Mortgage giant Virgin Money has this week announced an overhaul of their lending policy, which could see them become a genuine option for many contractors looking for a mortgage.
Until recently, Virgin Money were very strict with their criteria, allowing only those contractors working on 6 or 12 month contracts, and with half of their current contract still to run, access to their products. There was previously no deviation from this whatsoever, even if you’d had four 3-month contracts instead of a year-long contract.
Now, as well as opening their criteria to those working via PAYE umbrella companies, they are also giving Contractor Mortgages Made Easy exclusive access to underwriters directly, in order to assess each case on its own merits.
“This represents quite a sea-change for Virgin Money” says Simon Butler, Associate Director at Contractor Mortgages Made Easy. “For a lender that are consistently in the top three for value to look at opening their doors to contractors gives a good indication of firstly the influence that we now have in the market, but also the perception of contractors to lenders.”
“We have worked tirelessly for many years to change banks perception of freelancers and contractors, arguing that they are in fact a safer bet than those working in permanent employment. With the recent development at Nationwide, in addition to this common sense change for Virgin Money, there have never been more lending options for contractors.”
Virgin Money now joins the likes of Halifax, Clydesdale Bank, and Nationwide as genuinely contractor friendly lenders on the High Street. With Nationwide changing their criteria recently it now means that however you work as a Contractor, there is likely to be a lending option available, as Simon explains.
“Nationwide recently changed their lending criteria for Limited Company contractors, making them very easy to do business with. With Virgin Money looking to target umbrella contractors, in addition to the historically friendly lenders that we have used for many years, there really is no situation unique enough to prevent you from getting the mortgage that you need.”
Virgin Money, who are consistently offering market leading rates, have also confirmed that this change in lending policy applies across its Buy to Let range as well, giving contractors more choice than ever before, says Butler.
“Given that we now have exclusive agreements with many lenders to access rates that contractors simply cannot get on the High Street, the benefit of using a broker – particularly a contractor specialist – has never been clearer.”
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