Mortgage lenders raise age limits

Major lenders are beginning to raise their maximum age limits on mortgages, following recent criticisms that secure borrowers are increasingly turned down by banks on account of their age.

Nationwide has made headlines by raising its maximum age limit from 75 to 85 – the highest of any major lender in the UK to date. Competitor Halifax has also raised its maximum age limit to 80.

Nationwide have announced that they are willing to grant mortgages of up to £150,000 to older borrowers, providing they can prove that they have a sturdy enough pension to keep up their repayments.

However, there is a catch – the lender will only open their higher age limit deals to borrowers seeking a loan of no more than 60 per cent of the value of their property.

Up until fairly recently, Britons in their early 60s have typically been turned down by major lenders, or offered impossibly expensive, short term deals.

Henry Jordan, Nationwide’s Head of Mortgages, said: “We are taking a series of steps to meet a growing demand from customers to be able to borrow in later life. These customers are often asset rich, with significant equity in their home, and they wish to have the flexibility to borrow against it.

“Access to the mainstream market has been a challenge for older customers, resulting in their needs going unfulfilled. This measure helps to address these needs in a prudent, controlled manner.”