News from Reuters reports that UK mortgage approvals are currently at the lowest they've been for 2 years (http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-lending-idUKKCN11Z0TC), why is this?
Granted, house prices are expensive, and there is a lot of debt around but debt hasn't traditionally been a big 'make or break' reason for people not to apply for mortgages.
People's apparent willingness to accept debt has been noteworthy of late. The British people seem to embrace debt with open arms - at least during boom times. The last boom years of 2003 - 2008 saw lots of 'free money' being given away - this 'feel good' attitude persuaded many of us to take on debt, and this study regarding the amount of uk household debt makes interesting reading.
People in the UK seem to still want to buy houses - in Europe this is very different with many more people willing to rent property. This is not necessarily a good idea on the part of Europe in my opinion, as what as house gives you (once you eventually own it) is an asset that you can use in later life. Renting a property gives you no such advantage.
With money being tight at the moment it's imperative to find a mortgage that works for you as cheaply as possible. Don't go to banks, don't go to building societies, they will only sell you their own products, use an independent mortgage broker who will find you the best deal. Doing this one thing will save you thousands of pounds over the lifetime of your mortgage.
A common question mortgage advisers get asked is about credit scores and if a bad credit rating can prevent getting a mortgage to buy a house. Here's a typical question:
"I'm interested in seeing if I can obtain a mortgage but am worried my credit rating may be a problem.
Please could I make arrangements to speak to someone in this regard."
The subject of debt is of course huge, with many UK workers now on the minimum wage and zero hours contracts, what hope is there for buying a house for people in this position? The reaction has been that many people are now forced to rent houses because they can't afford the deposit to buy a house. The hour prices on the property market are also inflated as many people have chosen to invest in bricks and mortar rather than trust their money on the stock market. This has created a house price bubble as too many people, a second house is their investment and was bought when house prices were high. This keeps house prices (unrealistically) high as no one wants to loose money on their investment.
So, buying a house in todays Britain is tricky. It's tricky is you're in full time employment and have a good credit history. It's even more difficult if your circumstances aren't ideal and you think your credit rating may be a problem. Fortunately there is good news: mortgage advisers like Manchester Mortgages (http://manchestermortgages.co.uk/) are experts at finding mortgages for people with poor credit ratings. Most high street lenders will not consider many people with poor credit histories for a mortgage: this is a mistake. It's a mistake because people are increasingly running short of money and are having to work harder to make ends meet. This produces the follow-on effect that fewer people will be eligible for high street mortgages, this presents a huge opportunity for the likes of Manchester Mortgages and similar companies.
The difference an independent mortgage lender can make is huge, and in my opinion the days of the high street mortgage business model are over: these services are old and out-dated. An independent mortgage adviser will look at hundreds of mortgages from a huge number of different lenders and will also speak to them personally, describing people's credit situations (see the page specific to bad credit mortgages at http://manchestermortgages.co.uk/poor-credit-mortgages/) in detail and filling in a mortgage application with the correct information to ensure that a mortgage offer is given rather than rejected.
So in summary then, having a poor credit rating will certainly cause difficulty in getting a mortgage, and the best way of getting around the problem is to use an independent broker as described above.