One in 10 mortgage applicants rejected after taking loan repayment holiday

One in 10 mortgage applicants have been rejected by lenders because they had taken advantage of loan repayment holidays in the past, a new study has revealed.

Research from NerdWallet showed that on average, prospective applicants dedicated 22 hours to researching mortgage options, and spoke to just two lenders before applying.

The financial comparison platform commissioned an independent survey of more than 500 UK mortgage-holders and also found that 12% of mortgage holders had an application rejected in the past, despite receiving a mortgage in principle from the same lender. 

A further 10% of applicants indicated they had been rejected because they had taken advantage of loan repayment holidays, while the same number (10%) faced rejection because of pre-existing debt. Another 8% have had an application rejected in the past because of their credit score.

However, 9% of applicants had their application rejected without knowing the reason why.

Commenting on the findings, NerdWallet director of operations, John Ellmore, said: “The UK’s property market has bounced back strongly from the initial lockdown period, with house prices and transactional activity rising sharply. However, the pandemic and subsequent recession might have made mortgage applications more strenuous for prospective homebuyers as lenders tighten their criteria.

“This can be incredibly frustrating for mortgage applicants – especially when they are rejected for reasons that are largely beyond their control or simply unknown to them.

“Applicants who have taken advantage of loan repayment holidays as a consequence of the financial pressures caused by the pandemic may well find themselves unfairly targeted, given that the use of such schemes was not meant to impact on their ability to access credit in the future.

“Our research shows that the mortgage market can be difficult to navigate, underlining the importance of thorough research and preparation.”

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