Halifax currently approves eight out of ten mortgage applications from first time buyers. However, as part of the pledge, Halifax commits to help unsuccessful applicants understand what has stopped them from being approved and what they can do to turn the situation around.
Currently, where applicants are unsuccessful in obtaining a mortgage due to their credit score, restrictions mean that lenders cannot disclose the exact reasons why (such as missed credit card payments or unpaid mobile phone bills). Whilst Halifax recommends that borrowers obtain a copy of their credit report for more information, for some people the process can be daunting, particularly without access to dedicated support and advice on understanding and improving credit ratings.
Through the launch of the new service, applicants who do not get approved for a mortgage because of their credit score will have access to a bespoke CreditExpert membership. They will have unlimited access to a team of fifteen credit experts, who are dedicated to supporting Halifax customers.
The service will provide Halifax customers with:
- unlimited access to their Experian credit report and Experian Credit Score
- expert support and advice on what’s impacting their score
- personalised advice on steps to improve their credit profile.
All customers will have a 30-day free trial to the CreditExpert service. The bespoke membership will then be available at a special rate.
By providing this opportunity to customers that have been declined because of their credit score, Halifax aims to provide potential first-time buyers with a real understanding of how to improve their credit profile. In recent Halifax research, first-time buyers say that they have a fear of the application system – this new approach addresses a key source of their apprehension.
Stephen Noakes, commercial director, Halifax, said: “Although eight out of ten borrowers are successful in getting a mortgage, we don’t want the unsuccessful few to feel like they’ve hit a brick wall if they’re turned down. However, lenders are limited in what we can say about someone’s credit profile, and we know that hasn’t been particularly helpful. By developing this new service with CreditExpert, it means that we can really help first time buyers understand what they need to do in order to come back to us and be successful in their application.”
Peter Turner, managing director of Experian Interactive, said: “This is a great way to help first time buyers get on the housing ladder. CreditExpert membership can help first time buyers by ensuring they have all the support in place to understand how to improve their credit rating so they can make a successful application for a mortgage to buy their dream home. It’s good to be able to help young people with the opportunity to own their own home and we are delighted to be developing this service with Halifax.”