I recently secured a first time buyer mortgage for two foreign nationals, neither of whom had leave to remain in the country.
My clients in this instance were a newly married couple. Work was taking them both down to Southampton, and they were looking to purchase a property there. They were looking for a very high loan to value of 95%.
The first tricky point was that they were both foreign nationals. Although one of them had been living and working here for the past three years, neither had yet secured permanent leave to remain in the UK. Although they expected to receive this sometime in the next couple of years, this was unlikely to instil much confidence in a standard lender.
To make matters that little bit more complicated they were also first time buyers. Stricter checks in the wake of the regulator’s Mortgage Market Review have made it much harder for first time buyers to secure mortgages; they are often considered an unknown quantity and lenders are unwilling to take any risks.
I needed to move fast because, understandably, the clients were looking for a quick result. Work pressures meant that they didn’t have long to find a new home and get settled in, and I was determined to help them make the transition as smoothly as possible.
I approached a number of lenders who were put off by their situation, and unwilling to consider them.
With cases like this, the key is to present the clients in the best possible light to the lender; in other words, to identify the factors that will persuade the lender they will be perfectly responsible borrowers. In this instance, both had strong credit scores, and one of the clients had a strong employment track record in the UK which would count in their favour.