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National mortgage boost for starters

Exploring nationwide plans to make it easier for first-time buyers to get a mortgage with a 10% down payment

Nationwide is exploring plans to make it easier for first-time buyers to get a mortgage with a 10 percent down payment.

Chief Executive Joe Garner said the construction company is exploring how to “ proceed safely ” with loans to clients who need to borrow 90 percent of a property’s value.

Nationwide is one of the few major lenders with products for low investment customers.

Safety First: Nationwide is one of the few major lenders with products for low investment customers

Safety First: Nationwide is one of the few major lenders with products for low investment customers

Most banks – wary of a potential fall in house prices – have pulled out after a flood of applications.

The mortgage lender only offers 90 percent of its mortgage loans to starters.

It will not lend to customers looking for a term of more than 25 years and it will reject customers buying a new build home or condo.

Customers should also have saved up for at least some of the down payment themselves, rather than receiving all the money from family members.

Garner said Nationwide is looking at whether it could change those criteria to get more young people up the housing ladder. “Hopefully we lead by example and constantly challenge ourselves to ask how we can proceed safely,” he said.

Garner added: “I think it makes business sense to support this market segment and we will continue to do so.

“I don’t think a lender would sail through a pandemic without rethinking its credit policy.

“We are constantly looking at our credit criteria and have made several changes and adjustments along the way.”

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