Moving On Up: A Lawyers’ Guide to MortgagesPublish date: 29/11/2019
Many in the legal sector aren’t aware that their professional status can be an advantage when it comes to making mortgage or remortgage applications. Recent application figures from Wesleyan Financial Services show that the average mortgage advance given to lawyers is 52% higher than the national average when compared to lending figures from the Bank of England. It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned lawyer or a trainee, you may be eligible for a ‘professional mortgage’. Lenders offering these mortgages will take your professional status into account and potentially offer you a higher loan at a preferential rate. Clearly, it pays to do your homework when it comes to choosing the right mortgage. We've outlined four key tips to help you stay ahead of the game.
Look attractive on paper
When assessing your suitability for a mortgage, lenders don't just look at your monthly income. They also have a duty to assess whether you can afford to keep up with the re-payments after your monthly out-goings are taken into account.
If you're a newly qualified lawyer, you may have debts to repay such as student loans which will also be considered.
Producing a household budget detailing your monthly income and expenditure can help to build a strong mortgage application and demonstrate to lenders that you're making a realistic application.
Including all household bills as well as essentials, such as food and clothing, will help to paint a clearer picture of your financial situation and make you look more attractive on paper.
Clearing any outstanding debt such as credit card bills can also support the process and give potential lenders the opportunity to lend you that bit more towards your dream home.
Have confidence in your credit score
It's better to identify any unexpected results in your credit score before you make a mortgage application rather than try to rectify them during the process.
Many lawyers believe the gravitas of a career as a professional will outweigh their credit score. In fact, your credit score can often take you by surprise if, for example you've shared an address or postcode with someone with a poor credit history or remain linked to a previous partner with whom you made a joint credit application.
In some cases, you may be able to amend inaccuracies on your credit file; however, it's important to check your credit score before you put pen to paper. There are many credit services available, at no or low cost.
Understand what's on offer
When shopping around for a mortgage deal it's easy to be seduced by headline grabbing interest rates. However, with so many factors to consider, such as application fees and product fees, it can often be hard to make an informed decision.
To help consumers make the right choice for them, all UK lenders must display the overall cost per comparison percentage, also known as Annual Percentage Rate of Charge (APRC), alongside the interest rate.
The APRC is quoted as a percentage of the interest payable on the total amount of credit. It takes account of all fees that may be payable including the interest rate at the start of the mortgage and after the rate period has ended, any application or product fees as well as redemption fees.
When looking at the APRC you should bear in mind that the calculation assumes you will stick with same product and provider for the duration of the mortgage, which can be up to 40 years in today's market.
Identifying the most suitable mortgage for your circumstances and submitting a successful application is no easy task.
Engaging with an experienced financial services consultant who understands the legal profession can take a weight off your shoulders and let you concentrate on your day job and protect your free time.
They can access thousands of mortgage deals on your behalf, many of which aren't available on the high street, and work through the application process with you, ensuring that your deal is the best you can get.
Their knowledge of the legal industry allows them to directly relay this to any mortgage provider so they truly understand what you can afford to borrow.
As a lawyer, you're in the advice business and getting sound advice on your mortgage deal is a no-brainer.
To find out more information on how to find the right mortgage for you visit: https://www.wesleyan.co.uk/mortgages/personalmortgages
Sarah Deacon at Wesleyan, a specialist financial services mutual for Lawyers.
(52% higher mortgage advance based on Wesleyan financial services internal data Aug 2019 compared with Bank of England UK Mortgage stats https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/statistics/tables)