When looking just at residential borrowers, for the first time two of the top five most popular searches featured adverse credit conditions, with ‘capital raising for debt consolidation’ and ‘unsatisfied defaults’ the fourth and fifth most popular searches respectively.
‘Self-employed with one year of accounts’ took top spot in this category.
‘Capital raising for debt consolidation’ also made the top five when looking specifically at the second charge searches, taking third spot behind the ‘maximum loan amount’ and the ‘maximum loan-to-value’.
With buy-to-let searches, ‘lending to limited companies’ was the most searched for criteria for the third straight month, ahead of the requirement to be a homeowner and ‘first-time landlords’.
On equity release, ‘capital raising in order to purchase a buy-to-let property’ entered the top five for the first time, though ‘early repayment charges’ remains the most popular search for brokers active in this area of the market.
Flurry of updates
The year has started with a flurry of activity in terms of both broker activity and criteria changes, according to Nicola Firth, chief executive officer of Knowledge Bank, with a “vast amount of changes and updates” happening every day.
She said brokers had fed back that they were now performing multiple searches prior to each application, with one broker saying “that he performs a quick criteria search before every update with a customer to ensure that nothing has changed”.
Firth continued: “This pace of change creates a vibrant lending landscape but really puts the pressure on brokers to ensure that they are basing their advice and recommendations on the latest possible information.”