Mortgage rules have changed again, but don’t stress

Thursday, 20th July, 2017

Mortgage affordability has, once again, come under the spotlight following the Bank of England’s (BoE) decision to ‘tighten’ the UK’s mortgage lending criteria.

Essentially, the affordability test, or ‘stress test’, which those looking to apply for a mortgage need to undergo, is changing.

Until now, those applying for a mortgage had to prove that they could afford to make mortgage repayments of 3% above the BoE’s base rate. However, the new rules state that the 3% stress test now tests mortgage affordability on 3% above the lender’s standard variable rate (SVR).

By now, you’re probably thinking ‘will this make it harder for me to get a mortgage?’, and we’re pleased to say that, in the main, the answer is ‘no’. And here’s the reason why.

Affordability vs. unaffordability

This is similar to the idea of need vs. want. As is often the case, what we want isn’t necessarily what we need. Likewise, with the new rules (albeit reversed), those applying to get a mortgage may not want to have to pay a mortgage that is 3% more expensive than the SVR, but the majority can if they need to.

Of course, there will be a section of the public who, when faced with this test, may be unable to prove that they could afford the repayments, however professional advice from a mortgage broker will often help applicants reassess their financial situation with positive results.

However, there is another solution.

Don’t rethink, remortgage

As we covered in our last article, the often-overlooked remortgage is a way in which to avoid the SVR altogether. Simply by taking advantage of new mortgage deals you could maintain your same mortgage rate or, as is more often the case, improve on it.

So, rather than rethink in response to the new rules, simply think about remortgaging.

The team at Complete Mortgages always makes contact with its clients three to four months before they’re due to begin the SVR, to a) alert them to this fact and b) present them with new mortgage deals.

All good mortgage brokers should be doing this. If yours doesn’t, then you need to be asking them why. If you don’t use a mortgage broker, then maybe its time to look into finding one that can proactively ensure that you’re not missing a trick.

Back to the new mortgage stress test rules, then. Whilst the BoE has introduced tougher lending rules that stress test at 3% above the lender’s SVR, the reality is that if you proactively manage your mortgage you may never even have to face the SVR – let alone consider paying 3% above it.

For more in-depth information on what the new rules mean for you and how Complete Mortgages can guide you through the process, contact 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. Don’t forget, we also specialise in buy to let mortgages, adverse credit mortgages, limited company buy to let mortgages and first time buyer mortgages.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Revisit, remortgage and save money

Thursday, 29th June, 2017

It’s funny. Everyone is always looking for a deal (myself included) and yet sometimes, even when the deal is right in front of him or her, they just can’t see it.

What’s even more ironic is that people can expend huge amounts of energy collecting loyalty points here and ‘50p off your next box of tea bags’ vouchers there, all the while missing out on the most important deal – and one that could save them hundreds of pounds each month.

The deal I’m referring to in this case is the often-overlooked remortgage.

As a Guildford mortgage broker I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve seen as many instances where there is such a gulf between the mortgage our clients signed up for (call it point A) and the mortgage that they could have now, even with the same lender (call it point B).

Naturally, it is the Complete Mortgages team’s job to make our clients aware of how they could save money on a mortgage – or, to put it another way, how much they are overpaying on a mortgage. And that’s what we’re in the process of doing right now, much to our clients’ delight.

However, for many people – namely those who either don’t use a mortgage broker or don’t have a proactive mortgage broker, they might never know.

Whilst there’s lots to be said for the proverb ‘ignorance is bliss’, or ‘what you don’t know can’t hurt you’, I’m pretty sure that people would rather have the opportunity to change mortgage – or at least be alerted to the prospect of changing their mortgage – and that’s the purpose of this article.

If you’re one of those people who applied for a mortgage two or three years ago, when deals were great and seemed as though they couldn’t get any better, then this is for you.

Essentially, mortgage deals have got better and you could quite easily be saving hundreds of pounds each month as a result.

In some cases you could simply switch your mortgage to a different deal on offer through the same lender. Not only can we handle ALL the paperwork and application process on your behalf, but also our service is completely FREE for you.

Our usual fee is £399 however in the case of a simple mortgage switch with your existing lender, we wouldn’t charge you a penny.

Even in cases where a fee may be chargeable, the process of remortgaging could still work out financially beneficial for you in the long run.

Our advice is to contact a trusted mortgage broker to explore your options and discover how easy it is to save money on your mortgage. You may or may not want to use Complete Mortgages – or even a mortgage broker in general – but at least you can’t say that we never told you.

