MBT upgrades affordability platform

Mortgage Broker Tools has launched a major upgrade to its affordability research platform with the introduction of bespoke calculations for borrowers earning income through the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) and umbrella companies as well as buyers who want to take advantage of the growing number of Joint Borrower Sole Proprietor (JBSP) products.

The upgrade means that MBT, which already boasts the most comprehensive affordability and criteria research platform in the market with more than 40 residential lenders and 66 buy-to-let lenders, can now provide even more accurate calculations for those borrowers who either earn income through CIS or umbrella companies, or who are looking to borrow on a JBSP basis.

Tanya Toumadj (pictured), CEO at Mortgage Broker Tools, said: “We work closely with lenders to help inform and improve their propositions, monitoring the affordability landscape very closely and we’ve noticed an emerging theme with CIS, umbrella companies and JBSP products. More lenders are offering specialist solutions in these areas and they calculate affordability in different ways, which means a significant divergence in the loan amount that could be achieved by the borrower.

“For example, when it comes to contractors earning their income through the CIS, most lenders treat these applicants as normal sole traders and base their affordability calculation on the net profit figure from each year’s tax returns. However, there are now 10 of the top 43 lenders that will take the gross weekly wage as if the applicant was employed, rather than the net profit figures.

“This can make a big difference to the loan amount achieved by the borrower. For example, for an electrician earning £225 per day the difference in the maximum loan available could be as much as £ 85,000. Halifax used to be the only lender to take this approach, but nine other lenders will now take the gross figure and it is becoming a more competitive part of the market.

“We’re seeing similar competition in the umbrella companies and JBSP space and so it was clear that it was a natural development for the MBT platform to deliver bespoke calculations in these three areas. Continual development and improvement is a core element of our business and we never rest on our laurels when it comes to connecting customers to the right mortgage lender through brokers, improving the process and experience for everyone through technology.”

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