Mortgages  

Together reduces its rates on specialist mortgage range

Specialist lender, Together, has reduced the rate of interest on first and second charge residential mortgages as well as making a number of changes to its lending criteria.

A first charge mortgage at less than 60 per cent LTV has been discounted to 6.37 per cent, while second charge products at 70 per cent LTV or less will be available from 6.65 per cent.

In addition, the lender has increased the required tax calculations for self-employed applicants from 12 months to 18 months. Together has also made a number of changes to its charges, including removing its telegraphic transfer fee for customers.

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These announcements came hot off the heels of the launch of a new five-year fixed rate first charge residential mortgage.

It will apply across the first charge product range, which includes mortgages for right-to-buy, shared ownership, purchases and remortgages.

The mortgage is available on repayment or interest-only up to 75 per cent LTV. The rate of interest varies depending on client circumstances, but the lender considers a range of property types including standard, non-standard, high-rise and ex-council properties, with fixed rates starting from 7.12 per cent.

The Together brand encompasses all the names under the Jerrold Holdings Group, including Auction Finance, Blemain Finance, Bridging Finance, Cheshire Mortgage Corporation and Lancashire Mortgage Corporation.

Provider view

Pete Ball, chief executive of retail at Together, said: “These changes to both our first and second charge loans allow us to offer our customers some of the most competitive rates in the specialist marketplace. We regularly review our product plans and consistently strive to ensure we’re giving our brokers and customers what they want, and that’s why we’ve made a number of changes spanning rates, fees and eligibility.”

He added: “Not everyone’s income stream is straightforward but this shouldn’t stop them from being eligible to apply for finance, which is why we’ve amended our terms. It all comes back to our common sense approach and considering each case on its own merits, working with our broker partners to get the best possible customer outcome.”

Adviser view

Alex Reynolds, financial adviser with London-based Advies Private Clients, said: “I have not had a client who could only be serviced by a specialist lender in a while. Ten years ago the rates for these types of loans were south of 5 per cent, not over 6 per cent. Many lenders allow borrowers who develop credit issues to stay with them.

“With the rate of interest as high as they are, you would guess that the products are aimed for the more adverse cases. I think people are likely to explore other avenues before considering these types of loans.”

Charges

The acceptance fee for first and second charge loans range from 2.5 per cent to 2.99 per cent, dependant on loan size

Verdict

The 2007/08 financial crash was widely blamed on irresponsible lending to individuals with unconventional circumstances. Having been pushed into obscurity in the years following the financial crash, specialist lending appears to be making a comeback, with the entrance of new providers.