Getting a mortgage with bad credit

Saturday, 9th March, 2019

Do you remember the heady days of pre-2007; a time (for a decade or so leading up to the ‘credit crunch’) when there was unfettered access to mortgages and mortgages were granted on the basis of what the applicant stated they earned?

I do, as it was only 2006 when I launched Complete Mortgages as a mortgage broker in Guildford, so I was able to witness the pre-crunch and post-crunch scenarios in a very short space of time.

Pre-2007, those who wanted to buy into homeownership could do so with relative ease. Post-2007, mortgage lending dried up and a more forensic approach was taken when it came to analysing the affordability levels of those applying for a mortgage. So much so, in fact, that adverse credit mortgages, formerly known as sub-prime mortgages, all but dried up completely.

However, after mortgage lending reform, the introduction of tighter legislation and a deeper understanding of how to avoid ending up in a similar situation again, the subprime mortgage is no longer frowned upon. In fact, adverse credit mortgages have quickly become a mainstay amongst mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers UK-wide.

Importantly, those applying for an adverse credit mortgage will need to be able to fully evidence their earnings. The days of self-certification mortgages really are over. Instead, adverse credit mortgages have been designed to help the following groups of people:

1.Those with a history of defaulting on payments

It’s no secret that failing to pay your bills on time is generally frowned upon. However, as we all know, it’s very easy to do. Overlooking payment dates is a common occurrence for many – but should they really be locked out of home ownership because of it.

2. Those who have had County Court Judgments (CCJs)

A CCJ is a type of court order that can be filed against those who owe money yet have failed to pay it back. If you receive a CCJ but fail to pay the amount stated back within 30 days, it is entered on your credit record for six years and is regarded as a serious black mark.

3. Those who have arranged Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs)

Whilst not quite bankruptcy, it is a form of insolvency that’s based on a formal, legally binding agreement to pay off your debts over a period of time. As the courts and the creditors have agreed it, you have to stick to it.

4. Those who have declared themselves bankrupt

The big ‘B’. This one is generally viewed as the end of the line and taken very seriously by mortgage lenders. After all, if someone has been declared bankrupt then they are often viewed as high risk.

5. Those with a thin credit file

If you are new to borrowing – regardless of your age – then there can be little (or zero) history available to enable lenders to build up an accurate financial picture of those looking to borrow. This factor is assessed on a case-by-case basis, but it can have a negative impact on your ability to apply for a mortgage.

If you are hoping to get a mortgage but fall under one of the five areas above, then the good news is that all is not lost. However, you may have to consider applying for a subprime mortgage.

Our team of adverse credit mortgage specialists are on hand to discuss any concerns you may have and help you overcome any mortgage obstacles you’re currently facing. Simply contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk. We can also help with standard mortgages, buy to let mortgages, mortgages for self employed people and commercial mortgages, too.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


How to ditch the property chain without ditching your next home

Friday, 31st March, 2017
bridging finance

How many times have you – or people you know – been affected by the dreaded breakdown in a property chain?

Unpleasant, right? Particularly if you’re weeks (if not months) down the line and have all but physically moved in to what you hoped would be your next new home.

The good news is that personal bridging loans provide a way in which to beat the housing chain and reduce your exposure to any last minute nasty surprises.

At the current time it’s not a method that is commonly used as a way in which to ‘bridge the gap’ – and not for any particular reason other than most people don’t really know about it. Or, if they do, they tend to feel that it’s out of their reach. Well it isn’t, and here’s why.

What is bridging finance?

Chain breaking bridging finance solutions represents a fantastic route to keeping on track when it comes to buying your next property.

A bridging loan is essentially a short-term finance arrangement that enables people to complete the purchase of their property even if they’ve been let down by their buyer.

As you might expect, the rate of interest is typically higher – but if you’ve already invested time and money in a process that’s got you right to the finish line, you might be reluctant to throw the towel in.

Can I get a bridging loan?

Landlords and amateur property developers, including those who purchase at auction and need quick access to finance after grabbing a bargain, generally use a short-term bridging loan. However, it has become more popular amongst the general public given the tightening of regulation around lending, and the longer waits for lenders to approve a mortgage application following the introduction of more stringent frameworks around mortgage lending.

Is there an age limit for bridging loans?

People are now living longer than ever before, and with that comes the understanding that people over 75 may also need access to bridging finance, too. However, restrictions on lending has also meant that mainstream mortgage products are more difficult for the elderly to secure, which is why bridging is a useful route to finance.

