Can I get a mortgage over fifty?

When asking lenders can I get a mortgage over 50, prospective older borrowers are now most likely to be told no. There is a limited choice of mortgages available for this age group, despite the fact that most borrowers are likely to work well beyond the age of 65.


"It is unfair," said Paul Green from Saga. "Mortgage companies should be taking into account people's ability to repay." He said that lenders had a "computer says no attitude" and that he would expect to see a legal challenge on the age limit in the future.


The FSA’s Mortgage Market Review is unlikely to help as it has just published a warning about lending to the over fifties. Figures provided by the review indicate that over half of mortgage borrowers over fifty are in plans that stretch past their sixty fifth year.


The FSA report singled out cases where older borrowers had been able to take advantage of poor lending decisions by mortgage providers and had got themselves into financial difficulty. One case highlighted the story of a recently retired man who was told yes when he asked, can I get a mortgage over 50? He was granted a ₤135,000 mortgage after his age and retirement situation were taken into account but, got himself seriously into arrears. The mortgage lender was reported as having to go to court to seek the settlement of his debt.


The FSA says it understands the difficulty in assessing exactly what retirement age means, both in terms of official retirement age figures and predicted income levels. However, the financial watch dog stated that only a small percent of people actually do decide to work past the official retirement age and older mortgage holders who ask lenders can I get a mortgage - should be told no.   

Article published: Tuesday, February 07, 2012
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