Your Views: More lenders must axe age restrictions

11 and counting – but even more lenders must remove age restrictions

How refreshing that we now have 11 lenders that impose no maximum age at which their mortgages must be repaid.

I have always considered that, where pension income is sufficient to support the mortgage, this should be the case. There was a situation not long ago where a client was paid compensation by a major high-street lender because they had been declined based purely on age.

Hopefully the high-street lenders will soon follow the example of the smaller lenders and we will have some proper competition in this market.

I applaud Mortgage Strategy for stating the maximum ages each lender will currently lend to.
Carl McGovern, Mortgages 65

Lenders should look to financial technology to transform processes

It is often said that necessity is the mother of invention. For the current mortgage market, this maxim seems suitable.

With competition in the housing market continuing to rise, there is an ever-growing need for lenders to offer innovative solutions that will provide faster and more efficient mortgage applications for today’s consumers.

Housing demand is increasing at all levels of the property market and buyers are finding themselves facing off against a growing number of competitors in the race to buy property.

These issues present a huge challenge for the mortgage industry but also open up new opportunities for lenders to embrace innovation and meet growing consumer demand for faster and more consistent mortgage applications.

To take advantage of these opportunities, lenders should look to financial technology to help them transform the lending process.

Innovative lenders are focusing on speeding up the process of getting a mortgage by providing detailed packaging guidance and publishing full lending criteria online to enable brokers to better prepare their clients in advance of an application. Except in the most complex cases, automated decision-making using published criteria can streamline the lending process and save applicants and intermediaries time.

Instant access to documents can also speed up the process. Secure, online portals are enabling brokers and their clients to send and receive documents instantly, and it is good to see more lenders embracing digital in this way.

These online systems give brokers more information and control over the progress of their cases. Real-time, online case management updates offer greater transparency because they enable advisers to instantly view the status of their cases, 24 hours a day. Systems like these can vastly improve brokers’ working lives by reducing the amount of time they have to spend on the phone chasing updates.

All of these developments enable lenders to examine each application on its merits. For example, when considering buy-to-let applications, firms can adjust the rental calculations based on regional rental market conditions or on the applicant’s ability to withstand void periods.

Innovation is key to helping lenders address some of the challenges the housing market faces, caused by the imbalance in property supply and demand. Those brands that meet the growing needs of consumers for more efficient and consistent mortgage applications will likely become the first choice for buyers in the future.
Adrian Whittaker, New Street Mortgages