Interestingly, the rules that restrict the lending of traditional mortgages to those of a certain age do not apply for bridging loans, as interest payments are deferred until the loan is redeemed when the sale finally takes place.

Other than that, anybody is able to apply for bridging finance.

Do your research – and use a broker

As with most mortgages and finance products, much depends on the individual applicant. If you’re considering applying for a bridging loan or are wondering if bridging finance is the right option for you, simply give us a call.

If you have decided on using a broker, then one important piece of advice I’d like to offer is to always use one that is Financial Conduct Authority-regulated – like Complete Mortgages – as bridging loans are a niche product and may not be suitable for everyone.

Interested in something other than bridging finance? We also specialise in buy to let mortgages, first time buyer mortgages, sub prime mortgages, equity release mortgages and self build mortgages. Call us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk to find out more.

Commercial and bridging loans are processed through our subsidiary company, Complete Mortgages Property Limited.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


The Bournemouth property market isn’t the only thing that’s booming

Thursday, 23rd February, 2017

A recent report* has revealed how Bournemouth is among the UK’s destinations that saw the highest rise in property prices in 2016, with the average price of a home in the area growing by 5.7%.

For those of us who own a property in this wonderful part of the world then this is great news.

However, for those with an equal affinity for Bournemouth yet who aren’t in a position to buy, then this report will no doubt be greeted with a degree of discomfort. After all, a 5.7% increase is not insignificant and, for some, could place applying for a mortgage and, ultimately, homeownership, even more out of reach.

The good news is that the current mortgage market is littered with a variety of mortgage products that aim to target a huge cross section of people – from first time buyer mortgages through to buy to let mortgages – to ensure that everyone has a fair chance of getting on (or in some cases, keeping on) the property ladder.

And on the topic of mortgage selection and availability, it isn’t just Bournemouth that’s booming. Adverse mortgages, or what were referred to as subprime mortgages prior to the financial crisis in 2007/8, are back – albeit in a different and thankfully much safer guise, and this time they are operating to a much tighter framework.

In contrast to the years leading up to the financial crisis, where sub-prime mortgages were awarded to people without necessarily understanding their ability to make repayments, the new generation of adverse mortgage lending is very different.

Unlike the prime market, for instance, whereby decisions are made, in part, by computers, mortgage brokers providing subprime mortgages, such as Complete Mortgages, now spend more time listening to an individual’s circumstances in order to understand the bigger picture before approaching lenders.

Applicants still need to be financially robust enough to show that they can meet mortgage repayments; it’s just that the decision to grant a subprime mortgage takes into account a wider pool of variables that a binary ‘black and white’ approach afforded by algorithms and automated software cannot.

Complete Mortgages, for example, even works with insolvency practitioners to help applicants build a case for being granted a mortgage around existing financial commitments and debts.

Moreover, the ever-growing portfolio of adverse mortgage products is aimed at those who may have unfortunately experienced difficulty in recent months, whether that’s through a separation, business difficulties or redundancy, as opposed to pre-2007 when sub-prime products were available to those looking to take out a mortgage – or multiple mortgages – based on a self-certification model.

So, for those who might fall within the adverse mortgage category and are aware of ‘booming Bournemouth’ and its appreciating property values, then there is no need to panic – but we would advise that those considering applying for a mortgage in Bournemouth act sooner rather than later before continued house price growth really does make homeownership a more exclusive proposition.

If you’re considering applying for a mortgage and feel that an adverse credit mortgage product may best suit your needs, contact Complete Mortgages on 01202 049661 or email enquiries@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

*UK Cities House Price Index

Mark Lucas, Adverse Mortgage Specialist at Complete Mortgages


Beat the spring rush and use winter to get ‘mortgage-ready’

Tuesday, 7th February, 2017
mortgage ready

After a wet, dreary and (more often than not) cold British winter, the onset of spring is always a welcome relief.

Not only because with it comes the sunshine and a reminder that summer is only around the corner, but it’s also a time when people start to consider their options when it comes to moving home and getting a mortgage.

Let’s face it, applying for a mortgage mid-winter, for most people, isn’t the most alluring prospect.

However, as a result of keeping big decisions to a minimum during the colder months, there is often a rush of people in March, all of whom want to apply for a mortgage at the last minute.

Not only does this bottleneck put pressure on lenders, but it also puts pressure on those applying for a mortgage, too.

The good news is that as a Guildford mortgage broker with a large – and growing – team of advisers on hand to handle mortgage applications on your behalf, we can take that pressure off and make securing a mortgage a seamless process.

Of course, since June last year we are constantly presented with the recurring questions of ‘what about Brexit?’ and ‘how will Brexit affect my mortgage?’

