PMS executive chairman John Malone says credit-score criteria punishes first-time buyers and has called on lenders to consider applications from FTBs on an individual basis.
Malone is looking to work with four of the main highstreet lenders on the issue in the coming weeks.
He says FTBs tend to share similar characteristics, such as not having a credit card, not being on the electoral roll and moving addresses regularly, which lowers their credit score.
Malone says distributors and brokers should advise FTBs to improve their credit score by taking steps such as registering on the electoral role.
He says: “Because lenders’ decisions are automated, it is often a case of ’computer says no’ for first-time buyers.
“We will be pushing the lenders to consider individual cases but equally brokers can help lenders by encouraging first-time buyers to get a credit card and register on the electoral roll. I think that lenders would then look more favourably on them.”
IMF Mortgages partner Ian Marcusfield says FTBs often tell him they prefer not to have a credit card because it helps them manage their finances prudently and it is unfair that is goes against applicants on their credit score.
He says: “Why should these things count against the first-time buyer? The lenders are saying credit scores are everything. It is really clobbering firsttime buyers. Where someone is a first-time buyer, the credit score should maybe make up a lesser part of the whole underwriting process.”