Nearly one third of UK adults do not think they would be eligible to borrow any money in the form of a mortgage, research from comparethemarket.com has revealed.
Almost 13 million people are estimated to be affected, with exclusive polling revealing that many applicants do not take the necessary steps required to increase their eligibility, while 62% of respondents have never checked how much they would be able to borrow via a soft check before applying. However, soft checks do not impact consumers credit rating, which is a key measure looked at by lenders when going through a mortgage application.
The majority (74%) of UK adults admitted they have not made any attempt to improve their credit rating in order to improve their chances of securing a mortgage. Less than one in ten respondents claimed they have taken out a credit card, paid off their existing card or overdraft debt, added themselves to the electoral register or increased their household income to better their credit rating.
Furthermore, when asked how much money they would be able to borrow via a mortgage, 58% were not confident in their ability to response correctly. Of those that did provide a prediction, more than one in ten did not believe that they could borrow more than £50,000.
However, with the average UK house price estimated at £225,621, these pessimistic predictions emphasise the lack of consumer confidence, with just 12% of respondents able to envisage themselves securing a mortgage large enough to cover a house at the average national price.
Mortgage-seekers whose applications were declined reported suffering negative consequences, with almost half (45%) claiming that their credit score was negatively impacted.
When questioned on their providers’ reasons for declining their application, 33% stated their income was deemed too low. Other major factors included having too much debt, carrying out too many credit applications or having a generally poor credit history.
Commenting on the research, comparethemarket.com head of money Shakila Hashmi said: “Buying a home is one of the biggest financial commitments and it is crucial that borrowers are fully equipped with the necessary knowledge before they apply. Borrowers should be aware that even small changes, such as registering on the electoral roll, taking out a credit card, paying off debt or simply saving more regularly can significantly increase their chances of securing a mortgage.”
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