Mortgage boost for zero hours contract workers
Workers on zero hours contracts will find it easier to get a mortgage thanks to new changes made by a major lender
September 12, 2019
If you’re on a ‘zero-hours’ contract, you’ll find it easier to get a mortgage with HSBC UK, the lender has announced.
Zero-hours contract – new mortgage lending rules
This is because under its new rules, they have reduced the amount of continuous employment you’re required to have with the same employer from two years to one year. In addition, instead of needing to produce two years’ P60 statements, you’ll only need to supply the latest P60.
However, to give a clearer picture of your current earnings and for a more accurate affordability assessment, you’ll need to supply the last three payslips instead of one.
‘We can’t ignore the needs of nearly 2m workers on zero-hours contracts’
Explaining why the lender has relaxed the rules, Aaron Shinwell, Head of Mortgages and Savings at HSBC UK, said: “A significant number of people – approaching two million contractors working an average of 25 hours a week – are on zero-hours contracts, and rely on them for their income. The flexibility suits their lives and their lifestyle, and their needs shouldn’t be ignored.
“We have taken on board feedback that certain requirements and documentation were hindering zero-hours contractors’ chances of getting onto the property ladder, or remortgaging, with us.”
The lender has made several other changes to its mortgage application process to make it quicker and easier. It is reducing the time to offer from five weeks to around ten days. And this drops to just five days if you apply through a branch adviser.
Plus, it’s simplifying the documents required if you’re applying while on, or due to go on, parental or other leave. And the bank has refreshed its interest rates on its mortgage range, with rate cuts of up to 0.35%
The way we work is changing, more lenders need to adapt
The HomeOwners Alliance welcomes the move by HSBC UK. Chief Executive Paula Higgins says: “The days of having a job for life with one company are over for many. And there is a growing number of people in the UK who don’t fit standard lending criteria. For example, for some, that’s because they are on zero hours contracts, while others it’s because they are self-employed.
“So it’s essential that the mortgage industry moves with the times across the board to reflect this.”
Get help to discover your options
However, while the changes are good news if you’re on a zero-hours contract, you shouldn’t assume HSBC UK is your best option; it’s essential that you research other lenders too.
You can save time and money by using a fee-free mortgage broker, it’s the easiest way for you to find out what your options are. This is because they know which lenders are most likely to accept your application and will be able to show you a full range of options.
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