• David Coggin

On your marks, get set, buy: Helping first-time buyers off the starting block.

An unpaid parking fine or an outstanding student loan will be considered when taking out a mortgage application. However, as Dale Jannels explains, with the right advice they needn’t hamper your chances of getting a deal.

It will not have escaped your attention that lower deposit mortgages are now back which is great news.

However, due to their higher rates and the strict criteria applied by lenders only a lucky few may be able to successfully apply – at least for now.

For many potential borrowers, these mortgages are out of reach for another reason and that’s either because of outstanding credit commitments or minor adverse credit.

Income and credit-related scrutiny have, quite rightly, been ramped up from a lending perspective in recent times and clients must share all relevant financial commitments.

This sounds obvious but we have all experienced instances where missed information has caused major delays further down the line and the need for full transparency is greater than ever.

Student loans

An area highlighted by one of our top advisers is that clients often overlook student loans as being a credit commitment, as these are automatically deducted from pay packets.

However, most lenders will include this in their affordability calculations.


As a specialist mortgage broker, we’re also seeing a greater proportion of clients who are not only self-employed but who have a non-traditional income history and a variety of income streams. Lenders will have different policies in dealing with such cases.

For example, some lenders will consider people to be self-employed if they are employed by their own limited company and have a greater than 20% shareholding.

And it is not always necessary to have two years’ finalised accounts. So, we need to go far more in-depth when it comes to income-related discussions.

Adverse credit

With regards to bad credit, we’re seeing the next generation of adverse credit coming through and if you ‘cough’ on your phone bill, you could be slapped with a default almost immediately.

The biggest increase at the moment we’re seeing is car parking fines. People don’t want to pay a silly little charge because they went into a pet store, and then they’ve got private firms chasing them down.

Unfortunately, things could escalate quickly, and before they know it those parking charges are up to £700.

Don’t give up

The biggest surprise to us is that many people bury their heads in the sand and did not think they could find a mortgage – instead of dropping onto the lender’s standard variable rate or just not purchasing the property.

This is simply not the case, as there are many options available to such clients and only this month we have launched some exclusive products with a lender specialising in adverse credit applications.

Why advice is important

Educating, extracting the right information, and managing clients' expectations have always been key components within any advice process but this small sample highlights how there is an even greater emphasis on these factors.

The more thorough and better prepared we are from the onset – in terms of asking the right questions to generate relevant and detailed responses from our first-time buyers – the less time we will spend firefighting issues further down the line, and less stress will be placed on you, the client, throughout this process.

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