New broker portal launched to enhance Clever Lending experience

We’re delighted to announce the launch of our new online broker portal Clever+ which is now live and ready to support brokers with their customers.

Clever+ provides instant access to our extensive product range and allows brokers to submit all enquiries online – saving hours of time and cutting out the need for unnecessary paperwork.

Brokers already registered with Clever Lending have been automatically enrolled onto Clever+. They can now explore the new platform and enjoy the benefits of our new system.

Not registered with Clever Lending….why not?

Clever+ also allows brokers to:

  • Submit an enquiry at any time from any device.
  • Track all cases 24/7 with real-time case-alerts by SMS messages and emails – directly from the system.
  • Pre-populate application documents to save time and improve efficiency.
  • Upload documents so all information is saved in one secure place, which can be accessed quickly and easily.

Check out our video to find out more. You will soon also be able to access video training guides.

If you want to register with Clever Lending, please get in touch with our team who will be happy to help.

mortgage transfer

Second charge opportunities in the untapped mortgage transfer market

Recent figures from UK Finance highlight an untapped mortgage transfer market for second charge solutions and opportunities for brokers to engage with clients when they’re thinking of transferring their mortgage internally from their current lender.

In the first six months of 2018, 775,600 homeowners switched product with their existing provider – otherwise known as a product transfers. By value, this represents £107.5bn of mortgage debt refinanced internally.

Of the total number of product transfers, 413,500 transfers, worth £60.7bn, were conducted on an advised basis and 362,100 transfers, worth £46.8bn, were execution-only.

What’s interesting is these figures do not feature in any market data on remortgaging, or other published gross mortgage lending data.

The figure of almost £50bn transferred with no advice from a qualified introducer or adviser, opens up a number of huge number of untapped opportunities for the seconds market.

Usually we see financial transactions such as these triggered by a need, often the restructuring of debt, to make home improvements to add value to a customer’s home. But in these cases the whole balance is simply transferred to a new product, without planning for the possibility of raising money for other financial purposes or future needs.

So what is driving so many borrowers to simply swap their product? Maybe it is just rate or the option of going onto another special deal, in which case the borrower could be missing out on taking this as an opportunity to have a look at their wider finance arrangements.

With a second charge, rates also remain low and they can be used for other purposes such as improving the value of the home and rebalancing debt. This would seem a good time for brokers to get involved and check all the options have been considered so decisions made are the right ones for that customer.

Find out more about our second charge products here, or alternatively speak to one of our helpful advisers on 0800 316 2224 for more information.

Sources:
https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/uk-finance-publishes-mortgage-product-transfer-figures-for-q2-2018/

https://www.ukfinance.org.uk/uk-finance-publishes-mortgage-product-transfer-figures/

First Class Second Charge

Economic uncertainty drives a second charge finance rise

An increase in the second charge market suggests economic uncertainty could be encouraging more people to make home improvements, rather than move to another property, new figures reveal.

Second charge data from specialist distributer, Clever Lending, shows there’s been an 8.4% increase in people applying for second charge finance in the first half of this year, when compared to the same time in 2017.

Figures also show more than half (51%) of these second charges were applied for to make home improvements.

Furthermore, UK Finance has reported a 9.2% increase in re-mortgage applications in August compared to the same period last year, indicating more homeowners are choosing to stay in their current properties. This is reinforced by the ONS reporting in the July House Price Index that the rate of increase in UK house prices is 3.1%, the lowest UK annual rate since August 2013.

Sam Kirtikar, Managing Director of Clever Lending, said: “With an increase in re-mortgage applications, slump in the UK housing market and uncertainty around our economy, this could suggest more people are choosing to improve their current properties – rather than take a potential financial risk of moving.

Brexit could be changing the property market

“The whole uncertainty around Brexit could be influencing the housing market and people seem to be reluctant to move at a time when it’s unclear how property prices, employment, interest rates and consumer prices are affected.

“This does provide opportunities for home improvement loans though, as even though house prices are rising at a slow rate, equity can still be used to take out second charge finance.

“With this in mind, brokers should consider seconds as a solution for refinancing or home improvements and be aware of the benefits second charges can offer.”

