Using credit card for regular purchases in run up to mortgage application?

One of the few things that came up on my credit report that could be improved, was that I haven’t used any ‘credit’ facilities in a while.

It had been about a year since I last used my credit card so I figured I’d just move some of my usual payments for things like groceries and fuel over to my credit card (paid off in full every month).

But when I use the Barclays ‘What could you borrow?’ calculator for example, under the category of Regular Spending it says:

“The amount you spend to repay credit and store cards, catalogue purchases, loans, overdrafts, maintenance and your pension. You don’t need to tell us about general household spending, such as groceries, travel and utility bills.”

So would I actually be better off leaving those payments on my debit card and not having to mention them? Or better using the credit card and getting in a bit of credit usage over the next few months?

I’ve done loads of searching and can’t find any advice on this specific scenario. Only generic advice about paying off credit cards in full if you use them already.

Any advice appreciated!

I think putting £100 on and paying £100 off isn’t going to bother them.

It’s more “you have to pay Klarna £350 per month, Ford £300, Barclaycard a minimum of £200 as you owe £10k etc.

It’s about your affordability and what else you’re committed to paying back each month.


It shouldn’t matter massively it works a bit differently with mortgages.

The bank like to see that you have your finances under control, so having available credit and not using it shows an element of self control.

I kept all my usage to as low as possible, I’ve approx £12,000 over loans and cards to pay back but that’s less than 20% of my credit limits utilised. Just exchanged within the last week an all, so that’s recent experience.

Of course every bank will look at things differently to based on what risk they want to take.

Forgot to add this link to MSE, there’s some really good guides within.


That’s what I thought, but the way they’ve worded it is unclear. I presume I’d just put down £0 and then just give them the credit card statements to show everything going onto it are things that come under the ‘we don’t care’ category if they challenged it.

I was told by my mortgage advisor during the application that I only need to declare loans, etc as @Revels says. Putting shopping on a credit card and paying it off every month (not carrying a balance) wasn’t something I had to declare


1 Like

Perfect, that’s pretty much what I was expecting so it’s good to hear people with the same thoughts. In the grand scheme of things it will probably make little difference with the values I’m working with, but you know what they say, every little helps!

Just to add, don’t let the credit reference agencies pressure you into doing something you don’t want to/wouldn’t normally do.

The scores are made up and only seen by you; lenders see different, more detailed info.

The CRAs tell you to do things to improve your eligibility but also most of the recommendations like “use more credit” are there so that you take out a new credit line through them and they earn a sweet, sweet commission

Or I’m being cynical but I like to think I’m not


The mortgage broker / bank etc are looking more at long term forecasting, so they tend to want 3 months worth of bank statements which they’ll then work with to look into the future.

The more you can tighten up in the upcoming months the better as those forecasts look better.

I was asked about some of my accounts which were zero balances {credit cards) to see if I’d be leaving them open if I got a mortgage. Told them no they’re all planned to be shut just didn’t want to do it now incase it hurt and credit checks.

In reality those accounts are staying open and only for a extreme emergency. Thought it best to just say yes closing them in case it was a trick question :joy:

1 Like

Yes I’ve been looking at the advice in the reports themselves on this to improve but for the most part just ignoring the scores themselves (although of course higher is better on any platform).

Currently in second month of ‘spending lockdown’, nothing but fuel, food, Spotify and Netflix as I’ve switched everything else to yearly payments to remove it from the statements. :sunglasses:

1 Like