New research has found that borrowers in their 40s are finding it increasingly difficult to get a mortgage.
According to the Nottingham Building Society, 17% of customers turned down for a mortgage over the past two years believe it was because of age, rising to 21% among those aged 45 to 54.
Around one in four of those whose age counted against them say they were not able to borrow for long enough, while the rest were turned away because either they or their partner were too old.
The findings also revealed that two in five mortgage brokers have seen a rise in customers over 40 struggling to be approved for loans, with more than a third expecting this figure to rise again in the coming year.
Many mortgage lenders will currently only grant a mortgage up to an individual’s planned or state retirement date, so people in their 40s wanting to borrow past this point can struggle to get a loan.
Older borrowers need to be able to prove to lenders they have the income to afford loans which is not certain once they retire.
Building societies have pledged to review their maximum age limits for mortgage borrowers to help support those needing mortgage finance heading into retirement.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Building Societies Association are both working with members to make it easier for older people to borrow and some lenders have increased their maximum ages.
Ian Gibbons, senior mortgage broking manager at Nottingham Mortgage Services, said: “It is baffling for people in their early 40s to be told they are too old to have a mortgage and particularly so when the average age of first-time buyers is rising which means some could even be first-time buyers.
“There is no doubt credit worthy customers are being rejected and some are facing restrictions on their choice of mortgages.
“However there are options out there for older borrowers and the key to ensuring they get the most appropriate mortgage is to search the whole market. If your existing lender is restricted on what it can do there are other options.”
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