Research shows over-50s feel excluded from mortgages

Research shows over-50s feel excluded from mortgages
Leon Diamond, CEO and founder at LiveMore

Research conducted by specialist mortgage lender LiveMore has revealed that just 4 per cent of over-50s think they can take out a mortgage. 

The research identified financial products that older people feel excluded from, highlighting mortgages as one of the biggest issues. 

Moreover, only 40 per cent of financial advisers said that they had not experienced issues finding mortgages, remortgages, and other borrowing solutions for clients aged 55 and over in the past year. 

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Commercial director at Resi Finance, Dave Cockle explained: “Say a 55-year-old was looking for a mortgage and they needed to spread their repayments beyond reaching 70 to make it affordable - they’d have access to four times fewer products than an equivalent borrower who was able to pay their mortgage off before that age.”

The research, which surveyed 2000 British people, found two in five people over 50 feel disadvantaged by their age.

Many said that finding the right products or support has become more difficult as they have grown older. 

The research also found:

  • One in 10 people over 50 years old claimed financial service providers are consciously ageist
  • Some 1.66mn over-50s in the UK regretted their life choices as a result of financial ageism, wishing they'd managed their money differently

LiveMore also highlighted data from consultancy AKG, which showed that 15 per cent of financial advisers reported clients being rejected because of age.

Speaking to FTAdviser, product manager at the research platform Mortgage Broker Tools, Nicholas Nicholas, confirmed the scarcity of products geared to borrowers over 50.

“We see thousands of broker searches go through our platform each month, so we have a very good view of what choices are really out there for consumers," he said.

"As such, it's no surprise to us that as many as 29 per cent of broker searches for a mortgage for those aged 50 and over are returning no affordable lending option.” 

Nicholas added: “However, this will be a shock for consumers who have been planning their finances according to very different parameters until now.”

Chief executive and founder of LiveMore, Leon Diamond, said not enough people know about the financial challenges faced by over-50s.

He commented: “The transition from the financial freedom of our 40s, to the increasing challenges that set in from 50, is one that no one talks about. It’s an open secret in the finance industry - and providers have, for decades, allowed their customers to sleepwalk into a problem that they didn’t realise existed.”

FTAdviser asked Diamond why he thinks so few people know about the financial challenges faced by over-50s.

He replied: “It's the financial services industry’s best kept secret. Clearly age discrimination isn't written written into policies, but it comes into being via short-sighted lending and assessment criteria, which in practice end up excluding anyone that doesn't fit into specific - and often younger - parameters.

"But because it's not explicit, many people do not find out until they're already there and it's too late - it's ageism by stealth, and it has to change urgently.”