Payday loan 'risk to mortgage applications'

Vince Cable says new regulation will effectively mean payday lenders having to carry "health warnings"

Taking out a payday loan could endanger people's chances of getting a mortgage whether or not they had difficulties repaying the cash, the BBC has learned.

Nearly two-thirds of brokers contacted by trade publication Mortgage Strategy for Newsnight had a client turned down for a mortgage after a payday loan.

A record of a loan will remain on a credit record for nearly six years.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said borrowers would receive warnings under future advertising regulation changes.

According to evidence gathered by Newsnight, many mortgage applications have been instantly declined and credit scores adversely affected after people took out payday loans.

Out of the 279 replies received by Mortgage Strategy, 184 brokers said they had clients in such a position.

Jonathan Clark of Chadney Bulgin financial planners in Fleet, Hampshire, advised a couple who took out multiple payday loans on getting a mortgage under the government's Help to Buy scheme.

"I knew it was going to be a problem, but I was a bit shocked by the response I got because apart from one or two who said they could be accepted subject to a credit score - which is a polite way of saying it probably won't work - most of them were very negative and said it would be an instant decline.

"That was regardless of their income, the conduct of their accounts and everything else... these were major High Street lenders."

Payday loans: check the costs

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  • Advertised monthly costs may seem low, but annual rates are significant
  • Loans are quick but customer service can be poor. The Financial Ombudsman receives more than 50 complaints about payday lenders every month
  • Other lenders like banks or credit unions may offer a better deal. Here are 10 things to check before you take out a loan

The trade body that represents payday lenders, the Consumer Finance Association, said it would look at whether customers should be warned about the consequences before they take out a payday loan.

It said it has asked the Council of Mortgage Lenders and major credit reference agencies for more information.

The revelation comes as the government is to introduce a new law to cap the cost of payday loans.

Some payday lenders have been criticised for charging more than 5,000% annual interest although the lenders say the loans are meant to be short-term, so the annual rate can make charges appear worse than they are.

The level of the cap, which has not yet been announced, will be decided by the new industry regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The cap will be included in the Banking Reform Bill, which is already going through Parliament.

Mr Cable told Newsnight that future advertising will also require payday loan companies to make clear that borrowers have to seek debt advice.

"If they seek debt advice they will know the risk of imperilling their credit status," he said.

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