If you are looking for a mortgage but are failing to get approval for the finances you need then the Home Choice Loan (HCL) might be for you.
The Home Choice Load, HCL for short, is a government-run mortgage loan scheme specifically for first-time buyers who can prove that they have been unable to get “sufficient finance” from at least two banks or building societies. The scheme was kicked off in order to help those who want to buy a home but are unable to do so because of the current credit crunching times.
So, how does it work and who can apply?
- The scheme is provided by local authorities nationwide – however all applications will be processed by a HCL-authorised mortgage broker
- Applicants can buy secondhand as well as new homes
- Applicants can borrow… up to 92% of the house purchase price to a maximum of €285,000
- The current interest rate (which is variable) is set at an ‘attractively’ low 2.9%
- The minimum income requirements were lowered from €40,000 to €35,000 for single applicants and from €50,000 to €45,000 for joint applicants
However, if you thought the HCL was an easy solution to getting a mortgage, think again. Martina Burke, Communications manager for the Government’s Housing and Sustainable Communities Agency explained that all applicants must be able to show they can afford to service the mortgage. She says the HCL was designed to “facilitate rather than incentivise” house purchases and that “normal credit criteria and prudent lending practices” apply.