29th April 2015
Thousands of people over 50 are missing out on the best mortgage rates because of their age, a new poll reveals.
The study by Saga found that 12% of people in their 50s say they have been refused a better rate because they were deemed to be too old.
However, 85% feel that lending should be based on ability to pay, not age, according to the survey of 6,243 people aged over 50.
Many older people are complaining about their bank or mortgage provider introducing arbitrary upper age limits on lending criteria and also placing a bar on older borrowers getting better deals.
This is against a backdrop of working life being extended through the raising of the state retirement age, the abolishing of firms being able to set compulsory retirement ages and moreover the desire of many people to continue to work full or part-time in later life.
Saga says it would appear that some mortgage lenders are out of touch with society and the world of work.
Over half (52%)of those polled thought that the Regulator should intervene to ensure fair treatments by mortgage lenders.
In terms of individuals experiencing discrimination 12% of those aged 50-59 thought that they had been prevented from moving their mortgage to a more competitive deal because of their age.
Paul Green of Saga says: “It appears that mortgage lenders are blind to the fact that the world of work is changing. It simply beggars belief that people are being denied mortgages or forced to pay more for uncompetitive deals simply because of their age. This smacks of lazy lending, not bothering to understand your customers and is an another example of the industry not responding to the needs of an aging population.”
Saga is calling for the Regulator to take a proactive stance with mortgage lenders to ensure that lending criteria are fair and based on ability to pay and not just on age.