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Product Matters

Following many mainstream

lenders, Skipton has entered the non-standard lending market with its rebranded specialist, subsidiary Amber Homeloans.

For those with mildly adverse credit, Amber has rates fixed until October 31, 2003 at 6.75 per cent (full status), or 7.25 per cent (self-certification).

However, both feature a one-year ext- ended lock-in and other lenders, such as Bristol & West, can offer sligh-tly higher rates without extended tie-ins.

It is worth remembering that several high-street lenders can consider mild adverse history on core products – one CCJ does not mean a borrower has to go straight to sub-prime.

A very attractive Amber scheme is the buy-to-let Libor tracker featuring a pay rate of 6.25 per cent, a low fee of £195 and no redemption penalties at any time. With lending up to 80 per cent of value, this looks appealing.

The 100 per cent lending product should be handled with care. The initial 1.5 per cent discount gives an att-ractive rate of 5.5 per cent but this only lasts for a year, with the borrower then tied in for another two years at 7 per cent. Further-more, Amber charges Migs from 75 per cent LTV and, at £12 per £1,000, this will prove very expensive.

Northern Rock&#39s 6.29 per cent Together mortgage, which is Mig-free and without penalties, will almost certainly prove a better option.

It is good to see mainstream lenders bringing their experience to the non-standard market, opening fairer options for those who may have been forced into much higher rates.

David Hollingworth,

Mortgage specialist,

London & Country

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