Nationwide Building Society has announced a range of changes for employees following the ongoing coronavirus.
The lender has outlined what is means for furloughed workers following the Government’s announcement on the coronavirus job retentions scheme and changed the types of income it accepts.
If you are employed but you have been furloughed, Nationwide may accept your mortgage application using 80% of your basic income up to a maximum of £2,500 pm or £30,000 per annum gross. If your employer is funding all or part of the difference, then you may be able to borrow more money.
Nationwide stops accepting bonus, overtime and commission
Nationwide has stopped accepting bonuses, overtime and commission income for mortgage affordability purposes.
The building society has also said that it will not accept any other additional income that it treats as bonus, overtime or commission.
How will the changes affect Nationwide's customers?
Aaron Strutt, product director at Trinity Financial, says: "The lenders use mortgage affordability calculations to work out how much they can lend and even a slight change to your income or expenditure can reduce the maximum loan size. A 20% income cut for furloughed borrowers would mean many of these mortgages are technically no longer affordable.
NatWest has confirmed that it wants to know if its customers applying for mortgages have been financially impacted by COVID-19 so that it can verify if the mortgage is affordable or not.
The bank has made changes to its criteria when assessing and treating employed income applying to new and existing residential and buy-to-let customers, where affordability assessments would be completed. These changes also apply to applications that have been previously submitted both pre and post-offer.
Customers who have not and do not expect to experience a change in their employed income will be treated inline with NatWest's current policies and processes. However, customers who have or expect to have a reduction in their employed income are expected to provide evidence of their revised income so their mortgage application can be reassessed.
If the customer cannot provide evidence of their revised income, the bank says it will be unable to provide a mortgage until they are able to provide evidence.
Customers who are no longer receiving employed income or have been told by their employer that their employed income will not continue, will have their mortgage application or offer withdrawn if they are not being put on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Nationwide has also announced that it will only accept zero hour contract mortgages from a limited number of workers.
This includes NHS Bank Nurses and Locums, Non-NHS Bank Nurses, Care Home workers and supermarket workers including delivery drivers. Nationwide can still accept income from Retained/On-Call Firefighters and Armed Forces Reservists.
Applicants will still need to have been employed on this basis for at least 12 months, although the lenders have removed the ‘same employer’ requirement.
While the lender says it will not accept zero hour contract income from any other roles – it will consider applications from other key workers although this is likely to be on a case by case basis.
Income from zero hour workers is only acceptable where it's not the primary income so borrowers must have another employed/self-employed/pension income and it has to be higher.