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Saffron BS amends lending criteria

  • 04/07/2023
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Saffron BS amends lending criteria
Saffron Building Society has changed its lending criteria, a move which it said would make its mortgages more accessible.

This follows feedback from brokers and is expected to support borrowers with specialist requirements. 

The mutual has changed the criteria for workers under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) who are eligible for its contractor products. It has reduced the applicant’s eligibility to a minimum of three months of CIS contracting experience and one year’s industry experience. It will also consider the applicant’s average income over the last three months. 


Zero hour contracts

For those on zero-hour contracts, the lender will now use 100 per cent of an applicant’s income and they will need a minimum of 12 months’ zero hour contracting experience. 

If there are two applicants on zero-hour contracts, Saffron Building Society will consider using 75 per cent of the second applicant’s income, as long as they have a minimum of nine months’ experience in this type of employment. 

For self-employed borrowers, an applicant who has been trading for two or more years can now access the mutual’s full product range. 

It expects this to give experienced borrowers access to more affordable rates, as well as its self-build and joint borrower sole proprietor (JBSP) mortgages. Applicants with a minimum of 12 months trading or those who need more flexible underwriting will still be able to access the mutual’s self-employed products. 


Modern Methods of Construction

The mutual has also revised its criteria for modern methods of construction to recognise the rise in green methods. It will now consider modern forms of construction, including 100 per cent cladding, as long as there is masonry up to damp proof level. 

For custom build homes, the mutual will make changes to its range to support more properties built this way. 

Complex cases

Interest-only applicants can now access loans of up to 80 per cent loan to value (LTV) subject to a maximum of 60 per cent interest only. 

Saffron Building Society has also reduced the amount of documentation needed for new applicants, and will now ask for the latest month’s personal bank statement only for residential, buy-to-let and self-employed applicants. 

Tony Hall, head of business development at Saffron Building Society, said: “At Saffron, we are always listening to brokers, and these changes evidence that. We monitor the mortgage market to see how we can continue to help and lend, and the changes to our criteria that we are announcing today will open opportunities for applicants with more complex cases.  

“We are proud that, through our personal review of every case, we can offer flexible solutions rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.” 

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