Taking out second charge finance to consolidate debt

When considering a second charge it’s also possible to solve several problems at once. For example, when a customer has a debt consolidation enquiry, their long term situation also needs to be considered – as well as refinancing their debt in the short term, improved properties now could stand them, and their finances, in good stead in years to come. An increased value of their primary asset will allow them to be looked on more favourably for further financial services in the future.

Does second charge affect first charge finance?

If a re-mortgage is being considered, things such as early repayment charges, mortgage special offer period and interest rate should be reviewed.

This is where seconds can be the best option as they can be taken out without affecting the first charge and the most appropriate repayment term can also be put in place to satisfy the homeowner’s budget, which may be different to the primary mortgage.

The best improvements

When it comes to upgrading a house, there are a number of key improvements that can increase the long term equity held in the property. First of all look at the costs of the improvements versus the anticipated increase in house value by looking at similar properties in the vicinity.

Loft conversions can add extra rooms and maybe a shower room, similarly a basement can add rooms and floor space making the property larger and depending on the costs and local market could add equity. The more obvious improvements such as a conservatory, extension and upgrading the kitchen and bathrooms can also add value. However, it’s always important to equate cost with added equity.

When making home improvements make sure the customer has all the correct paperwork in order including planning permissions and works guarantees to help ensure any future buyers aren’t put off.

A Clever approach to second charge

At Clever we pride ourselves on providing personal approach to second charges. Our highly skilful, knowledgeable and experienced team will look at each case in its own right – every time. We can also offer broker two channels – advice or packaging – so you can choose exactly how much input you want.

Find out more about our second charge products here.

Short-term regulated loan for home improvements takes just three days to complete

The customer applied for the loan for home improvements – in a bid to boost the value of her home – and to pay £10,000 of existing credit.

Our team took the case to Together as the customer needed a speedy and efficient service. The lender looked into the case and carried out a desktop valuation of the customer’s house before agreeing the 12-month short-term loan of £25,000. It was offered at a rate of 0.49%, one of the lowest in the market, at just over 10% LTV.

Together provides regulated and unregulated bridging loans, commercial and buy-to-let mortgages, development finance and second charge loans.

The loan was secured against the customer’s unencumbered three-bedroom 1930s detached home, which is now on the housing market. Following the completion of her refurbishment project, she expects to sell it for about £270,000 to exit the short-term loan and move to another property which she owns nearby.

Nick Jones, head of specialist distribution at Together, said: “This was a great outcome for the customer. After paying off all her existing credit, she has £15,000 to carry out improvements, hopefully adding to the value of her home.

“Clever Lending brought the case to us on a Thursday and it was so expertly packaged that it made it easy for our residential underwriters to provide the finance on the Monday, three working days later. This was a great example of when lenders work seamlessly with trusted partners to provide fast, tailored finance.”

Sam Kirtikar, Managing Director of Clever Lending, said: “We understand everyone has different circumstances, and this is a great example of how our experts work with specialist lenders, such as Together, to turn cases around quickly and provide clients with the best possible outcome.

“Following an increase in enquiries, we also recently launched a new in-house regulated bridging advice service, so if people do need funds to help them move quickly whilst their property sells for example, we can now offer in-house advice and ensure clients are provided with the most suitable solution based on their needs.”

Find out more about our regulated bridging products here or contact us now to discuss all our specialist finance solutions.

mortgage, loan, bad credit loan, bad credit mortgage

Pepper Money products now on our panel

We’re delighted to announce our partnership with Pepper Money, which gives our broker partners access to their full range of specialist residential and buy-to-let mortgage products.

Pepper Money provides a perfect complement to our packaging service by offering flexible criteria and direct access to its team of skilled underwriters to deliver competitive solutions for brokers’ interesting cases.

It has also recently launched new lower LTVs across both residential and buy to let ranges for those who haven’t had a CCJ or default in the last 36 or 48 months. Residential rates from 2.17%, and Buy to Let from 2.73%.

