First advice as always to someone that has a slightly chequered past and is looking for a mortgage is:
DON'T USE COMPARISON WEBSITES OR THE HIGH STREET!
These sites are designed to offer the best rates to the best rated customers; if you do not fall into this category then you will likely get declined. High Street banks only take the cleanest of the clean customers and often will not offer advice as they stick an idiot into the advisers office who can show products but cannot legally offer advice....it saves the bank money to do this. Normally a bank will have 1 adviser per 2-3 branches
A mortgage broker not only knows the products that the High Street banks are offering but will generally know the criteria for them too. He will also know from experience which banks will take on people with slight credit impaired profiles and which will take on those with major credit impairments. He is best able to use the information to be able to place you first time with the correct lender because he sees cases like yours every day. he can advise you on what documentation you will likely need in the first instance instead of idiot boy in the bank making phone calls every 5 minutes to remind you that actually you do need to proof your identity and can you bring in your passport.
Most likely the broker has been in business for several years and has got a lot of experience in the mortgage market, you would be lucky to find a bank employee that has been with the same bank for more than 3 years. A bank will only ever advise on its own products and will always try and sell you its partner’s insurance products. A broker will normally be Whole of Market meaning that they are going to cover all the major brands and quite a few brands that you may have never heard of but might need 1 days. they will also be able to show you insurance products from a range of providers meaning that not only are you going to get a competitive range but also a competitive price. This will all be coupled with the fact that you will be advised on what products will compliment which mortgage and a decent adviser will tell you and explain both verbally and on paper why this is so. Not one of my clients leaves me without knowing fully why I have recommended something to them.
Rant over! but the point is, if you have questions about your own credit profile, go see a mortgage broker. They are the professionals in the high street that will best be able to help you.
So far as your hubby. Without knowing the full details about how much the ccj's and defaults are for and when they were gained it is quite hard to determine the best advice to offer. Having them marked as satisfied will help slightly as it means that the lender can see you took care of the debt but the damage was done when it was deemed that the debt hadn't been paid and looked like it wasn’t going to be paid. It will take 6 years for the ccj and default to come off his credit file and nothing can change that.
There is a chance that as the debt between them is less than £500 and if the default and the ccj are over 3 years old then a few lenders will start to consider him for a mortgage but they will not be the normal high street lenders. The lenders that will consider him will offer close to high street rates and have some very attractive packages.
There will be lenders out there that will offer products to him now but they will be offering increased rates and fees to cover the risk that they are taking on with a proven non payer. There are even some companies out there that will take on the worst adverse credit clients with several thousand in bad debt but you will often find that these rates are 10%-15% interest rates with matching fees and all fees paid up front.
The biggest problem that you might face is that if you find a lender who will help you they may have criteria that state that they can only lend a certain amount of a property value. Often this is a maximum of 75% which means that with a £17,000 deposit you are going to be looking at a purchase of less than £100,000 and this is before any affordability calculations have been done.
There will be products out there but your best bet is go see your local mortgage adviser as he can best judge the situation and he can move you towards the most suitable provider. If you keep going down the high street you will keep getting the same result and it will completely destroy your credit file.
Good Luck and Chin Up!!