22 June 2017

If the credit score computer says ‘no’, you will tend to find most high street lenders doors shut.

I haven't mentioned it for a while, but it certainly is causing a lot of customers an issue.  Credit scoring!  This is an assessment on all available financial information and calculates a 'score' for the lender.  It also includes a search on your overall credit history covering, in the main, all of your financial transactions over the last six years.

Most lenders credit score applications to try and assess your ability to repay any loans.  This will take in to account many factors including the amount of credit you have, whether you are on the electoral role, your recent payment profile on any existing credit and the number of recent credit searches you have on file.  Nearly all financial institutions will register a credit search against you.  So, if you have recently updated your car insurance, home insurance, taken out a mobile contract and just got a new credit/debit card, that’s probably four searches in a short amount of time! Be wary that some 'comparison sites' may have also searched you just whilst seeking a new insurance quote.

If the lenders computer says ‘no’, you will tend to find most high street lenders doors shut to you.  But fear not, if you have a reasonable deposit and can prove all income, there are lenders who do not credit score, but will manually review and underwrite affordable applications on an individual basis. 

I always suggest that you speak to an independent mortgage broker with access to whole of market mortgages.  Banks may only advise on their product range. Estate Agents ‘in-house’ mortgage advisers may only be able to offer mortgages from a select panel of lenders. Therefore, in order to get best advice, make sure you do your homework, speak to a whole of market mortgage broker who can advise on the most appropriate mortgage in the market to meet your requirements, whether this be with a credit score or just a credit search.

08 June 2017

Coming to the end of the mortgage product term. What next?

We're seeing some issues for those coming up to the end of their product promotional rate period, especially where the lender is not offering them anything attractive to stay.  Lenders want to lend, but in some cases are not able to, or may choose not to, even to existing customers.   The simple reason being that the customers may not pass the same lenders new criteria.  Reasons can include, original borrowing on a multiple of income, age, small equity levels in property.  Lending rules have changed dramatically over the last few years and more stringent measures are in place, as well as tougher reporting to the regulator.  Lenders have to be sure the customer can afford their mortgage for a number of years ahead and stress test against possible rate rises. Seek professional advice if you are concerned or are looking for an alternative lender as some might be considered to be hiding behind the rules!

Remortgaging away from your current lender should not be looked upon negatively.  Many lenders will cover the cost of surveying your property, as well as covering the legal fees in transferring your mortgage from one lender to another.  But most of all, you should think of number one as this could save you money on your monthly budgets and, subject to terms and conditions, this can only be a good thing.

Products continue to increase and one of the fastest growth markets seems to be in the Ex-Pat sector. A British Ex-Pat in good employment abroad is favoured by a growing number of lenders who are willing to provide a mortgage to help them obtain a Buy to Let property in UK. The rules are tight but there are lenders who will advance up to 75% of the property value. Incomes usually need to be from a recognised and preferably multi-national business abroad and in a region upwards of £40000 sterling equivalent. A couple of lenders will also allow Ex-Pats to own a residential property in UK and where their family, usually off-spring, will reside pending their return to UK.  

01 June 2017

Choosing the right mortgage is difficult - use a broker!

Choosing the right mortgage can be a difficult task.  Many people are swayed by the marketing leading and highly promoted incentive interest rates.  But actually, when you add on any lender fees, along with any valuation costs and look at the true cost over a period of time, these can sometimes prove to be more expensive.

Of course, this is the beauty of using a mortgage broker.  They will have access to many lenders that you have probably never heard of and products that are not usually visible to the public eye.  There is so much information readily available and over 11,000 mortgage products to choose from, but key information can get lost in translation.  Therefore seek advice.  Yes, it may cost you a small fee to have someone research the market on your behalf and make recommendations, having assessed your short to long term needs and requirements.  However, the broker will stand by their recommendation and, more importantly, it could save you thousands in the long run, versus choosing the wrong products yourself, usually from a single provider.

In addition, any professional will seek to build a long term relationship with you and contact you at the time your current rate is coming up for renewal to ensure you have access to the best rates available at all times.

This also goes for the Solicitors where they are needed to act for both yourself and the lender in a mortgage transaction.  Remember that on some re-mortgage products the lender will cover the cost of standard legal work and valuations.  HOWEVER, this is not always the best or cheapest option.  These can be slow, depending on the volumes received by the lender and sometimes it's better to pay the extra amount to get the job done quicker.

There are a huge number of legal firms in both local and more regional areas.  Prices vary from company to company and you can decide exactly who to deal with (assuming they are acceptable to the mortgage lender).  Shop around before committing and as with everything, make sure you read the small print!