Helping brokers source mortgages for more clients

At Clever Lending, we have an extensive lender panel that helps brokers to source mortgages for clients who don’t meet the criteria of mainstream lenders. The addition of an innovative lender like Pepper Money will help to increase our support for more introducers looking to place cases for clients whose needs are less straightforward.

Sam Kirtikar, Managing Director of Clever Lending, said: “We’re thrilled to be going live with Pepper Money and be given the opportunity to distribute their excellent products.

“With our growing introducer demand and the ever-developing market, it’s crucial we ensure our customers have access to the best solutions in the market, and partnering with forward-thinking and progressive lenders, such as Pepper, will enable us to do just that.”

Rob Barnard, Sales Director of Pepper Money, said: “At Pepper, we think that specialist is becoming the new mainstream, as changing demographics, credit commitments and employment trends lead to many more customers who don’t meet the automated approach of a credit score.

“We review each case on its own merits and our lending decisions are made by a team of skilled underwriters, which means that we can look beyond a client’s score.

“Brokers using Pepper have access to products with transparent criteria and competitive rates and we are really pleased to be able to share this approach with brokers using Clever Lending.”

Find out more about all our products here.

Property auction finance, big opportunities for brokers

As landlords and developers are increasingly using limited companies to acquire buy-to-let investments, clients buying at a property auction offer the potential for brokers to increase the number of bridging finance cases they can complete.

The trend of buying property at an auction house is mirroring that within the wider landlord sector and should be a target market for brokers with clients investing in property.

Not all buyers are aware of the broker route to help source the finance they need to make a purchase at a property auction, but there is clearly a gap in the market for brokers to ensure clients are receiving good advice.

This is particularly so given the time pressures involved and need for reliable lending. Most auctions require completion within 28 days, or for some it can be as little as 14 days, so brokers can also help a buyer to put the necessary funding in place before the auction too.

If buyers are unable to complete the purchase there can be steep penalties, legal action and the risk of compensating out-of-pocket sellers. This is why it’s vital for buyers to get the right lender that can complete the finance to deadline on almost any type of property.

Property auction finance

Brokers can capitalise on property auction finance

We’ve noticed an increasing number of professional buyers are choosing to buy properties at auction, rather than the traditional sales route, which has presented a real opportunity brokers should not shy away from.

The property auction market was previously seen as one which was unpredictable and only sold repossession or problem properties. Now, it’s an environment that provides a quick, easy and fair way of securing or selling a wide range of investment assets, such as HMOs, retail units, semi-commercial properties and purpose-built rental flats.

There are numerous lenders operating in this space and many products available on the auction market, and as with standard residential mortgages, brokers should be encouraged to seek assistance in sourcing the most suitable finance option for each customer and property profile they are looking to source funds for.

With more landlords buying under a limited company, they are also more likely to be repeat purchasers with long-term investment strategies, and brokers can benefit from ongoing relationships and more regular funding requirements.

Brokers are well-placed to discuss the benefits and possible pitfalls of buying at property auctions with clients. By working closely with buyers, sellers and developers who are active in the market, this could lead to an increase in their income across the residential, commercial and buy-to-let markets.

Not only that, but brokers are able to earn commission once a bridging has been put in place, and again if the property is refinanced to a longer-term mortgage. Although the process is slightly different from a traditional sale, brokers don’t need to be an expert in the field. All they need to do is speak to a specialist distributer, such as Clever Lending, who can assist with the application and deal with the customer on their behalf if required.

Clever Lending forums reveal the growing need for specialist finance

Clever Lending, the specialist distributor, has seen a growing demand from brokers for ways to capitalise on lending opportunities that don’t fit the mainstream criteria.

Recent forums revealed there’s still a clear demand for specialist lending, with many brokers seeing more customers with a feature of their finances that just takes them off the high street, for example when they want to buy a property some lenders don’t want to lend on, they’ve an irregular income, multiple income sources or a minor blip on their credit file.

For example, the Registry Trust has recently published figure showing that more county court judgments (CCJs) were registered against consumers in England and Wales during Q1 2018 than any other quarter since current records dating back to Q1 2005 began, with 305,877 judgments registered against consumers during Q1 2018.

