Significant rise in default and adverse credit criteria searches in January – Knowledge Bank

Knowledge Bank’s Criteria Activity Tracker has revealed the top five most searched criteria by brokers during January 2019, with searches for adverse credit conditions entering the top five searches in three categories.

As the largest provider of criteria searching data the monthly criteria index reveals the searches brokers perform prior to mortgage product sourcing. The first month of 2019 showed a high level of activity as brokers searched over 90,000 pieces of criteria from over 200 lenders to whittle down available options for their clients, avoiding unnecessary effort and delays from failed applications.

Highlights from the index include the residential sector where for the first time two of the top five most popular searches feature adverse credit conditions. Capital raising for debt consolidation and unsatisfied defaults were the fourth and fifth most popular searches respectively.

January is now the third month in a row that lending to limited companies is the most searched for criteria in the buy to let sector. This would support the increasing market commentary over recent months that property investors are looking to professionalise with the gap between individual and professional landlords widening.

Every month seems to bring new product and criteria innovation within the equity release sector. In January the most searched criteria was for early repayment charges but capital raising to purchase a buy to let entered the top 5 for the first time. This may suggest that borrowers are looking at buy to let as a way to release the value in their property for investment returns.

Nicola Firth, CEO of Knowledge Bank said, “2019 has started with a flurry of activity both in terms of broker activity and criteria changes. There are a vast amount of changes and updates happening every day and feedback from brokers reveals that they are now performing multiple searches prior to each application. One broker revealed that he performs a quick criteria search before every update with a customer to ensure that nothing has changed since he last spoke with them even if it was just the day before. This pace of change creates a vibrant lending landscape but really puts the pressure on brokers to ensure that they are basing their advice and recommendations on the latest possible information. In addition to being best practice, using a criteria search system also allows them to evidence and document their process which is becoming increasingly crucial.”