Mortgage brokers - are your clients struggling with repayments?

Journalist: John Fitzsimons, Freelance

ended 26. April 2022

New figures from the ONS this week found that around one in five mortgage borrowers are struggling to meet their housing costs

Are you seeing this with your clients? Are you contacting clients directly to see how they are getting on, or waiting for them to come to you if they are struggling? Does this represent a good opportunity to reconnect with clients, to remind them you're there?

I'd also love to get your thoughts on specialist lenders. Are you more likely to work with them as arrears become more common? And if not, why not?

Any and all thoughts on this very welcome!


5 responses from the Newspage community

"We've been running a number of social media campaigns around this over the past few weeks, as a way of engaging with existing clients and prospective new clients around helping them to review their finances to see if there is any area we can help them to manage costs, without putting them or their families at risk by doing something extreme like cancelling their life insurance, or home insurance." "Any mortgage taken out in the last decade will have gone through an affordability assessment which included a 'stress test', so the lender was not just looking if you can afford the mortgage at the interest rates at that time, but also on a higher interest rate, to give themselves comfort that you can still make your repayments when rates increase. This means that in theory everyone should still be able to make their mortgage payments. The real question is are people willing to make sacrifices in other areas to do so? Lenders will expect you to forgo luxuries like holidays and new cars, as well as cancelling non-essentials like Sky TV and gym membership before they will be willing to help if you are struggling with your mortgage payment. The key takeaway, though, is that the lender doesn't want to repossess your home if it can help it. So work with them, speak to them and you'll find there is lots of support and help that they can give to help you stay in your home, as long as you are willing to make that your priority too."
"With the cost of living crisis and interest rates increasing, as responsible mortgage brokers it is important to reach out to our clients to ensure that they are able to afford their monthly commitments. And if they are struggling, we are best placed to help them with this. As we know, the mortgage payment is a client's priority bill, however affording their protection premium is the monthly commitment that is at risk of being cancelled. This is where it is essential we reach out to our clients to see if this can be reviewed to remain affordable, whilst keeping this vital cover in place. "Equity release is an important topic to make those in later life aware of. I have seen too many situations where elderly people are property rich and cash poor, and find themselves struggling to heat their homes or have a warm meal. Releasing equity from their property can be the answer to living more comfortably."
"The cost of living crisis presents a good opportunity to help clients remortgage, where they are in a position to do so. With property prices so high, many are mortgaged up to the hilt. Suddenly, everyone's looking to save money where they can, and saving money on their biggest monthly expense is top priority. Adverse credit is an increasing problem due to the pandemic hammering people's finances, so we're using specialist lenders more than ever."
"With interest rates rising, the cost of living crisis biting and wages stagnating, it's no wonder people are feeling the pinch. As a result, we have seen many people wanting to consolidate unsecured debt into their mortgage to free up more disposable income while knowing they only have one direct debit to pay. That's not to say that it's the right course of action for everyone; however, it's better to have a debt for longer, even if it means paying more in interest payments overall, if it means you can live affordably and sustainably than getting further into the red, which can ultimately end up in repossesion. It's important to remember nothing lasts forever, so take solace in the inimitable musings of D Ream: Things Can Only Get Better."
"With the cost of living spiralling out of control there will be a number of mortgage borrowers whose circumstances may have changed since initially taking out a mortgage. This means they may struggle but this should not be a common theme as mortgages since 2014 have had to undergo super stringent affordability checks. But anyone who feels they may struggle with their mortgage should speak to an adviser and their lender as many borrowers could well be sat on a variable rate. I spoke to a client recently who was on a variable rate for over three years so please please please review your mortgage."