Despite a degree of uncertainty surrounding Brexit, recent figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that gross mortgage lending hit the £20.4 billion mark in December. Whilst this was 4% lower than November, it was also 4% higher than December 2015.

Equally, hugely competitive deals from lenders that began to make an appearance throughout 2016 and are now continuing into 2017 will mean that, for many, applying for a mortgage whilst the option of potentially saving money in the long-term is still there will make the opportunity of getting a good mortgage deal hard to resist.

Whilst some homeowners may be more inclined to wait until there is more clarity around the impact of Brexit – something that we at Complete Mortgages believe will take longer than one or two seasons – Spring is always a time of increased activity when it comes to the property market and mortgage applications. As a result, starting the process earlier will give you that extra advantage.

Regardless of the nature of the application – from residential mortgages and buy to let mortgages, to sub prime mortgages and limited company buy to let mortgages – we will handle 100% of the paperwork on your behalf, proactively chase your application and keep you updated at every step of the process.

So, there really is no need to wait until spring. Our advice is to get the ball rolling by picking up the phone and discussing your options with us sooner rather than later.

Even if you do decide to wait until spring has finally sprung, we can part complete your mortgage application in advance so that you will be ahead of the game when you do make your decision – whether that’s in spring or even summer.

Either way, use winter while it’s still here and ensure that you’re ‘mortgage-ready’ in advance.

Contact a member of the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages


How do I get a mortgage if I have a bad credit rating?

Friday, 29th July, 2016

So, you want to apply for a mortgage. And if that isn’t tough enough, you also have a poor credit rating to boot. Don’t worry, the doors of home ownership don’t need to close on you and you’ll be pleased to know that there is a way to ensure that you get your foot firmly on the property ladder.

If we cast our memories back to the credit crunch of 2007/8, when adverse credit mortgages (or subprime mortgages) were arguably one of the root causes of the financial crisis, you could be forgiven for thinking that a sub prime mortgage is one to avoid.

However many things within the financial services have changed over the last eight years and, thankfully, the sub-prime mortgage is one of them. For a more informed guide as to what’s changed and how adverse credit mortgages have undergone a facelift, read our article here.

Here, we will deal with the frequently asked questions the Complete Mortgages team receives when it comes to applying for a mortgage with a poor credit rating.

After all that happened, do subprime mortgages still even exist?

Yes, but they are now very different. Firstly, you have to demonstrate that you are able to make repayments. Secondly, sub-prime mortgages aren’t granted with the same reckless abandon they once were. They are very much regarded as a niche product and many lenders will only approve adverse credit mortgages if the applicant can show that they’ve experienced an ‘unexpected event’, such as divorce or business failure.

Where can I get a mortgage with a poor credit history?

Or, more to the point, ‘who will give me a mortgage with my bad credit rating?’. Given how there are more complexities around applying for subprime mortgages, we would recommend that this is one for a mortgage broker to handle. If they’re worth their salt they’ll be able to match your profile, lifestyle and circumstances with a suitable product. And when it comes to products, a reputable mortgage broker will have full access to a comprehensive product portfolio at any given time. Let’s face it, mortgage applications can be an arduous task at the best of times, so why not let your broker do the legwork?

Are subprime mortgages more expensive than prime mortgages?

Yes, they are. The costs vary and this is something to explore with your mortgage broker, however the structure – both in terms of cost and risk – is very different now from those on the market pre-crash. This is where your broker will add value, by presenting a suite of products that will match your needs and being able to discuss your options face to face.

Will the recent EU referendum outcome make it easier or harder for me to apply for an adverse credit home loan?

It’s really is too early to say. There are reports to suggest that the subprime lending industry is growing and that home loan products aimed at people with adverse credit has doubled in the last twelve months*, however the direct impact of the Brexit vote is still unfolding.

I think I need to apply for a subprime mortgage. What shall I do next?

Get in touch with a trusted and reputable mortgage broker, who will be able to guide you through your options and advise you on the best route to take. At Complete Mortgages, a Guildford mortgage broker, we have a specialist sub-prime mortgage team that is well versed in securing mortgages for those with poor credit scores. We will offer a free initial consultation but there would be an application fee (typically £749 to £999) if you want to go ahead.

Not looking for a subprime mortgage? Remember, we also arrange first time buyer mortgages, commercial mortgages and bridging loans, too. Simply contact us on 01483 238280 or email info@complete-mortgages.co.uk.

*http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/brexit-jitters-could-lead-to-a-resurgence-for-sub-prime-mortgage-markets-1-8025082


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