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    • tygar2
    • By tygar2 5th Feb 17, 9:39 PM
    • 111Posts
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    tygar2
    Halifax Mortgage Promise - confused!
    • #1
    • 5th Feb 17, 9:39 PM
    Halifax Mortgage Promise - confused! 5th Feb 17 at 9:39 PM
    Hello everyone.

    Around 2011/2012 I defaulted on lot of credit agreements totalling over 20k. These are all still on my credit report and a number are showing as unsettled as the debt collectors dropped them when challenged for CCAs etc. Basically my credit file is a bomb site but I have no CCJs. last I checked Experian scored me 328 - Very Poor - useless score but am just trying to paint a picture.

    Have since got married and we have been saving with a goal of attempting a house purchase sometime in 2018. With this in mind we made an appointment with the local Halifax branch mortgage advisor. The purpose was to just get some information on what will be needed when the time comes so we can prepare.

    The advisor started his process and I stopped him explaining that my credit file was a complete no go so would fail plus all we wanted was general info. I also did not want to become financially linked to my spouse because of it. He assured me that it was a soft search to ascertain what would be available to use and no financial link would happen until we actually took a mortgage out together. He said something to the effect that "sometimes scores balance each other out" - no clue what that means. I let him go ahead.

    Anyway, the shock, and reason of this thread, was the system apparently did a credit check and gave us a mortgage promise. How is this possible? I was upfront about my credit issues and saw the advisor tick boxes to that effect when processing my details. I have lived at my current address for nearly 2 years and my previous address for 7 years before that. All defaults were at my previous address and it was entered in the system.
    We have help to buy ISAs with the Halifax and have saved enough for a deposit and fees. We have no ongoing loans, HPAs or store cards. We have a credit card each and this is paid off in full every month. The amount offered appears to be approximately 4x our combined total gross income.

    Not sure what to do now as I am very sceptical about what happened - system error? Look for a house or don't bother? Hope someone in the know can advise.

    Thanks
Page 1
    • streetlovin
    • By streetlovin 5th Feb 17, 11:26 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 39 Thanks
    streetlovin
    • #2
    • 5th Feb 17, 11:26 PM
    • #2
    • 5th Feb 17, 11:26 PM
    Mortgage Promise/Agreement in Principle only suggests the maximum amount that they can lend you based on a soft credit check and few details you've provided. I think people mainly use this to prove to sellers that they are serious buyer. So yeah, it is not surprising that they could provide it to you..

    This amount can change when you make full application. Hard check will dig more details of your credit history and this will be taken into account when they decide whether to lend you. This will also depend on the amount of deposit you have, the type of properties, any HTP scheme that you use....

    My advise would be to get a really good broker, not a fee free one because those ones won't really argue for your case...independent brokers will be able to advise on lenders that are more accepting of people with bad credit history.

    But I am no expert.
    Last edited by streetlovin; 05-02-2017 at 11:30 PM.
    • Richey_
    • By Richey_ 6th Feb 17, 12:11 AM
    • 301 Posts
    • 344 Thanks
    Richey_
    • #3
    • 6th Feb 17, 12:11 AM
    • #3
    • 6th Feb 17, 12:11 AM
    Or just study Halifax lending criteria and see if you fit it. Will save money which can be put to the deposit. The mortgage adviser sounded positive, good luck hope it works out!
    • cahillg81
    • By cahillg81 6th Feb 17, 2:37 AM
    • 239 Posts
    • 75 Thanks
    cahillg81
    • #4
    • 6th Feb 17, 2:37 AM
    • #4
    • 6th Feb 17, 2:37 AM
    Halifax DIP fairly reliable, likely when you do a full app it will refer for an underwriter to review but so long as you disclose everything it should be fine. Get a full experian report and make sure everything on there is disclosed.
    I am a Mortgage & Protection Broker

    MSE doesn't check my status so you have to take my word for it. Any information posted is for discussion only and should not be seen as advice. I am FCA Registered, registration details available on request.
    • ap1985
    • By ap1985 6th Feb 17, 11:57 AM
    • 299 Posts
    • 129 Thanks
    ap1985
    • #5
    • 6th Feb 17, 11:57 AM
    • #5
    • 6th Feb 17, 11:57 AM
    I got a mortgage offer though Halifax even though my credit report was shambles...however, my defaults were due to be dropped off. But Halifax are more lenient then other lenders. But I would also highly recommend going through a broker and this really helped my case.
    Finally going to be a homeowner
    • ellison007
    • By ellison007 6th Feb 17, 12:19 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    ellison007
    • #6
    • 6th Feb 17, 12:19 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Feb 17, 12:19 PM
    Well done ap1985 on receiving a mortgage offer through Halifax; I have a 'mortgage promise' via Halifax at the moment & will more than likely do a full app with them soon.


