In these unprecedented times, engaging with an experienced Authorized and Regulated Independent finance broker has never been more important. My 27 years of finance experience will often be the difference between a potentially successful outcome, or as I have often seen, failure and disappointment when a customer opts to directly use an online application with a Company of which they know nothing about.
Over the last couple of weeks, we have seen Covid chaos, with many lenders stopping lending altogether, often a combination of volumes of existing customers seeking payment holidays causing internal cashflow issues, plus their own funding lines of credit having more stringent covenants imposed. Others have seen their funding dry-up as private investors withdraw their support, or, the threat of not being able to enable Securitization.
All is not lost, however – there are still many positives in the Personal, Business and Buy-To-Let finance market, with the caveat that if you think you want it, then ask now, whilst terms remain favourable.
So, just what is available during this Covid chaos?
First Charge Mortgages:
Estate Agents – Closed.
Surveyors and Valuers – Pretty much closed.
Removal firms – Closed.
Therefore, the logical conclusion is that the property market has become totally stagnant apart from re-mortgages, re-finance, debt-consolidation, product transfers and those seeking a new lender to replace their existing expensive Standard Variable Rates, some of which are still in the 6 to 8 percent ranges, despite the recent Bank of England Base Rate cuts to just 0.1 percent.
Yes, underwriting has become ever-more cautious, yes, more property equity is needed, but yes, many options and solutions remain available, although more hoops of fire to jump through.
Second charge lenders are still lending, with a desktop or drive-by valuation available for loans up to £200,000 and maximum LTV’s of 80%. Higher limits are possible but at a premium, with tightened underwriting. In certain areas, some surveyors are willing to visit properties and guarantee there is no risk to you, the applicants. Additionally, work and employment circumstances will be looked at both sympathetically and sensibly. A loan is often ideal for the consolidation of escalating unsecured debt into a more manageable payment, particularly if a remortgage, further advance or unsecured loan is inappropriate or unavailable.
Fact – We are about to see a vast reduction in the number of lenders operating in this market, and full-status lending criteria may become bordering upon almost impossible to meet, with only a select few being able to access funding. There is a strong probability that lenders will want to see a higher degree of equity available.
However, non-status loans remain available, meaning that you need not have a perfect credit history behind you in order to achieve your objective.
I have not seen these levels of lender attrition and fall-out since the crash of 2008. Knowing which lenders will still be around once the crisis is over is something I have continually monitored and reviewed, building experience and data upon, and calculating likely responses – lenders are a business, they are not immune to what is happening globally. My stance is very easy to explain, never ever, ever go for cheapest, go for what works and who can deliver. It is also helpful during these times to consider lenders who offer desktop and automated valuations, removing the requirement of a surveyor visiting the property.
If you think that you may need finance for whatever reason, either Personal, Business, Buy-to-Let, or Debt Consolidation, then please act now whilst channels are open, you can thank me later.
And as always if you need to talk, discuss, enquire or whatever, do give me a call – I’m here to help.
May I wish you, and your families, personal safety during these uncertain Covid-19 times.
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