Figures such as these demonstrate the ongoing demand for access to specialist providers and the forums are aimed at helping brokers open new doors to help more of their clients in need of access to a wider range of lenders.

Paul Day, Sales Development Director, Clever Lending said: “The feedback from the forums has been very positive as brokers see how they can help more of their customers who may be self-employed, need commercial borrowing or are purchasing mixed use property, for example. They are also getting a much deeper insight into the ways bridging finance and second charges can be used for a wider range of customers.”

Clever Lending are currently looking for talented people to join its world class team. We have a number of opportunities available, including adviser and admin roles covering the bridging finance, second charge and commercial funding sectors. If you’d like to work for us, just email your CV to recruitment@cleverlending.co.uk

New opportunities in development finance

We have a clear indication that the government are creating opportunities within the development sector that brokers should be looking to take advantage of.

 

In the Government’s housing white paper, it’s clear that they are keen to support the building of new houses across the UK, which is of no particular surprise to those in the industry. However what is key from the report is that the government are keen to support smaller developers who build lower volumes of houses, and also help those looking to enter the market.  This is where the opportunities lie.

 

With 40% of local planning authorities not having an up to date plan to meet projected growth in their respective areas the opportunity is there for niche developers to build smaller developments on parcels of land not wanted by the larger house builders. Another point of consideration is that there will be smaller builders, development sites or borrowing requirements that won’t fit the mainstream banks criteria opening the opportunity for brokers to provide support.

 

To back this up, the government has launched a £54 million Land Release Fund to help ensure local councils release some of their unused or surplus land for housing.

 

The aim is to transform local communities and release land for at least 160,000 homes by 2020.

 

It’s clear that to build the homes we need, it’s vital there is a greater supply of land available to build them. Local authorities are major landowners and so have a crucial role to play in this.

 

The fact that the government want to support smaller builders and more diverse housing is clearly an opportunity, but developers may not be best served by the high street lenders and more flexible specialist finance will be required. Brokers can be proactive here and target these developers who need the guidance for the right financial solution so I would urge to go looking for them.

 

This is where Clever Lending can help, not only in sourcing finance with expert product knowledge but also handling the documentation and packaging of more complex projects. Every such case is different and expert underwriters are required to assess each case on its own merits, ultimately saving brokers time and moving the project along to completion as quickly as possible.

 

Developments need not only be solely residential, they can include mixed-use developments where part of the site is residential. This can be beneficial for the landlords as they can often get higher rents and yields on the commercial element helping to make the overall scheme more viable.

 

There is also the opportunity within existing developments, and specialist development finance can help developers capitalise on existing property renovations such as offices and commercial buildings, and make them, or part of them, suitable for residential use.

 

Clever Lending has experience and expertise aimed at helping brokers achieve the desired outcome for a variety of their clients, whether they are dealing with property developers, large companies or private individuals then finding the right finance for their property developments needn’t be as daunting as it first seems.

 

So although there is a lot of work to do before a project can start, developments can be highly profitable when done properly. After all, the government is keen to build and release land for new housing sites, and master brokers are there to help at every stage and to source the right lender for the project. This makes projects more viable than ever, so why not venture into the world of development, if you’re not already, and create new opportunities for further growth.

 

Don’t miss them, they’re there if you look!

 

Why master brokers can convert more cases for you


There are many reasons why brokers and IFAs should consider using a master broker to help them with their second charge cases. Since MCD, the role of the master broker has grown and we can now assist in even more ways, including compliant documents, improved processes, sourcing systems, expert underwriting and our access to a large network of specialist and mainstream lenders.

In fact a recent poll conducted by Loan Talk, found that 90% of respondents believed that master brokers convert more business than brokers going direct.

The reasons for this are our expertise in dealing with specialist lenders and understanding their criteria to be able to identify the most appropriate product for the customer in a timely and accurate fashion, whether debt consolidation, home improvements or exiting a debt management plan. We are also flexible when it comes to working with brokers or IFAs who are directly authorised or want us to offer the advice to the client. We can work with either route and package the case for the lender too. Whether directly authorised or not, we can take as little or as much work away from the introducer as they require, by completely looking after the client and offering the full advice, or simply by packaging the product that the introducer has recommended.

