Matched Betting and Mortgages: What You Need to Know

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So, you’re all excited about making some sweet tax-free profits with matched betting, but now you’re wondering if it could throw a spanner in the works when it comes to getting a mortgage. 

The answer you don’t want to hear is: yes, matched betting can affect your mortgage application. But the good news is, there are ways to play it safe. 

You can use a separate bank account just for your matched betting adventures, or even take a break from matched betting just for a few months. It’s not going anywhere.

In this post I’ll tell you exactly how matched betting could impact your mortgage application, and suggest a few ways to mitigate the risk.

But first, I want to make it clear that I’m not a mortgage advisor and this is not professional advice. This article is just intended to give you an idea of some potential issues with matched betting and mortgages. I suggest you speak to a professional to get advice on your unique situation.

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Will matched betting affect my mortgage application?

The main reason matched betting can cause issues with mortgages is because mortgage lenders will ask to see 3-6 months’ bank statements for affordability checks. They want to make sure you are not living beyond your means and you won’t have any issues making your monthly repayments.

Now, if they see a bank statement full of deposits to gambling sites, this is a red flag.

We know that matched betting is not gambling and you are making a profit over time. But many lenders will not know or care about the mechanics of matched betting.

All they see is that you bet a lot, and they may conclude you have a gambling problem, and therefore you may end up losing money – and this is a risk to them.

Most lenders will only ask to see bank statements from your current account. So you can get around this problem by using a separate bank account just for matched betting.

(I recommend this anyway, just to keep the funds separate and help you track everything.)

However, some lenders might ask to see statements from all accounts in your name. This is unusual but it does happen.

So if you are worried, the safest option is to stop matched betting for at least 3 months before applying for a mortgage.

There’s no single rule when it comes to matched betting and mortgages

Some people say that the banks won’t care if your incomings are more than your outgoings. And maybe some of them don’t care. 

But at the end of the day, every situation is different – and some people have had their mortgage applications rejected because of betting transactions.

It’s hard to give a straight answer on how important this is because everyone’s experience differs. I’ve read a lot of people’s experiences on matched betting and mortgages in the Outplayed forums and honestly, some people got approved no problem even doing matched betting from their current accounts, whereas others were rejected because the betting transactions were seen as a risk.

There are lots of factors that could affect whether your mortgage application is approved despite matched betting. These include the size of your deposit, the LTV, the size and frequency of betting transactions, the lender, the mortgage broker, the individual person checking your file that day…

So again, you might be fine but if you want to play it safe, the best option would be to stop matched betting for 3-6 months before applying for a mortgage.

Can I use matched betting profits for a house deposit?

Yes, you can use matched betting profits towards your house deposit. In fact, it’s a brilliant way to save for a deposit! 

If you are asked for the source of the funds you can just say that you saved up over time – which is the truth. Typically if your savings were built up in a savings account gradually over time and are in line with what someone in your position could reasonably save, you won’t be questioned any further on it.

However, if a lender pushes for specific information on the source of funds you will need to declare matched betting. Whether they accept this or not depends on the lender – but it should generally be ok if they can see you have made a profit and are not showing any ongoing signs of a gambling problem.

If you are worried about using matched betting funds for a deposit, this is where a mortgage broker comes in useful because it’s their job to find out which lenders will accept your funds.

Can I count matched betting profits as income on my mortgage application?

No, matched betting profits cannot be counted towards your monthly/yearly income on a mortgage application.

Mortgage lenders obviously need to know your regular monthly income, and they need to see proof, such as payslips and tax returns.

Since we don’t declare matched betting on our tax returns (because it’s counted as gambling wins, which are exempt) we don’t have ‘proof’ of our profits. So matched betting cannot be counted as ‘income’ for the purposes of getting a mortgage.

In some cases, professional gamblers and full-time matched bettors may be able to get a mortgage if they have kept immaculate records, are consistently in profit and meet all other eligibility criteria. But you would need to seek specialist advice from a mortgage advisor if this applies to you.

How to increase your chance of getting a mortgage while matched betting

Option 1- the fairly safe method: use a separate bank account for matched betting

I highly recommend using a separate bank account for matched betting.

Most lenders will only ask to see statements from your main current account where your salary is paid into. So if you keep all betting transactions away from your main account, you’ll probably be pretty safe.

If you need to set up a new bank account, I recommend Starling. You can open an account in minutes on their app. Many matched bettors use them and have not had any problems.

Steer clear of Monzo for matched betting (love them otherwise) as they have been known to shut down accounts for excessive gambling transactions!!

Option 2 – the super safe method: stop all matched betting activities for 3-6 months before applying

In some cases, lenders might ask to see statements from all current accounts. Most will ask for 3 months’ statements, and some may ask for 6.

So if you are very concerned about getting a mortgage, the safest option is to stop matched betting a few months before you apply so that all betting transactions disappear from your recent statements. Then the lenders will have no way of knowing that you have ever placed a bet.

Option 3: alternate payment methods 

Personally when I was matched betting and preparing for a mortgage application back in 2016/17 I used PayPal for all matched betting transactions. That worked for me at the time. 

However, I don’t recommend this any more because more and more bookies now exclude PayPal deposits from their promotions. 

If you do use an alternate payment method such as PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, other e-wallets, pre-paid cards etc, just check the T&Cs of each promotion carefully to see if you still qualify for free bets! 

Option 4: use money in your betting accounts

Another option is to continue matched betting but only with the money you already have in your betting accounts, i.e. don’t withdraw or deposit anything. 

You might occasionally have to shuffle some money around, but you can keep transactions to a minimum while still keeping your hand in. The occasional small deposit or withdrawal from a betting site should not be a red flag, as banks understand that lots of people do bet occasionally.

Which option should I pick?

How seriously you need to take all this depends on how likely you are to get a good mortgage deal in general.

If overall you fit all the criteria for getting a mortgage – such as good steady income, adequate deposit, good credit score, passing affordability checks, and so on – you likely have a wide range of mortgage options available to you. In this case, you don’t need to be so cautious. If you do get rejected from one lender, just try another.

But if there are any factors which might restrict your mortgage options – such as being self-employed – you might want to err on the side of caution and stop matched betting until you’re approved.

Final thoughts on matched betting and mortgages

To sum it up, matched betting can indeed affect your mortgage application, due to lenders’ concerns about gambling activities. While matched betting is a legitimate strategy to make extra money, many lenders may not fully understand it, viewing it as a potential risk.

To increase your chances of getting a mortgage, consider using a separate bank account for matched betting transactions or temporarily pausing your betting activities. 

Remember, every situation is unique so there is no straightforward answer. A good mortgage broker can advise on which lenders will be most likely to approve your application. 

By staying informed and making smart choices, you can enjoy the benefits of matched betting without jeopardising your dream of owning a home. Good luck!

If you haven’t got started yet with matched betting, are currently guaranteeing your earnings up to £250 when you take out a paid membership. Alternatively, make up to £40 with a free trial.

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