From poor eating habits and reduced sex drive to sleepless nights we have covered a wide spectrum of unexpected consequences that problem gambling can have on one’s life. Not surprisingly, another topic regarding repercussions has come across our desk. Data shows that thousands of Americans are concerned about being refused a mortgage due to regular participation in casino gaming and/or sports betting. Do you plan to buy a home this year? Will online gambling affect your mortgage application? Let’s find out.
2 Big Reasons Why You May be Refused a Mortgage Due to Online Gambling (and what you can do about it)
Pattern of Gambling in Your Income History
Online gambling has a very clear “paper trail”. To sign-up with an operator, make a wager, and claim possible winnings you must connect deposits and withdrawals to personal credit cards, bank accounts and/or other digital payment systems that the U.S. Internal Revenue Services (IRS) knows about.
The IRS has made it explicitly clear that gambling winnings (online or otherwise) are considered income and are fully taxable. You are therefore required to report this income on your tax return. Gambling income includes (but is not exclusive to) all monies and prize winnings from online sports betting, casino gaming, lotteries, raffles, and horse races. Gambling losses are also tax deductible to the extent of your winnings. All of this forms a pattern of gambling in your income history. This income history is what mortgage lenders look at when determining whether or not they want to take a “risk” on you. They look at income tax assessments and bank receipts among other criteria.
You may think that showing increases in annual income due to gambling may reflect favorably upon you to lenders, but it does not. Instead, it’s an indicator that you are a frequent gambler, and this does not infer a confident investment for banks or private lenders. You are considered to be a high-risk candidate for buying a home because they know that ultimately, the house always wins.
Problem Gambling May Have Already Resulted in “Big Picture” Losses
Above we showed you the direct way online gambling can affect your mortgage application. However, there are other indirect but no less impactful ways you can be refused a mortgage due to gambling.
Problem gamblers face a number of financial consequences that render them too risky for mortgage lenders. These include the following:
- Excessive debt
- Unstable income
- High occupational turnover
Problem gamblers also exhibit higher rates of separation and divorce. A dual-income household generally has a better chance of getting a mortgage approved than a single-income household.
Whether you plan to get a mortgage in the future, or you suspect that you’ve already been refused due to gambling (directly or indirectly) you have a chance to improve your situation by changing the pattern of problematic gambling behavior today. Take a quick gambling disorder test to find out how severe the concern may be:
If the test unveils that you may have a problem, get help by calling or emailing us right away (see below). When you apply for a mortgage again in the future you will be a financially (and mentally) healthier person who is ready for greater responsibilities.
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