Credit union signs up for shared equity scheme

The credit union is one of only five lenders to sign up for the Scottish government’s shared equity initiative, which has attracted 1205 applications up to 1 January.

The spokesman said the board of directors at GCU was reviewing its rates and expanding its mortgage range to make it more competitive. Members can currently obtain a standard variable rate mortgage at 4.99 per cent with a set-up fee of £150.

GCU struck a deal with Scottish housebuilder Cruden Homes, the Co-operative Bank and the NHS Credit Union last summer to create a £2.1m fund to help first-time buyers in Glasgow.

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The joint venture, Unique Property Solutions, offers 95 per cent loan-to-value mortgages and 20 per cent deposit funding loans on new housing developments in areas such as Govan.

Philip Hogg, chief executive of industry body Homes for Scotland, said: “With the Help to Buy Scotland scheme having already made a significant impact, we are encouraged to see more lenders joining and providing even greater benefit and choice for Scottish homebuyers.”

Adviser comment

Alison Mitchell, mortgage adviser for Edinburgh-based Robson Macintosh, said: “There is a lot of confusion about the difference between England’s Help to Buy and Scotland’s version of the scheme. The nationwide mortgage guarantee scheme has a lot of lenders on board but there are so many 85 and 90 per cent mortgages on the market outside of this scheme. They often have lower rates that could make a big difference if you get the deposit together.”