In a nutshell, we have more strings to our bow across a wider range of products and can help with more types of cases, from straightforward to complex, to help brokers and lenders complete more business. This also has an impact on a brokers’ income too. With us, introducers are paid 50% of all net generated income, meaning that they can earn extra income, while the client gets a far wider selection of options. With excellent service standards we can also take the strain away from complex cases and underwrite each one individually to reach a positive conclusion.

We have spent a lot of time with brokers explaining that second charges are a real alternative to re-mortgages and other forms of finance. The reaction is invariably extremely positive and many of these brokers are now referring regular business to us, including complex cases and those where the credit profile of the client means they are denied mainstream finance. The role of the master broker is not only here to stay, but will continue to grow and become the preferred option for most brokers and IFAs for placing second charge cases.

Here’s just a few comments from some our key business partners about the service we provide as a master broker:

“As a master broker providing specialist lending solutions, Clever Lending has a solid understanding of the marketplace, which enables them to identify the right lender for each case. Here at Together, we know we can trust them to deliver well-packaged cases, and to work with us to achieve the best possible outcome for the customer.”
Laleta Buctkuar, Key Account Manager, Together

“Clever Lending are professional in everything they do their proposition is tailored around doing the right thing for both brokers and clients. This proposition is supported by great people and service excellence.”
Darrell Walker, Head of Sales – Second Charge & Commercial Lending, OneSavings Bank

“Fantastic service, their knowledge is second to none, always call back and updates are easy.”
Lucie Wade, Wade Finance Ltd

Our 4 pillars…

Clever Lending prides itself on its expertise and building and maintaining the trust we have built up with brokers and lenders in the secured loans sector. Our strategy of focusing on our relationships with our business partners to provide an ever improving quality service is what drives us on to be the master broker of choice.

We’ve built our strategy on four principle pillars that are the foundations of our market proposition.

At this significant time for secured lending, it’s important to recap these key drivers and they are outlined below to give you an overview of the way Clever Lending is serving the broker market.

Pillar 1 – A full suite of products

With a full secured loan panel, we have an almost complete suite of secured loans to offer brokers. We work with all the major lenders to ensure we provide relevant products and up to date product criteria. Products are provided for a wide variety of uses, including home improvements, debt consolidation and business purposes. As well as this, most client credit profiles, income sources and property types are catered for, so providing for almost every situation for a loan to be offered. This means more opportunities for brokers to place more cases, have them accepted and so earn greater commissions to grow their business.

Pillar 2 – Slick service backed by the latest systems

As you’d expect of a modern forward-thinking business, we are investing heavily in the right technology to help us provide the high standard of service brokers expect. This includes the latest administration software to help with our packaging process and working closely with a market leading tech company to deliver a state of the art comparative sourcing system to provide the appropriate products. The key aims of all this technology is to save intermediaries time with quick turnarounds and to help increase their commission earnings.

But it’s not all about microchips and computers; at the heart of our service offering are the expert support team who are there to assist with broker enquiries and to progress their cases. Providing a good client outcome and ensuring product affordability is vital to the end client, but providing the broker with fast turnaround and easy accessibility to our products and service is equally key. Plus developing and maintaining a trusted relationship with our lenders is paramount.

All of our agents undergo extensive training to fully understand the loans and broker markets and deliver to our exacting SLAs. At Clever Lending you can rest assured that service is a high priority.

Pillar 3 – A thorough understanding of regulation

With new secured loans regulation due in March 2016, we are positioning ourselves to be at the forefront of regulation and to fully understand the consequences of the regulatory changes.

We will then be able to ensure the key information is shared with the our business partners, lenders and brokers to help with making sure all the compliance requirements are met for administration, processes, products and competency when the new regulations comes in to force.

Pillar 4 – Providing the tools for education

As the secured loan market evolves we see help and education as key components of our offering.

It’ll become increasingly important to guide lenders, brokers and their clients through the changes and work together to spot and create new opportunities.

This will be implemented through workshops and seminars, and by providing a suite of guides, toolkits and fact sheets. Much of this important and useful information will be easily accessible through our website and our contact centre.