West One Loans enters first-charge residential mortgage market

The product range is aimed at borrowers who are underserved by high street lenders

West One Loans enters first-charge residential mortgage market

Specialist lender West One Loans has launched into the first-charge residential mortgage market with a range of products for first-time buyers, home movers, and remortgage customers who have typically been unable to secure finance from mainstream lenders.

West One said its criteria will also benefit those who have non-standard borrowing requirements, such as self-employed borrowers, older applicants, and those who struggle to meet credit scoring requirements.

The range will consist of Prime Plus, Prime and Near Prime products with rates starting from 4.74%. Loan terms of between five and 40 years will be available, as will loan-to-income ratios of 4.5x and above, subject to eligibility.

Loan sizes will range from £25,000 to £1 million, offering LTVs up to 85% for remortgage customers, homemovers, and borrowers with unencumbered properties. Interest only options will also be available on specific plans up to 75% LTV.

Self-employed borrowers can be considered with one year’s trading history, while contractors and borrowers working under IR35 will also be supported.

Applications will also be open from borrowers with satisfied CCJs and defaults, as well as those with unsatisfied CCJs and defaults under £500. Borrowers’ creditworthiness will be assessed on an individual basis by West One’s underwriters and credit risk experts.

For remortgage customers, West One will offer a fast-track legal service provided by on-site solicitors for remortgages up to £750,000, with AVMs available for loan sizes up to £150,000 for Prime Plus borrowers. 

Products will initially be available through a network of specialist distributors, including Aria, Y3S, Brightstar, Positive Lending, Loan.co.uk, The Loans Engine, Truffle Specialist Finance, Chase Blue, and Everything Financial.

Read more: West One Loans has new head of bridging finance.

As part of the launch, West One has also enhanced its broker portal and added a new case hub to streamline the application process and further improve communication between its underwriting team and intermediaries.

Marie Grundy (pictured) has been appointed to run the new proposition, taking on the job title of managing director of residential mortgages and second charges.

She will work alongside Phill Tyson, head of term lending, both of whom will be supported by a field sales and broker support team, as well as a team of office-based underwriters.

“The launch of residential mortgages is a natural next step in the evolution of West One as the UK’s leading specialist lender,” Grundy commented. “Our unique approach to credit assessment is built on treating every applicant on an individual basis, and this model is perfectly suited to supporting residential borrowers who are overlooked by many high street banks.

“We want to help these underserved borrowers by providing them with access to specialist products that cater to their specific needs.”

Grundy added that even though not every borrower has a perfect credit history and not all applicants will meet banks’ tightening lending criteria, that does not mean they should be automatically cut off from access to responsible forms of credit.

“Our mission at West One has always been to help as many borrowers as possible and we are delighted that we are now able to extend that support to residential customers,” she said.