Are you looking to remortgage? Interested in finding out of you could save money on your mortgage by making a simple change to your current mortgage? If so, contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. Remember, we’re also specialists in buy to let mortgages, adverse credit mortgages, limited company buy to let mortgages and first time buyer mortgages.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Calling all Bournemouth first time buyers

Thursday, 25th May, 2017

It’s great to see how the UK mortgage market is still proving to be buoyant, with research by the Council of Mortgage Lenders showing that there was a 27% increase in the number of mortgages granted in March.

However the Bournemouth property market, particularly for first time buyers, has become a bit of a game of cat and mouse.

No sooner have would-be homeowners saved a deposit (the chase) does the property (the mouse) escape – usually in the form of escalating property prices which, similar to the effects of inflation, chips away at the relative value of the savings pot.

Let’s not forget that back in January the Bournemouth Echo reported how Bournemouth had joined the ranks of Hong Kong, Sydney and San Francisco as one of the least affordable places to live.

Great news if you already own a home. Not so great if you’re one of the many still holding out hope of home ownership. After all, if you’re a Bournemouth resident shouldn’t buying a property in Bournemouth be a right and not a privilege?

The story*, which was based on an annual survey by Demographica, revealed that the price of a home in Bournemouth is 8.9 times higher than the median annual household income of the area.

Given the scale of this imbalance it’s highly likely that the CML’s recent figures, which illustrated how UK first time buyer mortgages granted in March 2017 stood at 31,500 compared with 28,100 in March 2016, doesn’t reflect Bournemouth’s first time buyer demographic.

The question now, therefore, is what do we do about this gulf between property prices and what most people – first time buyers in particular – can afford?

The good news for those looking for a first time buyer mortgage in Bournemouth is that as property prices increase, so too does the competitive nature of the mortgage market.

There are currently 85% loan to value mortgages on 4.5 x earnings now available, which will provide the Bournemouth first time buyer with a better chance of accessing the property market without having to place all their hope in saving a sizeable deposit.

If you’re a first time buyer in Bournemouth, simply get in touch to discuss how we can help you get on the property ladder. It may not be Sydney or San Francisco, but if your home is Bournemouth then you should be able to buy a property in Bournemouth.

Contact Complete Mortgages on 01202 049661 or email jo@complete-mortgages.co.uk to discuss our services, from first time buyer mortgages and commercial mortgages to buy to let mortgages and limited company buy to let mortgages.

*Daily Echo

By Jo Frankowski, Complete Mortgages


How adverse credit mortgages are helping first time buyers

Monday, 22nd May, 2017
Adverse credit mortgages

For those of you that keep up to date with Complete Mortgages’ articles, news and views, you’ll know that we have been proactive in ‘rebranding’ the adverse credit mortgage or, as it was more widely known, the sub prime mortgage.

Importantly, this is not because Complete Mortgages is an irresponsible Guildford mortgage broker. Nor is it because we refuse to accept its role in the 2007/8 financial crisis (unregulated sub prime mortgage lending was undeniably an instrumental factor).

Our reason for supporting the new wave of adverse mortgage lending is twofold. Firstly, lending of this nature no longer represents the sub prime lending of pre-2008, as you can read here. Secondly, it is increasingly becoming a way in which young first time buyers can successfully apply for a mortgage and therefore access the property ladder.

Around this time last year a TransUnion survey revealed that millennials are highly likely to have a bad credit or subprime credit rating, which limits their access to loans and, of course, mortgages. A recent article in the Telegraph also supports this by including ONS figures that suggest that almost 100,000 millennials who live with their parents believe that they will never move out.

This is a particularly disheartening scenario and one that, in many cases, stems from high student loans and the rising cost of living. Unfortunately, this can often lead to overdependence on credit, which, if not managed, can result in a bad credit rating.

The cycle is clear. The question now is how do we break it, or at least how do we help young first time buyers shortcut it? And that’s where the new wave of adverse credit mortgage comes into play.

Thankfully, first time buyers are now able to access up to 85% loan to value mortgages at 4.5 times their income with non-high street lenders.

Of course – and as pointed out in a previous Complete Mortgages article on sub-prime mortgages – there needs to be evidence that those applying for an adverse credit mortgage can make the required repayments. Likewise, applicants will need to apply for a mortgage in the knowledge that they will be paying more for the privilege.

However, when faced with living with your parents well into your thirties, a situation that is only compounded (and arguably prolonged) by escalating house prices, the modern day sub prime mortgage could prove to be a helpful springboard for many young people.

Regardless of situation and credit score, I would recommend those who think an adverse credit mortgage could be a viable route for them to get in touch with me or a member of the Complete Mortgages team to discuss their options.

To speak with a credit repair mortgage specialist contact Mark Lucas on 01483 238280 or email lucas@complete-mortgages.co.uk. Complete Mortgages also specialises in commercial mortgages, buy to let mortgages and limited company but to let mortgages.