    just out of interest, which CRA's did they check at the full app stage? For my DIP they looked at Experian and Call Credit but not Equifax.
    • Verix
    • By Verix 6th Feb 17, 1:25 PM
    • 160 Posts
    • 77 Thanks
    Verix
    • #7
    • 6th Feb 17, 1:25 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Feb 17, 1:25 PM
    Halifax have no set policy on things like defaults, so will often pass at inital credit scoring. At full application they will probably ask for a good reason as to why you got in to financial difficulties

    My advise would be to get a really good broker, not a fee free one because those ones won't really argue for your case...
    .
    Originally posted by streetlovin
    Just out of interest what is the logic behind this statement? A fee free broker will only get paid if they can arrange a mortgage (from the procuration fee from the lender. A broker who charges a non-refundable fee up front gets payment whether you get a mortgage or not and so (I would argue) is less incentivised to fight a case).

    Ultimately I would be disappointed if any broker would be willing to throw in the towel after one knockback from a lender.
    I am a Mortgage Adviser

    You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a Mortgage Adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice.
    • streetlovin
    • By streetlovin 6th Feb 17, 4:16 PM
    • 78 Posts
    • 39 Thanks
    streetlovin
    • #8
    • 6th Feb 17, 4:16 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Feb 17, 4:16 PM
    I can only speak from my experience. Fee free brokers care about quantity rather than quality. They want easy case that gets them commission. It is like Recruitment Consultant...they don't care about you. You don't pay them. You are one of their many bullets and if you miss they move onto someone else.

    And yes, I would be disappointed too if my broker just gives up after come knockback...and morally it is really low. But what can you do, it is their business... Don't get me wrong i use fee free brokers to reduce costs but I also know I get what I paid for.
    Last edited by streetlovin; 06-02-2017 at 4:24 PM.
    • tygar2
    • By tygar2 20th Feb 17, 5:16 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    tygar2
    • #9
    • 20th Feb 17, 5:16 PM
    • #9
    • 20th Feb 17, 5:16 PM
    I got a mortgage offer though Halifax even though my credit report was shambles...however, my defaults were due to be dropped off. But Halifax are more lenient then other lenders. But I would also highly recommend going through a broker and this really helped my case.
    Originally posted by ap1985
    Congratulations ap1985!

    As your situation sounds similar to mine can you please clarify something for me? Did you get your mortgage with the Halifax via the broker or did you go direct like I did. If via the broker (as I think you are said) then what advantage did that give you if you get what I mean?

    thanks
    • tygar2
    • By tygar2 20th Feb 17, 5:17 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    tygar2
    Well done ap1985 on receiving a mortgage offer through Halifax; I have a 'mortgage promise' via Halifax at the moment & will more than likely do a full app with them soon.


    just out of interest, which CRA's did they check at the full app stage? For my DIP they looked at Experian and Call Credit but not Equifax.
    Originally posted by ellison007
    Same here, they do not appear to have searched on Equifax (am currently signed up for a free trial).
    • tygar2
    • By tygar2 20th Feb 17, 5:21 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    tygar2
    I can only speak from my experience. Fee free brokers care about quantity rather than quality. They want easy case that gets them commission. It is like Recruitment Consultant...they don't care about you. You don't pay them. You are one of their many bullets and if you miss they move onto someone else.

    And yes, I would be disappointed too if my broker just gives up after come knockback...and morally it is really low. But what can you do, it is their business... Don't get me wrong i use fee free brokers to reduce costs but I also know I get what I paid for.
    Originally posted by streetlovin
    In my situation where the Halifax has given an agreement in principle (I admitted upfront about my credit file and saw advisor select the relevant boxes when processing) do you guys suggest I still go and find a broker? If so, why?

