James Briggs, Middle Sales Manager, Personal Finance, Together
“Just before the New Year, as people set goals for 2022, we surveyed the UK population to understand their property goals for the year ahead and the challenges ahead.
The results revealed an ambitious nation – more than half had dreams they wanted to achieve this year. But the same optimism was not felt about their borrowing options: 28% of respondents said access to finance would be their main obstacle, and more than 45% of first-time buyers (FTB) and 50% of independent participants doubted they could get a mortgage.
Brokers hold the key to improving a borrower’s confidence in their financing options
The reasons were varied, but complex income, bad credit, age, and deposit kept coming up. Nearly six months later, these arrive in our files.
We have worked closely with our panel of specialist packers to support these customers and advance their ambitions. But there are more people we could help if they were referred to us sooner and I think the challenge stems from a lack of awareness.
Ian Balfour, Director of Sales and Marketing, TFC Homeloans, says:
“As a specialist packer, many of the cases that come to us from brokers relate to clients with irregular and complex incomes, and this has only increased following the upheaval of the pandemic.
I’ve heard that around one in five people changed jobs during Covid, and of course many took a payment holiday, which could have hurt their credit and their ability to borrow from traditional lenders.
Packers have a very good understanding of the specialized market
Digging deeper into Together’s survey results, 16% of FTBs said they would be looking to take advantage of co-ownership in 2022, and we’re getting more and more inquiries from mortgage intermediaries that support assisted purchases . When these cases arise, we need to be open and flexible, and work with a lender with broad enough criteria and product range to accommodate them, which is why we value our relationship with Together.
You can structure your initial conversations to identify potential roadblocks early on
But many borrowers, unfortunately, don’t know about lenders who can take a sensible view of their situation. Almost a third of Britons have never heard of specialist lenders, and I think even some intermediaries are not fully aware of their capabilities. There is a real opportunity here to educate the market.
James Briggs continues:
“It is brokers who hold the key to improving a borrower’s confidence in their financing options, which could be the difference between their real estate ambitions going ahead or not being realized in 2022.
1. Expand your horizons
There was a time when “specialty lender” meant “compromised credit”. And, although we can often lend to customers in credit difficulty, this is not the defining characteristic of Together’s customer base. Instead, many of our clients are self-employed or have complex incomes, or are retiring and borrowing later in life.
There are more people we could help if they were referred to us sooner and I think the challenge stems from a lack of awareness
The specialized finance sector is home to more than flexible lending criteria. It provides a wide range of products essential to a broker’s toolkit. In such a rapidly changing housing market, for example, bridge financing can offer an important short-term solution to a broken real estate chain. Our no-nonsense approach to underwriting is fast and flexible enough to help these clients.
2. Upload your conversations
We often hear of customers frustrated with delays because their situation means they have been turned away by traditional banks. But you can structure your initial conversations to identify potential roadblocks early on:
- Are they freelancers or entrepreneurs?
- Do they have multiple sources of income?
- Are they borrowing beyond the traditional retirement age?
- Is there anything unusual about the property?
- Does it involve right to buy, shared ownership or offered equity?
- Did they have credit problems?
The more they say “yes”, the more you should think about talking to a specialist lender upfront.
Almost a third of Britons have never heard of specialist lenders, and I think even some intermediaries are not fully aware of their capabilities
3. Know your support network
At Together we have a team of experienced BDMs across the UK who can tell you about your clients’ situation and provide you with examples of cases we have been able to fund. And you’ll be in good hands with one of our experienced packing partners.
Ian Balfour adds:
“Packers have a very good understanding of the specialist market and will be able to instantly find the most appropriate solution for your customer.
Thanks to the strong partnerships we have with specialist lenders, brokers can be sure that a transaction will be delivered quickly and efficiently, while maintaining their relationship with their client. »
For professional intermediate use only.
*Results collected from three surveys conducted by OnePoll in December 2021 on behalf of Together. With 2,000 British participants: 1,000 independents and 1,000 FTB.