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Do you expect to see less or more second charge mortgage lenders in 2018?

People need flexibility and second charge lenders do just that

By Jon Sturgess, head of sales, secured lending, Masthaven |

 Over the last few months I’ve been working on the go a lot. I’ve found myself working on trains, in coffee shops and while walking to meetings (the latter being the least productive!).


I’ve noticed flexible working has become more accepted nowadays, and realised how lucky I am to be able to do what I love from pretty much anywhere (in the world, if necessary), at any time.  These days, businesses understand that people – to put it bluntly – have a life. Sometimes parents need to leave a little bit earlier to pick up the children from school; and occasionally people need to meet suppliers at home during working hours. WFH has become acceptable.
In the wake of the technology shift from analogue to digital, lives have changed and working has become more flexible. This got me thinking how people need companies to adapt to their needs, whether that is at work or at home. 
The second charge mortgage market has seen significant changes since the Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD) came into force over a year ago. I believe lenders have changed to meet regulatory requirements; this shift has had a positive impact on the second charge sector as a whole. 
Lenders have worked hard to tell advisers about how second charge products can help their clients. They’ve been told to stress the many ways the products can flex to help borrowers, from home improvements and consolidating debt to borrowing money for buy-to-let. The list goes on. 
Our hard work seems to be paying off. We’re seeing a growth in the market as more and more introducers recognise that second charge lenders can help in a wide range of circumstances. However, I also think we’re seeing an uplift because people have new needs and second charge lenders are poised to adapt and meet customers’ different needs. 
As I mentioned earlier, the way we work is just one example of our changing needs. Monday to Friday, nine to five is no longer the ‘norm’. According to official figures almost five million people are now self-employed – around 15% of the UK’s working population. As a result, they may not receive a regular monthly payslip, a fact that second charge lenders understand. For this reason, second charge lenders, such as Masthaven, take a flexible view of modern working lives – we assess clients’ incomes with an expert human eye, while traditional lenders may rule them out from the start using digital algorithms.  
Meanwhile, we’re seeing demand from older applicants. Many want to borrow money to make home improvements so they can adapt and live in their home for longer; while others want to raise capital for further property purchases. However, some traditional banks may not want to lend to those in or approaching retirement as they see it as challenging, whereas second charge lenders can adapt to older borrower’s needs.

Furthermore, some customers have a poor credit rating and may feel that high street banks won’t help them. Again, second charge lenders are usually willing to assist these clients so that they can improve their credit rating and get back on track.
Because second charge lenders can make quick decisions, application-to-completion turnaround times have reduced significantly recently. For example, some of Masthaven’s second charge clients now receive funds within a few days of their application. 
I believe the MCD has delivered new opportunities for the second charge sector – making this kind of mortgage more attractive to customers because lenders can flex to suit individual needs, which widens a client’s options. I’m proud to confirm Masthaven is part of this process to evolve and adapt to reflect the ever-changing world, perhaps quicker than other sectors. 

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