By Mark Lucas, credit repair mortgage specialist at Complete Mortgages


Why ‘subprime’ is no longer a dirty word

Wednesday, 25th May, 2016
adverse credit mortgage

Looking back to the crash of 2007/8, when subprime lending was in its prime, it is easy to be scathing of an arrangement that was, arguably, instrumental in the collapse of the economy, the impact of which was felt by many people for many years.

Since then, we’ve seen – and continue to see – the tightening up of the financial services industry and a focus on making the UK economy as robust as possible.

Quite recently, we’ve also seen the resurgence of the subprime lending sector, too.

Is this revival a sign that we haven’t learnt from our mistakes? Is the industry heading once again towards financial irresponsibility? I believe that the answer is ‘no’, and here’s why.

A tight ship

The regulatory work that has been implemented by the Financial Conduct Authority since the financial downturn is unprecedented. Never before have professionals and companies, such as Complete Mortgages, had to adhere to so many rules and guidelines. Put simply, the financial services industry currently works within a much tighter framework and is subject to much more scrutiny. Any products available within this framework, even subprime products, will have faced intense scrutiny before being released to the market.

Niche, not the norm

Unlike the pre-crash period, whereby subprime mortgages were easier to access and where less evidence of affordability was required, subprime 2.0 is aimed at a much smaller demographic. There were cases of multiple subprime mortgage products being granted to one person on the strength of the fact that that person simply stated that they could afford to make their mortgage repayments. This is no longer the case; those applying for a subprime mortgage need to provide evidence that they are financially robust enough to be granted a sub-prime mortgage loan in the first place. In fact, most lenders insist that applicants can only apply if their poor credit rating is a result of what is referred to as an ‘unexpected event’.

Unforeseen circumstances

Nobody can predict the future. Of course, we all make decisions based on the information we have at any given point in time but nothing is guaranteed. Businesses fail, people are made redundant and marriages, sadly, fall apart. In fact 130,473 UK couples divorced in 2013 and whilst it was the lowest level in 40 years, it’s still a significant number and one that is likely to contain a proportion of people whose separation places more pressure on their finances. The unexpected does happen and setbacks do occur. And when they do, isn’t it only right that rather than be excluded from homeownership, those affected are provided with an option that enables them to maintain some sense or order?

The new wave of sub-prime mortgages

It is worth noting that those who need to apply for a subprime mortgage will pay more than those applying for standard mortgage products. However it’s also worth reiterating that the post-crash subprime mortgage has been created to cater for those who have experienced a financial setback and who, as a result, are now classed as having an adverse credit score – even through no fault of their own.

Life is never black and white; there are always shades of grey in-between. The new subprime mortgage acknowledges this. Unlike the prime market, whereby decisions are made, in part, by computers, brokers providing subprime mortgages spend more time listening to an individual’s circumstances before making a decision. And that, from my perspective, can only be a good thing.

Get in touch with Guildford mortgage broker, Complete Mortgages, if you would like to discuss what subprime mortgage products are available to you. Contact 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Double award win for Complete Mortgages

Wednesday, 16th March, 2016
Guildford mortgage broker

Award-winning Guildford mortgage broker, Complete Mortgages, has scooped two coveted Mortgage Intelligence Awards at this year’s prestigious national event. It is the fifth consecutive year that the brokerage has received an award at the Mortgage Intelligence Annual Conference, which is now in its tenth year.

Complete Mortgages won the two awards for its on-going commitment to the brokerage industry and for delivering high standards of service throughout the last 12 months.

Mortgage Intelligence Holdings Ltd’s Managing Director, Sally Laker, and BBC Radio 4’s Moneybox presenter, Paul Lewis, presented Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages, with the Top Mortgage Adviser and Top Network Adviser awards.

The ceremony, which took place at Cheltenham Race Course on Thursday 10 March, welcomed over 200 industry professionals who were hoping to leave with what is now regarded as one of the industry’s highest accolades.

On receiving both awards Mark Finnegan comments: “Securing not one but two national awards this year was not only a complete surprise, but also hugely overwhelming, too. The team at Complete Mortgages was worked incredibly hard over the last twelve months, not only in terms of ensuring that our clients continue to receive impeccable service, but also in terms of ensuring that we’re compliant and operate to a robust framework as established by the Financial Conduct Authority. We’re delighted to have been recognised for our efforts and look forward to building on our success over the next twelve months.”

Dorset-based Mortgage Intelligence is a mortgage and insurance network and club, which aims to help brokers achieve more by providing tailored solutions, support and training. It has been supporting the mortgage and insurance brokerage industry for 20 years.

Click here for more information on Complete Mortgages’ award-winning service or to speak with a member of the Complete Mortgages team call 01483 238280.


