I hope you’ve all had a good week, I’m not quite sure how it’s the end of June already!

This week things seem to be getting busier with more properties secured and some more reasonable prices! Hopefully this is a good sign for things to come.

What I want to talk about today is the importance of looking after your credit file in today’s market. Lenders are being careful with who they lend to, and are more cautious than normal given the situation. This is inevitable really, if there is history of a client not paying a bill or mortgage, they are statistically far more likely to do it again, and with the current financial uncertainty this could become something that is more likely.

Usually, we can speak to the specialist lenders we work with and where there is a good explanation for poor credit they can look to lend. They understand that as property investors you have lots of tenants and utilities particularly can be an issue.

What we are seeing at the moment though, is that this is not necessarily the case. We are seeing some lenders formally restrict their criteria to allow less credit issues, as well as others who usually take a more pragmatic approach have a blanket rule on any blemishes.

So what can you do?

First of all, you should all be checking your credit search each month anyway. You can use a free company such as Credit Karma, who email each month with your new report. they also notify you of any changes to it. This means that if there are any issues, for example something has gone to an old address, or a direct debit hasn’t been paid then you can rectify it immediately – this should stop any future defaults.

Secondly, when you approach your broker for a mortgage make sure you know if there’s anything on the search and give us the exact details of it. This means that neither of us are wasting time applying to lenders who won’t be able to help. It also means you’re not worsening the issue by adding additional credit searches to your file.

How can you future proof yourself?

As well as the above, I think it’s really important to look after two things moving forward.

Cash flow is always key in property development and investment. It’s vital to keep on top of this, and it does nip at your heels. Especially in today’s market you need to be building in contingencies for time and cost to ensure that this doesn’t cause any credit problems down the line.

Being realistic with your costs, timescales and end values are also key to ensuring that things run smoothly over the next 6-12 months. Getting this wrong could impact on your cash flow and credit file. We are happy to run through figures with you on your exit, and where we are looking at a bridge we will always ensure that it fits at a conservative estimate on that exit.

As always, give us a call if you’ve got any questions. Have a good weekend, hopefully the sunshine will continue!

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