Military Mortgages

If you are currently serving, thinking of remortgaging your family home but presently living elsewhere for service reasons, then read on:

I recently wanted to remortgage my family home but was frustrated to find that, because I am presently letting it due to service overseas, that most mortgage lenders would only offer buy-to-let products, which incur far inferior terms (rate and LTV).

I argued that it was my main family home and as only my military service compelled me to let it for a short period, I should qualify for residential terms. After getting no-where, I wrote to a number of institutions, including the CEO of HSBC Plc which was my preferred provider. To my considerable surprise, the CEO rang me back the next day, expressed his support for the Armed Forces, confirmed that my request was reasonable and that his staff had failed to follow his policy direction. He put me in touch with his head of mortgage services. Problem solved.

I am presently using this precedent in an attempt to raise awareness among other mortgage providers, so that all military personnel can have fair access to mortgage products irrespective of the circumstances of their service.

I post this as an interim measure to assist any PPRuNers who may be contemplating remortgaging. At present, only HSBC have acted positively but they offer some competitive products at the moment and, if their support of the Armed Forces generates additional custom, then good luck to them – this alone might prompt other lenders to re-evaluate their policies. Alternatively, the precedent set by HSBC can be used directly in the attempt to persuade other lenders to offer equivalent terms. Obviously, all PRuNers will need to do their own research, use a financial adviser, etc, and I’m not promoting HSBC per se, just giving them credit for a refreshing, and tangible, level of support for the military.

Well done!

I note that HSBC recently had one of the best fixed rate mortgages on the market (3.65% for 5 years, IIRC).

Unfortunately, swap rates have hardened in anticipation of rising interest rates and that deal is now unlikely to be available.


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