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Here is how to avoid unwarranted suspicion when applying for a mortgage

With fraudulent mortgage applications up by 5% in 2019, anti-money laundering service, SmartSearch, has compiled some key things to consider to avoid unwarranted suspicion when it comes to making a fresh application. 

Mortgage application fraud occurs when an individual provides false or altered documents in support of a mortgage application. Research shows fraudulent applications on mortgages are increasing, with 13% of British adults believing it is ‘reasonable’ to exaggerate income on a mortgage application. 

With this in mind, experts from anti-money laundering service, SmartSearch, reveal some of the biggest considerations for Brits when it comes to mortgage applications.


+ Gifted deposits

If you’re lucky enough to receive help from your family or friends in the form of a gifted deposit towards your property purchase, there are a few considerations you should make. Lenders and solicitors will always question the source of your deposit, so it’s important to explain to your mortgage advisor from the outset exactly where the money has come from. 

This is especially true in the case of gifted deposits, as large sums of money being transferred into an account are flagged as unusual activity, and may warrant anti-money laundering investigations or harm your mortgage application.

Providing proof that your deposit is a gift and not a loan, is also an important step to consider. This can be a signed letter or document outlining that the deposit is a gift, which is typically enough to satisfy lenders. The signed document should clearly state that the deposit is not a loan and doesn’t need to be repaid. In addition, it should also state that the gift doesn’t grant your friend or family member any rights to the property. Your mortgage advisor can provide you with a document template if you’re unsure.

+ Deposits from inheritance and personal savings

The most common source of deposit for a home is from personal savings or inheritance. Both of these funding sources should be accepted by mortgage lenders without issue. However, additional checks may need to be completed to clarify the source of the money, so make sure that you can prove your claim to the inheritance and there is documentation showing exactly where the money has come from, and where it’s been since you claimed it.

Lenders very rarely require additional checks for personal savings, but, if you have had big salary changes that have helped to contribute towards your savings, it can help to have older payslips on hand to verify your previous income.

+Deposits from credit cards

Credit card fraud accounts for 39% of identity fraud cases in the UK, with the main aim of the activity being to purchase goods without paying, or to steal money from someone else’s credit account. The most common types of credit fraud are lost or stolen credit cards being used without the owner's permission, skimmed credit cards, stealing credit card details and committing fraudulent applications in someone else’s name.

With this in mind it’s no surprise that credit cards are typically not accepted by mortgage lenders, as they are unsecured loans and high risk. Using a credit card as part of your deposit is likely to see your application rejected and set you back in terms of securing your home.

+ Register on the electoral roll

Lenders must be able to verify your identity for purposes of anti-money laundering. Registering on the electoral roll helps to prove your identity and make sure you are who you say you are, as it enables lenders to check your information and confirm your name, address and residential history. 

If you’re not registered on the electoral roll it is just about impossible to secure a mortgage, as banks and building societies need to know that the information about you is up to date. Therefore, it is important to make sure you are registered before applying. 

+ De-link from ex-partners

When taking out loans or bank accounts with another person, typically a partner, you become financially linked to them and their activity can impact your credit score and how lenders see you. This makes it more difficult for those reviewing your application to attribute certain spending patterns to you and can raise suspicion if there are irregularities.

If you believe you may still be linked financially to an ex-partner, contact credit reference agencies and explain the situation to them, they will be able to disassociate you with your ex-partner.

John Dobson, CEO at SmartSearch, said: “It is important to remember that a mortgage is a significant financial commitment, and making exaggerations or withholding any changes in circumstances may result in you being investigated for money laundering and fraud, making it more difficult to secure a mortgage or other financial products in the future.  

“We hope by revealing some of the biggest considerations for mortgage applications, you will be equipped with the knowledge you need to easily secure a mortgage.” 

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    • 27 June 2020 01:10 AM

    Always but always retain ALL Credit reference agency paperwork and I mean more than 6 years worth.
    This was with Equifax.
    Many years previously I had successfully disassociated from.
    Years later up pops the association.
    I complained to Equifax.

    However they had no record of the disassociation and REFUSED to remove the linkage
    Fortunately I have paperwork going back 40 years.
    I was able to find the original disassociation Equifax paperwork and had to send them copies of their own paperwork that they couldn't find!!
    They subsequently REMOVED the association.
    Don't trust CRA they are incompetent.

    I suppose now it would be possible to scan documents and save in the cloud.
    But I prefer my filing cabinet and conventional paperwork.

    Never trust CRA they are all incompetent.

    You must monitor your CRA files at least once per month ensuring they are correct.
    It can take months for corrections to be applied.
    Took me 3 years once!!
    Keep your files correct just in case you need a mortgage to snap up a bargain.

    Try and use credit cards for every transaction you can.

    Obviously only spend on what you can afford to pay off in full by the due by payment date.
    Use them as a cash flow management tool while at the same time building up an excellent credit rating caused by using credit cards.

    About a month or two before you intend to apply for a mortgage pay off and stop using any credit cards.
    This will assist your credit score.
    Every little helps so that the computer doesn't say 'NO!'

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    No credit history is as bad as a bad credit history, I told all my children to get a credit card as soon as they were 18 and to pay it off in full every month, they have all earn't themselves good credit histories.

    • 27 June 2020 15:37 PM

    Yes the correct way of doing things.
    Unfortunately many use credit cards for ACTUAL credit which is a really dumb thing to do.
    As a cash flow management tool or on a 0% deal is about the only valid use of credit cards.
    Or where you know the resources from extra work etc will be there to pay off in full.

    Unfortunately and at great cost many do you credit cards as an additional income.
    Very unwise!!

    But if you gotta have it now and aren't prepared to save then credit cards are great tools of money destruction.
    Credit card companies make fortunes out of those using cards for credit.

    I went from barely able to achieve sub prime card with a £250 limit

    2 years later I gave 3 with £8300 total limits.
    Of course I spend everything I can on CC even BTL mortgages.
    Always pay off in full by due by payment date
    This is the way cc should be used.
    Credit cards are debit cards.
    You do have to pay spending back so it is real money!!!


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