How can Leicestershire’s ‘would-be’ homebuyers improve their chances in the mortgage market?
It seems incredible now that 40% of home rental payments were made in cash in 2001. A report by the Payments Council, The Way We Pay, showed that the fourfold rise in debit card spending is steadily pushing cheque and cash payments to the brink of extinction, with landlords collecting just over a quarter of rents in cash during 2011.
Adrian Kamellard, Chief Executive of the Payments Council, said: "Someone in their thirties today will see more change in their lifetime than in the entire history of money. Just as we can't imagine how we ever did without the internet, many people will soon wonder how we used to be so dependent on cash and cheque."
The report also shed some light on our spending habits. It noted that entertainment spending has risen by over 60% between 2001 and 2011, outpacing growth in consumer spending by over a quarter. And it seems we are not letting the cost of utilities weigh us down too much, with Brits spending one and a half times more on having fun (£58bn) than on gas and electricity.
It also highlighted that the amount we collectively spend on rent has risen 104% in a decade, whilst spending on mortgages has increased by 99% - statistics which clearly demonstrate the dramatic rise in the cost of housing.
With this in mind, what are the best ways for Leicestershire residents to improve their chances in the mortgage market?
It may be frustrating when you're desperate to buy your own place, but being patient can pay off. It sounds simple, but the more you save, the better the position you will ultimately be in.
Spring clean your credit record
Since lenders cast an eye over your credit history when you apply for a mortgage, it's crucial to check all the details are correct. If your credit record contains a mistake, it could affect your chances of getting a mortgage.
Pay down debts
Reduce other debts where possible. Rather than just repaying balance on credit cards, be sure to cancel them as well so this borrowing facility isn't still recorded as 'live' on your record.
If you are hoping to get onto the property ladder, compare mortgages before making any major decisions. Take smaller building societies into consideration as well as the high street banks so that you have the widest available range of options.