Good news for older borrowers as age limits rise

Posted 27 April 2016 by Nick Parkhouse

A number of lenders are starting to ease their restrictions on the age of potential borrowers, as more people continue to work after their retirement age...

Last year, building societies in the UK made a pledge to review their maximum age limits for borrowers. With more and more people working into retirement, lenders have been urged to offer mortgages to older applicants, many of whom have found it hard to remortgage or move home because of age restrictions.

This week there were two piece of good news for older borrowers.

'55+' mortgage is aimed at older borrowers

A new mortgage specifically designed for older borrowers has raised the maximum age for a home loan to 95. Hodge Lifetime is trialling a new '55+' mortgage through selected brokers with the intention of rolling it out this summer.

The HL 55+ loan is an interest-only residential mortgage. You will pay interest on the loan each month and you will have to have a repayment vehicle in place to repay the mortgage at the end of the term.

The amount you borrow is based on your level of income and expenditure. Employment, pension, investment and rental incomes are all taken into account to assess your eligibility. If you choose a joint mortgage the ability of the surviving borrower to repay will also be factored in.

The property you buy must be in England and worth between £170,000 and £1m and Hodge Lifetime will lend a maximum of:

  • £500,000
  • 60% of the value of your property
  • The amount it considers affordable based on your circumstances

You can choose a borrowing term, up until the youngest borrower reaches the age of 95. However, the oldest someone can apply is the age of 85. On joint accounts, the criteria applies to the youngest borrower so if only one of you is under 85 you can still apply.

Hodge Lifetime are not the only lender to change their criteria for older borrowers, as we see next.

Halifax extend 'lending into retirement' to 70-year-olds

One of the UK's major lenders has announced that it is extending its lending to those in retirement to 70-year-olds, to reflect the increasing number of people who remain in work beyond the state pension age.

Halifax Intermediaries says that mortgage applicants who intend to work beyond the state pension age, up to a maximum age of 70, will be able to use their earned income ‎to calculate the amount they can borrow.

Ian Wilson, head of Halifax Intermediaries, says: “Research shows around a fifth of the UK population works beyond the state pension age in some capacity to age 70, as demographics and working habits continue to change.

“These changes in our lending policy will help us to meet the needs of more customers who choose to work longer. We continually monitor and update our products and policies to ensure they reflect the changing needs of our customers, and we’ll continue to support people who wish to continue working longer.”

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