Getting ahead of the game is the key to securing a self-employed mortgage

Tuesday, 6th October, 2015

If you’re like me (and probably the majority of the UK population) then you’ll probably identify with filing your tax return within inches of the 31st January deadline. In fact, hats off to those who do tackle it at the earliest opportunity with the view that once it’s done, it’s done.

However if you’re self-employed and looking to arrange a self-employed mortgage then filing your tax return as soon as you possibly can will not only showcase your organisational skills, but also place you in pole position when it comes to securing a mortgage, too.

Whilst the official deadline for filing your tax return is 31st January, the reality is that lenders want to see that you’ve submitted your accounts within 3-6 months of the end of the tax year. As a result, those making the deadline by a whisker – such as submitting it in January – may get refused a mortgage on the grounds that their accounts are out of date – or, at least they don’t represent their current (and arguably more accurate) status.

As an independent mortgage broker that specialises in contractor mortgages and securing mortgages for the self-employed, our advice is to make your tax return as current as possible.

You don’t necessarily need to have it filed by the 6th April, but in order to give yourself the best chance possible, and have your application considered by as wide a pool of lenders as possible – then certainly make sure you’ve submitted it by early October, otherwise you risk the majority of lenders rejecting your application or requesting more up to date accounts.

Whilst Complete Mortgages provides award-winning mortgage advice and access to the best mortgage deals, we can also compile the best case for self-employed people looking to get their foot on the property ladder.

Whether you’re self-employed and a first time buyer or looking to arrange a buy to let mortgage, we can help. Get in touch to find out how on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


Prices rise yet mortgage rates fall for Surrey homeowners

Monday, 17th November, 2014

Positivity continues to reign over South East England’s property market following confirmation from the Land Registry that, whilst property prices dipped in parts of England and Wales last month, Surrey and Windsor saw a rise of 1.4% and 1.6% respectively – a 12.5% increase when compared with the same period in 2013.

The findings are announced as many lenders are reducing their rates in order to attract potential applicants before the end of 2014.

Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages, a Guildford-based mortgage and insurance brokerage, comments:

“A steady rise in property prices combined with a decrease in many lenders’ rates means that properties throughout Surrey and Windsor represent a sound and more accessible investment. Buying a property often falls down to market conditions and the banks’ willingness to lend, both of which are currently in the favour of homeowners in the South East of England. With rates at their lowest for some time I would advise those on the cusp of applying for a mortgage to start looking at their options now before lenders change their rates or property values rise too sharply to the point whereby any potential gain is cancelled out.”

For more information or to speak with a member of the team contact 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.


Think you can’t buy your first home?

Friday, 31st May, 2013

With the average age of a First-time buyer now 37 years old, a number of people are currently renting or living at home with their parents.  However there have been real positive movements in this area of the market. Recent figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders have shown that the number of first time buyers purchasing a new home, is the highest it has been for 5 years. In fact, 42% of all the mortgages in the last quarter of 2012 were for first time buyers.

There have been a number of initiatives from both lenders and the government to help people get their foot on the property ladder, so now might be the right time to start looking for a mortgage. The availability of high loan-to-value (LTV) products has recently increased with some lenders offering up to 95% of the property value, meaning you need a much lower deposit.

The new government Help to Buy scheme was announced in this year’s budget in April. This £3.5bn scheme is designed to help buyers purchase a home with only a 5% deposit and provides either an interest free loan for 5 years of 20% deposit of the property value. This means the borrower can apply for a 75% loan to value (LTV) mortgage. Halifax, Nationwide, Woolwich and NatWest are all supporting the scheme and have launched Help to Buy products with competitive rates.

If you are looking to purchase a property under £250,000, you can also currently get 100% of the stamp duty paid if borrowing from Halifax. This could save you up to £2,500 by not having to pay the 1% stamp duty. This offer is available on selected Halifax products for a limited time only. This includes a choice of different loan-to-values (LTV), affordable housing, Help to Buy, First Buy and New Buy products.

Woolwich mortgages from Barclays have also supported first time buyers by introducing the Family Spring Board mortgage.  The borrower takes out a Family Springboard Mortgage with a 5% deposit at a competitive rate. Their parent or family member opens a Helpful Start Account, into which they put savings equal to 10% of the price.  After 3 years, the Helpful Start Account is closed and the family members get their money back with the interest earned, provided that the borrower has kept up to date with the mortgage repayments.

Buying your first home is a big commitment and there are many things to consider when taking out a mortgage, including your general insurance and protection needs. We can take the hassle out of finding a mortgage and can help find the best deal for you. We are able to provide a full advice service and guide you through all the options available to you. We also offer a full service in insurance and protection.

Looking to buy your first home? Get in touch today on 01483 238280.

Complete Mortgages is open from Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.30pm.  We have representatives based in Guildford, Camberley and North London.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.