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"Lazy lenders" overcharge older borrowers

Lazy lenders are charging the over-50s more for their mortgages because of their age, according to new research from Saga Personal Finance.

It found that 12% of people in their 50s have been refused a better rate because of their age.

And 85% said that lending should be based on ability to pay, not age.

The poll of 6,243 people showed growing concern among the over-50s about the behaviour of mortgage lenders.

Many respondents complained about their bank or mortgage provider introducing arbitrary upper age limits on lending criteria and also placing a bar on older borrowers getting better deals. 

Saga said this is despite working life being extended through the raising of the state retirement age, the abolishing of firms being able to set compulsory retirement ages and the desire of many people to continue to work full or part-time in later life. 

More than half of over-50s thought that the regulator should intervene to ensure fair treatments by mortgage lenders.

Paul Green of Saga said that some mortgage lenders are out of touch with society and the world of work. “They are blind to the fact that the world of work is changing. 

“It simply beggars belief that people are being denied mortgages or forced to pay more for uncompetitive deals simply because of their age.

“This smacks of lazy lending, not bothering to understand your customers and is an another example of the industry not responding to the needs of an ageing population."

Saga is calling for the regulator to take a proactive stance with mortgage lenders to ensure that lending criteria are fair and based on ability to pay and not just on age.

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