Official government statistics reveal something about our borrowing habits that will not surprise any of us. It is this — large numbers of ordinary people are taking out loans against their homes to help meet sudden financial emergencies.
Take last year’s figures, for example. Here in the UK from October to December home owners borrowed something over £14bn using a facility known in the financial industry as mortgage equity withdrawal — or secured loans.
Now, did you notice that was just for one quarter of the financial year? Over the course of the whole year UK home owners released an almost unbelievable £50bn in this way. Truly large numbers, and a true pointer to what we ordinary people do when we have a sudden, significant need for a little more money than our wages and families can provide.
UK citizens are bullish on these loans instruments. That £50bn was up £13bn on the year before. And borrowers also obviously find secured loans like this are safe, easy to get and simple to repay if you have a regular income and reasonable cash flow.
In fact these secured loans are so popular one major lender has so many applications to process right now they had to stop taking requests for loans! First Direct, a subsidiary of the big HSBC banking group recently announced their application approval system had got clogged with paper. A spokesman was admitting this was a “drastic” step but said it had been made because First Direct’s hand had been forced by changes other lenders had made. Those changes, that he did not specific, had released an avalanche of applications into First Direct. But the lender is still in the lending business, and promised to open the doors once again when the overburdened loan application office had handled the mountain of current applications.
So there is the proof, if you needed it. From the Bank of England and from a major British lender the message is clear, secured loans are popular and meet needs.
Bridging loans help in many ways
A secured loan, on favourable terms, is a comfortable, affordable way to quickly receive funds ordinary families frequently need when their normal income will not cover costs. Unexpected costs, such as a medical operation for an elderly parent that can’t be immediately had in the public health system. Or a happier event — your daughter’s marriage that needs to be marked with a good reception. Or the totally unexpected event like a car crash that leaves you one less car in the family that absolutely must be replaced — by next week, say. We all know about these unplanned, significant expenditures. They hit many of us, and because our incomes usually don’t permit much saving, they hit us hard. A loan becomes important at these times.
The question is, how do we get one? And the Bank of England statistics give us our answer. A secured loan is a popular and effective way to put emergency cash in our hands quickly.
Value of a loan broker
Just one word of caution, however. Financial transactions are always complex; which is why we need lawyers. And specifically finding a favourable secured loan is time consuming and can be confusing; which is why a good broker is recommended. A good first step in this process is to find a broker who will take your side and lead you through the deluge of information you will need to scan in order to find a secured loan that meets your repayment profile, is favourable for you, and can be obtained quickly.