Knowledge Bank reveals trend in ‘soft footprint’ criteria searches

“Soft footprint at DIP stage” was the most searched criteria term by brokers in the residential market during April, according to new research from Knowledge Bank.

Mortgage brokers were also searching for applications that will not leave a lasting mark on a clients’ credit score in April.

The criteria search expert highlighted that this followed the announcement in April that NatWest would no longer produce a hard footprint for agreements in principle (AIP).

Knowledge Bank holds the largest database of updated mortgage lending criteria in the UK and its monthly criteria index shows the terms that brokers are searching for.

According to the latest monthly criteria index, Knowledge Bank suggested that brokers might have been applying to a number of different lenders at the same time to ensure their client has the decision they need quickly, without it tarnishing their credit record. The criteria specialist also noted it could be due to brokers working with clients with low credit scores, concerned that a rejection would impact future applications.

Knowledge Bank operations director, Matthew Corker, commented: “The soft footprint searches show brokers are treading carefully when making applications for clients.

“This might be as a result of the economic divide, with some clients struggling financially and wanting to avoid damaging their credit scores further. It may also be due to the increase in buyers rushing to buy a property, and looking to secure a mortgage in principle quickly so they can make firm offers.”

April was also the first month in 2021 that “furloughed workers” was not the most searched criteria in the residential arena.

Knowledge Bank highlighted that criteria changes in this area have now stabilised from almost daily changes at the start of the scheme, to almost none in the past month.

Corker added: “With criteria changes continuing at a rapid pace, brokers could spend hours every day searching for the latest criteria, so using a comprehensive criteria search system can save them a massive amount of time and ensure they are providing best advice.”

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