Almost half would lie to get cheaper mortgage, poll finds

Buying a Property
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Many admit they would be willing to commit fraud to help secure a better deal.

Nearly half of UK adults would lie about their circumstances to secure a better deal on a mortgage, according to a poll by

The survey, carried out on the company’s website, found that 45% of all respondents would be willing to lie if it meant they could obtain a cheaper mortgage, despite the fact that to do so would be to commit fraud.

Since April 2014 lenders have been obliged to carry out more rigorous checks on a borrower’s spending and stress-test ability to pay if interest rates go up. These measures were put in place to protect people from taking on too much debt, and have resulted in many struggling to secure a mortgage.

Lovemoney’s poll was carried out following the launch of a company called SelfCert, based in the Czech Republic, which allows borrowers to certify themselves that they can get a loan rather than being required to prove it.

This type of loan was popular prior to the credit crunch but, due to a lack of regulation, many borrowers found, and continue to find, themselves in financial strife after being unable to keep up with payments. Self-cert loans were banned by the regulator in 2014, but some businesses are now exploiting legal loopholes by basing their company overseas, but offering the loans to UK clients.

SelfCert has already admitted that it cannot keep up with demand after seeing over 4,000 requests within 48 hours of its launch, even though the regulator publically condemned the company’s tactics and warned borrowers that they will not have protection under the Financial Ombudsman Service if things go wrong.

We spoke to Ian Christlo, a mortgage and protection adviser for Mortgageline Services in Sheffield, who said: “A whole of market mortgage adviser will work for you, and only you. Their aim and sole priority is to best represent your needs, so start building a relationship with one and they will be able to guide you now and in the future.

“A negative footprint can be left on your credit record if you get declined for a mortgage or any type of loan, so be careful. Other potential lenders will be more inclined to reject you if you have been declined before. But a professional mortgage adviser can stop this from happening, deciphering your best route to a lender who will accept your application and offer you a good deal.

“They will look at your whole situation, because sometimes what you may previously have considered the best way forward may be different when other avenues you had not been aware of are put forward.”

We also spoke to Andrew Mackenzie, an IFA for Morris Shapland Financial Services Ltd near Exeter, who said: “Our clients are fully aware that lenders require a comprehensive shopping list to prove that they can undertake a prospective mortgage contract.

“I would suggest that advisers need to stress to clients the seriousness of trying to obtain credit by deception. Any false information is fraud and could lead to a prosecution.”

If you are looking for a mortgage and need additional advice so as to ensure you are getting the best deal possible, speaking to an expert can help. You can find a professional that will be able to give you guidance by searching the VouchedFor database.

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