a mortgage.

3. Put down a hefty down payment

Putting down a large down payment means your monthly payments will be lower, and it’s more likely that you’ll be approved. 10-20 percent is often a standard down payment, so aim for more if you can afford it or have the means to save up.

Even though your gambling winnings won’t be considered consistent income, you can use them to bolster your down payment and strengthen your mortgage application.

Kirk Haverkamp

Kirk Haverkamp is an award-winning reporter and editor with more than 25 years of experience in journalism and public relations. He has contributed to, Investopedia, and MetroMode online magazines, among other work. He has a B.A. in English from Hope College and a Master’s Degree in journalism from Michigan State University.

See How Much Home You Can Afford

Start Here

Connect with a lender to help determine your homebuying budget.