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Gmarno

What Does A Bank Reference Do/say?

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Hi All,

I've just filled out an application to rent a house. However, the agency are doing a bank reference on me. What exactly does a bank reference say? Does it give their opinion on whether I have the money to pay the rent?

My issue is that I've never been the most conventional with my banking. I'm self employed, so my earnings aren't always regular, and I tend to pay myself in large chunks a few times a year from my business account rather than every month. This means that some months I have nothing coming in and money going out. I've tried to pay myself regularly for the past couple of months, but it's that time of year when all my annual bills come in at once so my account activity looks a little stretched (car insurance, bike insurance, road tax, MOT etc).

I've never in my life used an overdraft, I'm debt free, I have £30k of savings and apparently I have an excellent credit score/record. I have the money to pay the rent no problem, I'm just a little worried some moron at the bank is going to look at 3 months of statements and tell the agency I can't afford the rent.

Anyone have any experience of bank references?

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Hi All,

I've just filled out an application to rent a house. However, the agency are doing a bank reference on me. What exactly does a bank reference say? Does it give their opinion on whether I have the money to pay the rent?

My issue is that I've never been the most conventional with my banking. I'm self employed, so my earnings aren't always regular, and I tend to pay myself in large chunks a few times a year from my business account rather than every month. This means that some months I have nothing coming in and money going out. I've tried to pay myself regularly for the past couple of months, but it's that time of year when all my annual bills come in at once so my account activity looks a little stretched (car insurance, bike insurance, road tax, MOT etc).

I've never in my life used an overdraft, I'm debt free, I have £30k of savings and apparently I have an excellent credit score/record. I have the money to pay the rent no problem, I'm just a little worried some moron at the bank is going to look at 3 months of statements and tell the agency I can't afford the rent.

Anyone have any experience of bank references?

I'd just wait and see what happens. If they come back with a problem, then point out the reality of the situation.

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I hate agencies that want bank references, I've been asked for some in the past but the bank really wasn't keen to help.

if your money isnt good enough for the landlord then tell them to find another tenant.

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Thanks for the replies :) I'll just wait around and see what happens. It would be a shame to lose this house as I've been looking for months and it ticks pretty much every single box for me. Saying that, I'm not going to bend over any further for the letting agents so we'll see what happens.

Apparently the bank references can take a couple of weeks to come in, and over Xmas isn't going to make it go any quicker. I'll be interested to see what the reference actually says. I couldn't have a better banking record, and I fail to see how they can realistically judge what I can/can't afford considering the utter mess they made of the housing market.

Of course the agency have said if I want to take in 3 months of bank statements for both me and my guarantors they'll make their decision there and then. Erm, I don't think so quite frankly, I'll just wait for the bank references. I'm not going to justify my recent purchases to someone in a letting agency. I wouldn't mind, but I've offered 3 months rent up front, have a guarantor, I've shown them proof of savings and have provided excellent references from clients etc.

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Thanks for the replies :) I'll just wait around and see what happens. It would be a shame to lose this house as I've been looking for months and it ticks pretty much every single box for me. Saying that, I'm not going to bend over any further for the letting agents so we'll see what happens.

Apparently the bank references can take a couple of weeks to come in, and over Xmas isn't going to make it go any quicker. I'll be interested to see what the reference actually says. I couldn't have a better banking record, and I fail to see how they can realistically judge what I can/can't afford considering the utter mess they made of the housing market.

Of course the agency have said if I want to take in 3 months of bank statements for both me and my guarantors they'll make their decision there and then. Erm, I don't think so quite frankly, I'll just wait for the bank references. I'm not going to justify my recent purchases to someone in a letting agency. I wouldn't mind, but I've offered 3 months rent up front, have a guarantor, I've shown them proof of savings and have provided excellent references from clients etc.

I think it was on HPC that I read that bank references are a pretty easy hurdle to jump. Why not just phone your bank and ask them what sort of information they would disclose in their bank reference?

As for the option of three months worth of bank statements: most people receive their bank statements online these days, and agencies know this. So, you could download three months worth, make any amendments you feel may be necessary ('smooth out' those peaks and troughs) and submit those. Not that I would ever recommend such a course of action, of course; I am merely saying that it is possible.

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Anyone have any experience of bank references?

FWIW, returning to UK from several years abroad (and hence no credit record at all), I had no problem with that particular hurdle. I think "they" understand there are lots of people with legitimate means other than regular monthly income (which is in a any case a mugs game after the taxman has had his half of it). But my experience was a while back.

Other aspects of having no credit record were more painful. The worst was - slightly surprisingly - the extreme difficulty of getting a mobile phone contract.

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Okay, just thought I'd bring this thread to a close. I've just had a call from the letting agency saying that my bank reference came back fine. I would guess they looked at my savings and thought that I've got a good safety net even if I don't make a penny next year.

I'm going to see if I can get a copy for my own interest, but the lady at the agency said the banks say one of three things.

1) Good for that amount - Basically, you're fine to pay the rent.

2) Unsure for that amount - They're not convinced that you can pay that amount of rent based on your account activity

3) No comment - In other words there's little chance of you being able to afford the rent.

I still don't really know what criteria would really trigger a poor report. I suspect constantly being overdrawn, having lots of debt etc would count against you. Then again, these are the banks who were dishing out 125% mortgages so I have very little faith in their ability to judge peoples finances.

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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