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I have recently purchased my first house with my boyfriend.
I can honestly say that it has been the worst experience of my life made much worse by the Woolwich.
I visited numerous banks & building societies getting quotes for mortgages. We really wanted an offset mortgage, so the Woolwich Openplan was the obvious choice. I went in one morning and was quite surprised to be able to see the Mortgage advisor straight away. Anyway, she was really friendly and we talked for a while about our current situation, the house we had put an offer on and all the usual questions.
The outcome of the meeting was that she said that we were ideal candidates for the Open Plan as we could put down a 10% deposit and that as I had just qualified as an accountant, my salary was guaranteed to go up rapidly - hence the offset mortgage.
Anyway, as we had put an offer in on the house, the Mortgage Advisor - Marie, said that there would be no problem whatsoever with giving me an agreement in principle to give to the seller's agent.
I was so relieved to have it all sorted and delighted that we had the mortgage product we wanted.
ONE WEEK LATER
I received a letter from the Woolwich saying "thanks, but no thanks". I could not believe what I was reading and the more I read it the more I panicked. It was very vague and just said "you are not suitable for our product" - completely the opposite to what the actual advisor had advised me. It then went on to say that it may be something to do with our credit scores from Experian.
I got so wound up that I went to see Marie, our friendly mortgage advisor and she explained that it must have been a mistake as she knew we were perfect. She told me not to worry, she'd out it through again and there would be no problems.
In the meantime, me and my boyfriend contacted Experian and sent our £2 cheque off each to receive a copy of our credit scores.
ANOTHER WEEK LATER
The credit scores arrived back, we both looked through them and to us they seemed ok. They listed everyone that lived at our individual addresses and all the credit that they had applied for.
At about the same time our mortgage was refused again from the Woolwich. Marie said that it must be down to our credit scores, so we sent them in - she said that they were fine and that she would in fact refer us to their risk assessment section.
ANOTHER WEEK LATER.
I am not the sort of person to nag and constantly harrass people, however, I did try to contact Marie every other day about our application. She assured me that she was doing the same at her end and that by the Wednesday she would have a definate answer.
I rang the Woolwich that morning only to be told that Marie, our friendly mortgage advisor no longer worked there.
By this point I was hysterical. Apparently no-one else could help me. By the afternoon, we had deduced that she still worked for Woolwich, but not in mortgages or at our branch as she had been promoted.
Risk assessment still rejected us. We were given no reason why and their advise was, "ry somewhere else!".
The real nightmare was that the people selling their house were wondering what on earth was going on and we were behind schedule by more than two weeks.
Anyway, we have now got a mortgage and the problem was in my boyfriends creit score - it was treating his much in debt brother as him. You would have thought that any mortgage advisor worth their title would have known this or at least the Wollwich could have told us where the problem was.
The whole experience was awful, it was the most stressful time of my life and the Woolwich didn't seem to appreciate that getting a mortgage - especially your first one - is a scary and difficult time.
My advice is don't trust what you are told and if the original outcome is "no", go somewhere else straight away, don't listen to them when they say they can try again.
A Very useful warning. It sounds like the incompetence of the Woolwich cost you dear - and of course they don't care.
I had problems with poorly trained staff at the Woolwich but luckily for me not to the same extent as you.
sue.51 27.09.2003 16:44
Sounds like a nightmare - my sister had problems with them - after nearly having her house repossessed after my then brother in law was made redundant she sold it just before the deadline and was fortunate to be left with sufficient cash to buy a small, but in badly need or work house with a minute mortgage, which the Woolwich gladly lent her - but then promptly turned down her request for a home owner loan to replace the windows - bizarre. I get somewhat bemused at the references to credit scoring though - the credit scoring is an in house process unique to each lender which decides whether they consider you a safe enough risk to lend money too, the information that comes from Experian and Equifax is your credit reference.
MHam 25.09.2003 10:35
Did the brother live at the same address because if he did it should have shown straight away on the experien search - these things can be quite difficult to spot - well written op M xx