How Are Building Societies Making Borrowing Easier For Older People?

Posted on April 5th, 2018 by Emily Ellis

There are many reasons someone might be thinking of buying a property or re-mortgaging in their later years, whether it’s to get a better deal on their current home – especially if a fixed rate has ended – or they’ve simply decided to downsize; but up until now, obtaining a mortgage over the age of 60 has often been a difficult – if not impossible – process.

Fortunately, this is no longer the case, as many lenders are loosening their policies and following in the footsteps of smaller building societies, which can assess each application on its own merits.

Companies such as National Counties, Bath Building Society and Mansfield Building Society and Metro Bank all have no maximum age cap, and ultimately paved the way for some of the major lenders to follow suit. Halifax, for example, increased its maximum age to 80, while Nationwide increased their mortgage maturity age from 75 to 85, in a move designed to bring more flexibility and choice to older borrowers.

 

By increasing age caps, building societies are providing customers with a number of benefits:

  • With a significant number of older people struggling to be approved for a mortgage, they have been forced to make retirement decisions based solely on what they can afford, limiting their options and often meaning they end up staying in a property that is no longer suitable for them. With cultural trends shifting and more people in their 50s and 60s still looking to make life changing decisions, many of which would include further lending.
  • Downsizing does not always mean reduced costs. The house they choose might be smaller in size, but the area it’s in may be considered more desirable, in effect increasing the cost, so a mortgage may still be needed.
  • The divorce rate among those in their 50s is increasing. This relaxation of the mortgage age criteria means those faced with starting fresh, can begin the buying process again much later in life.

 

If you’re over 60 and thinking about further borrowing to help facilitate your move, the Conveyancing team at Gordons Property Lawyers can help. Speak to us today by calling 01628 308 380; or email info@gplawyers.co.uk