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‘Athletes, like the rest of us, need somewhere to live’ – Star Letter

  • 11/08/2017
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‘Athletes, like the rest of us, need somewhere to live’ – Star Letter
Each week Mortgage Solutions and its sister title Specialist Lending Solutions select the most thoughtful or thought-provoking comment to be the week's Star Letter.

This week our Star Letter accolade is awarded to Emily Smith, business development manager at Hinckley and Rugby Building Society for her letter in response to the post: TSB halts mortgage lending to sports professionals


She wrote: It’s disappointing that TSB has blown the full time whistle on mortgages for those who earn their living from professional sport.

The good news is that some lenders remain fans of the professional player – including Hinckley and Rugby Building Society. TSB told Mortgage Solutions that residential mortgages for professional sportspeople is a very small part of its business and they are not typically customers TSB can support.

We see them differently. They are a minority, but it’s not an insignificant one. There are 4,000 professionals in football alone.

Add in those paid to play both codes of rugby, cricket, basketball, golf, ice hockey, the Olympic disciplines and to ride racehorses and it’s a sizeable crowd of earners who, like the less sportingly gifted among us, need somewhere to live.

The argument against such lending is that paid playing careers can be short and there is the risk of serious injury undermining future earnings.

But the same applies in other walks of working life – other professions also retire relatively early. We will still lend to them and to professional sportspeople because the mid-life career change is not the end of employment. It’s increasingly seen as a desirable re-boot.

We will still consider a term up to a maximum age of 75 even if the applicant will retire early from her/his current job but intends to go into a different form of employment until normal retirement age.

Even though they may hang up their original boots earlier than the rest of us, professional sportspeople are generally driven, talented, quick learners and have bags of commitment – making them promising employees in other kinds of teams in other arenas.

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