Debt issues in second charges revealed in four out of five top searches in Knowledge Bank’s February criteria index.

Knowledge Bank’s Criteria Activity Tracker for February shows that searches regarding people with debt issues were four of the five top criteria searches in the second charge category, for the very first time.

As the largest database of mortgage lending criteria held anywhere in the UK Knowledge Bank’s monthly criteria index reveals the searches brokers perform prior to mortgage product sourcing.

Concern might be raised within the second charge sector as four of the top five criteria searches were brokers seeking lenders who would allow debt or income issues. Brokers in February interrogated data within Knowledge Bank to find lenders who would allow unsatisfied county court judgements, ongoing debt management plans, adverse credit repair or borrowers on benefits with no earned income.

Highlights from the index come from the residential sector where the criteria that brokers were most interested in was the maximum age lenders would allow at the end of the mortgage term. With an increasing number of product options for older borrowers, it is crucial that brokers keep abreast of any age restrictions, or lack of, for residential mortgages so that they can be evaluated as part of holistic advice.

The main focus for brokers researching the buy to let sector in February was on finding lenders who would lend to first time landlords. This criteria search has placed in the top five for the past six months and so the desire for borrowers to secure their first buy to let could, and should rightly, be classified as a trend rather than a passing fad.

Nicola Firth, CEO of Knowledge Bank said, “Once again the criteria index allows us to get ahead of the market and understand the cases that brokers are actually trying to place rather than just those that make it through the lending net. An increase in the number and complexity of products can be seen in each and every lending sector and so the challenge for brokers to find the right home for their clients’ loan becomes more and more onerous. With new lenders entering the market and existing lenders expanding their product options.

“We also constantly hear from brokers that criteria searching, in addition to helping them save time in placing cases, vitally enables them to evidence and document their process should their advice be questioned at any time in the future. Borrowers and regulators alike simply aren’t concerned how difficult it is to keep abreast of all available product options, just that it is done.”