A new survey has discovered 40% of would-be homeowners admit to suffering from stress when applying for a mortgage. Trussle asked 2,000 mortgage borrowers in the UK about the different elements involved in purchasing a property, and the results were very revealing.
The survey was conducted to tie in with Stress Awareness Month, which takes place throughout April each year. Stress can reach into many areas of our lives. However, few would think about mortgage stress unless they are going through the process of applying for one.
Some 625,000 people suffer from mortgage stress each year
The research revealed 41% of homeowners experience stress while going through the application process. This is equivalent to around 625,000 people every year – quite a figure, and one that will no doubt surprise many.
When asked which elements of home purchase produced the highest stress levels, those taking part in the survey said paperwork was the biggest bugbear. One fifth (20%) said there was too much of it, both when the application is initially made, and in later remortgaging processes. Coming in a close second was the 15% of participants who pointed to considerable use of jargon, which can confuse and make life harder when applying for a mortgage.
Nearly three-quarters of participants agreed on the best change mortgage lenders could make
73% of those taking part agreed mortgage lenders should become more digital to help homeowners navigate the paperwork mountain. Many wanted to see their outstanding balance displayed online, while downloadable statements were also mooted as a good idea.
“People experience stress in many ways,” said Darren Pescod, CEO of The Mortgage Broker Limited. “Moving home is regularly cited as one of the most stressful events we can experience in life, even if we look forward to making a new start. When you add in the causes of stress stemming from mortgage applications and paperwork, it’s easy to see why this is the case.
“In today’s digital world, many of us bank online. But it seems many people think mortgage applications have been left behind in this regard. Making it easier to apply and to provide the appropriate paperwork could make getting a mortgage easier from a stress point of view.”
Going digital would make a lot of sense
The same research discovered around 219 sheets of paper needed to be examined and handled by a mortgage applicant before the process was complete. This is a staggering amount, especially when multiplied by all the people who apply for mortgages each year.
We’ve read a lot about helping the environment, and it would seem cutting down on paperwork and going digital would benefit more than just the stress levels of mortgage applicants. More than 38,000 trees would be felled in one year alone to provide the paper needed for this. Maybe it is time to overhaul the mortgage industry in more ways than one.
“Moving home is always going to be stressful to some extent,” Darren Pescod added. “But it could certainly be made easier regarding mortgage applications, as this research has shown.”