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How Can I Buy a House if I Have Been Told I Cannot Afford a Mortgage?

How Can I Buy a House if I Have Been Told I Cannot Afford a Mortgage?
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Almas Uddin
Almas Uddin

Founder and Mortgage Advisor

Almas Uddin25 Feb 2024

Can I Still Buy a House Despite Being Unable To Afford a mortgage?

Being turned down for a mortgage can feel disheartening at best - but an experienced broker will tell you that it might be as simple as having applied to the wrong lender.

Revolution Brokers works with a wide variety of clients - from those who need to seek an alternative borrowing product, to people who need an independent review of their circumstances to demonstrate their affordability.

This guide summarises what you can do whether you are struggling to keep up with your mortgage, or need help to get onto the property ladder.

If you have been turned down for financing and need professional advice, do give us a call directly on 0330 304 3040, or email the Revolution team at [email protected], we are always here to help!

What Can I Do If I'm Struggling With My Mortgage?

The first thing not to do is panic. We all encounter changes of circumstances from time to time, and seeking help is essential if you feel that you're struggling.

If you already have a property and are worried about changes to your affordability, do get in touch, as there are always options available. Extending your term, or switching from repayment to interest-only even if for a few months might solve the problem.

Let's look at some of the first things to do if you are worried about keeping up with mortgage repayments:

  • Talk to your lender. Lenders aren't there to penalise you in times of crisis, and if you're facing a problem, it is in their best interest to help, since repossession is a last resort and costly for all involved.

A lender might recommend a few different steps, such as:

  • Extending your mortgage end of term - changing this by five or ten years might significantly reduce your monthly cost by sharing the repayments over a more extended period,
  • Payment holidays are another option. Although there are risk factors, and it's best to check whether your lender will report this on your credit record, many will offer some time off repayments to allow you some financial breathing space.
  • Deferring payments may also be possible if you have a temporary financial situation, whereby you can delay a payment due date until you're in a better position to bring things into good order.

In summary, there are many options, all of which involve communicating with your lender or consulting an experienced broker to manage the process for you. Choices such as equity release, interest-only mortgage switches, remortgaging, product transfers and government schemes can all offer a solution.

How Can Remortgaging Help with Affordability?

When you remortgage, you transfer your existing debt to a new provider or product and can find far more affordable options than your current repayments.

For example, if you're currently paying a standard variable rate (SVR), you might find that your monthly costs reduce substantially by remortgaging onto a fixed interest rate.

You can also remortgage to consolidate existing debts into one monthly repayment, making it much easier to manage if you have several liabilities and are trying to juggle them at once.

However, this kind of deal can be non-beneficial if you are tied in for a fixed period. Give us a call, and the Revolution team can assess any early exit penalties against the savings on offer to see if this is a viable solution.

Are Second Charge Mortgages a Solution if I Can’t Afford my Repayments?

Second charge mortgages are often an option where you are tied into an attractive rate with your current lender, which you don't wish to sacrifice, but need a way to raise extra capital.

It's important to remember that a second charge mortgage remains a debt secured against your property, so if you fail to keep up with the agreed repayments, it is at risk of repossession.

Can I Change to an Interest Only Mortgage?

While the terms of an interest-only mortgage may be slightly different, many lenders may offer this switching option as a temporary measure to protect their investment, and your property, during a short-term period of financial difficulty.

Interest-only mortgages mean paying off only the interest element of your loan each month without any capital repayment. Therefore, it is necessary to have an exit strategy to evidence how you will pay off the original balance at the end of the loan term.

How Does a Mortgage Product Transfer Work?

If your financial situation has changed, a product transfer is also worth considering.

This option is usually most beneficial if you are on your lender's Standard Variable Rate (SVR). These rates are generally much higher than a fixed-rate interest offer, and when you come to the end of an initial period, your monthly costs can jump up significantly.

Product transfers are an alternative to a remortgage, which do not require a full property valuation and are cheaper to organise without in-depth legal processes.

Equity Release Options for Later Life Mortgage Holders

Should you be aged over 55 and be struggling with your mortgage payments, lifetime mortgages or equity release is another potential solution.

These products mean borrowing against the equity in your property, without needing to make any monthly payments - or having the option of making voluntary payments if you wish.

