As 2020 draws to a close, we chat to one of the Co-Founders of Haysto, a mortgage broker that specialises in finding mortgages for those who may struggle elsewhere.
Q1: We’ve finally got 2020 behind us, how are you feeling about the mortgage market in 2021?
I’m feeling optimistic about the new year. The housing market has held strong, and what’s encouraging for 2021 is more lenders have recently entered the market with products offering 90% LTV and the new Help To Buy scheme launched for first-time buyers is now available.
There will of course be more challenges as the impact of 2020 and Covid takes effect, but initiatives like this are a great sign for the mortgage market and for people wanting to become homeowners.
Most people’s income has been affected, so I think we’ll see an increase in demand for specialist mortgage products because people have struggled financially and this will impact their ability to get a mortgage with the mainstream lenders. At Haysto, our mission is to help people like that with complex situations, credit issues or self-employed.
Q2: Do you think Brexit is likely to impact the availability of mortgages in any way?
I don’t think Brexit will have an immediate impact on the availability of mortgages, house prices will hold if demand is still there and this will become more apparent in the long term.
We need the economy to grow in 2021, and as long as products are available with lower deposit levels like 10% and people can take advantage of lower interest rates to budget accordingly, this will help rather than hinder buyers.
Q3: If you were Prime Minister for a day, what initiatives would you implement to help improve the mortgage industry?
If I was PM for the day I would extend the stamp duty holiday again because this was such a good and helpful move for so many first-time buyers.
I would also look at more incentives for first-time buyers because they really drive the housing market. I’d also want to design more support for self-employed people and those with credit issues too.
The property market is key to the overall health of the economy, so locking people with complex income from being self-employed out of the market makes no sense to me. Nor does locking people out if they’ve had credit issues in the past.
Q4: Tell us a little about Haysto. Why do you exist and what made you start the company?
I co-founded Haysto because, frankly, the mortgage world is broken. If you don’t have a shiny credit rating, you’re self-employed with a complex income, or just don’t fit the mould, the odds are completely stacked against you. We just don’t think that’s fair.
As a mortgage broker, I’ve seen so many people’s lives changed because they thought they couldn’t get a mortgage because of past credit issues, or some other complexity.
I want to help more people in that way – remove the unfairness that’s stacked against them by making specialist mortgage advice and products more readily available.
We exist because most online mortgage brokers and traditional lenders use automated decision making to determine eligibility, but this doesn’t work for complex situations. More often than not, the computer will say “No” if you don’t fit the mould.
The Haysto platform uses an algorithm to match people to specialist mortgage products and a specialist mortgage broker who has a proven track record of helping people in the same situation.
We’ve found and accredited the best of the best specialist mortgage brokers in England to work on complex cases. They’re not scared of a challenge and work their socks off to help people in even the most difficult situations.
Q5: You specialise in helping people who have been refused a mortgage to finally get a deal, what are the three biggest things people can do to maximise their appeal to lenders?
- Get a copy of your credit report to check that when you apply to any mortgage lender the information they see about you is accurate and correct. It’s really common for people not to know what’s on their report and if information is inaccurate this will have an impact. Checkmyfile is the best option – it shows you what info four of the big UK credit reference agencies have on you, so it’s the most thorough overview you can get.
- Monitor and maintain a healthy month to month running of any bank accounts before applying for a mortgage. Lenders have started to scrutinise your accounts in more detail than ever, and they’ll want you to show you have the affordability to afford a new mortgage.
- Get a mortgage advisor! Having the right mortgage advisor makes all the difference – removes the stress and makes you feel more empowered. A mortgage broker (like a Haysto accredited mortgage broker for example 😉 can let you know your true options going forward.
Over the years, I’ve come across so many people who believe or have been told they can’t get a mortgage, but they just need the right person to help them.
For more on this, I actually wrote a Guide on this subject: What Mortgage Lenders look for in Mortgage Applicants
Q6: You recently announced a partnership with Bluestone Mortgages, tell us why the link-up made so much sense?
Before I co-founded Haysto, I was a mortgage broker specialising in bad credit and complex cases. I have made many mortgages possible by working with Bluestone, they were always able to look at my client’s case in detail and offer them a mortgage.
I’ve seen people’s lives changed as a result. At a time when COVID has impacted so many people financially, with many more people not fitting into the traditional high street lenders profile, the specialist lender market is going to be even more crucial.
Bluestone has a long track-record with bad credit mortgages, so they’re a key partner to Haysto.
With Bluestone, and our other specialist lender partners like Kensigton, we’re on a mission to bring visibility to the specialist mortgage market – to make people realise even if they’ve been refused elsewhere, or even told it’s impossible, they may still be able to get a mortgage.
Q7: And what about your role within the company? What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m the co-founder and a mortgage broker by trade, so my day-to-day is mainly working with our network of specialist brokers. I make sure our training programs are underway and being fulfilled to ensure the specialist brokers we work with are able to deliver the highest level of customer service regardless of the complexity.
I work with specialist lenders on programs to raise consumer awareness on mortgage possibilities that exist for those in self-employment and bad credit situations.
We have some big plans in the pipeline for the new year, so I’m busy planning those. And finally I work with our development team on our customer portal to make sure we’re offering a product that’s useful to our market. We just launched our live mortgage matches feature, a first for the specialist mortgage market!
Q8: Finally, we’ll end with a pretty open-ended question! What are you looking forward to in 2021?
I’m looking forward to seeing Haysto grow. We have ambitious plans to make more mortgages possible for more people. Especially at this crucial time – Covid has meant 2020 has been one hell of a year for everyone.
But it’s made it even clearer to me that our company’s mission of helping people who feel locked out of the housing market is even more important.
On a personal note, I live in Leicestershire, so we’ve been in lockdown for most of the year. So I’m very much looking forward to a pint or two with friends and my family, without a substantial meal.
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