West One overhauls second charge offering
West One has made its biggest ever set of second charge changes, including rate reductions and a major overhaul of processes and supporting criteria.
The improvements were designed to increase the opportunities for West One’s broker partners to place business, and significantly improve the customer experience by speeding up the offer process.
West One is offering remote training to all its broker partners, which will help them get up to speed with the scale of the changes.
There are three pillars to West One’s secured residential product range: Apex 0 is for prime borrowers with good credit profiles, while Apex 1 and Apex 2 are for customers whose credit score is less than perfect or who may have experienced some historical credit issues. All products are available to employed, self-employed and retired applicants.
West One also offers a full range of buy-to-let second charge products to assist landlords looking to access equity from their property portfolio.
Highlights of the product changes for Apex 0 include the introduction of its lowest ever 5-year fixed rate, from 4.05%, with 75% loan-to-value (LTV) rates also reduced by up to 0.30% starting from 4.65%. Meanwhile, loan sizes have increased from £150,000 to £250,000 up to 70% LTV on the Apex 0 plan.
Another significant change is that West One now only requires a minimum mortgage history of 12 months, reduced from 24 months.
Rate reductions have been applied across the range, including Apex 1 rates, which have been cut across all LTVs (maximum 75%) starting from 5.55% (previously 5.85%).
Buy-to-let second charge rates have also been reduced across the LTV range (maximum 75%) starting from 5.99% (previously 6.49%).
West One has improved the criteria for borrowers who have previously been furloughed but are now back in work and for borrowers who have previously taken a payment holiday but are now making repayments.
Other changes to criteria mean West One can now take applications from borrowers working on zero hours contracts and DSS tenants will also be accepted on its second charge buy-to-let range.
Marie Grundy, managing director, second charges at West One, said: “We have made some extremely positive changes to our second charge range of mortgages, which not only offer borrowers access to lower rates of interest but are also designed to vastly improve the customer journey. This will serve to reduce the time it takes for applications to reach offer stage.
“These changes reflect our commitment to continuing to support the second charge market by providing broker partners with an even more compelling second charge proposition. With more firms and customers adapting to more fluid working arrangements we are confident these changes will help to provide greater flexibility when dealing with West One.”