Can a mortgage lender withdraw a mortgage offer? What should I do if I can’t afford mortgage repayments?

Can my lender withdraw a mortgage offer?

Many clients who have received mortgage offers worry whether their offer will be withdrawn by their lender and that their transaction will fall through.

When we are asked if a mortgage lender can withdraw their offer, we must advise that yes, a mortgage lender can withdraw their offer as a mortgage offer is not legally binding on the lender.

This worry was especially raised during 2022 and 2023 due to the turbulence in the financial markets where we saw lenders revoking their offers. This caused panic amongst property buyers and at one point we had hundreds of phone calls about mortgage offers.

We are pleased that in 2024 the financial situation is now more stable, even though there are still many factors affecting our economy.

In normal conditions the only reason an offer is withdrawn is because of a change of circumstances that may affect the repayment of the loan, such as a change in income for the mortgagee which affects affordability.

It seems unlikely that the larger banking institutions would pull a mortgage offer suddenly. Offers are usually valid for around six months depending on the lenders and usually are not withdrawn.

In 2022 and 2023 the inflation rate was 8-9 percent  and was heading upwards. The Bank of England raised its interest rates to 5.25% with the intention of controlling inflation to bring it down to the government set target of two percent. The Bank of England has held the rate of interest at 5.25% at meetings since then. With the Banks actions and other Government measures the rate of inflation is 3-4% presently (i.e. more than halved).

The concern about rising interest rates  was that they would mean higher monthly mortgage repayments to be made by borrowers, stretching  homeowners finances and causing cashflow  difficulties.

Rising interest rates affect mortgages that are not arranged on a fixed rate basis, but in January 2024 many lenders were able to review their mortgage products, including their fixed rate products easing the position for mortgage renewals. This has resulted in an upturn in property purchases.

What can I do if I feel that I can’t afford the repayments?

If a mortgage offer has been agreed on a purchase, but you feel that your household bills are rising to the point that this may affect your mortgage repayments in the future, you should seek advice from their mortgage advisor straightaway to ensure that the repayments arranged are still affordable. Your mortgage advisor will also be able to provide information on  how a rising interest rate will affect the mortgage you have been offered and whether the offer can be amended perhaps to a longer terms with lower monthly payments that you can afford.

If you can see that the interest rates and rate of inflation is falling and you have previously been made an offer with quite a high rate of interest, you should check with your mortgage advisor whether the offer can be reviewed or if any other lenders can offer a better rate.

When interest rates increase or fall a lender may review the offers they have made and replace them with latest offers with the up to date interest rates. If your lender informs you that their mortgage offer is withdrawn and will be replaced with another offer, you should check the interest rate offered in the new mortgage with your mortgage advisor.

We advise our clients to seek expert advice from their mortgage advisor as we cannot offer advice on mortgage products or assess financial viability.


Being unable to repay a mortgage may lead to repossession of a property.

Your current lender may offer advice and be able to offer some assistance to avoid you getting further into mortgage debt.

If you find your finances are unmanageable and in the future there is a danger that you will be unable to repay your mortgage,  please consider placing your property for sale. This option sounds harsh but is far better for you financially than having a property repossessed.

It may be that you have enough equity in your property to downsize and arrange another mortgage, but if your current home is repossessed it will be difficult to obtain another mortgage in the future.

Taking early advice from us will help you to decide what to do. We will also be able to check what you owe your lender and what charges are made by them if you sell your home.

If you need to contact us our telephone number is  : 0191 455361 and our email is