The answer to both questions is very little. The lenders themselves have had to make the most adjustments to their processes and systems to adapt to the new rules. For us at Welcome Mortgage Solutions Ltd, we have had to change some wording, amend some documents and spend a long time explaining that not much has changed.
The major changes are as follows:
- Interest only mortgages are harder to obtain - and must have a suitable and plausible repayment plan
- Lenders will look more closely at regular expenditure - particularly travel costs and childcare provision
- It is highly likely you will now have to provide bank statements to support your application
- Lender arrangement fees will not automatically be added to the mortgage - you will need to request (via your broker) that this is done
- Most mortgage lenders are now using an affordability calculation to determine how much you can borrow. This will differ from lender to lender and the results, based on the same information, can vary hugely.
- Lenders are taking longer to process mortgage applications - an average of 3 weeks from application to offer is now the normal timescale
In practice, it is going direct to a lender that has seen the most drastic changes. Now advisers on the phone or in branch are required to give advice rather than just saying "here are our products - which one would you like?". This has meant that they have had to train many staff and the interviews are taking longer.
I have heard reports of waiting two weeks to get an appointment and then the actual meeting to discuss the mortgage taking over 2 hours!
Rest assured, nothing has changed when you deal with Welcome Mortgage Solutions Ltd. Our meetings will still be available at short notice, will still take no more than an hour and you will get the same service and sound advice as previously.
This means we will look at every available lender to find you the best deal. Without restriction or prejudice. We continue to operate on the basis of finding out what is best for you and providing you with value for money.
Should you have experienced any issues with the new rules or wish to tell me about any problems you have had, please call me on 0844 736 1920. I will be happy to help best I can.