These days, there’s no such thing as ‘normal’. No standard job. No average home. More and more of us work multiple jobs, have complicated incomes and even more complicated lives; yet many high street lenders still base their lending criteria on rules a huge sector of society outgrew years ago.
With the emergence of the gig economy, boom in self-employment, and changing home ownership landscape, the world doesn't look like it did 50 years ago. Or even 10 years ago.
Specialist lender Together knows this, so has been applying what it describes a 'common-sense approach' to lending since 1974. Look at every customer’s case individually to find the best solution, their underwriters are given unusual freedom to make a pragmatic decision based on the circumstances of each mortgage application as a whole, rather than letting a series of tickboxes decide their customers’ futures.
This means they're often able to lend to those frequently under-served by mainstream lenders: the self-employed and those with multiple incomes, and those who've had a prior blip in their credit history – perhaps because of a period of ill-health or an unexpected redundancy.
Their range of short- and long-term finance products work for both personal and business borrowers living one of today's complicated lives. They call it ‘lending for the new normal’.
Working with personal and commercial customers
There are several things that can stand in the way of a mortgage application, which Together groups under four headings:
• Complex income, such as self-employment with less than two years' trading history, having multiple sources of income, or being retired at the point of application.
• Unusual transactions, including discounted purchases and those with a deadline.
• Those with less-than-perfect credit, or little or no credit history.
• Properties that are considered risky because of their condition, position, construction, ownership, or use.
While many lenders can handle one or two of these complicating factors while underwriting a typical application, they may struggle in instances involving several.
Lending products that work for now
Together are often described as a specialist lender, and that’s not just because of our product offering. We pride ourselves on working closely with our professional partners on every case to provide funding that’s right for them.
Together's range of products includes:
• Residential mortgages, including instances where the property is situated in a high-rise, constructed of non-standard materials (such as ex-council concrete properties), or being purchased through a Right to Buy or Shared Ownership scheme.
• Bridging loans for a huge variety of uses, by both businesses and individuals.
• Commercial mortgages for a huge range of commercial properties, including semi-commercial properties and land – whether being purchased as an investment, or for a growing business's new premises.
• Secured loans, which operate alongside the borrower's existing mortgage – whether a residential or commercial property – to provide a cash injection to renovate, clear debts, or invest in your business.
• Buy-to-let mortgages for first-time and full-time landlords alike, including for holiday lets and other complex cases like Houses of Multiple Occupancy.
• Auction finance that is funded within the 28-day completion deadline required when buying property at auction, and lasts up to 12 months while the property is sold on or longer-term finance is secured.
Who does Together work with?
To put it simply, Together works with anyone who needs to access borrowing. Whether for them, their business, or their clients.
Many of Together's customers are businesses who need a short-term cash injection, perhaps to manage cashflow, pay an unexpected bill, or invest in their business to service a large new account.
They also work with property professionals – including developers looking to cover the cost of a renovation project that will quickly be sold on or refinanced, and landlords looking to grow or refinance their property portfolio.
Of course, customers are welcome to apply directly. But most of Together's business comes from an established distribution network of mortgage advisers and brokers, or through referrals from property and finance professionals, such as accountants, wealth managers, conveyancers and estate agents.
These professionals are often among the first to know when a client's circumstances mean that getting finance through a mainstream lender will be challenging. So Together is on hand to help in these circumstances, and provides a 'finder's fee' for successful referrals. Of course, your reputation with your client may also be elevated, because you'll have proactively helped them troubleshoot their finance quandary.
Supporting businesses of all shapes and sizes
These days, more and more of us are shunning the 9-to-5 and setting up on our own. Whether you’re running a full-time business or supplementing your income with a side-hustle, it can be tough to find a lender willing to work with complex ownership structure or short trading histories.
Together understands entrepreneurs, because they're entrepreneurs themselves. Whether your clients is a sole trader, limited company, partnership or pension fund, Together can help fund their ambitions – at home and in business.
Their no-nonsense approach means they spend less time in two minds and more time getting to know your clients’ circumstances to find a way to help. Their underwriters have years of experience and can make quick ‘in principle’ decisions, working quickly to expedite funding if it will make or break a purchase or business deal.
A bit of history
Together started life in 1974 as one man, giving one loan. Since then it's grown – through good times and not-so-good – to a team of more than 700 with a loan book topping £3billion.
As one of the finance industry’s best-kept secrets, they've built a business on forging lasting relationships with customers and partners that make lending transparent and accessible to everyone. They've won dozens of awards under our belt – for product and service – but the biggest reward is seeing how their common-sense approach to lending helps people achieve their personal and business dreams every single day.
Find out more about Together at togethermoney.com.