The new Mortgage Guarantee Scheme

The mortgage guarantee scheme that was announced March 2021 is intended as a temporary measure. It will be open for new mortgage applications from April 2021 to December 2022, in line with the government’s view that the current scarcity of high loan-to-value lending is primarily a response to the pandemic rather than a symptom of a longer-term structural change in the mortgage market.

The government will review the continuing need for the scheme towards the planned end date and determine whether extending the period of eligibility for new mortgages would continue to deliver benefits for prospective homeowners.

The scheme is designed to help creditworthy households struggling to save for the higher mortgage deposits required by lenders in the current environment. For this reason, a mortgage eligible for a guarantee under the scheme will need to:

  • be a residential mortgage (not second homes) and not buy-to-let
  • be taken out by an individual or individuals rather than an incorporated company
  • be on a property in the UK with purchase value of £600,000 or less
  • have a loan-to-value of between 91 per cent and 95 per cent
  • be originated between the dates specified by the scheme
  • be a repayment mortgage and not interest-only and
  • meet standard requirements in terms of the assessment of the borrower’s ability to pay the mortgage, for example a loan-to-income and credit score test.

The scheme is also designed to ensure that lenders cannot use the government guarantee to restructure the riskiest part of their existing loan book, and that borrowers remain the beneficiaries of the intervention.

The scheme will help to ensure the mortgage market provides options for consumers with smaller deposits who also want a mortgage with the security of predictable repayments for a longer period. For this reason, it will be a requirement that any lender participating in the scheme must offer a five year fixed rate product as part of their range of mortgages offered under the guarantee.

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