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More than half of people who are either considering, or are in the course of applying for a mortgage in the UK believe that the obligation placed upon mortgage lenders to assess their ability to repay will slow down the application process. Overall 59% are in this position and 32% of those who have yet to apply also said they would find it fairly difficult to obtain evidence of all the expenditure information they believe a lender needs to assess a mortgage application. The research from Equifax, a credit information provider, also found that 69% who responded to the survey expressed concern that more detailed affordability checks would affect the amount they could borrow and 40% are worried about the time it will take to complete their mortgage application. The new responsibilities placed upon lenders, which came into effect in April 2014 as a result of the Mortgage Market Review, place even greater onus on the lender to assess an applicant's ability to repay. The applicant's credit history is likely to play a crucial role in that assessment, alongside other information gathered as part of the application process. ‘It is important to remember that lenders will take into account the information provided on the application form and will look at an applicant's income and outgoings to ensure they can afford the mortgage they are applying for, now and in the future. However, our research suggests that 22% are still unconvinced that the new affordability rules will help prevent home owners overstretching themselves in the long term,’ said Laura Barrett of Equifax Consumer Affairs. ‘We would recommend compiling any financial documents and expenditure information needed to support a mortgage application, as soon as the application process starts. Advance preparation will hopefully avoid any unnecessary delays,’ she pointed out. ‘A lender will typically look at an applicant's credit history when determining whether they meet eligibility criteria and may also use credit information during affordability assessments. Therefore, it is suggested that individuals check their credit report before making any applications to ensure that it is in the best possible shape for them,’ she added. Continue reading →
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