Are you too old to get a mortgage?
We’re doing everything later these days. 50 is the new 40 they say, and in 2014, the average age for being a first time mother rose over 30 (30.2 years to be precise), as we all concentrate on doing other things first. But beware, if you leave things to late you might find yourself left behind, as more and more people are reportedly being denied mortgages on the grounds of being too old- at as young an age as 40.
A recent study for Nottingham Building Society found that 37% of brokers had seen a rise in the number of customers being rejected for mortgages and remortgages. When asking customers themselves, the lender found that 17% of those aged 40 to 45 had been turned down for a mortgage because of their age, rising to 21% among borrowers aged 45 to 54
The worry for lenders is that older sorts become a riskier prospect once they retire. If you are 40 and stick to a 25 year mortgage you’re probably OK, but with 30 and 35 year terms becoming more and more popular in the name of affordability, it can mean that those in their 40s who want to borrow past retirement end up being rejected.
Ian Gibbons of Nottingham Mortgage Services said: “It is baffling for people in their early 40s to be told they are too old to have a mortgage and particularly so when the average age of first-time buyers is rising, which means some could even be first-time buyers.”
However, this is part of a wider issue of age discrimination that is apparently so prevalent that the Financial Conduct Authority (the FCA) announced a new investigation into what discrimination older people face in financial markets. This review will include the over 40s being denied access to longer-term products available to their more youthful counterparts, but will also cover the situations where preferential rates, for example, are only available online, and whether this disproportionately affects those of more advanced years. Silver surfing 93 year old Grannies notwithstanding…
Earlier this month the Co-op bank was forced to change its policy and cough up £2,000 in compensation after the Financial Ombudsman Service ruled that it had discriminated against a 69-year-old borrower who had wanted to extend his mortgage by five years.
The FCA have published a discussion paper on the subject of an ‘ageing population’, and interested parties can express their views directly to the FCA until 15 April 2016.