When company owners Dawn Couzens and her husband David were told by their bank that their firm’s profits would count when it came to getting the mortgage they needed, they had one thought.
“We thought ‘happy days’,” said Dawn. “We’d established our company over seven years and the last two years showed that we had good profits. So we thought that we would be able to borrow a decent amount of money.”
The couple, who run their own fixings and fasteners supply company in Derby, had invested money from the sales of their previous homes in their firm. They took a sensible amount out in earnings and dividends, preferring to let the profits build up in the bank account.
Having lived in rented accommodation for some years, it was time. They decided, to enjoy the fruits of their labour. Having been assured by their bank that all was well, they went house-hunting.
“We found the house we wanted within a weekend of looking,” Dawn said. “It was a three-bedroomed semi and I knew I wanted it as soon as I saw it. In fact, I put in a verbal offer when we were being shown around it and it was accepted.”
Buoyed by their success, the couple returned to the bank to set up an interview to get a mortgage. But when they said what they wanted, everything changed.
Dawn said: “We spoke to another person and when she heard how much we wanted to borrow, she refused to meet us because it turned out they wouldn’t take our profits into account after all.
“She told us to bring our last year’s tax bill, but it was April at the time and of course we didn’t have one. We said that but she still refused to meet us.
“We thought ‘my God, what are we going to do? We’d gone from being told that everything was fine to being told that we were £15,000 short.”
It was a hammer blow to the couple. In response, Dawn went onto the internet that evening and arrived at Finance Advice Centre’s website. Within minutes she was speaking to our adviser, Chris Towlson, who arranged a meeting the very next day.
Over the next couple of weeks, Chris set about getting them a deal. The couple’s situation meant that they were turned down by two lenders. But it was a case of third time lucky. The next lender Chris approached agreed to lend them the money.
And the identity of the lender? No other than the couple’s bank – the same bank that had turned them down.
“Chris said that he got us a deal because he was able to speak directly to the underwriter, rather than a frontline representative. This meant that he was able to put our case across and sort everything out,” Dawn said.
“We’d gone from facing the prospect of scrapping our plans and letting our dream house go to getting what we wanted and moving in.”
The couple moved into their new home at the end of July. Three months after they first saw the property – and all is well.
But Dawn has a word of advice for anyone who is self-employed and looking to get onto the housing ladder.
She said: “Don’t assume that your bank is the best place to go and that lenders will accept your company’s profits. Also, always use a broker, because they have access to the whole market. They will also be able to talk to people you, as a buyer, don’t get access to.
“Also, if you are thinking of moving, go and see an adviser as soon as possible. Even if it’s a year before you start looking.
“They can help you get ready for getting a mortgage by sorting out your finances to make sure you have the best-possible chance of getting a deal.”
So if you are in a similar position to Dawn and David don’t hesitate to call on Freephone 0800 103 2655 or 01332 821340 and talk to an advisor today.