Your home is sold if you pass away or go into care, in which case the proceeds are used to repay the lender, and the balance passes to you or your estate.

Are There Government Schemes to Help with Mortgage Affordability?

There are some schemes available that might help mitigate the financial burden if you are having difficulty making your mortgage repayments.

For example, you can take out a loan called Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI). This scheme doesn't offer funding to repay the mortgage balance but can cover the interest costs. Your loan needs to be repaid when the home is sold.

To qualify for SMI, you need to be eligible for benefits.

What Can I Do If I Separatefroma Partner and Can No Longer Afford my Mortgage?

A divorce or separation is a challenging experience, and many people find that they are no longer able to afford their mortgage on a single income. Even if you have moved out, if your name is on the mortgage, you are still responsible for keeping up with the repayments.

This situation can have a long-term impact on your credit score, so it's essential to seek professional advice.

Some of the potential options include:

  • Transferring the mortgage into one partner's name, which means that if you no longer live in the property, you are no longer responsible for the repayments.
  • Remortgaging on a more affordable rate, or on a longer-term to reduce the monthly cost.
  • Using a product transfer, again to reduce your outgoings.
  • Consider an interest-only mortgage, even in the interim, and explore the options available from your lender.

Unfortunately, there aren't any government support schemes in this situation, but in most cases, by working with an experienced broker, you will be able to find an option that works for you.

What Happens If I am On Maternity Leave and Cannot Pay My Mortgage?

In the first instance, we'd recommend contacting your lender and explaining the situation.

They might offer a repayment holiday, or look at extending the mortgage term, and there are also other options to reduce the costs until you return to work.

How Can I Get Help with Mortgage Costs if My Partner Dies?

Another scenario is where a partner passes away, and you aren't able to cover the costs of a joint mortgage by yourself.

If one partner dies, even if you are in a joint mortgage, you won't necessarily be automatically responsible for all of the debt - although you will need to contact your lender if you'd like this to happen.

To take over 100% of the mortgage debt, your lender would need to assess your affordability, and agree to transfer the loan into your name.

In some cases, life insurance or savings can help, or there are other refinancing options available.

What Can I Do if I Have a Second Mortgage and Can No Longer Afford It?

As we've seen, there are several options for rearranging mortgage debt to make it more affordable, or to change your product if your financial circumstances change.

Most of the potential options apply to second mortgages as well as primary homes.

You could consider renting out the property and switching to an interest-only mortgage on a buy to let basis, with the rental income covering the mortgage costs.

What Are My Options if I Cannot Afford to Purchase a Home?

The Revolution Brokers team regularly works with clients who don't think they can afford any mortgage - this very often isn't the case, and there are many ways to get onto the property ladder.

Some of the schemes available include:

These are only some of the multiple options out there, so it's worthwhile getting in touch so we can advise on any other schemes you might be eligible for.

Expert Helpwith Affording a Mortgage

If you think you can't afford a mortgage, or are struggling with your existing costs, get in touch with business loan broker on 0330 304 3040, or email us at [email protected].

There are thousands of mortgage products, schemes and lenders out there, so even if you are dealing with financial difficulties, there is usually a solution to alleviate the pressure.

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FCA disclaimer

The content included in our articles, blogs, web pages and news publications is based on information accurate at the time of writing. Note that policies and criteria can change regularly throughout the UK mortgage lending market, and it remains essential to contact the consultation team to receive up to date guidance. The information included on the Revolution Brokers site is not bespoke to any circumstances or individual application scenarios and therefore is not intended to be used as financial advice. The content we share is designed to be informative and helpful but cannot be relied upon to provide individual advice relevant to your mortgage requirements. All Revolution team members are fully qualified, trained and experienced to provide mortgage advice of an independent nature.

We collaborate with lenders and providers who are regulated, authorised and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Should you require specific mortgage borrowing types, some products such as buy to let mortgages may not be FCA regulated. The Revolution team can provide further information about regulated and unregulated lending as required. Please remember that a mortgage is a debt which is secured against your home or property. Your home can be at risk of repossession if you do not keep up with the repayments or encounter any other difficulties in managing your mortgage borrowing responsibly. This also applies to any remortgage or home loan secured against your property, including equity release products.