Why Different People Qualify For Different Mortgage Lending Rates?

Special Mortgage Rates, Special Terms and Conditions

First Published: September 28, 2009 ADawnJournal.com

In an ideal world, everyone would have an absolutely equal share of money, opportunity and health, and what they would have would be adequate to live on comfortably. However, the world is not ideal, and through one reason or another some people find themselves having to be satisfied with what they have. In order to equalise things somewhat, there has to be a range of different options which can be applied in situations that require them. What this means in practice is that individuals will be treated differently according to their situation – with the proviso that it must be sustainable. This is why we see different people qualifying for different rates in terms of mortgage lending.

To take a hypothetical situation, an individual – let’s call him Mr. X – may have been living happily for many years in a comfortable job which entitled him to a carefree life, with a credit card bill which he paid in full every month allowing him to avoid interest fees. Suddenly, one day, a company moved into his area doing the same thing that his company was doing, but for a considerable amount less, and business migrated to the newer company. Mr. X found himself earning less commission, and was unable to keep up payments on his credit card, forcing him into a situation where his credit record was less positive than it would have been three years prior. Three years ago he qualified for an excellent mortgage interest rate. Now, he has to accept a higher rate.

This is clearly far from an ideal situation. Through no real fault of his own, Mr. X finds himself in a negative position. Is his bank wrong to approach things this way? From a business point of view, the answer is “no”. His situation created a position whereby he was considered to be more of a credit risk. Banks need to judge risk based on the facts that they have available to them, and quantifiable data. Although Mr X was generally a good payer, he has found himself in the same position as other people who may have been less responsible with credit payments. If the bank were to make an exception for him, though, they would have to do it in other situations and their margin would be reduced.

The price we pay for having a system of credit and borrowing in our economy is that it will sometimes “unfairly” penalise people who have conducted their accounts generally rather well. This system may be imperfect, but as we mentioned at the start of the article, this is not an ideal world. In order to make the best of your situation, particularly if you are one of the many people whose credit record has suffered from circumstances beyond your control, it becomes all the more necessary to look at ways of getting the best deal. This entails shopping around, saving for a deposit and in some cases waiting for your continued efforts to make payments to your credit accounts to be reflected in your credit score. And in the meantime, realize that positive behaviour is, eventually, rewarded.

Your Responsibilities as a Mortgage Holder

Mortgage and Responsibilities

First Published: Aug 22, 2009 ADawnJournal.com
 

To buy a house in this day and age, it is – for most of us – necessary to borrow money. There is obviously a section of society who are able to afford to pay in cash and own their real estate property without ever needing to borrow to support it. However, even those who can afford to buy property without a mortgage will often get one anyway. Their positive financial situation means that they can support a higher level of borrowing than the average individual, and therefore purchase a more desirable property. Others again will decide not to get a mortgage and continue to rent for the majority of their life because of the greater relative freedom it gives them. The fact is that having a mortgage confers upon you certain responsibilities which it is essential that you meet.

It may seem, with the failsafe aspects built into a mortgage – the possibility of a payment holiday, the ability to renegotiate and remortgage, and so forth – that there is less incentive upon an individual to maintain the correct running of their account. However, it needs to be taken into account that for every concession a bank gives on the basis of a customer’s inability to make full payment, there is a price to be paid in terms of “provision”. That is to say that a bank needs to set aside a certain amount of money to cover bad debt. For every time that a person defaults on a loan of any sort, that money needs to be dipped into. Every time that money is dipped into, it affects how a bank can set its interest rates on commercial and residential credit.

There are two kinds of “bad debtors” – people who do not pay towards their debts – and these are termed “can’t pay” and “won’t pay” customers. Both types of customer affect provision in much the same way, as the money needs to be set aside to cover their debt whether or not they could actually make the payments. However, from an individual, arguably moral, point of view, the “won’t pay” customers are unnecessarily driving up the cost of banking for those who are making their payments and running their accounts successfully. It would be poor business sense on the part of a bank to allow itself to be hamstrung excessively by the bad debts of its customers – so “good debtors” bear the brunt of the costs.

It could not be said that “can’t pay” customers have the same moral obligation to make their payments as “won’t pay” customers. But the fact is that if you are in a position to meet your debt payments – especially mortgage payments which are tied to risk both for yourself and for the bank – then you must do so, as to fail in this respect does not just penalise you, but others as well. It is also true that banks have their own responsibilities to live up to, but as consumers we have little sway in making them do so – so for our purposes, only our own responsibilities are relevant.

Do You Know Your Debt To Income Ratio?

Debt/Equity

Your debt to income ratio shows your financial health and lenders use this ratio to evaluate your creditworthiness. This ratio tells lenders what percentage of your monthly income can be used for your loan payments (or mortgage payments).

As it sounds, your debt to income ratio compares your debt to income. This is a monthly figure. To calculate debt to income ratio, take your monthly debt payments (minimum payments) and divide it by your gross monthly income.

Example: Monthly debt payments include:

  •  Credit card payments, loan payments, car payments etc.
  • Don’t forget to add investment income
  • Commission
  • Rental income etc

Let me give you an example. Let’s say your gross (before taxes) monthly income is $1000

And your monthly payment is $100. Your debt to income ratio is $100 divided by $1000 = 10%.

Tips: When you add monthly mortgage payment to above to above calculation, it becomes the back end debt ratio. If you remove monthly mortgage payment, it becomes the front end debt ratio. Front end debt ratio tells lenders how much monthly mortgage payment you can afford. To qualify for a mortgage, you would require something like 25% to 28% front end debt ratio. With a mortgage, back end ratio should not go beyond 45%. So you can see that in general the lower your debt to income ratio, the better you are healthy financially.

First Published: Oct 17, 2007 ADawnJournal.com