The over 50s are more likely to be debt free and have fewer commitments that typically hinder their younger counterparts when it comes to borrowing. They probably earn more money being further into their careers and may have benefited from some sort of family inheritance or saving initiative. These days it is not unusual for people to work past the age of 65 and still have a solid income and yet despite all this, borrowers over the age of 50 still find it difficult to get a mortgage, with many banks and building societies reluctant to lend to them.
Traditionally, mortgages were issued based on them being paid off by the retirement age of 65, But that is becoming less and less realistic with people marrying and having children later and needing to borrow money later in life compared with previous generations.
What are the mortgage options for borrowers aged 50 plus?
Some lenders have specific products aimed at older borrowers and each lender is likely to have their own rules for lending to people over the age of 50. Building societies, in particular, are starting to increase their maximum age on standard mortgages with some willing to take a much needed bespoke approach to older borrowers to consider their alternative income sources.
As a starting point, it is best to speak to a mortgage broker who will know which banks and building societies are more likely to lend to older borrowers.
As well as standard mortgages, other options that might be available to you and suit your requirements include:
- Mortgage products that allow you to borrow over a shorter term with higher monthly repayments.
- Equity release options – this is a type of remortgaging that frees up some of the equity in a home with a cash lump sum.
- Lifetime Mortgage (minimum age 55) – this is repaid when the borrower dies or goes into long-term care and the house is then sold.
- Home Reversion Scheme ( minimum age 65) – this is where some or all of a borrower’s home is sold but they continue to live there until they die or go into long-term care. The owners of the plan then sell the property.
How to increase your chances of getting a mortgage over the age of 50
As with any mortgage application, it is advisable to be fully prepared ahead of submitting the application. This is even more important for borrowers over 50 however, who are seen as a higher risk to lenders.
Here are some tips to help make your application successful:
- Make sure your credit report is in a good order. Lenders are likely to scrutinise the earnings and income of borrowers over 50 so allow enough time to improve your credit score ahead of an application.
- Provide proof of income to demonstrate that you can afford your mortgage payments now and in the future when you retire. So as well as salaried income, provide proof of future income such as pensions, investments and insurance policies.
- Scour the market hard to make sure you find those lenders with the best products for borrowers over 50. Find those that use a bespoke approach rather than an automated system that will reject older borrowers without fair assessment.
For further details about what paperwork you will need to get a mortgage, check out this informative guide here.
What happens if an application is refused?
Don’t give up! If one lender turns you down, try another one. You may find that mainstream banks and building societies are quick to reject applications from people over 50 and if this is the case, try again with smaller, more specialised lenders. It may take some time but there are mortgage products out there for the over 50s, it is just a case of finding them and finding the right one for you.
There are plenty of great options for the over 50’s when it comes to home loans. So don’t get left behind, you can save plenty of money every month just by making sure you have the best deal!