    Thanks all
    • kingstreet
    • By kingstreet 20th Feb 17, 5:28 PM
    • 32,617 Posts
    • 17,559 Thanks
    kingstreet
    When we do an agreement in principle with Halifax, not only do we get the result on the screen, but we can also get one or two extra messages, such as;-

    • This application will be referred for a review of the total debt held with Lloyds Banking Group, upon submission of a full application

    • This application will be referred for a review of the Credit Bureau information, upon submission of a full application
    with the latter indicating manual searches may well be done with Call Credit and Equifax to establish the full picture and any explanations requested.

    We have in the past (in only two out of hundreds of cases!!!) had an agreement in principle accept, a full application accept and after a few days, a decline based on credit bureau information.
    I am a mortgage broker. You should note that this site doesn't check my status as a Mortgage Adviser, so you need to take my word for it. This signature is here as I follow MSE's Mortgage Adviser Code of Conduct. Any posts on here are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as financial advice. Please do not send PMs asking for one-to-one-advice, or representation.
    • tygar2
    • By tygar2 20th Feb 17, 5:36 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    tygar2
    When we do an agreement in principle with Halifax, not only do we get the result on the screen, but we can also get one or two extra messages, such as;-



    with the latter indicating manual searches may well be done with Call Credit and Equifax to establish the full picture and any explanations requested.

    We have in the past (in only two out of hundreds of cases!!!) had an agreement in principle accept, a full application accept and after a few days, a decline based on credit bureau information.
    Originally posted by kingstreet
    Thanks Kingstreet.

    Would the advisor have been able to see those extra messages and is he supposed to tell us? All I remember him saying was something like it has gone through, no problem.

    It is reassuring to know that there is a chance of rejection but that it is very low. I guess I do not have too much to lose (apart from the house of her dreams!)
    • Xyzzy
    • By Xyzzy 21st Feb 17, 12:04 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    Xyzzy
    It sounds like you've provided everything possible to get an accurate lending decision. The soft search at the AIP stage is pretty much as thorough as the full search, the main difference being that the data is up to 30 days old for the soft search, These things can be surprising, I've seen people with CCJs on file sail through.
    • tygar2
    • By tygar2 21st Feb 17, 6:11 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    tygar2
    It sounds like you've provided everything possible to get an accurate lending decision. The soft search at the AIP stage is pretty much as thorough as the full search, the main difference being that the data is up to 30 days old for the soft search, These things can be surprising, I've seen people with CCJs on file sail through.
    Originally posted by Xyzzy
    Thanks for sharing that - reassuring. Are you a broker?
    • E&G
    • By E&G 8th Jan 18, 2:56 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    E&G
    I also have a 'Mortgage Promise' from Halifax and was wondering how reliable they are. One of the points made in an earlier post is about going to a full check - does the soft search not pick up on any issues with the credit file (otherwise what would be the point)?
    • tygar2
    • By tygar2 8th Jan 18, 4:15 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 30 Thanks
    tygar2
    I also have a 'Mortgage Promise' from Halifax and was wondering how reliable they are. One of the points made in an earlier post is about going to a full check - does the soft search not pick up on any issues with the credit file (otherwise what would be the point)?
    Originally posted by E&G
    Hello and good timing with your question! I really should have come back earlier to give an update but it's been hectic.

    Anyway, the conclusion is that we have just moved into our new house! Got the keys just before Christmas!

    After the mortgage promise we put an offer on a house, got the offer letter and surveys done but that fell through. This was actually a blessing in disguise as we found a better property and saved £5000 on Stamp Duty due to the recent changes

    We went back to the Halifax and were given a new offer for the property we have bought. This house is more expensive than the last but was within our Mortgage Promise Limits - no further credit check was carried out - just an update of most recent payslips. We had to again pay £500 for a valuation but Halifax refunded the valuation fee for the first property at the start of of our mortgage. We also got £750 cash back which went towards solicitors costs.

    I spoke to the Halifax mortgage advisor and he confirmed what Xyzzy said earlier - if a mortgage promise is issued it means you have passed Halifax's internal credit check even though it is a soft search. I have multiple unsettled 5 year old defaults which I declared but still got the mortgage with my wife. On my file a credit check only appeared after offer was made.

    Hope that helps you and anyone who is searching for an answer to the same question - thank you all for your help.
    • E&G
    • By E&G 8th Jan 18, 4:27 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    E&G
    Thanks - that is good to know, and good luck in your new home!
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