Harpenden BS revamps lending policy

Changes include introduction of six-month offers

Harpenden BS revamps lending policy

Harpenden Building Society has announced several criteria and packaging changes to its specialist mortgage offerings, aimed at enhancing accessibility for customers with unique financial situations.

The changes, designed to simplify the application process for brokers and provide more flexible lending options, include the introduction of six-month mortgage offers for all variable rate products.

In a move to streamline the verification process, the mutual has reduced the bank statement requirement from three months to just one month, making the initial stages of the mortgage application quicker and less cumbersome for applicants.

The society has also revised its approach to income age limits. Previously capped at age 75, the requirement for earned income has now been removed for cases where it is reasonable to expect the income to continue beyond this age.

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For borrowers earning income outside of the UK, Harpenden has broadened its criteria to include income from non-UK based self-employment or directorships.

Additionally, the previously mandatory 5% deposit contribution for concessionary purchases has been removed, lowering the entry barrier for some purchasers.

In terms of construction loans, the lender has updated its self-build mortgage affordability assessments. Now, existing mortgage or rent payments can be excluded from the affordability calculation during the build phase, provided the applicant can demonstrate sufficient savings to cover a two-year mortgage term.

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Lastly, Harpenden has clarified that its restriction of three units on one title applies solely to dwellings, such as a main residence plus two holiday lets. Outbuildings and stables are not included in this count.

“We are continually looking for ways to make our criteria as simple as possible to become a specialist known for great service and ease to deal with,” said Mike Cutler (pictured), commercial director at Harpenden Building Society. “These changes are a result of broker feedback received and review of cases recently approved that were exceptions that we are comfortable to bring within policy to make decisioning quicker.

“The move to six-month offers will reduce the number of re-offers for those transactions that take a little longer and the reduction in bank statements makes it easier for brokers to package.” 

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